Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Artsmith Literary Contest


Artsmith Literary Contest


There’s still a month left to submit your entry to the Artsmith Literary Contest .  This year’s theme is “Tell Us a Story.”  The one-page contest is open to all genres – fiction, non-fiction, poetry, playwriting, or any other written form.  Brent Spencer is the judge.  Deadline is January 31, 2009.  $10 entry fee, $5 for additional entries.  Free to members.  For more information about the contest, go to http://orcasartsmith.org/contest.html.


Brent Spencer

Brent Spencer is the author of the novel, The Lost Son, and a collection of short stories, Are We Not Men?, chosen by the editors of The Village Voice Literary Supplement as one of the 25 best books of the year. His short stories have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The American Literary Review, Epoch, The Missouri Review, GQ, and elsewhere. His story "The True History," first published in Prairie Schooner, was included in the 2007 edition of Best American Mystery Stories, edited by Carl Hiaasen. He teaches fiction writing and screenwriting at Creighton University and is at work on a new novel.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Clinker Bricks

We still have snow on the ground. The roads have been clear for days, but it has been so pretty here, we've stayed close to home anyway. Of course, we did go to the bookstore … twice.

The view above is from our back yard looking toward the guest deck (at Kangaroo House Bed & Breakfast, which is where we live, of course). In the upper right corner, you can see part of the clinker brick chimney. Clinker bricks are bricks that would get so hot in wood-fired kilns that silica would form a glaze on the surface of the brick. At one time they were considered throw-away bricks, but bricklayers and masons soon learned the bricks are more durable and last longer than standard bricks. Unfortunately, their shape becomes distorted during the firing, so they don’t usually retain their block shape. Fortunately for us, though, clinker bricks were used in our chimney when the house was built in 1907.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Arters and Writists

Before we get started, I want to emphasize it wasn’t the wine.  There were four of us last night, artists and writers, tossing ideas back and forth.  The topics ranged from metal-working to sculpture to promoting one’s art to integrity of form.  The more we talked, the faster we talked, each inspired by the other.  Let me also say that among us, the visual artists happen to write well and the writers happen to dabble, also quite well, in visual arts.  So it was no surprise that by the end of the evening “writers and artists” became “arters and writists,” which describes a good many of us.  Most of the writers I know have a secret love affair with book arts, and most of the visual artists I know also write poetry.  So I propose we add these words to our ever growing lexicon of how we describe ourselves and others.  And also that we refrain from zipping our descriptions up too tightly.  Sure, let what defines us refine us, but let there always be the raw, untempered, exploratory sides of ourselves that flow into the amorphous, growing, learning, and undefinable.   Here’s to the Arter and Writist in each of us!  Hoozah!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Artsmith Blogsmith

Tonight is the longest night of the year, it's 1:30 in the morning, and we have nine inches of snow on the ground -- what better time to start the Artsmith blog? Tonight's entry is brief. Only to say hello and welcome. More to come...
Merry days and peaceful nights,