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Something magical

The Artdog Week of Book Quotes

This is National Library Week. Instead of a Quote of the Week, I decided to dedicate this as the Week of Book Quotes, with help from the marvelous New York illustrator, Simini Blocker.

The painting shows a young man holding onto a book and flying high into the air, above a fantasy castle. The quote that surrounds him is from J. K. Rowling: "I do believe that something magical can happen when you read a book."

Even if you’ve seen Simini’s wonderful illustrated quotes before, I hope you’ll enjoy them again. And if you’re not yet familiar with her work, I offer you the joy of discovery.

IMAGE: Many, many thanks to Simini Blocker’s Tumblr for today’s marvelous Quote-Image, featuring the words of J.K. Rowling (thanks also to Uppercase).

Never big enough

The Artdog Week of Book Quotes

This is National Library Week. Instead of a Quote of the Week, I decided to dedicate this as the Week of Book Quotes, with help from the marvelous New York illustrator, Simini Blocker.

This painting shows a woman curled up in an upholstered chair with a book and a steaming cup of tea. above her, in the steam from the cup, is the quote from C. S. Lewis, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

Even if you’ve seen Simini’s wonderful illustrated quotes before, I hope you’ll enjoy them again. And if you’re not yet familiar with her work, I offer you the joy of discovery.

IMAGE: Many, many thanks to Simini Blocker’s Tumblr for today’s marvelous Quote-Image, featuring the words of C. S. Lewis (thanks also to Uppercase).

A lovely place

The Artdog Week of Book Quotes

This is National Library Week. Instead of a Quote of the Week, I decided to dedicate this as the Week of Book Quotes, with help from the marvelous New York illustrator, Simini Blocker.

This image features a view from above, of a young woman on a sandy beach between flowers and palm trees, on her back, reading a book. The quote, from an anonymous author, reads "Between the pages of a book is a lovely place to be."

Even if you’ve seen Simini’s wonderful illustrated quotes before, I hope you’ll enjoy them again. And if you’re not yet familiar with her work, I offer you the joy of discovery.

IMAGE: Many, many thanks to Simini Blocker’s Tumblr for today’s marvelous Quote-Image, featuring the words of an anonymous author.

Power of words

The Artdog Week of Book Quotes

This is National Library Week. Instead of a Quote of the Week, I decided to dedicate this as the Week of Book Quotes, with help from the marvelous New York illustrator, Simini Blocker.

This painting is full of purples and violets, setting off an image of a young person holding an open book with magical flames rising up from its pages. Above the person's head are the words "One must always be careful of books and what's inside them, for words have power to change us." It's a quote from author Cassandra Clare.

Even if you’ve seen Simini’s wonderful illustrated quotes before, I hope you’ll enjoy them again. And if you’re not yet familiar with her work, I offer you the joy of discovery.

IMAGE: Many, many thanks to Simini Blocker’s Tumblr for today’s marvelous Quote-Image, featuring the words of  (thanks also to Uppercase).

Books like air

The Artdog Week of Book Quotes

This is National Library Week. Instead of a Quote of the Week, I decided to dedicate this as the Week of Book Quotes, with help from the marvelous New York illustrator, Simini Blocker.

This image shows a young woman at the center of a swirl of books and warm orange tones, as well as a quote from Annie Dillard: She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.

Even if you’ve seen Simini’s wonderful illustrated quotes before, I hope you’ll enjoy them again. And if you’re not yet familiar with her work, I offer you the joy of discovery.

IMAGE: Many, many thanks to Simini Blocker’s Tumblr for today’s marvelous Quote-Image, featuring the words of Annie Dillard (thanks also to Uppercase).

The only thing you absolutely have to know

The Artdog Week of Book Quotes

This is National Library Week. Instead of a Quote of the Week, I decided to dedicate this as the Week of Book Quotes, with help from the marvelous New York illustrator, Simini Blocker

This image is an illustration by Simini Blocker showing a large wall of bookshelves, with a young man carrying a big stack of books past it, and the quotation from Albert Einstein that says "The only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library."

Even if you’ve seen Simini’s wonderful illustrated quotes before, I hope you’ll enjoy them again. And if you’re not yet familiar with her work, I offer you the joy of discovery.

IMAGE: Many, many thanks to Simini Blocker’s Tumblr, for today’s marvelous Quote-Image, featuring the words of Albert Einstein (thanks also to Uppercase).

11 Empowering Goddesses

The Artdog Image of Interest

I found an infographic that seemed appropriate for rounding out my collection of Women’s History Month miscellania: a collection of Eleven Empowering Goddesses, from Invaluable’s “In Good Taste” blog. The article that goes along with it is quite informative, too.

