Saturday, September 15, 2007

"December Boys" now in theaters!

Totally off-topic here, but I'll get back to art and/or writing soon: Those of you who know me know I'm a HUGE "Harry Potter" fan and a huge Dan Radcliffe fan as well! Dan's first non-Harry Potter film opened in LA and NYC on September 14.
"December Boys" is an independent Australian film shot on Kangaroo Island, Australia, an absolutely beautiful location. The film was shot between "Goblet of Fire" and "Order of the Phoenix" but was delayed in release due to the problems of getting distribution set up that indie films face.
It's a coming of age film about four orphans who are given the gift of a month at the beach for their birthdays (all in December, hence the "December Boys" title). Dan plays "Maps" who's the oldest and kind of a big brother to the others. The boys' close relationships are challenged when they learn that a couple wants to adopt one of them, resulting in the boys (all but Maps) competing to be the one adopted.

Maps experiences his first kiss, first love affair (with the pretty blond in the poster), moons somebody (and Dan says "that's the geniune Radcliffe a**" not a double, LOL!) and heartache in the film. It looks like a sweet, entertaining film.

The problem is - being an indie film, it's opening in "selected cities" which means I'm going to have to drive 100 miles to Cincinnati to see it!!!! But I will! So all you guys who are in those "selected cities" need to go see "December Boys" so it will open wider (in more cities) so I don't have to drive so far to see it! :D

To get back to art: Dan came into his fortune at the age of 17, although nobody believed it because he didn't go out and buy anything expensive that anyone noticed. In interviews for "December Boys," he revealed that he did buy something when he got his money - a painting by Jim Hodges. I'd never heard of Hodges until then, but I've researched him online, and I'm glad I found out about him. His work is gorgeous! Do a search on him and check it out. (Here's a place to start: - follow the links to see more of his work and read about his career.) He's a sculptor as well as a painter, and his work (that I've seen so far, anyway) is light and airy, delicate and elegant - poetic, really. Since Dan's a poet, I'm not surprised he likes Hodges's work. I'm glad Dan (indirectly) introduced me to it!
Click on the link above to get to the "December Boys" website and find out when and where it's opening. Happy movie-going!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Writing Stuff and Art Stuff

I've been too busy to update my blog for ages! Sorry about that!

Writing stuff: The book designer sent me his work on my original novel, "Star Sons: Dawn of the Two" to proofread. It's appalling how many mistakes I've found, nearly all of them glitches caused by Word being Word (not the book designer's fault). Argh. Paragraphs jumping up into the paragraph above, blank lines showing up just randomly (fortunately without deleting any text!) and so on, things that confuse the book designer so the section breaks wind up in the wrong places, etc. So I'm having to proof it very carefully to make sure everything's as close to perfect as I can get it!

Writing tip of the day #1: If you write in Microsoft Word, save your file frequently, but when you get to about ten saves, rename the file. Apparently, the more you save the file to the same name, the glitchier it gets. Kudos to my daughter for sharing this hint with me!

I've been busy writing a new Harry Potter chaptered fanfic that I promised my readers. It was unbelievably hard to get back into Harry's world after developing my own magical world, but once I got into it, it was just as much fun as ever to write. I'll include ordering information for "Star Sons" with each chapter as I upload it, so those who already like my writing will know how to order my original novel. It will be a handy marketing tool!

Writing tip of the day #2: Create a file for each of these categories:

*Characters (including their names, the meaning of their names if significant, what they look like, what's "important" about them, their relationship to other characters, their abilities, quirks, etc.)
*Settings (including whatever's important about these settings, locations, etc.)
*Incantations/Spells/Science of your world (if applicable)
*Anything else that seems important to you.

Also, start a "chapter outline" file, with an outline or paragraph or list of what happens in that chapter, who's involved, clues or "red herrings" you've planted, resolutions to clues from previous chapters, etc.

Keep these files updated every day, if you can! When you can't remember when little Sally actually broke her arm, you can look it up easily.

On to art news: The Friesian trophy ("Elegance") I've been working on is being cast in bronze as I write this! We'll be going to Oregon to supervise the finish work in a couple of weeks. "Finish work" involves how the parts of the carriage are put together, and the creation and attaching of all the little pieces that have to be made by hand for each sculpture, such as the bits, the driving lines, the terrets on the harness, the tugs, etc. I'm having three cast now, and the foundry workers will take notes and LOTS of pictures as we go along. Then when I order more in the future, they'll know how to finish them without me there. You can see that sculpture here: It will be awarded at the Friesian Extravaganza at the Clark County Fairgrounds, Springfield OH, the last Saturday in October. I will also have my booth there in the vendor area - come by and say "Howdy!"

Someone just ordered a perpetual trophy for the US Dressage Federation using my sculpture "Frolic" ( It will be awarded at the USDF Convention at the end of November. Detail and finishing work on both of these trophies has kept me very busy!

Once both of these pieces are awarded, they will go back to the Kentucky Horse Park to live in their respective organizations' headquarters, "Elegance" at the Friesian Horse Asso. of North America (FHANA) headquarters, "Frolic" at the USDF headquarters. With "Harmony" ( already in the USDF Hall of Fame, that makes THREE pieces I have at the Kentucky Horse Park! "Harmony" is just on loan (unless someone buys it and donates it to USDF), but "Elegance" and "Frolic" will be there forever! COOL!

I've nearly finished the sculpture of my husband that goes with "Just Trying to Help" (, but the trophy work and proofreading "Star Sons" has put that sculpture on the back burner for the time being. I only have to finish his right hand and his paintbrush, then clean him up, and he'll be ready to send! But the delay isn't really a bad thing. I was afraid I'd have to send it with dry ice and overnight express, which costs a fortune, due to the heat wave in both Ohio and Oregon, but it's much cooler in both states now, so shipping can be done the normal way. Yay!

That's enough blogging for now! I hope some of my rambling has been helpful to you!