Sunday, October 30, 2011

All my pens are out of ink

Magpie Tales

Many things came to mind when I saw this week's prompt for Magpie Tales and writing a small poem was fairly easy. This week I wrote two in the same post. I am in a creative flow right now. I am painting, designing jewelry, and writing up a storm. 

Don't you just love it when you can't turn it off and it just flows like a broken water pipe? I mean Jack wouldn't have chased Wendy around the Overlook with an ax, if there was something actually happening on his pages. Seclusion, can be madding but as a writer you need a fine balance of life experience and the time to write uninterrupted. Steve King in his book, On Writing, talks about the importance of keeping your writing space free from distractions. Heck some writers have to disable the internet or they don't accomplish anything. I know it is my biggest distraction, that and five pets. 

I have to thank Tess for providing such interesting prompt this week and this one was perfect because Tuesday I start  my month of writing and I will win. Fifty thousand words in thirty days, no sweat. I can't say that I am ready because I am not ready but I will be, provided I can stay off the internet for a few hours and perhaps buy a big bag of raw hide...

Poem One

Camille Claudel

ink pot dried
quill is worn
world of words 
no place to be born

the ribbon is old
the q is gone
typing this note 
never took so long

chiseled it out
on a wall of stone
awash in tears
and bloodied to the bone

our heart breaks 
with past mistakes
but heals complete 
then leaves of freed

I don't normally do rhyming but this one just popped out after watching a film about Camille Claudel. The other poem I wrote today is called exercising pain. I use this word like exorcising in the spiritual sense of removal, like exorcising a demon.

Exercising Pain

I dug a hole just deep enough 
sand buried my ankles

It was warm sand
when the tide joined me 
in came in a measure at a time

I waited bidding it adieu and farewell
before long it stayed and kissed my face
and crashed and rushed and hugged my neck

I laughed as I scrambled
like a dog digging a hole
I unburied myself

I left it all out there for the world to read
it was then that I realized 
my own tender humanity

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

November Baby

Bluebell Books

The artist knew that everything about this picture was perfect for her best friend.  She wanted to paint something that would have meaning. The powder blue dance slippers, the windy hair, and the reading of a good book, in a tree no less, made all of those things were just perfect.
Her friend was about to have her first child, a girl. The baby would be born in autumn and be named after a favorite literary writer, most likely a poet. Both the parents were poets, writers and teachers of the literary arts. Her mother studied ballet in New York before completing her advanced degree and becoming a professor.
The painting would commence on a 20 x 16 inch canvas. The artist would give it two smooth coats of gesso then proceed with the background. Once the background was completed she would block in the tree, carefully mixing a little sap green, Phthalo green, Naples yellow, and yellow Ochre and move the brush in such a way that it almost seemed as if she was sponging the bark. The girl would be next and her delicate blue skirt would require some mixing. As for the skin tone the artist would mix a little white, a little Ochre and a tiny bit of burnt sienna.  A little burnt sienna and Phthalo green with a fine script brush would color the vine. The leaves would manifest from most of what was already on her palette except a pea size Alizarin Crimson would be blended with a little bit of white and Naples yellow.
When she finished she would sign and varnish. Later the artist would present the painting via the post just a few days after the child’s arrival, sending it along with all the wishes and love that went into its creation.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

White Mane

I happened upon it, White Mane, a film in the Netflix library for streaming videos. It was only 40 minutes and narrated. The setting is in the romantic arid coastal area known as the Carmargue, in Southern France. The 360 sq. mile area is a protected reserve since 1927 and famous for being home to the wild white stallion. In addition to the gorgeous horses that run the beach, it is also home to a breed of Carmargue bull used in Spain for bull fighting and at least 400 bird species including the greater Flamingo. 

The area is a delta where vast rivers and lakes join with the Mediterranean Sea. Its brine waters are major attractors for the Flamingo and they use the area as a breeding ground. Few people lived in the area mostly Guardians. A Guardian, according to Wikipedia, is a mounted cattle herdsman. The horses of the Carmargue are raised in semi-feral conditions by these Guardians. The area is also known for an annual pilgrimage of the Roma for the veneration of their patron Saint Sarah.

