Dia De Los Muertos 2016

I’m happy to share this years Dia De Los Muertos setup. As always , the show was hosted by the Richard App Gallery. I decided to explore a much different set up, and feature some new work. I made two dioramas and three new Catacomb Saint inspired skulls. My traditional calaveras were also a part of of the offrenda. Additionally, I added my hearts from my ArtPrize 8 piece to the offrenda. The inspiration for the AP8 entry grew out of my love for Dia De Los Muertos as well as the process of painting my calaveras. The heart is such a natural part of the Day of the Dead, it was an easy decision to include them.

The immense popularity of the “Catacomb Saint” skulls was overwhelming. I will definitely make more of these, both for future shows as well as for my long dormant etsy shop.

A 360º view of the offrenda can be seen in the photos below…

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Re-Imagining of My Site Continues…

Welcome to my shiny new blog page!

Though it is worth mentioning that I am a very sporadic blogger. This website serves as both a portfolio site and a blog. Consequently, I’ve made the decision to move my blog entries to a dedicated page rather that the main page. The inconsistent nature of my posts was giving the impression that my site was out of date or neglected. When the truth is that I don’t always have lots to share…

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pardon the dust…

Please pardon the dust as I  re-imagine my site a bit…

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Calaveras for 2015 Dia De Los Muertos Show and the Painting Process

This entry started as a way to show some current Calaveras pics. These photos are all “in progress” photos. Typically many things change as the painting goes on, but I like to show the different stages of the work.

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But, as I have written this, it has become as personal, as the last entry. And you, dear reader are getting a sneaky peek into the real process of the work I’m working on. The struggle is real, as they say.

Each year, there seems to be a theme that emerges. This year is no different, though if I’m honest, this year has a few themes.

At the start, it began as a way to honor all of the cultural heritages that make up my specific genetic profile. A dear friend of mine has been working on my genealogy for years, and this year gifted me with the actual DNA charting test. What an interesting experience it is to see your heritage mapped out in front of you.  I have so many more heritages than I ever thought.

I won’t bore you with the long detailed process of how I got to this point, but i began to look at each skull as almost an emissary for it’s given heritage. So the question I had to ask myself was, “What would I say to an emissary of that culture about myself and my life? How do I feel about the influence that that culture exerts upon my life? If it has any…

Well, you get the idea.

The second layer of influence that I’m using to direct each skull is the imagery and meaning of certain Major Arcana cards of the Tarot. The tarot played a large part in the first two editions of my first novel (see previous post for more information regarding that). And, as I mourn and lay to rest the idea and the dream of  what that could’ve been and all that it was to me, I open up space for it to become something new; to re-imagine it into something beautiful again. But of course, as I mentioned before, the only way out is through it

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As always, thanks for reading!

-b

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time…

So, if you read this blog with any regularity, you are aware of the fact that there are often long pauses between updates. However, I think this may be the longest to date…

This has been a crazy year (to state the obvious). In February, my hubs was injured and it consumed most of February and March and some of April, to be honest. So that wasn’t awesome, but things are returning to normal.

And as per usual, it’s skull painting season. It was a bit of a late start for me this year, due to some commissioned calaveras. They were an amazing start for my painting process. I’ll be showing my circle of 13 Calaveras at the Richard App Gallery for Dia de Los Muertos. Hands down my favorite holiday of the year.

the commissions…

Additionally, I’ve just completed another Doctor Who Fourth Doctor scarf. This time it is a gift for a Make A Wish recipient who is going to meet The Doctor! I was thrilled to be a part of this awesome wish,  for a worthy candidate.

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So now, on to the really big piece of news and noteworthyness…

It’s  been nearly two and a half years since the end of my  personal and professional relationship with my former illustrator. While we were in the middle of our ill-fated re-illustration of my book, I pulled all previous editions off the market. Not only did I have new illustrations to think about, I also had a newly (and beautifully) re-edited manuscript, so it made sense to pull the older versions.

For any of you reading this who’ve not read my book, it was/is a deeply personal journey. One in which I reimagined the unfortunate circumstances of my childhood into an allegorical novel that illustrated the lessons I’d learned. In effect, creating something beautiful and magickal out of grief and hardship. It was the culmination of five years of intensive emotional and spiritual work about forgiveness and taking control of my life and the ways in which I perceive it. Just after I had completed writing the manuscript and editing had begun, my mother passed away, making the process even more poignant. Afterall, the book was largely about her, or at least the mental illness and drug addiction that held her hostage for most of her life

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I thought that the process of writing and publishing the book had helped me to move through all of the lessons I’d learned from those experiences.  I was wrong. The end of the professional partnership that I had pursued had many more lessons for me to learn. And in my devastation over the outcome of that relationship, I abandoned the thing that brought me to that place. I could not, at that time move forward and republish the book, even without illustrations. I busied myself with designing new covers for book one and it’s companion, the unpublished book two. But when it came down to it, I could not being the process of reformatting it.

