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And the Nominees Art…

ACA 2007 Finalist

As fancy-clad artists of the performing genre wait among the Academy Awards audience to hear the final winners, I sit by my computer in my Sunday best and await the vote that will determine the winners of the 2007 Artists’ Choice Awards. “The Artists’ Choice Awards is a peer review of the art produced by artists who sell on eBay. This year, over 370 nominations were made.” I have had the honor of being nominated by my peers for the category of ACEO Fantasy/Fae/Surreal.

For the voting, I’ve uploaded more art to my Flickr account, and am in the process of renovating my blog gallery. I invite you to take a look!

Being recognized by artists I admire has moved me deeply, and I appreciate it so much. And I can’t help feeling a bit nervous as I wait to hear the outcome…

Award Logo design by kiniart

Published in: on February 24, 2008 at 9:33 pm  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , , ,

The Social Media Miracle



Figured Tiger Potpourri 2, originally uploaded by KeithBurtis.

All the events of life pass over the screen of social media–birth and death, joy and sorrow. Milestones are shared by communities of people from all across the globe. And this week is no exception.

Just in time for Valentine’s month, Twitter is witnessing the power of romance! Artist and craftsman Keith Burtis is hoping that “with a bit of tough work, some perseverance, and some social love,” he will be able to purchase an engagement ring for his lovely girlfriend by Friday, February 22nd–two days from now. To achieve this goal, Keith is feverishly turning incredible wood bowls and offering them for sale on his blog. Each work of art is unique, each different type of wood has a personality of its own.

Pictures are worth a thousand words, so I invite you to visit Keith’s blog, read about his Social Media Miracle, and perhaps help to make it happen!

Who Do? ooVoo

 

 

Today was the kickoff of “My ooVoo Day With…”, a “week-long experiment in blogger to fan interaction.” What’s ooVoo? According to the website, it’s “the next evolution in online communication.” It enables up to six people to participate in an online conversation, at the same time, via video chat or text. Other features include video messaging, file transfer, even phone calls. The name makes me smile, since it reminds me of an old comedy routine quoted by Myrna Loy and Cary Grant in “The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer.” (“You remind me of a man…”) But the technology has me intrigued.

To showcase the ability of the technology, well-known bloggers are hosting chat sessions throughout the week, covering a wide range of topics. Anyone is invited to grab an available slot and join in the conversations. As a thank-you to the hosts, ooVoo is making a donation to each blogger’s charity of choice.

I didn’t even own a webcam—but the opportunity to talk with these bloggers on a face-to-face basis was too good to pass up. So I ran out and got a webcam, and had it set up just in time for the start of “My ooVoo Day With…” I had the privilege of participating in a chat with artist and new media consultant Susan Reynolds and communications specialist Connie Reece, founder of Every Dot Connects. Susan’s battle against breast cancer inspired the creation of the Frozen Pea Fund, which is working to raise awareness and funds for the fight against breast cancer. The FPF is one of the organizations benefiting from the ooVoo Day event.

The site proclaims that ooVoo is “remarkably easy to use,” and I agree. Being familiar with web chat, I was able to intuitively use the features of ooVoo, even though I had no previous experience with video chat. The design—with its theme of black, gold and gray punctuated by bright primary colors—is aesthetically pleasing, and makes it easy to identify things at a glance. I quickly found myself looking at my own face onscreen, alongside those of the other participants.

For the first chat, I was on my laptop, with a high-speed Wi-Fi internet connection; but found that it had trouble keeping up. The audio and video were erratic, making it tough to follow the conversation. Thankfully, the simultaneous text chat capability helped me have a say even when my voice couldn’t make it.

A quick query to Scott Monty garnered the advice to use a wired connection–so I moved operations to the desktop PC. An ooVoo chat from there worked just as it should–decidedly cool. I noticed that if a chat participant is using external speakers rather than a headset, I hear my own delayed voice in the background–which makes it kind of surreal at first–but beyond that the chats were as easy and normal as sitting across the table from people at a coffee shop.