The film does not cover any of this background but it certainly does convey this in a most breathtaking way. Rather than re-write what was written about the film I chose to quote it here, “A young boy (Alain Emery) grows entranced with a magnificent wild horse in a remote part of southern France after watching the local cowboys try to break it. Sensing that the lad's motives are different, the stallion slowly lets the young rider tame him. Director Albert Lamorisse shows nature at its most raw and powerful in an unforgettable tale of trust and freedom that was honored with the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes.

I hope you will give this film a chance, it is in black and white was filmed in 1953. It is a delightful story with a rather interesting ending, that left a strong impression.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Magpie Tales

All aspects are fueled
Antiquated brick, sweat, and soot
Miles of concrete tread before me
Cacophony of the streets
Leaves me restless for peace
Upon distant memory
Longingly its virtues linger
Right now this light is taking

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My Vision for this painting

My vision for this painting is not to copy it. I am inspired by the below painting and my progress is in the top painting. I wanted my lady to have porcelain skin and auburn hair. I think I want her hair to be mostly up (no bun) with a few curls sweeping across her back. Originally, I was not going to paint the scarf and went back and forth about that. Right now my plan is to paint the scarf. My scarf will be bigger and more translucent (hopefully) then the original. I even had a few people Facebook me and tell me that they thought I should leave the dress the way it is but I am sorry, I just can't do that. I completely intend to add the peacock feathers but I am going to study an actual feather. My dress will not likely have as many. I am also planning to use a special copper paint in the feather. I hope it turns outs. I will post a follow up picture of my painting when it is finished. Then you be the judge and tell if you like mine or the original better. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It's that time again

What it is and why I do it

National Novel Writing Month begins on November 1 and ends promptly at midnight November 30. Nanowrimo is what, we wrimos call it. 

What we actually do is spend those thirty days banging away at the keyboard attempting to write a novel of 50,000 words in just 30 short days. That is 1,667 words per day for 30 consecutive days. That is not even with time off for Thanksgiving folks. I like to pull ahead (in my word count that is) a little bit earlier in the month, so that by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, I have met my challenge.

This year, I am attempting to finish Framescape. I tossed it back and forth, was considering ditching the whole project and just start something new, but I read last years work. I got super excited and now I have the fever to finish it. I have until November 1st to map out where I am going and what I am doing to finish this story. Easy peasy? Well not really. 

First I printed all 215 pages. I am going to read them and see where the major holes are. Then I am going to outline and make a game plan to fill in those holes. I know that I have a lot of character development I need to do, so I will map that out as well. I am not going to worry about writing this in some consecutive order because at this point that would be impossible. If anyone who reads this has any suggestions, I would totally appreciate your feedback.

Have you ever dreamed of writing your own story? 

Well here is a really supportive and fun way to do that. There are neat word count widgets that help keep you on track and most areas have a ML (municipal liaison). These are the folks who organize group write-ins and offer general support. All you have to do is sign up at and send a small donation if you can. If not, not the end of the world.  

There are rules but honestly the only rule that I can think of right now is NO EDITING allowed during November, that is what March is for.  It is fun and if you make it you get the distinction of the winner badge and a nice certificate that I even framed for my wall. Most of all you get that really cool feeling of having accomplished something really very difficult to accomplish, writing your story.

After all the world needs your novel...

Hey if you do decided to Nano, look for me we can become online writing buddies. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

the gown, the gems and the guy

After some serious thought, I just couldn't wear purple as Eugene had requested. I need my sanity and wits about me to spend an evening with this clown. Earlier in the week, he sang this song to me when I asked him at attend the Fourth annual Willow Manor Ball.

After all I am a red head with porcelain skin and green eyes. If I dare ware purple, I would get pulled right back into my local chapter of the red hat ladies and I just couldn't bare it. 
As a compromise, I did decide to ware my amethyst gems.