So there it sat on my computer.

In the mean time, I’d gotten a computer virus and I’d backed up my computer to an external hard drive. So I reformatted my computer. When I went looking for the re-edited manuscript, it was gone. For over a year, I could not find it. So time passed…

Einstein: Time.
John Crichton: Flies.
Einstein: Time.
John Crichton: Bandits.
Einstein: Time.
John Crichton: Wounds all heels.
Einstein: Time.
John Crichton: [sings] Rosemary and…
Einstein: Time.
John Crichton: Time ends.

Farscape, Unrealized Realities

I’ve begun to really think about this experience.To recognize that it was time to move on. The only way out is through.  Painting my skulls helps me to process grief of all sorts. In my heart, I knew that the progress I was making on my current batch of skulls wasn’t meaningful to me. They said nothing to me about my life. And so it began. The final piece of grief I was holding on to finally made it’s way into my skulls.

And so, after much deliberation I’ve decided that it is time put that chapter of my life to rest (no pun intended). My process of writing and publishing my book was a deeply rewarding one: but is it one that I’ve already experienced. The thought of going back and redoing work I’ve already completed  feels like an emotional black hole. I’ve done that work, and I’ve moved on.

So on to new challenges…

As always, thanks for reading!

-b

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2014 under the microscope

Unbelievably, I’m sitting here in 2015, doing another yearend review. It seriously goes faster every year…

It would not be a proper look back without a look at my ever changing hairstyles. My love of “Spare-Hair” was definitely on show this year…

It was a year of high’s and low’s and plenty of opportunities to learn new things. But for our purposes here, we’re going to look at the high points.

My Hubs turned 40, so I planned a surprise party for him. Itwas a much needed party in the depths of the seemingly never ending winter.

When Summer finally came around it was filled with some fun! Which included our annual summer concert trip, this year to Detroit to see Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and the next night Jack White III both at the beautiful Masonic Temple.

And of course, I spent much of my summer and early fall painting and preparing for the annual Dia de los Muertos show at the Richard App Gallery. We began our celebration of Dia de los Muertos a bit early dressing as a skeletal couple for Halloween…

The experience of painting Calaveras last year was a profound experience, and I am so excited to start for this year’s show! To read more about the Calaveras, scroll down to the previous post.

2015 has lots of planned creative endeavors, so I’ll keep you posted! I’m looking forward to a great year, and hope yours is as well.

As always, thanks for reading

-b

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Dia de Los Muertos & Calaveras

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This past year I participated in the Dia de los Muertos show again at the Richard App Gallery. I presented twelve small alabastrite calaveras as well as three painted deer skulls.

Painting the calaveras this year presented new challenges for me artistically as well as resulting in some new discoveries. This time around I drew more upon my cultural10672175_10204550678059724_754139998492083429_n
heritage and upbringing more than ever before. It was inspiring to look back at my own ancestries and see the seeds of their teaching and beliefs as passed down through my family, and viewed through my own interpretations.

This process pushed me beyond the beauty of  Dia de los Muertos and  into new territory. The act of painting skulls started last years as a form of active mourning and helped me process some grief that was untouchable in any other way. But returning to them this year, I found I had a different set of tools, a new understanding and language of what I wanted IMG_2206to say and what they mean to me.

In our culture, we run from the idea of Death. So much so that as a society we tend to marginalize our elderly, sequestering them away into care facilitates and visiting on special occasions. We no longer honor the wisdom of our elders, we instead celebrate youth and the naiveté that it brings with it. All phases of life deserve to be celebrated! But in our reticence to acknowledge death as the inevitable swan song of life, we have demonized it, relegating all things that we perceive pertaining to death as creepy, morbid, or macabre. This could not be more true with the skull. We tend to look at the skull as a symbol of death. IMG_2418But think about this, your skull is as much a part of your body as your heart or your skin. It protects yours brain. We’ve glamorized the heart, associating it with love and tenderness. But shun the skull.

So for me, painting the skulls has come to reference something more than death. It has come to mean life. There are an infinite number of facts and feeling that make up the human experience and we process them in a number of ways, and one of the predominate ways (for better or worse) is with the mind. If the skull is viewed from another direction, this iconic image is as much about life as it is death, and that is exactly what it has come to mean to me…

 

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My Personal Elephant in the Room

IMG_1659.JPGIn 2010, as most of my readers know, I self-published a book. The book received good reviews from the target audience. It was kind of awesome! Along with the positive response about the story, I received a lot of input on how I could improve the book.

