Writer’s Process Blog Tour ~It’s Helena’s Fault

Okay so it isn’t REALLY Helena’s fault. Other than she asked me to join in the writer’s process blog tour. My first thought to run and hide. But when Helena Hann-Basquait, otherwise known affectionately as the Dilettante asks, you can’t … Continue reading

Housekeeping and Talking to the Future

Have you supported my friend Helena? No? Well, what are you waiting for? Get on over there. With only three hours left you don’t want to miss out. Seriously you’ll be sorry. Even Amanda Palmer congratulated her efforts. Wait, What? … Continue reading

Weekend ~ 2/28/14 ~ Honesty, Creative Community and Bling

NIBS-The Tomboy

 The Tomboy– Capital City Motorcycle Club, California c. 1950


When I originally began writing my weekend post I had this commercial break in the center. Foolish. I realize now that it needs to be up front center stage lest you try to ignore it.

I want to promote a crazily talented friend, my dearest Dilettante. She is doing a kickstarter campaign. Please head on over and support her. I know you have $5 (preferable more-says me) to lend to her cause. Go ahead and buy her a coffee will ya! Forgo one latte for drip this week in support of the arts.

I’m a huge proponent of supporting artists. We are a community that needs to hold one another up. I compile my own personal library based on the books of people I’ve read and met online. And my walls are covered with the images (photography and artwork) of those that touch me. For me it is really in the connection with others more than anything else. That’s simply how I’m wired.

And Helena is generous beyond measure. She was kind enough to lend words to me this week when tongue tied on a personal matter. I was far too close to the situation to remain objective, have any wit at all. And she critically reviewed my short story with her red pen.

Honesty is my crack cocaine (no I am not condoning drug usage). I believe it only brings me closer to the person with whom I’m connecting. And honest critique makes me strive to be better.

Okay now back to the program……………

I was up late Wednesday night. 2 am PST when the prompt for FF came through my reader. I stared at the screen. Nothing……..still nothing. I tried to click clack the keys hoping for some free association. Or divine inspiration that would awaken the dragons’ genius in my mind.

All I could visualize was two women discussing the nature of the champagne coupe being designed around a woman’s breast- Marie’s, Josephine’s, Helen’s, didn’t matter who’s (Note: this isn’t actually fact). To boot in my mind it was a period piece. The castle in the background obviously played tricks with me. One would think my own corset strings were laced too tight. (I don’t really wear one. This is just creative license). So I knew unequivocally it was time to turn off the computer and get some shut eye. Come on admit it, that’s just craziness.

If you read my FF entry this week you know things went better the following morning. At least I think so. My new storyline has more weight-imagination, mythology blended with mystery, fantasy and love. But you judge for yourself.

DT² formerly referred to on the blog as Shidduch, following Yente which was preceded by DT² (for double trouble). Well DT² and I decided to begin a joint writing venture in order to get our juices flowing. Yet another supportive creative friend in my corner.

Our idea was we’d volley back and forth. Naturally we flipped a coin. The winner of the toss would get us rolling. Which for us both actually meant the winner was the looser. Because neither wanted to go first.

Seriously, firsts freak me out. I panic. This manifested most succinctly when I was on stage, terrified I’d forget my lines or miss the song’s first note. But without fail once I got past the first….. I sailed along.

So can you guess? I bet you can. I lost. I mean won. I had to begin writing. Beads of sweat began to form. We started discussing some ground rules, how we felt about certain movie’s mood and tone, seeking how close to or far from one another we fell in taste. Suddenly inspiration struck. The matchmaker knew where she’d begin. So I gladly handed the torch back to her. Go ahead say it. Baaawkkk bawk bawk…….

Now?     Now I’m worried about going second.   Good God I know…..am I ever satisfied?

Then on top of it all during lunch I had a sudden attack of bling envy. This might be normal for some of you. But I’m the girl that doesn’t wear any makeup except on very special occasions. I’m not into diamonds. Now I’m not saying I wouldn’t love to rock a Harry Winston but it is not a driving urge. But my dear DT² has designed some of the most spectacular pieces. I have coveted a lacy diamond necklace of hers for years. I simply cannot convince her to do jewelry design for a living. Seriously Tiffany’s if you’re reading this, hire her. Her creations will actually make your blue boxes more extravagant.

At lunch she wore a gorgeous Aquamarine diamond ring– classic shape, ornate artistry. Another of her divine inspirations (yes she designed it). She indulged me allowing me to don it for the duration of lunch. I swear it was mesmerizing. To watch me was to see “My Precious” ratcheted up full throttle. I was possessed! So much I barely recognized my reflection in its azure haze. In the end I gave it back. I’m sure she had her doubts I would and sighed in relief. Things never should come between friends.

Okay enough rambling. Go forth and play. I’ll see you Monday on the blog.


Blast from This Blogs Past


The Weekend Reading List


Something Extra

Say Something ~ A Great Big World & Christina Aguillera

The Dilettante and The Countess Penelope of Arcadia

This weekend I took to sketching the wonder twins. If you’re not familiar with the misadventures of this dynamic duo please go now and begin reading. Seriously read first then come back for the sketch.

