Wednesday, April 30, 2014

History Lesson: Kill Your Darlings

Writer Stephen King

"Kill your Darlings."  What does this mean and who originally said it?

Slate magazine writer Forrest Wickman writes in his article Who Really Said "Kill your Darlings?"   that the phrase is an old piece of writing advice given to aspiring writers. "To 'kill your darlings" is an approach to the writing process where the writer deletes  precious or indulgent sections for the greater good of the entire work.  Also referred as "kill your babies" these group of words are a lesson on being able to chop up, even if it hurts.

Famous writers have a versions of "kill your darlings." Stephen King wrote  "kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler heart, kill your darlings."  

Most of the journalists on our staff thought this phrase was originally coined by William Faulkner. However, Wickman's research shows it was first published in a popular 1914 book  On the Art of Writing by Arthur Quiler-Couch.  In a section on writing style, he warned against "extraneous ornament."

If you here require a practical rule of me, I will present you with this: ‘Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it—whole-heartedly—and delete it before sending your manuscript to press.  Murder your darlings. 

The application of this advice can go beyond writing and can be applied to the often tormenting process of painting or drawing. Artists must make decisions on what parts do not flow with the work, sometimes erasing sections that are the most clever.

See the entire Slate article here:

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Exploring Art and Design Studios

Textile piece by Jaime David

We journeyed to Art and Design to discover new and fresh art on Open Studio Day. On this special day, tuition paying parents and well wishers can view work of graduates and undergraduates who study art at KU.   We chatted with many artists about their work and ate from a buffet of delicacies. Here are some of our favorite picks:

Paul Keefe in front of his large painting
We liked his etchings and small landscape paintings, too. 

Amy Huser's lovely screen print. 

Unique screen print piece by Carolyn Weinberg Zelbaum
It was part of a "Rich Bitch" series.  That what it says, "Rich Bitch!"

Pearl O'Brien with her large felt slump art
We found her and her work at the end of a maze of studios

Interesting random woodcut block found in the print room

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Crowds packed, art sales slow: April's Final Friday

@fakefinal Fridays fav for last night.  Art at the Bottleneck

Although our correspondents promised live tweeting for April's Final Friday, the staff at Larryville Artists shirked our duties and headed for the Replay for a  fantastic early show line-up (see below). Although crowds were packed for Final Friday events, art sales were slow.  The art of Final Fridays draws people Downtown which helps restaurants, bars, and,  in the long run,  could boosts tourism and real estate values. Big audiences at art events makes Lawrence seem like a hip art town.   However,  how much does one night help individual artists sell and promote work? Because the machine of Final Friday relies on the hard work and sweat of the artists who provide the entertainment,  it is a question worth asking. 

Here are Twitter reports: 
Sweet parking spot about eight blocks from our destination!

Things we've learned. Fence art shows should become an East Lawrence trend, and Justin Marable really hates lions.

The best crowds tonight seemed to be at Lawrence Art Party. But every artist we talked to had sold absolutely nothing.

Art of Dave DeHetre displayed on a fence in East Lawrence

At the Replay
Although the staff at Larryville Artists usually do not report music reviews, last night's early show at the Replay is worth a write-up.  Paper Buffalo, who will be competing in the final round of KJHK's farmer's ball, opened, followed by Tele Novella from Austin, Texas.  

Paper Buffalo at the Replay

If you haven't heard of Tela Novella, check them out.  Their sound is unusual, and we instantly bought their CD.  
Here is their band page:

Dean Monkey and the Dropouts finished the night with their sweet doo-wop that could be heard wafting over LFK;  a backdrop for the beautiful evening of Downtown last night.   

Two members from Dean Monkey and The Dropouts

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Out and About: Weekend Picks for Saturday and Sunday

Poet and writer Charles Bukowski

The weather is pleasant, and we are already making plans for the weekend.  Here are some fun picks for Saturday and Sunday. 

Poetry Fair
"To have great poets, there must be great audiences"-Walt Whitman. 

Organizers are planning a big poetry event at the Lawrence Arts Center this Saturday. A poetry fair will host twenty two poets.  Activities include an open mic. Underground and unique books by these poets will be available for purchase in the LAC lobby.
When: noon-4:00 at The Lawrence Arts Center
For more information, check out the Facebook Invite;

KU Open Studios
KU's annual event is one of our favorites.  Come see the fresh graduate and undergraduate work of KU art students in the studios of Art and Desgin.  We've attended some impressive graduate shows this spring, and this is a change to talk with some of the artists about their work. 
When: Sunday, 2-4pm at Art and Design
Here is the Facebook Invite:


Strange and unusual newsreels by Pathe News Company have recently been released on You Tube.  The Pathe News company produced newsreels on events in the 1900's.  85,000 reels are available and include news events as well as camp pop culture of the era.