And so along came the second edition with a shiny fancy new cover, beautifully rendered by the very talented Bethalynne Bajema. Along with the amazing new cover, came modifications to the character’s tarot cards, some editorial changes and a small list of improvements. The improvements of the second edition helped to garner the attention of a small publishing house, Charmed Life Publishing.  The owner took a personal interest in my book, seeing within it’s pages, a lot of potential. And so began the process of working with the new editor to realize a polished final edition.IMG_1660.JPG

Around the same time, the book attracted the attention of  a talented artist with whom I decided to work with to bring this new version of the book into the world with. This did not end well.

 I needed some time to regroup and decide upon the future of my books. I have been all over the map in my thoughts and feelings about it. In the aftermath of that ending, I had difficulty seeing a new beginning. But truly all endings are new beginnings, sometimes you just need time and space to see them.

sings cover jpgI made a start toward that new beginning last year with the preview of the new covers. But I simply wasn’t ready to move forward with the books. The truth is that I hadn’t really finished dealing with the ramifications of the ending.

But through the painting of my calaveras (Circle of Skulls) I have had opportunity to mourn the loss of many things. Including the death of my mother, my grandfather, and the death of a dream. The latter, in some ways has been the trickiest. The death of loved ones, as we all know, is something we all face at one point or another. And if we are really with it, we can turn that heartbreak into a life affirming touchstone, a personal commitment to live life to the fullest of our ability. To living in the moment. This is something painting my skulls teaches me constantly.

The elephant in the room, however is the death of a dream that was so near to my heart. I have been unable to deal with it in any meaningful way, until recently.  I was really quite at a loss. How do you make hurt feelings dissipate that cannot be resolved with the person who beget them.

As is so often the case, the solution is in the problem. The very thing that caused the rift in the partnership can be the thing that brings peace to me again. I wrote the book to deal with the emotional fallout of my childhood, and by moving forward and taking full ownership of it once more, I believe I can move forward beyond the grief of a lost dream.

So to that end, I pledge to you, dear reader, that as soon as the Circle of Skulls is finished and Dia de Los Muertos has passed, I will start formatting the newly edited copy of book one! It is my sincere hope to have at least a digital version available by the end of the year.

thanks for reading,

-b

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Thoughts on the New Year on the Eve of New Year’s Eve

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2013 or the Year of Changing Identity, Hair and Direction

All right, so that statement might be a bit of an overstatement, but it is safe to say that it was a year of huge changes and shifts! This was an incredibly difficult year for me, but like any year in anybody’s life it has it’s ups and downs. And it is usually only through difficulty and pain that humans manage to grow and evolve. This year offered me many of those opportunities. But, I am grateful to be here and looking forward to new opportunities

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In January I entered Dr. Marten’s Share Your Style contest. Basically by submitting a pic of yourself in your Docs, you’re entering to win a free pair. What an awesome start to 2013, I won a pair of Docs!! Below is the rundown of the winners from the Dr.Marten’s facebook page.

Our January Share Your Style Winners!

Clockwise from top-left: Lika from Georgia, Davide from Italy, Nefeli from Greece, Bethany from the US and Joe from the US. Each of you can now choose a free pair of Docs

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In March my hubs and I got to see and meet the amazing Peter Murphy, as he toured in celebration of 35 years of Bauhaus. A band I’ve been listening to for 25 years.

I love this photo, it looks like he’s about to show us how his goth hand is way strong. In actuality, he was telling us about his wife. It was a sweet moment, and as you can tell by the smile as big as the moon, I was ridiculously excited…

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Had work in art show and sold several skulls!

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I was so inspired by my skulls I re-worked my Dia de Los Muertos mannequin.

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Hubs and I went to Chicago and saw the Cure! Another band I’ve listened to for more than 25 years! In all that time, I somehow never managed to see them, so it was a thrill to finally have the experience. They were amazing!!

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We had an awesome time in Chicago, as always.

    And finally, due to both unforeseen events and uncontrollable circumstances, the publication of both books one and two of The Dreaming Trilogy have been postponed until sometime next year, but I promise they are coming!

As always, thanks for reading!

-b

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Dia De Los Muertos and Painted Skulls

Ian Anderson for Stellafly

So, dear reader, as usual, I find that I am tardy in updating this site. If you’ve been reading my site, you know that I was working a series of Sugar Skull inspired skulls as a way of mourning my departed loved ones and ancestor honoring. me at Dia de los Muertos

I was honored, at their completion to be invited to show them at the Richard App Gallery as a part of their Dia De Los Muertos Show. It was a stunning show featuring sixteen area artists and an authentic tribal Mexican band.

Not only were the skulls very well received by the people that came to the event,  but I also sold several of the skulls! They sold to friends, neighbors, and strangers alike.

