Etsy Ecstasy

mood: thinking|drinking: good

Etsy is a truly magical place. If you haven’t been yet, you should go to there.

And if you wonder why, well… take a gander at just a few of my favorite things. It’s a lovely way to spend a Wednesday afternoon.

http://www.etsy.com/etsy_mini.jsnew EtsyNameSpace.Mini(5312482, ‘favorites’,’gallery’,5,2).renderIframe();

You could even do it on a Thursday, if you like.

-Lo, self-proclaimed etsy aficionado

Where Do We Go From Here?

Mood: Diligent | Drinking: Soon

future

If you read that title and you’ve now got a Joss Whedon tune ringing in your ears, join the club. If not, well, congrats. You are not as big of a nerd as you think you are.

I, however, am a huge nerd. And I’m definitely feeling the “what’s next?” vibe, though not bursting into song just yet.

Every big undertaking (in this case, the revamp of this website) has a big payoff in the form of fluffy clouds of euphoria. But the payoff is usually promptly followed by a letdown. You’ve been so busy and so focused for so long, and now you’ve reached the pinnacle, you’ve achieved your goal. So then you start looking for the next mountaintop. You start wondering where you’re gonna go next.

I never have a shortage of artistic ambition. A lack of energy, time, and direction, yes. But never a lack of hare-brained schemes.

Fortunately, the post-project dip is a shallow one this time. I’m already on to the next thing — this Saturday, in fact, which is the first of 3 or 4 non-consecutive days of cinépoem shooting. We start filming Homogeneous this weekend, with fearless volunteers Jimmy and Emanuela, who have already recorded some pretty badass vocal tracks.

Homogeneous is one of the most ambitious cinépoems Shel and I have done so far, although this one doesn’t involve any bunny suits or fake blood. It’s a three-parter and involves some tricky coordination, so it might be awhile before the finished product makes a grand debut. But it will be worth the wait.

I have a few other ideas up my sleeve as well. It’s only been 2 years since The Secrets of Falling came off the presses, but I’m starting to have dangerous ideas about a new printed piece.

And there are always new small projects, postcards and prints and things, to do with Kathy. So I’m in no danger of being bored.

Meanwhile, beyond this website and all the fun poetry projects it encompasses, life continues to move and change in new and strange ways. Boy and I have decisions to make, but it’s one of those domino things where one leads to another which leads to another, but you can’t go anywhere until the first domino falls. I’ll let you know where they land… when they land.

Speaking of all that’s new and fun, what do you think of the new site? Comments are open now, remember? Be sure to leave your mark. How else will I know that you’ve been here?!

-Lo, who thinks that 39-year-old straight white dudes who are tone deaf should not walk around the office singing Beyonce, if they want to maintain their dignity.

Getting Your Feet Wet

Mood: Celebratory | Drinking: *Clink*

water1

Come on in, the water’s fine!

I’m so very pleased to introduce you to ladonnawitmer.com, version 4.0. She’s been a long time coming — nearly a year, in fact, and I couldn’t be happier that I finally get to show her off to the world.

I’d like to give you a quick tour, but first I have to thank a few people who pulled a lot of strings and spent a lot of their late-night and weekend time to make this happen.

First, let’s talk about my far-away friend Eric Oehrl, working his Flashmaster magic out there in the wilds of Michigan. The nifty navigation over there on the left? That’s Eric. The amazingly awesome Flash movie that now introduces this site (lovingly dubbed “the cinébyte”) — that’s Eric, too. EO, my friend, without you, none of this would have been as moving. I bow down before your mad skilz. You rule.

Next, the ever-lovely Miz Kathy Azada. My partner in various crimes, misdemeanors and art projects. Kathy has already brought one miracle to life in the form of our art & poetry book, The Secrets of Falling. And have you seen all those must-collect postcards in our shiny new Store? Those are all designed by the fabulous Kathy, too. My friend, you make all things lovely. Thanks for dreaming with me.

None of these dot com shenanigans would ever have happened if not for one mister Chris Brown, my fearless web guru. It was he who came to me sometime last year and said, “We’re gonna redo your website.” And I was all, “Pshaw, why? I like it the way it is.” And he said, “No, trust me, we can make it better.” And I’m so friggin’ glad I listened! Chris, if this site doesn’t get you a truckload of new clients, nothing will. Thank you a thousand times over.

If you’re wondering who shot all these gorgeous underwater photos, may I direct your attention to my all-too-often behind-the-scenes husband, Bruce. One day last summer whilst on vacation in Mexico, I pulled a red ball gown out of my suitcase, handed him a waterproof camera and said, “Let’s go down to the pool.” One hour and lots of “1-2-3-holdyourbreath” counts later, we had a roll of film (yes, old school) full of aqua and red. (Check out Bruce’s gallery to see all the photos from the underwater shoot.) Thanks for going along with my crazy scheme, Bruce. As always, I owe you one.

Be sure to click around this site from top to bottom, starting with the home url, www.ladonnawitmer.com, where you’ll be instantly immersed in a mini-cinépoem called “Submersion” that will take you on an underwater adventure. Be sure you have your sound turned on for that one.

You’ll notice that some things that are familiar — The Writer still contains some foul language pertaining to one Mr. Johnny Depp, but check out the wee seahorse for a new treat. The Library still contains music from Franky & Wil, along with poems for your reading pleasure, but the poems are new.

The Others still contains links to lots of old friends, and a few new ones, too. And you can still send me an email via Says You, but you can also now comment on this blog — I know lots of you have asked me about that over the years, so you’d better make use of it!

Speaking of this blog, She Says is now a fully functional weblog with an RSS feed and everything, so you can add me to your blog roll and all that fun stuff. You can also search the archives via keyword for old entries, if you’re into that sort of thing. All of the old entries made the migration to their shiny new home.

The Cinépoems have a lovely new page with an upgraded and higher-quality video player for your viewing pleasure. We’ll be making ongoing improvements to that page over the next few months, too, because we’re not satisfied with mere perfection. Must. Keep. Tweaking.

Oh, and notice that the newest cinépoem is one you haven’t seen yet… Bright Neon Love was shot in Las Vegas over the holidays and gets to debut with the big site unveil, that lucky little poem.

The Gallery has been completely retooled — all the old photos are still there, but they’re much easier to view now. There are new photos, too, from Bruce, from a fabulous young photographer named Caitlin Bellah, and from recent cinépoem shoots as well, so be sure to check that out.

And finally — my pet project — our Store. My two books, Shedding the Angel Skin and The Secrets of Falling are available for purchase (and well worth the asking price), as always, but now you can also get yourself some of those pretty postcards I mentioned earlier, as well as a few photographic art prints.

The Store lives on etsy.com, which is an amazing site in its own right and one of my new favorite things ever. Lots of very cool artists hawking their wares on Etsy, so be sure to explore. After you purchase a book and some postcards, of course.

So that’s the tour. Please make yourself at home, get a little wet, and let me know what you think. I’m off to go splash around a little myself. I just don’t get tired of playing with all these new toys!

-Lo, who should mention that it’s not really about drowning.

Big Pimpin’

greenapple_book
Mood: Slick
Drinking: Soon

True to form, time has put on its racing shoes and flown right past me — it’s already been a year since The Secrets of Falling came out.

Hopefully that’s been plenty of time for you to get your copy, take a read, and find a place for it on your poetry shelf.

So given all that, I hope my request comes as the slightest of inconveniences… If you’ve read Secrets, would you like to help me sell a few more copies?

Some of you have already been so kind as to write reviews on various websites, and I thank you. I’d just like to pimp it out a little bit more.

You can write reviews on Amazon.com, Goodreads.com, Shelfari.com, and on various facebook and myspace forums, too.

