Saturday, December 13, 2014

New Features for my Photos

 Fine Art America is where I sell my images online. The company is now offering throw pillows. All of my images are available for this; several pillow sizes are available; the image is printed on both sides of the pillow; a selector allows changing the image size. I have a gallery in that shows the images I think might work best for this feature.

I also have a gallery featuring the note cards I've developed from some of my photos. This is an example.
The cards are available as 5"x7" with envelope, and can be ordered singly, or in packs of 10 and 25 at volume cost reductions.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Orison - Review

by Daniel Swensen
© 2014
published by


Overview: Story lives as a thief in the rough-and-tumble city of Calushain, and she plans to escape to better life. But when her stash of money is stolen by her brother, she finds herself faced with a death sentence from her crime-lord boss.

Desperate to pay off her debt, she searches for a score big enough to earn her freedom. Instead, she finds the orison, a magical artifact with the power of dragon’s blood, that could tip the balance of power between the city and the Empire seeking to conquer it.

Is Story the person for the job? Or will the Orison kill her?

This fast-paced book by Daniel Swensen gained my attention with the opening pages. He presented a strong character named Story, and proceeded to involve me in her story. When the point of view switched to another character, I was, at first, disappointed, but soon became engrossed with former-mage, Wrynn, and then with warborn Ashen One-Howl—all with definitive personalities that enhanced the overall story.

I've started, and left unfinished, fantasy novels that are overly caught up in the sword and sorcery. Those elements are endemic to the genre, but often the proclivity to have one gory fight after another, with bodies piling up, seems to be the main objective. Swensen didn't do this. In Orison the characters are what move the story; many of the altercations and confrontations are mental, with human characters interacting with the magical entities and semblances that oversee and manipulate the politics and the populations. Personal concerns are presented for each character—real problems that make the characters more believable.

The various physical battles are vivid and the action well-described. The magic is very nicely written, with phrasing that enlivens the scene and emotions involved.

The language and the very good writing of Orison had me enjoying this novel on the "academic" level as well as for the entertainment. This is Swensen's first novel, and I will add it to my shelf of well-written and memorable books. I'll watch for more from this author.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Montana Artist

Early yesterday evening (Thursday) I attended a talk and reception at the Turman Larison contemporary gallery in Helena. Chris Autio (photographer) and Josh DeWeese (ceramics) were there to kick off their month-long exhibits. Both are carrying on the artistic traditions of their Montana artist families.

Along with many questions from the attendees about their art production, one woman asked how being part of such richly talented families affected them when they were growing up. They both looked rather flummoxed by the question: either they'd never thought about it, or they were constructing an appropriate answer. I'm quiet certain it was the former. They both responded that being in the artistic environment had just seemed "right." This was the same response when asked why they pursued their career in Montana and didn't move somewhere else.

Montana roots run deep. I wish mine had been here for a century or more. Whatever, my creativity has come alive since arriving in Montana.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

5 Day Black and White Challenge

I've started an album with my response to the challenge. I just posted my day 3 image.
So far I've used photos I have in my files.
Now to go shoot something for tomorrow.
5 Day Album
I'll add to it, of course.