This project started way back in March of this year and it has spurred so many interesting things. As I documented the progress of the project, many people followed my journey with them. This resulted in a commissioned piece.

A friend commissioned me to paint a specific elemental design on a buffalo skull that had been gifted to her. It is a very special to her, and out of respect to that, I’m only posting some pics of the details and not the entire skull.  It was an amazing , and because of this experience, I’ve now been commissioned to do another animal skull. It is profoundly humbling to me to be trusted with these precious skulls that once held life. It’s an entirely different experience from painting the small resin and stone composite skulls of my series.

  my nite sky mountains fire and water

A quick internet search on painted skulls will illustrate how prevalent painted skulls have been for many years and in multiple cultures.

For me they honor the dead and remind me that life is short, live every day!

Please contact me if you would like a custom dedication skull painted for your departed loved one. This skull I painted to honor my mother.

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Skulls can be painted in colors and motifs that your honoree loved and can include photos or small mementos. I am open to exploring the possibilities with you.

Custom skulls start at $75.

So for now, I’ll leave you with some images from the Dia De Los Muertos show and the painted skulls. (Some of the pics are “in prog” shots)…

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New Book Covers!

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I am so very excited to share the first of two new book covers for my book series:

The Dreaming Trilogy!

Both books one and two will be released by Charmed Life Publishing this November! I couldn’t be more excited to be working with my new publisher. They have been amazing supportive and have done an amazing job with the new edit of the first book.

I look forward to sharing excepts and images with you in the coming days and weeks from The Dreaming: Sings With Stars and The Dreaming: Kingdom of Doubt!!

trilogy fb wallpaper

Thanks for reading!

-b

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The Cycles of Life, Death and Rebirth Pt. II: Reflections upon a New Year

For many year now, I have celebrated my birthday as a kind of New Year’s Celebration. For it is quite literally a new year for me. This of course gives me a chance to pause in consideration and reflection of the year that has past and the year that is yet to come.

This last year, I’m not afraid to tell ya has been a rough one! It held many experiences, good, bad, and challenging. It has helped me to define who I am and who I am not. The past few months in particular have been very difficult, bringing death back to the forefront of my awareness, both in the literal and figurative sense. The tiny deaths (of relationship and illusion) are some times as difficult as the “real” death of a loved one. However, I am happy to say that I have met the tiny deaths and the real ones with my head up and a willingness to confront the reality of the situation with honesty and integrity. Two traits I value very highly.

So that is the year that has been. So what of the year that is to come? While I can’t predict everything that is to aligning itself for my future, I do feel safe making a few predictions! For example…

As I mentioned in a previous post here, I happily anticipate the re-release of my first book and it’s sequeal this year.

I’ve also been working on new visual art! I’ve been invited to show a series of Sugar Skull inspired art in a Dia de los Muertos show.

The skull project started out as a way to process my grief at the death of my Grampa.  I wasn’t necessarily close with my Gramps, I always felt that though he would’ve chosen for me to be “normal” with regard to my appearance. But I always knew he respected my artistic endeavors, and deep down (though I think he would never have admitted it) probably respected my determination to always be my authentic self. He was a pretty stubborn man. The following pictures are meant only as a preview of the unfinished works in the series of skulls

The mannequin on my mantle will be the centerpiece of the skulls. Each skull holds a direction on a Medicine Wheel and represents my personal experiences with life & death as seen from that direction. The lessons I have learned from this process have been profound in many ways. It has been an amazingly life affirming project. And that has been the biggest gift of all!!

As I said, none of the skulls is finished yet, but I couldn’t wait any longer to let people have a peek at what I’ve been working on for the past few months. I’ll be posting update photos regularily on my facebook page. Which brings me to my next bit of news. After many years of dragging my feet, I’ve finally started an official Bethany Grenier page for updates on all my endeavors in art! Pop over and give it a “Like” if a have a second.

Finally, I had hoped to give you a peek at another project I’ve begun, but it just isn’t quite ready yet. I suspect that will be my next blog update! Until then, thanks for reading!

-b

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The Cycles of Life, Death, and Rebirth

Hello friends,

It is with great sadness that I make the following announcement:

Due to unforeseen circumstances, The Dreaming Trilogy will be moving forward without the illustration talents of Devin DuMond. We wish her the best in all her future endeavors.

However the good news is that this decision steps up the time table for publication of both books 1 & 2!  The Dreaming: Sings With Stars and The Dreaming: Kingdom of Doubt will be published this year by Charmed Life Publishing!

Going forward all three books will be published in classic traditional format (sans illustrations). I believe the reader’s imaginations  are strong enough to dream of the world of Alcina,  all its residents and contraptions without the benefit (and limitations) of illustrations. Though the concept of the future predicting tarot cards has always been a part of my original vision for the books, the material and story are strong enough to stand on their own.

Thank you for your continued patience and readership!

-b

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Update in which I address Policy, Emergencies, and Hair-doing…

Hello Friends and Clients,

This is a topic that I never love to address, however, I thinks it’s time for a reminder…

I understand that accidents and emergencies happen in life, and are obviously unplanned. Recently though, there has been a string of last minute cancellations and even a no show.

My policy with regard to such occurrences is consistent with the industry standard: 24 hours notice for rescheduling an apt. I allow one “free pass”, but going forward, repeated last minute rescheduling/missed apt.will result in a fee, up to the full amount of the missed apt being charged upon the next visit.

I try my best to be here, ready and anxious to help you realize your vision for your hair. I truly value the relationship that I have built over the years with each an every one of you! However, this is my livelihood, and so such occurrences affect me and my bottom line.

Reminder calls and texts are strictly a courtesy and are not meant to relieve you of the responsibility of remembering that you’ve made an apt. to see me…

I sincerely hope this doesn’t come off as harsh or serves to alienate you, but as they say, Business is Business…

Thanks for your understanding!

-b

 

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The Dreaming: Sings With Stars

…And now for some long over due news on the re-publishing of Sings With Stars…

As many of you doubtless know, my first self published book, Sings With Stars is being re-published by Charmed Life Publishing. Along with this decision to pursue traditional publishing options, I was also faced with many decisions about how to to make the book more appealing to a broader market as well as what books two and three would look like.

The first change was to commission all new drawings that will become the tarot cards at the beginning of each chapter. Where they had once been very anime-inspired, the new illustrations are more accessible to all readers. The process of re-illustration has been very long, but twenty five drawings take time. And they are well worth the wait!

The harder decisions for me were in regard to content and the re-framing of the first book. While the very talented creative partner and illustrator Devin DuMond was busy re-imagining the tarot cards I was busy writing book two, Kingdom of Doubt. After completing the first draft of “Kingdom” I realized that the story had ended. It had reached it natural conclusion. Imagine my surprise…

While it was awesome to see the characters through their destinies, I had one problem. I have always believed that the series would be a trilogy. So I did the only thing I could do , I waited for the answer to come to me.

Finally the answer came. I need to reformat the series as a whole, to look at the entirety of the material I had written with a critical eye and split it into three books. It was a most unexpected solution, but one that felt right.

So after a lot of editing on the part of my publisher and much thought on my part, Sings With Stars ends a bit differently than it’s previous editions had. This new ending is a bit more dramatic (one might even say a bit of a cliffhanger)!

It’ll be a few months yet before the last few drawings and formatting are completed, but I promise it will be re-published very soon, with book two, The Dreaming: Kingdom of Doubt soon to follow!

I am so looking forward to bringing the first book back into the print world as well as an e-book soon to follow. Until then I’ll leave you with some sneak peeks at some “in progress” illustrations (cell phone pics, so the quality is much better in person)!

Thanks for reading!

-b

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Cheers to You and the Holiday Season with a December Promotion!

Cheers! to you and the Holiday Season!! This year I find that I have so much Holiday Spirit, I’ve decided to run my first ever promotion!

This will be the “Try Something New” promotion, and is open to new and existing clients. The deal is: Through the entire month of December, you will receive 30% off for any service that you don’t currently come in for!

For example if I cut you hair, but you’d like to try having your hair colored, you will receive 30% off the the price of the hair color.  Or if you’ve been thinking about making an apt to see me for the first time ever, you’ll receive 30% off your entire service!

Services include: Hair cuts, Color, HighLights, Waxing,  and Thermal Straightening.

Spaces are limited, so please call or text 616-340-8699.

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Finally… A Book Update!

 

As many of you know, earlier this year I decided to re-publish my self-published book, Sings With Stars with the publishing company Charmed Life Publishing. Along with a re-framing of the books and a new edit, I decided to take on a partner, Devin DuMond to do new illustrations. The new edit is well underway as are the illustrations. And now comes the part when I tell you new stuff…

The purpose behind re-publishing the book is to broaden the book’s appeal to a wider market and to that end, there will be some significant changes and re-imaginings of Sings With Stars! The basic story will remain the same, however, there is a bit of new material that I’ve added!  In addition, some of the longer chapters have been broken up into smaller chapters for improved readability, which allows each chapter to pull it’s focus in more tightly. Beacuse of this new edit, several of the chapters are getting new tarot cards!

This decision unfortunately puts the publishing date back just a little bit, as several new cards need to be drawn, but I promise you it will be worth the wait!

