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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Sitting" with Peter Damian Bellis Author of "The Conjure Man"




“Too many writers do not sit long enough with their books and so miss the opportunity to capture the echoes, anchor the emotional impact, make their book what they see in their mind and feel in their soul, but rarely capture on the page. Then again how easy for me to say sit with your book a little while longer; I sat with The Conjure Man for 23 years, and for a variety of reasons, not just because I was sitting with the book (more about that in a later post). But even when I was not sitting with The Conjure Man, I was sitting with it. “  
Peter Damian Bellis  http://threecentsoflimeandiron.com/

“ Sitting” has dominated my thoughts for over a week since I first read my friend Peter’s post.   

“Sitting” is the perfect description of what I do as a designer and what I have yet been capable of conveying to my non artistic friends, family etc.

I “sat” with my roses for a few years encouraged by my friend Shea not to give up and to keep on keeping on.  Hence the name KatieSheaDesigns since without Shea’s encouragement I would not have kept designing.

My very first Rose Design was inspired from a beautiful image of a baby named Amelia Marie.
My first “Rose of Distinction”  http://bit.ly/weliot
was inspired by my friendship with 
Winslow Eliot http://winsloweliot.com/  
Author of “Heaven Falls” and “The Bright Face of Danger”. 

Last weekend we had a Tweet-up In New York  http://winsloweliot.com/2010/05/tweet-up-in-new-york/ 
and I experienced some very interesting and stimulating conversation with all of my friends attending.

My conversation With Peter Damian Bellis last Saturday evening clarified and validated all I have been feeling for the past few years.   He explained to me the sitting process he mentioned in his post last week.   I totally identified with his description of a writer is always writing even when he is not typing or physically writing as well as the importance of “sitting” with a piece until you feel it has been nurtured to your satisfaction and even then…
While Peter was speaking so many thoughts were racing through my mind.    The countless ideas in my idea book I started years ago, the writing pieces sitting on my computer finished, unfinished and the bolts of fabric adorning my office/studio.

To the naked eye I can come across as a scatterbrain, eccentric and unproductive versus the overachieving steam roller from years gone by. 
I am currently reviewing everything I have been “sitting with” and am choosing which designs to produce and pieces to post or publish.  I feel such a sense of peace and validation from finally being able to feel like I can express correctly what others perceive as a lack of productivity.

I have been asked over and over “When are you going to get serious and start pumping out those roses”?    I have tried to communicate that I have not felt it was time yet for me to enter into the marketplace with my roses.   My answer is “I am sitting with them”!
I am currently designing several “Roses of Distinction” and Peter Damian Bellis’s Novel   “The Conjure Man“  
 http://www.conjureman.net/   is one of my inspired designs.

I have begun reading “The Conjure Man“ and can understand why I quote  “One early reviewer said this book might be the best book to come out since Huck Finn“!



Monday, May 31, 2010

Brooklyn ....Memorial Day Weekend Surrounded by Family, Friends, Food and Wine!

The conversations were heartwarming, diversified and comedic.  My husband even had one of the guests prank phone call our daughter asking her just one more time “Is it All about Trendz” a jewelry store in Manhattan that we all could not get straight in our heads.   Maybe it was the sun or the wine or just both.  We laughed so hard we could not breathe as our daughter called us all jerks and hung up for the third time!

My husband’s family have their roots in Brooklyn so many of the guests were from “The Neighborhood” and there was a lot of reminiscing.
Our cousin Big Art joined in and the conversations ranged from how his hearing became impaired by the gunshots that were fired by his ears during his career as a NYC Transit cop to the POW bracelet he wears on his wrist. 
We all examined the copper looking piece and discussed the names and inscriptions.  Big Art can appear to be rough and tumble but is in fact a kind and deeply caring man.  The bracelet has been worn by him since the late 60’s.  The POW represented on the bracelet was dated as missing since 1965.  My husband, myself and a few others recalled our grammar school years during the Vietnam War there were many bracelets worn with names inscribed representing men serving and missing in Vietnam.  Upon further inspection we became aware of another name inscribed more recently.  Big Art explained it was one of “His” that perished 9/11.  We all fell silent out of respect for the fallen.  My heart was silently breaking for him.  Big Art is immersed in taking care of “His own” meaning the families of the 9/11 fallen.  He is extremely proactive in preserving the memories of the men and honoring them.
Big Art, although retired for many years was one of the first responders arriving at the BIG Hole and piles of rubble hoping to rescue any survivors.
All of us briefly flashed back at the mention of the fallen man represented on Big Art’s bracelet to that day of horrifying tragedy, loss and uncertainty. 
My mind flooded with the images of the second plane hitting the second tower and then both towers imploding shortly thereafter!

My husband and I had the longest phone call that day since he was blessed with one of the only working telephone lines.  He was awaiting his assignment from the Hospital he works for.  There were thousands of body bags arriving throughout the city hospitals and all were bracing for a rising death toll and injuries galore.  He was mandated to stay and work for however long it took to take care of the injured.  Phone service in NYC was at a minimum if any, so I was the conduit from the hospital staff to family members informing them of their loved ones safety.  We kept the line open for hours as I dialed on my cell phone and even put the cell phone to the receiver so people could connect and be comforted by the sound of the live voices. 
Hours went by and finally my husband said we had to free the line.  I was deeply troubled since I did not know if this was going to be the last time I would ever hear his voice.  I became immobilized and kept repeating myself in an effort to keep him on the line.  Hanging up with him was like letting go of a drowning man.  I told myself I had to keep it together since we have 3 children and if I looked worried they would be worried.  I left them in school while all this was going on because I needed to collect myself to present to them a calm, confident mother.

Our drive home from Brooklyn brought us right past the World Trade Center site.
I usually do everything I can to avoid that whole area and today of all days we HAD to pass by because of Holland Tunnel traffic.  This time I forced myself to face the Big Hole and the beginnings of rebuilding. 
Our friends James and Shea were snoozing in the back of the Van unaware that they were in the presence of a sacred ground.  All of my senses became heightened and I became acutely aware of utterances, murmurings and physical pain just being in close proximity to this tragic parcel of land.
I feel sad and guilty at the same time.  Sad for all the loss that is still being felt throughout our surrounding area and guilty because I was not in the midst of the first responders. 

I want to do something of significance in remembrance of all those that were lost in the 9/11 attacks.

This Memorial Day let us remember the Men, Women and Children that have FALLEN on our own Soil.