Archive for October, 2012

I do believe in black cowboys!

I do believe in black cowboys! (Photo credit: gwen)

On the Trail of Ancestors: A Black Cowboy’s Ride Across America

by Lisa K. Winkler

I loved this book which I ordered from Amazon Kindle. The large type and illustrations made for an easy read. I like the fast availability and notetaking in this format.

From the very beginning, I was also ‘riding a horse’ on this amazing trip. The author does not overplay the excitement, nor does she avoid the challenges. It takes planning and work to follow one’s dream.

Without repeating other reviews on the details, this book satisfies on inspiration and history. Memories came to mind of our drive from Massachusetts to CA with two teenagers. The stares we got were directed at our license plate. We had friends to stay with and family at the end. I will never forget the crowd of hotel employees in San Francisco who said they rarely see MA plates. Driving back, it seemed a really long way.

I took an old book with WPA research of roads built before interstates. It had cost $0.10. Each point along these quaint state and county roads were described with points of interest. We would never have arrived at our destination if I had been allowed to direct us to every waterfall, statue and museum.

Like this cowboy, we strayed sufficiently to make the trip interesting and educational. My daughter kept a travel journal. It captured the spirit of the adventure.

Miles Dean’s descriptions of the historical sites and people he saw kept me wondering, Where is he going next? Will he mention Cathay Williams as a Buffalo Soldier? Yes. How much is still in his journal? How much did the author have to research? I did not want him to come to the end of the journey.

What can you learn in addition to the tale?
It is rich in information about horses and today’s cowboys. It weaves together the past and the present. It can be a resource for home and school. The author poses questions at the end for discussion and further study. She provides a bibliography and offers a study guide, if needed.

Who should read this book?
Fathers should read this aloud to their boys. Mothers and girls will love the story of how to follow your dreams. All will gain knowledge about the country and its unique history. Teachers and creative artists should find much material to build on. All will be enriched. I cannot wait for the movie!

Who knew?

My Birthday Gift to You

A lot of you are checking out my art website (below). Please leave a comment or sign up for emails when I add something you might like. Don’t forget the checkout code: BSSNNX



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Follow up on drawing                            Art in Space
I once offered to pay a professor to teach me one song that I could play any time I saw a piano. No scales. No finger exercises.  Just a pleasant tune to amuse myself. I knew I was not concert material.

Needless to say she did not keep her bargain. I did not pursue it. This is similar to many who feel they cannot draw.

Do you feel that you must draw before pursuing any other art form, such as painting?

Are you familiar with the many variations of style in every art form?

If you are satisfied that you cannot draw to your own satisfaction, that is OK!  Do you want to know more, as I did, just to please yourself? Then go for it. Keep finding challenges as your experience opens to new vistas. I found I liked pushing myself to know more about the work of an artist just from an introduction to oil painting.

Who knew?

There are many opportunities for guidance online, community groups and classes, even  private lessons with an artist whose work you like. Don’t struggle. Feel free to try other options.

The link below has a long list of lessons that are free. (I did not read them to be sure my writing is from my own experience.) See if you get some ideas you want to try. Then START!

Link to classes:


For more about drawing and painting techniques, follow: Blog University

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Who knew?

I guess I finally ordered enough books on amazon.com and the Kindle to get the attention of somebody. (I am still getting to some of these). An email  invitation to review this book was my motivation to pare down my comments on Nella Larsen, Novelist of the Harlem Renaissance posted here. After some trial and error, my first Amazon book review was published on my birthday (yesterday, in case I did not make that clear).

The good news was that no one else had written a review for it. The bad news is that I did not have an example. Therefore, I fell into some pitfalls. I got rejected the first submission with enough hints that I could revise and resubmit.

In the process, I learned a few things:

1. It helps to read their guidelines.

2. It helps not to promote anything but what is sold on their website.

3. It helps not to promote anything you have for sale on their website, nor anywhere else.

4. It helps to have bought the book from them.

5. It helps to figure out how to contact them for answers.

6. It helps to have someone, a son or daughter, read your entry before submitting it. Clarity and typos are the major offenders. Spell check and grammar suggestions are not fool-proof.

7. It helps to have read the book!

I found this a good way to give praise to a book and writer I am especially fond of. It is something to try again. Writing for yourself is different from writing for an organization with specific guidelines. Staying within that format will please them and help you hone your writing skills. It helps to be open to criticism and to have enough persistence to get it done.

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"In the Beginning"

How’ you doing?

I am feeling just fine, thank you.

"It felt like Sunday"
Birthday Decadence

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Happy Birthday to You!

Happy Birthday to You! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy Birthday Celebration

My gift to each of you and your friends is my way of celebrating this wonderful life of mine.

You can

1. Select from any of my artwork on the website. No limits.


Amsterdam acrylics on canvas









The website:


(also on my Facebook page.)

2. Place your order. The CODE is BSSNNX

You will find a 20% discount (from my part of the sale) on any orders you place from October 20 (the BIG day) through November 10, 2012. I do not handle the math, thankfully, but it will be a savings.

The holidays are coming fast. You can get your name and or a message printed inside cards or select from the prints offered. I see that many of you are familiar with  the high quality and the service my company offers.

3. Not satisfied? They will let you return the artwork in a reasonable time.

Who knew?

Sorry, cannot send each of you a slice of cake. But this is the next best thing.


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Thanks so much for your posts and for re-reading Nella. The Morena St. house underwent some changes after I took photos when researching the book. I’ve forgotten the professor/administrator’s name, but he did the work in the 1990s, so fairly recent history.
Bettye, it is great to see you off on yet another project. You are amazing. I am glad to see that you are feeling so much better.
Many thanks for sharing. This is fascinating to re-visit after so long.
Love, Thadious

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"Looking toward Fisk University"

The Shadow

Larsen Home, Front View
For details see Nella Larson written by Thadious Davis

"Little Theater, Fisk U.
Made using former slave quarters

"The Johnson House"
Built by Sinclair Oil for the Johnsons

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