As it stands now, book one has gone from 22 chapters to 24 with eight new cards from the Minor Arcana and the Royal cards as well.

For those of you that own original and 2nd Edition copies, these books are now completely off the market, save the few copies in my possession of both editions. I look forward to sharing this re-imagining of my book with you! It’s been quite a long process with many difficult decisions, but this process has polished the book beyond even my own hopes or expectations.

And now, for a final surprise, I’ve got another sneak peek of a new card for you! This is the card inset for The Hierophant tarot card…

I’ll post again soon with more peeks at tarot cards soon!

Until then, thanks for reading!

-b

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Sings With Stars = The Dreaming: Sings With Stars and other updates of noteworthiness…

Hello Friends!

As always I apologize for the lengthiness of time between my posts…

But the good news is that I have updates for you! The re-edit of my first book, Sings With Stars is coming along beautifully! I am so lucky to have found an amazing new editor to join my team of awesome editors! The new edition, The Dreaming: Sings With Stars promises to be an even better read than before and the the new art is equally as awesome as the new edit!!

The Magician, The Chariot, and The Sun are the images above, and as always the are just cell phone pics and don’t really do any justice to the original, but I just had to share.

We’ve come to a decision of the new web address URL for the newly published books, after the publication of The Dreaming: Sings With Stars, the URL will change from singswithstars.com to thedreamingtrilogy. We made the decision to change the URL in preparation for the upcoming release of book 2! I promise it is well on it’s way!! The process of republishing SWS has been a lengthy one, but well worth the effort…

I’m hoping to publish The Dreaming:Kingdom of Doubt around the new year, fingers crossed.

So, for now I’ll leave you with one final sneak peek (this piece is not quite finished) that I’m really excited about…

The Death Card.

(All images (C) copyright-Devin DuMond & Bethany Grenier)

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Reading at Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor, MI

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Panel Discussion with Jim C. Hines, Bethany Grenier, Emmy Jackson and Gary W. Olson
Start: May 7 2012 7:00 pm

Four authors, four unique spins on science fiction and
fantasy.

Experience the multimedia fantasy of Bethany Grenier, the re-imagined fairy tales of Jim C. Hines, the post-apocalyptic America of Emmy Jackson and the Detroit-based dark fantasy of Gary W. Olson in a single evening as each of these genre-blending local authors reads (and signs) their book at Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor on May 7, 2012.

The readings start at 7pm, and there will be a Q&A and book signing immediately following.

Author, artist, hair dresser, sculptor and fashionista, Bethany
Grenier has been making art in one way or another for nearly
twenty-five years and has been accepted into both group and solo
showings of her art. Bethany brings her unique vision and passion for
style to all she does, co-producing the major arcana tarot deck for
her first book, Sings With Stars, released in March of 2010. Bethany
is currently writing the sequel to her first book and hopes to have it
finished and published by spring of next year. She also continues to
produce art for the continuation of the tarot deck started in the
first book, to be used in this book.

Jim C. Hines’ next book is Libriomancer, a modern-day fantasy about a
magic-wielding Yooper librarian, a hamadryad, a secret society founded
by Johannes Gutenberg, a flaming spider, and an enchanted convertible.
He’s also the author of the Princess series of fairy tale retellings
as well as the humorous Goblin Quest trilogy. His short fiction has
appeared in more than 40 magazines and anthologies. Online, he can be
found at http://www.jimchines.com/

Emmy Jackson is the author of the post-apocalyptic urban fantasy novel
Empty Cradle: The Untimely Death of Corey Sanderson. He lived as a
nomad in an RV for three years, wandering the continental United
States at will. He was born and raised in Detroit and always returns
no matter how many times he moves away. In Empty Cradle, he takes
readers on a road trip approximately a hundred and fifty years after a
plague of infertility leads to society’s violent collapse. For more
writing and information, check out http://www.emmyjackson.com.

Gary W. Olson’s first novel, Brutal Light, was published by Damnation
Books on December 1, 2011. Brutal Light is a supernatural dark fantasy
novel set in modern day Detroit, and debuted on December 1, 2011 from
Damnation Books. Olson grew up in Michigan and, despite the weather,
stuck around. In 1991 he graduated from Central Michigan University
and went to work as a software engineer. He loves to read and write
stories that transgress the boundaries of science fiction, fantasy,
and horror, while examining ideas of identity and its loss in the many
forms it can have. His website is
at http://www.garywolson.com

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Status Update and Book Writing!

Hello Friends!

Let me apologize for the length of time that has passed since my last update, I’ve been very busy finishing the second book in The Dreaming series, called:

The Dreaming: Kingdom of Doubt

Of course it was only the first draft that I finished, but I’m super happy with it, and can’t wait to share it with you. In other news, Sings With Stars is no longer available in the Self-Published version, in anticipation of the Charmed Life Publishing re-release of the book as The Dreaming: Sings With Stars! If you really want a copy of the previous version, contact me, as I have a few left in my private stash.