The possibilities of using ooVoo have me enthusiastic—whether it’s to connect with my siblings in the same state or get to know my readers from all over the world.

And I’m also looking forward to other “My ooVoo Day With” chats coming up later this week. They remind me of a place, actually. What place? A coffee shop. Who do? ooVoo.

 

The Three-Letter-Word

 

There is a subject that has been heavy on my heart for many months now. A recent, feeling post by Jesse Loop has reignited it to the point where words are starting to flow out of my heart and through my fingers.

It’s the subject of the “three-letter-word.”

Brains are whirring. I know, mine did. It’s hard to come up with a foul word that only has three letters. A word that makes you wince inwardly at the mental picture it brings up. A word that leaves a bad taste in your mouth when you think of what it means, and how it is used. A word that many people try not to say in polite company. Yes, that bad.

And mousewords is gonna say it on her blog.

God.

The very thought of God has become detestable to many…because of the way He has been portrayed by those who call themselves His people.

Sexual abuse in the name of God. Child abuse in the name of God. Emotional abuse, spousal abuse. Racial discrimination. Religious intolerance.

Too often, the result is that the victim of abuse recoils from the God whose name was used in the justification of unconscionable actions. Others who witness such abuse and discrimination are disgusted by many so-called “Christians.” The righteousness in their souls shrinks away from being associated with such a “God.”

And people are driven away.

So what do I think when I hear someone say that the actions of others have caused them to turn away from God? Do I think, “You’re doomed.” “You must be a bad person, or you couldn’t say that.” “You better repent pretty fast, or there will be hell to pay (literally).”

No.

When someone turns away from God, my heart cries. Not because of the hellish doom they are facing.

Because of the incredible love they are missing.

And God the Father of all cries with me.

The “sinner” is not the person who has been hurt and has turned away from the thought of God out of revulsion for what has been done in God’s name. The sinner is the one who claims to be a Christian, and yet would do something to harm the body or spirit of another.

The damage may be done out of selfish interests, or out of misguided good intentions. Either way, the result is the same.

One is driven away…and that’s not the one who needs to fear for their eternal soul.

So how do I know this? God said it. When one looks at the Bible, words on paper, one finds a very different perspective from what is often taught by people. Clear the air of complicated prose about damnation, and read the words of Jesus. Among many teachers of God’s law, Jesus was not a popular fella. “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them,” the teachers muttered.

In response to that, Jesus told four stories. Stories of ones who had been lost from the fold, missing for some time, caught up in wild living, or consumed by the love of money. In these stories, Jesus portrays God as He is—One who understands the ways of the world, and does whatever it takes to rescue the lost ones. No condemnation from God—He rejoices at the return of the ones He loves.

Which is to say, everyone.

Those who considered themselves experts on God sneered at this perspective. What Jesus said in response to them still holds true today, for anyone who turns the name of God into a three-letter-word.

“You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.”

Those of us who call ourselves Christians, and those of us who have been hurt by ones claiming that name, all need to remember this.

God Himself is really a four-letter-word.

Love.

 

Project Mermaid | Series Two: It’s Alive!

 

 

Allll right—let’s rock and roll!

Project Mermaid|Series Two has suffered through my disorganizational delays and an actual blackout that prevented it from going live last night, and it was late today—but it’s ON! Firmly nestled in its new time slot of Thursdays at 7:30 pm, voting for the new series will go live here on this blog every week, followed within minutes by the debut of the original artwork in my eBay auctions. You can comment on the fashions, vote for your favorite, and even bid to own the originals! It’s all good.

Plus this is doing mighty weird things to my writer’s brain—I think I’ll be posting mid-week behind-the-scenes gossip news about what’s going on backstage at Project Mermaid! (Well, yes, I do have a life, it’s just a very…storified one…)

So click on the link above to check out this week’s challenge—and also stop by last week’s page to see the winner and read the recaps! What are the designers thinking…?

(This one’s thinking it’s time for more cough syrup and some bedtime.)