If you haven’t read it yet, you can get your copy here or buy it from Amazon, Powell’s, or Etsy.

Of course, if you read it and hated it, let’s just keep that a secret, yeah? 😉

-Lo, much obliged.

Making a Splash

colorsplash2
Mood: Steady as she goes
Drinking: Watery tea

I’m on TV.

I’m small, I’m sideways, and I’m in black and white, but I’m on TV nonetheless.

My friend Kathy, she of The Secrets of Falling design fame, alerted me to my TV appearance last week.

There’s a bit of backstory required: Kathy went to art/design school with David Bromstad (he of HGTV’s Color Splash and Design Star fame).

They’re good friends from way back, which is why David came to our book release party in San Francisco last May. (Yes, he is even more adorable in person!)

David left our party with several pieces of art in tow — 7 of them, to be exact. He chose his favorite photographic art prints from our book, and ended up hanging them on a wall behind the couch where he is often filmed sketching his brilliant design ideas on Color Splash.

So nearly every week on HGTV, I’m hanging there on the wall behind David’s head. Granted, nobody but me and Kathy actually know that it’s me. Well, you know too, now. But it’s a sweet little thrill to see my poetry and Kathy’s design (as well as the fine photography of Boy and my friend Patti) up on the screen.

Oh, and that repeating photo of the grafittied brick wall that the camera loves to linger on as David sketches away? I took that photo from a scooter on our first trip to Rome! …There’s some useless trivia for you.

By the way, if you’d like to have a print just like David, you can find two of the prints that he has, So Make Believe It and Invincible at our Etsy store. There are a lot of other cool prints up for sale there, too!

So. Yay us, yay David, and HGTV better give Color Splash another season! (Boy and I are now addicted and have gotten ourselves a season pass on TiVo.)

-Lo, who is sometimes sideways in real life, too.

The Amazing Amazon

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Mood: Uppers
Drinking: Green Tea

Nothin’ but good news over here, folks.

Amazon.com now carries our little book, The Secrets of Falling. You can find it quite easily just by searching Amazon for the title of the book, or by entering my name or Kathy Azada’s name.

This is exciting not only because of the huge potential market of people we can now reach but also because, well, you just feel like a “real” writer when you see your book all shiny on the Amazon screen. Tingly feelings, that’s what I’m having.

So please, tell all your friends, neighbors, and distant relations – hell, you can tell the checkout chick at the grocery store, too. Tell them to put Secrets in their shopping cart, on their wishlist, on their list of Christmas presents.

If you already have the book and you feel all fuzzy about it, feel free to write us a little review on Amazon and tell perfect strangers that they should read it, too.

While we’re on the subject of online shopping, just a short click away from Amazon is the lovely Etsy.com, a site chock full of crafty goodness. It’s also another new online host, not only for Secrets, but also for my first book, Shedding the Angel Skin, as well as the new limited-edition chapbook, She is a Death Star.

Even better, you can now purchase fine photographic prints from our book at the This Blank Page shop on Etsy. This is the first time we’ve been able to make the prints available online. Before this, the only place to buy them was at our book release party or the recent Old Enough to Buy Art show.

But now, even if you live way up in Grand Rapids, Michigan (Hi EO! Hi Jillie!), you can order your favorite art print for yourself or somebody special.

Right now there are 16 prints available, in sizes of either 8×10″ or 16×20″. We’ll be adding more over the next few weeks, and soon all 35 prints that were featured at our book release party will be available for purchase at our Etsy site.

So. Next time you feel the urge to shop, poke your head in at Amazon or Etsy and say hi.

And don’t forget, if you’re in the Bay Area, the Berkeley Film Festival starts tomorrow, and our award-winning cinepoem collection “Slippery Shiny Feathery Things” screens tomorrow night at 8:55 p.m. at the Landmark California Theatre in Berkeley. See you there!

-Lo, who is learning how to run.