And finally I’m excited to share the news that the Steampunk inspired play “Isle of Marvel” that will premier next week at Aquinas College here in Grand Rapids, MI will be featuring some of my personal steampunk goggles, monocles, and necklaces. These are pieces I’ve made and kept for myself. I’ll post pics as soon as I can!!

As a bonus, I got to design an ad for the book for the playbill!

thanks for reading!

-b

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Another Sneak Peek!

It’s time for some more sneak peeks at the illustrations by Devin DuMond “in progress”. These will ultimately become the major arcana of the companion tarot deck of my book Sings With Stars, soon to be re-published with Charmed Life Publishing as

The Dreaming:

Sings With Stars.

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Thoughts on 2011 and 2012

So obviously this is a titch late to be consider a 2011 years end wrap up, but in truth I needed a minute to reflect upon 2011 before I could comment on it. It was a busy year…

The highlights include: Going to Harry Potter world in FL, Seeing Voltaire and Rasputina in the middle of a Michigan blizzard, putting out the 2nd edition of Sings With Stars and taking it to the World Steam Expo after raising funds to do so through a very successful kickstarter.com campaign!

I moved to an awesome new salon, Imagination Creations! Did some awesome photo shoots (featuring my re-purposed clothing designs and styling) with my good friend Bethalynne Bajema that were used in Insects & Angels, including on with noted Steampunk photographer Lex Machina!

I was featured as the character in the Fool tarot card in Bethalynne Bajema’s tarot deck and in her graphic novel for the Black Ibis. This summer I performed in my first Butoh performance on the steps of the Grand Rapids Art Museum with my good friend Rachel Finan, wrote the sequel to my first book, and took a lot of random pictures with my Instagram iPhone app, all the while defending my title, “Queen of the Nerds”…

and of course the biggest development that started last years and will be a huge focus of this year is the re-publishing of Sings With Stars  by Charmed Life Publishing, to happen this spring! Featuring beautiful new illustrations by Devin DuMond! Keep checking in to see previews of illustrations as they develop…

Thanks to the following for additional photos:Jody Grenier, Bethalynne Bajema,
Lex Machina, Bruce Madden, and Jason Ash DuMond
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Website Revamp!

Necessity is the Mother of Invention as they say…

Sick girls should never be allowed to tinker with their websites.

But I did…

So now, I will be slowly rebuilding what took but a moment to destroy.

I’ll be adding back most of the former content and photos, and adding new stuff.

Please check back soon to see what’s new!

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Kickstarter fundraiser for Sings With Stars at the World Steam Expo

Please consider supporting my Kickstarter fundraising Project.

You pledge money, and if I meet my goal, you get awesome stuff in return!

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New Cover!

I uploaded the 2nd edition cover and manuscript for Sings With Stars, and anticipate ordering the proof copy within the next two days! So if all goes well, the 2nd edition should be available and for sale next week! So for now, I’ll content myself by revealing the beautiful brand new front cover, by Bethalynne Bajema!

Holiday Craziness & Year’s End Thoughts…

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Sorry about that… There has been so much going on.

The Out of Fashion Show was super awesome!! I’m hoping that Rebecca Kilgore, the owner of motherpunker.com will do it all again! It was a lot of work for all involved, but well worth the effort. I just finished up my commissioned orders from that show a few days ago! It’s very cool to know that my creations are gifts!

On a sad note however, my favorite kitty, Masa passed away quite suddenly this week.

I am so looking forward to the new year! This past year was very life changing, some things were great, and others were very challenging! I published my first book, Sings With Stars, turned 40, moved, participated in ArtPrize with my good friends as Cirque Acrica, lost a cat, and started a new venture with my good friend, Bethalynne Bajema in the form of an art magazine called Insects & Angels to name a few!

 This next year will be filled with many art and publishing ventures, including the 2nd edition of Sings with a beautiful new cover, as well as both the audio book and a graphic novel! I’m planning on at least two steampunk conventions, writing my second book, The Dreaming! Not to mention more editions of Insects & Angels, book illustrating and many more adventures that are waiting to unfold!

The very last picture is a special sneak peak at the beautiful new cover for the 2nd edition of Sings With Stars, which will hopefully be ready by late January!!! I’ll keep you posted…

 Thanks for reading!

-b

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Sings With Stars featured in Coilhouse blog!

Yay! I participated in the Coilhouse Small-Business Advertising Program for Issue 05,

and now they’ve featured all the advertisers in a blog!!

Check out this super awesome Magazine and Blog!!

coilhouse.com

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Impending Excitement!