I wanted to draw these two as they’ve brought me endless entertainment. Once I completed the artwork I sent it off for review (and praise of course). I was feeling pretty good about it. It went like this.

“This is absolutely fabulous, darling — I think you made me look very sexy. Penny thinks you made me look old, for which I smacked her, and then she said — well, actually, you ARE old, so I suppose that makes sense, for which I smacked her again, and she cried child abuse, and I said, OH, so you’re a CHILD now, are you? and took away her cosmo (she can really only have one or things get messy) and she cried and threw a hissy fit and I had to send her to her room without dinner.

Oh, and Penny (and I quote) “totally wants that Clash t-shirt” “

D&C w-logo

Darlings as she refers to her lovely minions, followers I mean. Our favorite Dilettante deserves to have a pink greyhound in hand and Jimmy Choos on her feet. The Countess I decided needed a little Dickensian flair in keeping with her oft used cockney accent- only one of her many personas.

Now the perfectionist I am already wants the countess’s hair to be darker and her fuchsia highlights to be brighter. I fear I may have toned her down too much and if so she’d be the first to say so.

P.S. If anyone out there can supply the countess with the vintage Clash Amplified t-shirt please let me know. Hell!…….Two please. I want one as well. Yes I realize I’m also old enough to be the countess’s mother but I really don’t know what that has to do with anything. Cool is cool! (except perhaps when you say cool).

Honestly sometimes we have to live vicariously in drawings, try on all sorts of vintage couture, jewels and choos – our own pretty women goes to the opera moment. No not the hooker with a  heart of gold thing.

Though I did get to wear a Golden Nugget showgirl costume once- sequins, plumed tail and all. My friend’s father’s company manufactured them. Already 5’11” I was unusually tall for a twelve year old. I fit the costume perfectly…..okay okay all but the bust line. But it made no matter to me. I felt like a showstopper.

Now please check out the sneak peak of the Dilettante’s upcoming book cover art if you haven’t already. And introduce yourself to these two ladies. And readreadread.

I guess next I’ll have to draw Jessica B. Bell. She is my newest guilty pleasure from the mind of Helena Hann-Basquiat. You can read JBB’s stories from the beginning here.



Now let me introduce you to Helena Hann-Basquait, Tuesday Talent Interview Style.

I’m Scatterbrained, really – if you can believe it. One of the few drawbacks of being a dilettante is that I’m constantly juggling many different projects (oh, and did I ever tell you that I can juggle? Yep. Learned when I was twelve – I wanted to join the circus). If a ball drops now and again, I’ll never admit to it – I’ll just keep on juggling and smiling.

Oh, but you were trying to get me to shamelessly promote myself. Right. Well, I write terribly ironic self-deprecating semi-autobiographical post-modern memoirs (not to put too sharp a point on it) and when I’m not, I write creepy, weird fiction under the name Jessica B. Bell

Who inspires Helena

Musicians with poetic souls. Morrissey. Amanda Palmer. Robert Smith. Eliiot Smith. Patti Smith. Hephestus and the Blacksmiths (I just made that last one up ‘cause I couldn’t think of another Smith). Writers with musical souls. Nick Hornby, Dr. Seuss, Christopher Moore. Neil Gaiman.

What Helena Does

I find I do an awful lot of two things: inhaling and exhaling. I’d like to think I’ve actually become an expert at them. While I’m doing that, I work for a Talent Agency, actually – we hire what you’d call Extras for various television and film productions. I’ve even done some Extra work myself when the occasion calls for it.

What Helena does best

I do this combo thing with my tongue and little finger – when I’m eating an ice cream cone – god, where did you think I was going with that? Perverts.

I’d have to say I do self-deprecating humour best. When one secretly loathes oneself, who better to laugh at? (Oh, and now I’ve made you uncomfortable. Don’t be – I want you to laugh at me, too!)

What other profession Helena would like to attempt

You’ll laugh. But if I had it to do all over again, I would have studied language or linguistics, and gone to work at the UN or something. I have a natural talent for languages that I never truly developed.

What turns Helena on creatively, spiritually or emotionally

Good music played loudly. Seeing an amazing band – someone truly unique – live. I’ve had a few opportunities like this in the last couple of years, and it’s been phenomenal. The same with excellent films – sadly I can’t say I’ve seen any of those in recent years, but I can always revisit my favourites, like American Beauty, Fight Club, The Game, 12 Monkeys (are you seeing a theme? I like them dark and weird).

Where to find Helena

Oh, you’ll never find me, darling. Oh, unless you mean my social media stuff. Well, there’s the blog of course, and then I occasionally tweet (is that the proper verb? Dear god!) and you can follow me @hhbasquiat

Where Helena got her Talent/Education

I spent several months in isolation in a tiny little town in the Catskills, and buried myself there like a caterpillar in a chrysalis, and when I finally broke free, I emerged as a fledgling version of the dilettante you know and love. From there, it was a long strange memorable trip.

Finally borrowing from Bernard Pivot- If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Well, I hope She’ll smile, open Her arms and say: “Darling! What took you so long? It’s been terribly dull here without you!”