Whether you choose to worship these deities or simply find them interesting, even inspiring symbols of some of the strengths found within women, I hope you’ll enjoy the infographic.

This is an infographic titled "ll Empowering Goddesses to invoke creativity and passion." The subtitle reads, "These inspiring goddesses reflect the power & perspective necessary to tackle any obstacle that shields you from creative achievements."
The following material includes pictures of each goddess with some information about her.
Saraswati, Hindu. Goddess of knowledge, music, art, wisdom, and learning. Symbols and features: lotus or peacock, white sari, vina (musical instrument), crescent moon, four arms. Everyday Wisdom: Call up on her to free you of lethargy and ignorance, and restore a flow of wisdom within your career, artistic ventures, or daily life.
Hera, Greek. Goddess of: Marriage, life, and love, "Queen of the Gods." Symbols and features: scepter, diadem, pomegranate. Everyday wisdom: Overcome hardships and prove to yourself that you have the ability to take back control and tell your own story.
Seshat, Egyptian. Goddess of: wisdom, knowledge, and writing. Symbols and features: reed pen, palm stem, papyrus scroll, 7-pointed star, leopard skin robe. Everyday wisdom: Draw inspiration from Seshat when you're hitting a creative or writing block, as this patroness of writing pioneered many artistic endeavors.
Diana, Roman. Goddess of: the hunt, the moon, and nature. Symbols and features: bow and arrow, hunting dog, crescent moon. Everyday wisdom: Grasp strength from Diana's hunting spirit to advocate for your own dreams.
Hathor, Egyptian. Goddess of: joy, music, and motherhood. Symbols and features: sistrum (musical instrument), Ankh, horns and sun disk, blue lotus, cow. Everyday wisdom: rekindle your physical and psychological well-being and restore joy.
Kuan Yin (Guanyin), Buddhist. Goddess of: compassion. Symbols and features: white lotus, willow branch, vase, dove, book or scroll of prayers, rosary, sweet cakes. Everyday wisdom: Dedicated to relieving suffering in the world, Kuan Yin can embolden in times of fear. Draw confidence from her powers to step out of your comfort zone.
Freya (Freyja), Norse. Goddess of: Love and fertility. Symbols and features: Viking helmet, sword, cloak of falcon feathers. Everyday wisdom: Freya's fierceness and passion for education will inspire you to pursue your own passions in life, love, and the arts.
Athena, Greek. Goddess of: wisdm, courage, the arts, and skill. Symbols and features: owl, olive tree, snake, armor. Everyday wisdom: Call upon Athena to restore your poise and courage. As a lover of the arts, this important goddess can help you regain focus and utilize your surroundings to succeed.
Brigid, Celtic. Goddess of: fire, poetry, healing, childbirth, and unity. Symbols and features: fire, lambs, entwined serpents, St. Brigid's cross. Everyday wisdom: Brigid's healing capabilities may inspire you to express yourself through a creative outlet, especially poetry (her strong suit).
Inanna, Sumerian. Goddess of: love and procreation; "Queen of Heaven." Symbols and features: hook-shaped twisted knot of reeds, rosette, lions, doves. Everyday wisdom: Inanna's journey to the underworld was harrowing, but it parallels many everyday struggles. Call upon her courage and prowess to overcome barriers in your own life.
Nike, Greek. Goddess of: victory. Symbols and features: shield, wings, laurel wreath, palm branch. Everyday wisdom: Representing triumph and victory, Nike's strength will guide you to successfully execute even the loftiest of goals. At the bottom of the infographic is the sponsoring organization's name: Invaluable.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Invaluable’s “In Good Taste” blog, for this infographic.

Where are you headed?

The Artdog Quote of the Week

My apologies if I scared anyone who’s not set to go back to school this week.

I know some already have started; I know others won’t start for a few days or even weeks yet. But it’s That Time of Year. Time to gird up your loins and make the most of your opportunities!

Best wishes and GOOD LUCK!

IMAGE: Many thanks to Sage Buddha for this quote-image featuring the wisdom of Dr. Seuss.

Reading outside the Western World

How “worldly” is your reading?

This post started as a panel at Westercon 71/ Myths and Legends Con 6. It was presented on Saturday, July 7, 2018, by panelists Olivia WylieStant Litore, and Amalie Howard.

From L-R: Amalie HowardStant Litore, and Olivia Wylie at their Saturday Westercon/MALCon panel.

They discussed the lively and fascinating world literary scene, and the diverse literary works that are becoming more and more widely available in English. During the panel, Wylie announced that she was compiling a list of the books, stories, and resources mentioned during the panel discussion.

She has kept her word. Better yet, she has agreed to let me share her list on here on my blog. Links within the list are those provided by Olivia Wylie. Cover artwork and other imagery chosen to illustrate the list on this post, as well as links embedded outside the list, have been my choices.

Resources

Here’s a second collection of reading opportunities, from among the marvelous options on this list. They are, L-R: Dream Keeper, by Morrie RuvinskyLabyrinth Lost, by Zoraida CórdovaMulengro, by Charles de LintThe Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker; and The Marrow Thieves, by Cherie Dimaline.
Yet a fourth collection of covers, and we still haven’t exhausted the list! L-R: Arresting God in Kathmandu, by Samrat UpadhyayMemories of Sun, ed. by Jane Kurtz; Wavemen, by Robin and Cory Childs & associatesThe Roads of the Roma, ed. by Ian Hancock, Siobhan Dowd, and Rajko Djurićand Nyota’s Tyrannosaur, by Stant Litore.

For The Kiddos

The Desert Is My Mother/El Desierto Es Mi Madre-Pat Mora

Yes, I did have a hard time narrowing it down. Here are young peoples’ book covers for: All the Colors of the Earth, by Sheila HamanakaMing Lo Moves the Mountain, by Arnold Lobel (bilingual English and Hmong); The Story of Noodles, by Ying Chang Compestine, illustrated by YongSheng XuanAru Shah and the End of Time, by Roshani Chokshi; The Desert is my Mother, by Pat Mora, illustrated by Daniel Lechon (bilingual English and Spanish)and The Serpent’s Secret, by Sayantani DasGupta

As panelist Amalie Howard put it, “Diversity isn’t a ‘trend.’ It’s a reflection of the world as it is.” This list is truly a trove of wonders that traverse the world as it is–and as it might be, given a rich imagination and a world of fantastic possibilities.

I hope you’ll explore it for untold riches! And if you have additional suggestions, please offer them in the Comments section! We’ll all be the richer for it!

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS and IMAGES: First of all, MANY, many, many thanks to Olivia Wylie, for compiling this list, and also to Stant Litore and Amalie Howard, for their suggestions for it and participation in a fascinating panel discussion.

The photograph of the panelists at Westercon 71/MALCon 6 was taken by Jan S. Gephardt, with permission. If you wish to reblog or repost it, please credit Jan as the photographer, and identify (ideally with hyperlinks to their websites!) AmalieStant, and Olivia, plus please include a link back to this post, as well. Thanks!

The logos representing some of the websites in the “Resources” list are those of Escape PodPodCastleNative Realities Press, and Singing Bones, for all of which, I thank them!

For the five covers in Book Collection One, I owe many thanks to Amazon: Lagoon, by Nnedi OkoraforAmericanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieIs’Nana The Were-Spider, by Greg Anderson Elysee, illustrations by Walter Ostlie; and Ghana Must Go, by Taiye Selasi; and to  Marcellus Jackson, via Djele’s DeviantART page, for the Steamfunk! cover.

For the five covers in Book Collection Two, I once again owe thanks to Amazon, for Dream Keeper, by Morrie RuvinskyLabyrinth Lost, by Zoraida CórdovaMulengro, by Charles de LintThe Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Weckerand The Marrow Thieves, by Cherie Dimaline.

For the third set of book covers I’d like to thank Penguin/Random House, for the cover for Throne of the Crescent Moon, by Saladin Ahmed, as well as Amazon for these covers: Want, by Cindy PonThe Sea is Ours, ed. by Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chng The Mistress of Spices, by Chitra Bannerjee Divakaruni; and  The Years of Rice and Salt, by Kim Stanley Robinson.

For the fourth set of book covers, I’d like to thank Moko Press for the cover of Wavemen, by Robin and Cory Childs & associates; and Stant Litore for the cover art for Nyota’s TyrannosaurMany thanks to Amazon, for these covers: Arresting God in Kathmandu, by Samrat UpadhyayMemories of Sun, ed. by Jane Kurtz; and The Roads of the Roma, ed. by Ian Hancock, Siobhan Dowd, and Rajko Djurić

Certainly not least, I am grateful to Amazon, once again, for all the covers in the Youth Collection: All the Colors of the Earth, by Sheila HamanakaMing Lo Moves the Mountain, by Arnold LobelThe Story of Noodles, by Ying Chang Compestine, illustrated by YongSheng XuanAru Shah and the End of Timeby Roshani ChokshiThe Desert is my Mother, by Pat Mora, illustrated by Daniel Lechonand The Serpent’s Secret, by Sayantani DasGupta

My deepest gratitude goes out to all resources named!

Over and con too soon!

I’m freshly back from SoonerCon 27, and what an excellent convention it was! They had some great guests, excellent programming and fun special events. One blog post (or even several) couldn’t do justice to it, but here’s a small taste of what I enjoyed most.

SoonerCon 27’s lineup of featured guests included: L-R: Lloyd Lee BarnettGlenn GarlandJerry BennettCarrie VaughnJohn PicacioStan LoveLarry Nemecek, and Selina RosenHere they are at Opening Ceremonies on Friday, June 22, 2018.

One last time at the Reed Center in Midwest City

As ever, the people-watching at SoonerCon 27 was delightful, whether one was on the upper-level concourse, at the Artists Alley on the lower level, or in the Dealers Room.

Some of the many talented people who showed up in costumes at SoonerCon 27.
Some of the action in the Artists Alley at SoonerCon 27.
One corner of the Dealers Room–pardon, the Exhibitors Hall–at SoonerCon 27.

This was SoonerCon’s final year at the Reed Conference Center in Midwest City, OK. Next year they’ll shift to the first weekend in June (oh, goody! Back-to-back with ConQuesT!) and relocate to the Embassy Suites and Convention Center in Norman, OK.

The Art Show and “World Peace Through Chocolate” Artists Reception

I hope they can give the SoonerCon Art Show, capably run this year by Marcia Bull and her excellent crew, more room at the Embassy Suites, because we were really crammed in there pretty good, despite having both Reed Center Ballrooms A and B.

The “World Peace Through Chocolate” Artists Reception was pretty crowded inside the Art Show itself, but maybe they’ll have more room next year. Photo taken with permission of the Art Show Staff.
The artwork of John Picacio, the Artist Guest of Honor, was the first thing you saw when you stepped inside the SoonerCon 27 Art Show. During the reception, a whole lot of people stepped inside! Photo taken with permission from the Art Show Staff and John Picacio.

The Friday night “World Peace Through Chocolate”Artists Reception spilled out of the Art Show into the ConSuite area, dubbed “Ten Forward.” The chocolate very quickly disappeared, of course. But we all stayed peaceful.

Panels and Readings 

There were way too many interesting panels and readings to see everything I wanted to! I had a reading and five panels (to my delight, I got to moderate ALL of them! Yes!), and yes, I enjoy staying busy at an sf con, so that was just fine by me. I don’t have pictures of my own events, but here are glimpses of some others I did have a chance to attend and enjoy.

I didn’t have as many chances to listen to author readings as I like, but I did enjoy the trio of Urban Fantasy readings on Saturday morning by (L-R) Trakena PrevostSeth Skorkowskyand Rosemary Clement-Moore.
It would’ve been lovely if the “Black Panther and Intersectionality” panel had been scheduled for two hours and the biggest ballroom–but we had a fascinating discussion, and the room was packed. Panelists, L-R: Kimber ChessmoreTrakena PrevostShai FenwickVickey Malone KennedyJeff ProvineTyrell Gephardt, and Dan Erickson.
The “Because, Aliens!” panel discussion ranged far and wide, from the gradual thinning of hominid species in prehistory, through cryptozoology, genitalia, and would you believe . . . Torah? Panelists, L-R: Tim FrayserTyrell GephardtGloria OliverSelina RosenLinda L. Donahue, and Mark Alfred.
Scheduling the “Do Cons Still Matter?” panel at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday of the convention probably skewed the bias of the audience and participants just a tad, but it was fun to get perspectives from individuals of several different generations, who participate in several different subgenres of fandom. Fielding questions from an engaged audience were (L-R) panelists James MurrayTim FrayserSummer Rain Cosplay, and Caleb Haldane.

Like all good things, eventually the weekend had to end. The magic, along with the costumes and propsgame paraphernaliaart show, and panel discussions, went back into their boxes till next time.

Lowering the “boo” during tear-down and pack-up after the con. This skeleton had spent the weekend suspended over an Artists Alley display, beneath a simulated Pit of Sarlacc. How often do you get to see that?

I thoroughly enjoyed SoonerCon 27. Kudos to Con Chair Aislinn Burrows, the SoonerCon Committee, and the Future Society of Central Oklahoma! You put on a GREAT convention. I’m already looking forward to SoonerCon 28!

IMAGES: All photos were taken by me (Jan S. Gephardt), with appropriate permissions. If you wish to re-post any of them, please do so with an attribution to me as the photographer, and a link back to the post, if possible. Many thanks, and I hope you enjoyed them!

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