Not much to report in the way of new news, but I am excited to tell you, brave readers, that work is steadily progressing on book two, The Dreaming. As well as working on the graphic novel, and the audio book for Sings With Stars! My goal is to release the new and improved Second Edition with it’s new amazing cover by Bethalynne Bajema, the graphic novel and the audio book in March of 2011! This would be to mark the one year anniversary of the publication of Sings With Stars!

I’ll be posting peaky sneakies here soon! For today though, I only have one for you…

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Insects & Angels!

It’s finally here! Your opportunity to order our very first print issue of Insects & Angels. Bethalynne Bajema have been revamping her former online only e-zine of the same name into a fully printed magazine. Our first Halloween themed special edition is now available for pre-order on our website, insectsandangels.com.

Go! Order your copy now!!

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Conventions

World Steam Expo Wrap-up


So this last weekend I went to my very first (real) convention…

I say real because the other “conventions” I’ve been to were kind of random and I don’t really count them as a true con experience.

Having said that, I got the real con experience I was looking for. I was at the World Steam Expo in Dearborn, MI. The con was really well thought out with programing and activities available day and night.

I was lucky enough to have my book Sings With Stars featured on the table of Bethalynne Bajema (who has two illustrations in my book) and hang out with both Bethalynne and her fiance Myke Amend. They are the awesome!




I got to see several bands, (including Abney Park, who were kind enough to sign my personal copy of my book , on the page that their song is featured on!!) which was super exciting for me! As you can tell by the geek out moment I’m having in this photo…


Other awesome bands I got to see and meet were Gypsy Nomads and Tartanic!


The awesomeness was not limited to just the bands either.
There so many panel discussions available as well as an amazing vendor’s room. I think I saw something I wanted at every table!!


Meeting and having a photo-op with (steampunk) Boba Fett was a high point for me as well, being a huge Star Wars fan!!

He hangs with the people of Penny Dreadful Productions, an amazing collective of craftspeople involved in all sorts of stuff. Seriously check them out!

It was super cool to meet Nick Valentino, author of Thomas Riley, Evelyn Kriete the steam behind Steampunk Tales, and the amazing Miss Monster (and her tentacles of doom) (I made up the tentacles of doom part). There was always something to do and people to meet. There were several people I didn’t get to meet that I hope to in the future…

Lots of amazing people to watch in general and be inspired by. The level of costuming I witnessed there was truly remarkable!

I’m hoping that there will be a second annual World Steam Expo!
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Book Review

YAY! My very first book review has been posted!! The Teen Fiction blogger “Swimmer” has reviewed Sings With Stars for her book blog Breaking the Bookshelf. The following are her thoughts about the book…

This book was a wonderful magical story. The characters and scenery flowed off the page into my head to create a magical image of Gigi’s world. Dispite the fact it was written in 3rd person I was very much effected by the emotions the characters thought to themselves. The book had an unexpected ending that left me begging for the next book in the series. Bethany Greenier did an amazing job of writing out an intense love story and every other relationship within the book. Several times throughout the book I could feel my heart bend as my favorite characters went through pain, loss, and many other vividly described details and emotions.

In the end the book’s great writing, characters, and plot line left me begging for more of the wonderful land created within the pages.

Overall Rating: 5/5

One word/phrase sum up: Magickal

Check it out on
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Sings With Stars

Within the next few days the proofing copy of the book will be arriving at my house I will admit that patience is not a virtue that I possess. But I’m trying to console myself that even though it should’ve been here today, it probably will be tomorrow!

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

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Songs!

 After what seems like an eternity of waiting without any news, I’ve gotten some. All at once…
Two of the songs that I’ve used in the book as epigraphs are handled by a large publishing company, and I finally got the price quote for their usage. A few hours later I got an email from another person handling one of my most favorite songs in the book. Wanting to know how many line I wanted to use, to see what would be feasible licensing wise. Seemingly meaning that they intend to let me use the lyrics!

I actually really love all the songs in the book, I would not have used them otherwise!

Hopefully this signals the oncoming trend of things coming together!!

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book

Yay! just a few updates to post…

First, the band Abney Park agreed to let me use a verse of their song The Box in my book!! Because they’re awesome!!
It will be the song for Chapter One!!

Second, I connected my domain name to my website on Friday, so according to the 72 hours that godaddy.com sited as the time necessary to connect the two, it should be up sometime today!! It’s still just a baby, but I think you can see where it’s going by looking at what’s there…
If you check it out, let me know what you think!! It will be constantly changing and updating as the Illustrations, book cover are completed. As well as when permission is given to use song lyrics that are in the book. (Which explains all the blank mini-pages on the music page).

www.singswithstars.com
hope you like it!!

-b

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