 For the moment it seemed to appease my fun loving date Eugene Hutz, front-man for the gypsy punk band, Gogol Bordello. But, I had to promise to attend another party with him in Moscow. He's got a little business to do there so we are going to pop over on his private jet, sometime around 4:30 or 5am.

Now I should have realized that we would look like a couple of Christmas Elves when Eugene showed up wearing a red coat and tails of all things. When he saw my peacock gown, he gave me a twirl and said, "You look Marvelous!"

I told Eugene that, if and only if, he behaved himself by not making off with other woman, breaking any thing at Willow Manor or starting any fist fights with communists, I would slip into this little number for the after party. I will leave you now with a favorite Gogol Bordello song Through the Roof and Underground.  Enjoy and we will see you at Willow Manor.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

L'art pour l'art

my latest painting - it is not finished but close.

Writing poetry, prose or really any form of creative writing paired with a photo, painting or drawing makes a lot of sense to me. I find that I am less blocked. I am certain that my very best writing has always been prompt driven. There are times when I feel that without a visual clue my writing is flat. A prompt extracts from me a deeper more emotional piece, then I would be capable of producing otherwise. 

In my weekly painting class, we have what is called open studio. There are only about 3-5 students and our instructor. This setting is ideal because we can work on whatever we choose.  Our instructor floats between us, teaching us various techniques so that we can learn to paint what we desire. I love this freedom. Best of all, I am creating things that matter to me.

Whether writing or painting, it all seems to come from the same place for me. While I am creating something, nothing seems to bother me. I find my zone and I cruise comfortably in it. Before I even realize hours seem like minutes and the sense of contentment is almost overwhelming. I love creating. It was what I was born to do. I think if I couldn’t create something every day, I would be swallowed up in a depression with an epoxy grip. On the other hand, to create art for art’s sake is pretty wonderful too. Sometimes I start something and I have no idea where I am going with it or what I am doing, it really doesn’t matter in the end, I am relaxed and at peace.

"L'art pour l'art" (translated as "art for art's sake") is credited to Théophile Gautier (1811–1872), who was the first to adopt the phrase as a slogan. Gautier was not, however, the first to write those words: they appear in the works of Victor Cousin,[1] Benjamin Constant, and Edgar Allan Poe. For example, Poe argues in his essay "The Poetic Principle" (1850), that
We have taken it into our heads that to write a poem simply for the poem's sake [...] and to acknowledge such to have been our design, would be to confess ourselves radically wanting in the true poetic dignity and force: — but the simple fact is that would we but permit ourselves to look into our own souls we should immediately there discover that under the sun there neither exists nor can exist any work more thoroughly dignified, more supremely noble, than this very poem, this poem per se, this poem which is a poem and nothing more, this poem written solely for the poem's sake.[2]

Sun is On My Side by Gogol Bordello

Sunday, October 9, 2011


In my world, the spoon stirs without my help.
Rich coffee, lightly creamed and organically sweetened transports me to a deeper place; where lush green and red berries wait to be picked and roasted for my pleasure.
A canopy of palms, rustle above my hammocked head.
I close my eyes and the island breeze caresses
every square inch of my naked self.
All the days reading, streams into my consciousness
without the use of my earthly senses.

I am aware now.
I have made the connection and am the monarch of my universe.

Saturday, October 8, 2011



Chatoyancy (n.) – The state or art of being chatoyant. Clink to hear pronunciation . First know use was in 1894.
Chatoyant (adj.) - having a changeable luster or color with an undulating narrow band of white light <a chatoyant gem> First known use of the word was in 1816.
French, from present participle of chatoyer to shine like a cat's eyes.

I think of it as the fire in an opal or a perfectly cut piece of labradorite. The sun picks up on the fire and it shines with brilliance or rather chatoyancy.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Willow Manor Ball RSVP

Mr. Eugene Hutz (& the entire Gogol Bordello band) and Ms. Kristen Haskell
Graciously accept your invitation to
Willow Manor Ball on October 12, 2011.

