I also hope you enjoyed my story that I posted in two parts between the last couple of entries. If you didn’t, drop me a comment why so I can crank out some stories you will enjoy. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, you can do so by going to these two links: http://faroutfantastic.blogspot.com/2011/07/mermaids-pirates-sea-monsters-and.html; http://faroutfantastic.blogspot.com/2011/08/upcoming-online-horror-con-and-part-ii.html.
A lot of events are coming up in the speculative culture, at least here on this side of California, good old NorCal. The World Science Fiction Con, a. k. a. Renovation, in Reno, Nevada, is next week, Wednesday the 17th through Sunday the 21st of August. I’m not sure if I myself will be able to attend, but if I do it will only be for a day or two and if that’s the case I’ll try to have a brief recap in my column at Examiner.com. I’ll keep you updated.
I attended a talk sponsored by the Joseph Campbell Foundation this afternoon at Luna’s Café in midtown Sacramento. It was given by humanities/religious studies professor, Maria Jaoudi of CSU, Sacramento (my alma mater) and was on the mystic St. Hildegarde of Bingen. It was a really interesting presentation accompanied by colourful photos of the medieval art that was inspired by the German mystic’s visions. For many of you, such art may be mere depictions of a person’s high imagination due to life long health problems, but to some of us believers they’re results of divine inspiration. But whatever our beliefs are, these depictions are this for sure: works of extraordinary vision, a kind of vision all us artists, writers, film makers and such convey in our own ways. It doesn’t matter whether such visions make reference to real things or not; what matters is how they effect our audiences and whether they even effect them at all and make them see life in such a way that they would not otherwise see. That is what great art of any kind--whether a painting, a novel or short story, a song, a film or even a video game—does, is make us see life in a way that we otherwise wouldn’t and make us want to live life to the fullest. And if you’re a fantasist like me you’ll know that saints, angels, fairies, wizards, and ghosts have a lot more in common than an exclusively religious person of today would think. They are all beings of mythology in one way or another, regardless of whether any of them exist or not, and they are all associated with the mysterious and therefore the supernatural--that which is beyond the mundane. Whether such a force exists or not is up to you. However, this I will say does exist: the power of art.
After the presentation, when I was up at the counter paying for my peppermint and apple cinnamon iced tea, I discovered a Sacramento science fiction author’s novel sitting on a rack there. The title is Red Storm, and the author is actually the café owner’s brother, Frank Luna. The story takes place on a colonized Mars and seems really interesting and I would like to read it myself after I finish the bulk of my sci fi/fantasy reading that I’m presently working on. Anyway, the author is scheduled for a book signing at Luna’s Café in September. I’ll have more details for you when it gets closer to the date, probably through a link to an Examiner.com article I plan to do on the event.
Well, I need to get on to other things on this Saturday evening. But I want to leave you with some photos of Sacramento’s first annual Mermaid Parade that occurred last month and which you can read about in an earlier entry of mine here. You’ll find the photos below.
Until next time . . .
A mermaid in her throne being pushed by a pirate with a jelley fish to the side.
I guess you can call her Ariel, "The Little Mermaid"!
La Sirena ('The Mermaid')
A squidman and a mermaid . . .
and a merman.