Friday, November 30, 2012

NOVEMBER 30th: Happy Saint Andrew's Day!

Today is Scotland's National Day.  My family has deep roots in both Ireland and Scotland.  We initially believed, growing up, that this was on my Father's side only with names like Cullen and MacAllister.  But recently we discovered that a branch of my Mother's family was part of a Clan that was thrown out of Scotland for being unruly - by the Scots!  That explains a whole lot about my maternal line. Half of them ended up in Ulster and the other in Holland and Atlantic Germany. 

I also have friends in Scotland.  As the Scottish Referendum for Independence approaches in 2014, this seemed like a timely poem to celebrate Saint Andrew's Day.  I dedicate today's post to them (even though by the time it posts their day will be more than half over) Go raimh maith agat, LmC!

Henry Scott Riddell was a poet and songwriter composing in Scotland in the late 18th Century.

Scotland Yet by Henry Scott Riddell

Recording (c) by Judith Cullen 2012
NOT for Commercial Use

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

THE DICKENS PROJECT ~ December 14 - 27 in Second Life (c)

For years, I joined those who scoffed at annual productions of A Christmas Carol ... I admit it - guilty as charged! Maybe that's because there are so many bad adaptations and productions out there. It is easy to get lost in the superficial moments of the story and lose the depth it has.  At around 28,800 words it is about a three hour read out loud (less if you are reading it to yourself), and totally worth it.  Dickens packs so much into those words.  From savoring plenty and embracing poverty and need, he covers a lot of ground.

For the last four years I have presented the entire text in voice performance in Second Life (c) and it has given me a refreshed perspective. I now realize why there are people who do not feel their year is complete without some exposure to this story. Every time I read it, I find something new that touches me.

This year, I am developing an interactive virtual venue called The Dickens Project (because other names just became too damn cheesy) which is a beta version of a hopefully more expanded interactive project in the future. It is coming along well with a great group of folks involved from all over the world. It is based around a variety of live readings of A Christmas Carol as well as other works by Dickens.  Check it out!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Review of "Master of My Heart"

An Audible member in the UK posted this review, and I am happy to share it with his permission ... Thank you, Sir!

By John (Dunfermline, United Kingdom) Nov 20, 2012
"It is a real change to hear a story of this kind told in a warm mature voice. The interpretation of the story is wonderful; just as if you are listening to a woman telling of her own experiences.

"The story itself has a true to life feeling unlike any other I have experienced in this genre. There is no high living multi-millionaire Master in this tale but a typical middle class couple leading a real life.

"Listen and enjoy as I did!"

Master of My Heart by Marie Shore (Narrated by me) is available on Amazon in the U.S. as well, and on Audible. If you are into audio books, if you join Audible as a new member and this title is one of the first ones you choose, they kick back a little extra towards the creators. I'm just sayin'!

 NOTE:  This is story is of the erotica genre, and elements of it may not be for everyone.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Part 2: "The Heart of a Woman"

Now for the Lady's Perspective . . .

Georgia Douglas Johnson (1880 - 1966) was an American poet and a member of the Harlem Renaissance.  Johnson was born in Atlanta to Laura Douglas and George Camp. Her mother was of African and Native American descent, and her father was of African-American and English heritage.

Johnson graduated from Atlanta University's Normal School in 1896. On September 28, 1903, Johnson married Henry Lincoln Johnson, an Atlanta lawyer and prominent Republican party member. Johnson's husband accepted an appointment as the Recorder of Deeds from United States President William Howard Taft, and the family moved to Washington, D.C. in 1910.[2] It was during this period that Johnson began to write poems and stories. Johnson credits a poem written by William Stanley Braithwaite about a rose tended by a child, as her inspiration for her poems.

She began to submit her poems to newspapers and small magazines. She published her first poem in 1916 when she was thirty-six. She published four volumes of poetry, beginning in 1918 with The Heart of a Woman. Johnson also wrote songs, taught music, and performed as an organist at her Congregational church.

It is interesting to note that this poem inspired contemporary poet Maya Angelou, and her book of the same name takes its inspiration from Johnson's work.

Recording (c) 2012 by Judith Cullen
NOT for Commercial Use

Note: Pardon the blonde in the art, but the style and vibrancy of the color reminded me of the Harlem Renaissance, and that's why I chose it.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

COMING SOON in Ebook form for Kindle and Kindle Readers!

Coming in December just in time for Holiday Gift Giving: two ebooks of my own collected short stories.  Audio versions to follow in 2013.

Three Irish Tales ~ A trio of short stories inspired by Irish folklore and the author's own Irish family heritage. Includes the legends of the Bile Rath, the Far Liath, and a pesky pouka.

Reflections from The Golden Wheel"I'm not the first person to turn fifty. I am not likely to be the last either, but who knew that so much change would be part and parcel of clocking a half century?"  ...The Golden Wheel is a mix of fiction and non-fiction musings mirroring one woman's journey through the "wheel of the year" surrounding her fiftieth birthday.

I'm finally doing it!  I am finally publishing my own work.  Will post when these collections go on sale.  Might be that you know someone who might enjoy these.  It's a chance to support your local "maybe-not-so-starving-but-trying-to-pay-the-damn-utilities" artist.

Fabulous Illustrations by Micki McIntyre.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Part 1: "The Heart of a Woman"

In the midst of research I found two poems entitled The Heart of a Woman written by two poets both roughly writing at the same time on two different continents.  One a man who was the driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival, and the other a woman who was part of the Harlem Renaissance.  An Irishman, and an American.  Both poems are short, and I found the differences in perspective intriguing on a subject so legendarily chimerical.  So I recorded both.   Check back for the next post to get the other view.

For the Male Perspective . . .

William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939) An Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years he served as an Irish Senator for two terms. Yeats was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival and, along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, and others, founded the Abbey Theatre, where he served as its chief during its early years. In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as the first Irishman so honoured for what the Nobel Committee described as "inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation." Yeats is generally considered one of the few writers who completed their greatest works after being awarded the Nobel Prize; such works include The Tower (1928) and The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1929).

Recording (c) 2012 by Judith Cullen
NOT for Commercial Use

Thursday, November 15, 2012


My narration of Marie Shore's lovely story Master of My Heart went on sale last week and has sold copies even!

Master of My Heart features a couple reuniting after many years, and sharing their loving, respectful BDSM relationship - enjoining a journey through life together.  Master of My Heart is a wonderful mix of BDSM, erotica, and romance.

Now, for those of you who have known me a looonnnggg time it is important to note that this story is a Romance Erotica with BDSM elements in it. This may not be what you are prepared to hear, or a side of me you have thought much of.  If that is not your thing, or makes you uncomfortable you might want to skip it, or just not listen to Chapter 2.

It is a lovely story, and reminds us all that loving respectful relationships are not the soul province of what society seems to deem as "acceptable and traditional."  The recent elections in the US show that is changing on some fronts, but it will take time and lots more baby steps.  It does not matter what lifestyle you clothe it in: a relationship with mutual understanding, solid communication, heartfelt give-and-take, and a deep emotional connectivity are what we all desire.  We all want to be loved in that way. We all deserve to be.

Check out the link embedded in the titles if it interests you!  There is sample on the sales page if you want to listen to a bit.  Thanks for your continued support.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

NOVEMBER 14: "The Goblin Market" by Christina Rosetti ~ Conclusion

Yes!  Finally!  It's done, and you can hear the triumphal conclusion to Rosetti's poem.

It is a poem surrounded by differing (sometimes contradictory) controversies, and interpretations. It is intriguing to view those debates in the framework of the eras in which they occurred. If these interest you, I recommend visiting the Wikipedia article as a jumping off point for your explorations.  Thanks for all your patience with this odyssey!

The Goblin Market by Christina Rosetti ~ Part 5 ~ Conclusion

Recording (c) 2012 by Judith Cullen
NOT for Commercial Use

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

NOVEMBER 13: "The Goblin Market" by Christina Rosetti ~ Part 4

Good Lord!  What a difference a new hard drive can make! Now that we have most of the other bugs worked out we can get back to recording.  We WILL finish The Goblin Market!

Brave Lizzie goes to seek the Goblin men to save her sister Laura, who is dying from want of the Goblin fruit.  Here we have the second great "fruit assault" of the poem.

Tomorrow, the conclusion!

The Goblin Market ~ Part 4 by Christina Rosetti

Recording (c) 2012 by Judith Cullen
NOT for Commercial Use