I am pleased to say that when I asked Mr. Hutz to be my date he said yes provided that I wore the right color to the ball. In fact, he sang to me. For kicks I've post his song for your enjoyment.

Needless to say I'm off to find the perfect gown. Oh by the way, I hope you don't mind that I'm bringing a troupe of Gypsy Punk Rockers to your nice ball.

An Impasse

She exposed him as chimerical and resolute. He tried and tried to convince her of his valorous nature but eventually the pantry lay bare. The concern was all hers and hers alone.
In the beginning, he was a man with a dream and potential.
Now he was just a man with a dream and no income.
He was her man, who could not support his family.
The dream occupied all of his waking hours.
Acting on the dream wasn’t actually apart of the dream.
The income would never follow.  Every fiber of her being was certain of this.

“Cactus tastes good. “ He told her, “So do dandelion greens.”
She wrinkled her nose and thought, “this is all too bitter for me.”

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Naming my Monster

Pruning in the water
My legs looked more like stalky tree trunks
But I dreamed them into one large fin.

“How did you get such powerful looking legs?”
He asked.
“Ballet?” I replied, questioning the validity of my answer.
“No.” He said softly, “Muscular Dystrophy.”
Such a perfect figure otherwise.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Newton's Cradle

Magpie Tales

There is no one left to play
telephone with
translation is sketchy at best.

Tiny fossils pepper the dune floor
Scooping a few down, the narrow neck
Sea glass bottle, trappings

Like the hourglass grains of my dune
Gently cushion my collected exoskeletons
Each year it becomes necessary
To catalog, as the minutes slip
Into oblivion and scenes from
The past fade away without
Any further thought

The clatter of Newton's Cradle
conserves the momentum 
but memory cannot rely
on a cradle such as this.

Kristen E. Haskell 2011
Submitted to Promising Poets Parking Lot for Thursday Poets Rally

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My take on Orlando by Virginia Woolf

It wrote this poem little under a year ago. At the time I was re-reading Orlando by Virginia Woolf. It remains one of my favorite stories and I will probably never fully understand it or the journey of self made by Orlando. I seek to understand all that Orlando learned and lived in the 300 plus years that he rather she lived. It is a lovely tale rich with the understanding of both sexes, their similarities and differences alike and all from the very same person. What would Orlando be now? and what would Orlando do now in a world without walls or privacy? Will anyone ever write anything as beautiful as Virginia Woolf. It is filled with the labor pains of life and a lover.Once again, I share with you my take on Orlando Part I by Virginia Woolf.


Artiste denied

Bluest blood did flow through his veins

Twice Broken

Once abandoned by love

Once his art ridiculed by snobbery

He ascends into himself

Due by the cruelty of others.


She appeared with party by sled

Traversing a frozen sea

Leaving her Russian land

and northern tongue.

A vision dressed in Oyster colored velvet

and greenish colored fur

Blush cheeks and darkest eyes

Strange stunning features

Striking cupid's arrow

Sincere her gregarious personality

Enchanted and delighted was he

As she mimicked the howl

Not once but three times of

Her hounds left behind.

She virtuous,

Unlike those that pursued him,

Stuffy and confined,

Looking only to crudely secure

his noble purse.

Sasha and he,

Shared one common tongue

Shared by no other

Within their retinue

Their intimacy would bind them

And capture did she,

His fickle heart completely.

A deal was struck by and between

To meet in secret perhaps to bed or wed.

A few hours was all that separated them...

The signal came and without warning

Ice pack sudden and irreversible crack

No time to cement a decision to stay

perhaps their love unseasoned?

Back to her sled

swiftly moving, no goodbye said.

Fleeing in the dark,

him left behind

Sasha broke Orlando’s heart.

The flood gates did open

Furniture and fortunes flow the Thames

The swollen river now lake

claimed all the lower levels

water gushed straight from the devil himself

Did not borrow from its victims

All the life it did take

Those that survive the loss they weep

Tears bob like crystal ice burgs

Some small but his steep.

Well past the witching hour

Quill after quill

with ink pot to spare

page after page

He did fill