See a trip to a remote taxidermy museum:

See the Youtube link for the entire site here:

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Nice weather....finally!

The current weather will bring nice crowds to Lawrence's April Final Friday.  Invites show new faces to the circuit.  We will post our top picks later this week.

We've been following the posts on the twitter account @fakefinalfriday.  They seem to be all over town reporting on art events. This week, they've been trying to unlock the puzzle of who exactly will be exhibiting for April's  Final Friday.  Their quest is understandable, as we are familiar with this challenge.

Here are some posts:

On April 16, @fakefinalfriday tweets
has an event for Final Friday. We've read the the FB invite 3 times. Were still not sure what it is.

On April 18 @fakefinalfriday tweets
One week until April Final Friday and we're not hearing much. I mean we just hear the newly awakened crickets chirping at this point.

On April 18 @fartlife tweets
This Final Friday should be the real coming out for this season right? will have figured out the new camera by then...
@fakefinalfriday replys: It should be and yet, not even a new map and event listing yet. Still last month

Great job reporting @fakefinalfriday. We are glad you are staying on top of things! Check out live tweets from Larryville Artists correspondent @karenmatheis (and presumably @fakefnalfriday) during April's Final Friday.
@fakefinalfriday catches this gem.  Poster made by Partick Giroux for this week's Liberty Hall showing of Money Python's Holy Grail

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Literature Devotion: Friday Night Readings

Sam Pink reading at The Roost

The staff at Larryville Artists were scurrying Friday night to report on the many reading performances by underground authors Downtown.

Here is the run down of highlights from Friday Night.

The Roost
Independent authors Sam Pink and Scott McClanahan read from their newest fiction. Chicago based author Sam Pink's strange personality unfolded in his opening sentence "I almost don't like people who like me..."  He read a lengthy excerpt from Rontel describing a bee keeping class he reluctantly attends with his girlfriend.

Scott McClanahan drove from West Virginia to give an impressive performance which included a southern style of preaching, dancing, singing and storytelling.

Author Scott McCLanahan at the Roost 

Lawrence Arts Center
Four disciplined poets read from their academic and current projects. Amy Ash's political approach to  poetry included descriptions of things or lack of things in houses.  Ben Cartwright presented a visitor's guide of how to behave while in China, and Amanda Frost recited poetry inspired by  medieval and old English texts.

Mark Hennessy reading at The Lawrence Arts Center

Mark Hennessy sported a kerchief and pen as he entertained with lyrical work about the poetic process and perceptions of how we are perceived by others.  Hennessy has a lot to say about love and seduction: love between people, love in motels, and love for writing.  Poems were sparked by the dingy Airport Motel where "every room is a different sad song."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Short and Sweet Interview with Writer Sam Pink

Author Sam Pink at the Roost on Friday

We are thrilled that writers Sam Pink and Scott McClanahan will be reading at the Roost on Friday. Their books received good reviews from the PBR Book Club. 

We wanted to know more about Chicago based author Sam Pink and what he will be reading, so we contacted him for an interview. Quickies seem to be his style. The interview went something like this:

Q:  What are your current projects?
A: None

Q: Do you still have Rontel (his cat)?
A: Yes

Q: Do you still live in Chicago?
A: Yes

Q: Are there advantages to working with a small sized publisher?
A: There probably are but i've only worked with a small press so i can't compare small vs big.

Q: What books you will be reading from?
A: Not sure how long i'm supposed to read for but i'll probably read from 'rontel' and 'person' and maybe the other novels. i'm not a dynamic presenter, i mostly just rely on the material being entertaining.  

We investigated further.  Pink has a blog that is intriguing. His posts consist of one liners that give us insight to the writer. 

"anyone else feel more doomed when the weather starts getting nice?"
"looking back, believing that monsters were real was something that added meaning to my life"
"just scratched my head and found a small piece of broken glass in my hair"
"most of the things offered as ways to be 'free' or an 'individual' are guaranteed to make you like everyone else"

Sam Pink's personal and writing style is unique, and probably the reading will be too! 

See the facebook invite for the reading on Friday here: