Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Of Seaplanes, Lake Keuka, Discovery, and maybe Happenstance







The decision was made this past Saturday morning. We would re-visit Hammondsport, NY voted the “Coolest Small Town in America” in 2012. Lisa Brennan and I have been in the village a few times before but only learned of the “coolest” designation on this last visit.



The road trip idea centered around a pleasant drive along Keuka one of the Finger Lakes; arrive in Hammondsport and have something to eat and drink at the Village Tavern Inn, a noted local establishment that features 99 beers on the wall (actually more than that including drafts and bottles) complemented by an eclectic menu, and afterwards, window shopping (with possible purchases,) the small, unique retail and antique shops along the village’s common square. Once there and starting our stroll, we were shocked that the annual Seaplane Festival was occurring that day.


A few years ago, we stumbled on the festival celebrating seaplanes but missed the take offs, fly around parade, and landings. This year, we stumbled on the festival again. After a delightful lunch at the Inn [with a couple of glasses of a local chardonnay,] we walked down to Keuka Lake’s beachfront and witnessed the remaining parts of the seaplane show. 


Bill Berry & Lisa Brennan
While we were minding our own business, walking around and admiring parked seaplanes, a distinguished person unexpectedly approached us; offered to take a photo of us near a parked seaplane, and explained that he was an independent filmmaker and enjoyed taking pictures for other folk. After our surprise, acceptance, and thanks, a conversation ensued.

We learned that he was a Vietnam era veteran, writer, and filmmaker who hoped to do his next film around this air to lake to land and eventual lift-off back into the lake then take-off to air festival. He shared that he was originally from Rochester, NY and had lived in Hammondsport for more than 20 years. We shared aaduna. To cut to the chase, after cordial conversation and several laughs, he offered a gift. Told us what it was. We were surprised.


We eventually sauntered off to his car to retrieve the gift.


Once there, he signed a copy of his 2015 book. An unexpected partnership and collaboration started to germinate.


He was a writer and independent filmmaker. He spoke fluent Spanish that he learned while serving America in the Navy. His spirit exhumed graciousness, joviality, a keen understanding of the human spirit, and an enriched vitality for life even as he carried the cloak of being a disabled veteran.


His name…Terry Nardone.

bill berry and Terry Nardone


His book, Tin Can Treason, Recollections from a combat tour of Vietnam.

A member of the US Navy’s crew on the destroyer USS Bordelon, after his discharge, Mr. Nardone was diagnosed with “one of the worst cases of post-traumatic stress disorder .…” But his story goes beyond his post-discharge diagnosis.

Nardone captures the concept and actuality of what war does to an individual from the onset of recruitment to discharge to becoming a civilian, again, and all things in between. He shares the complexities of serving in a division of the US military, the perils, friendships, rewards, and risks. Truth be told, his book may be a cautionary and eye-opening tale of perseverance and service; his story transcending what you might expect as a reader. Terry subtly shares the peculiar nuances of military thinking and behavior. He opens the curtains for those of us who never donned a military uniform or gave up our individual will to support the objectives, greater good and overriding welfare of a pre-determined group governed by a leadership, commanding class.

Terry Nardone complemented and enriched our visit to Hammondsport. He gave us a different glimpse into the tucks and folds of an American village and its residents. The subtleties of the well-to-do who reside in magnificent lakefront homes, as well as the several hundred other folks who call the village home, and others who reside in the other lakefront year-round homes. More importantly, Terry shared his personality as a writer. And we appreciate all that he shared and gave.


For further info about how to get a copy of his book, write him via tonardo@roadrunner.com


I suspect you will enjoy his story and reflect on it for a log time to come!




 *   *   *
aaduna - a timeless exploration into words and images - is a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.





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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Opportunity seems to knock once. Either you open the door or ignore it is up to you.

inderConNYC (http://nyc.bindercon.com/) is a professional development conference scheduled for October 29-30, 2016 at Cooper Union, a higher education institution located in New York City in the Manhattan neighborhood of the East Village.  This conference seeks to help women and gender non-conforming writers gain the tools, strategies, and connections they need to advance their careers.

Linda González (photo provided)


This year for the first time, a Speed Coaching program will be held on October 29th, co-curated by aaduna contributor Linda Gonz├ílez and also by Minal Hajratwala. Their focus will be to empower and help level the playing field for writers who are working through dynamics of power and exclusion in the publishing industry. Read more here: http://nyc.bindercon.com/session/speed-coaching-2/

Sign up for scholarship recipients began Sept 7th and on Sept 14th the sign- up sheet became public on the website for any ticket holder to register.

For further info, reach out to Linda Gonzalez:

Life Coach/Writer/Facilitative Consultant
510-593-4685
Skype: ginateotli


Check out her latest “Mothering as Legacy" essay: http://www.raisingmothers.com/

You can also find Ms. Gonzalez’s contribution in aaduna via this link: http://aaduna.org/spring2016/nonfiction/linda-gonzalez/




 *   *   *
aaduna - a timeless exploration into words and images - is a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.





Help us build community!  Share with your friends,  "like" our Aaduna-Inc facebook page and follow us on twitter @ aadunaspeaks !  


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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Have Camera-Will Travel

Okay, if you are of a certain age, you know I fudged the title for this particular blog from a popular American western TV series titled, “Have Gun-Will Travel” that was broadcast on CBS from 1957-1963.

I was a big/hero worshiping/pretending to be him fan when playing cowboys with my young friends.  Of course, my toy western cap guns strapped in a holster on each side of my waist, enhanced my role playing.   


The TV “hero” was a gun for hire called Paladin.  Dressed in black. Black horse.  All studs on human and horse, silver.  Acted by Richard Boone, the mustached Paladin was no nonsense, focused, determined, and a gunslinger.

The show had 225 episodes and 24 of those segments were written by Gene Roddenberry.  I mention that little trivia because a few years later, Mr. Roddenberry created the seminal “Star Trek” series.  I bet a lot of “trekkies” did not know that fact…maybe I am wrong, but…. Let’s move on and…

Flash forward to contemporary times. 

Many of us travel with phones and/or cameras to document our daily experiences especially vacation trips.  Fueled by Instagram, Facebook and other social media sites, we suppose that our travel photos are of instant importance to family, friends, and others.  Some of us even perceive our photos as relevant “art” depending on what we try to capture in the lens.      

The adventurer, legit travel photographer, the artist existing in another locale different from what is regarded as home, often captures experiences that easily fall within the arena of photographic documentation, and even more importantly, as exciting visual art.

So, what is my point?

C Evans Mylonas has her Namibian photographs on display at Arizona State University’s Downtown Campus (Phoenix,) University Center Building. The exhibit is called Land, Sea and Sky and will be up until December 1, 2016. The exhibit is free and features other local artists, so swing by if you happen to be in that region of the United States. 
C Evans Mylonas (photo provided) - Intrigued by this photo?  See Christina’s  gallery exhibition in aaduna's spring 2016 issue for further artist information to put this photo in proper perspective.

Mylonas, a humanitarian, is a world traveler.  She knows and understands the potency and power of the camera; maintains a keen and detailed eye for what is captivating and awe-inspiring, and appreciates the nuances of visual art from the viewer’s perspective.  A recent aaduna contributor, we will continue to take pride in Christina’s photographic art.  If you missed her presence with us, here is the link http://aaduna.org/spring2016/gallery/the-borders-gallery/

Between now and December 1, if you are traveling to the area of her exhibition, check it out.  She captivated us.  She will do the same for you!





 *   *   *
aaduna - a timeless exploration into words and images - is a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.





Help us build community!  Share with your friends,  "like" our Aaduna-Inc facebook page and follow us on twitter @ aadunaspeaks !  


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Monday, September 5, 2016

A HOLIDAY STORY

Throughout the world, regardless of culture and beliefs, there are celebrations and festivities centered on annual holidays, which are traditions embraced by the people who live in that particular country. Usually marked by parades, speeches, religious observations, and family gatherings, holidays give people a short reprieve from the mundane, daily rigors of living Life. 

In the United States, today, Monday, September 5th is Labor Day.

"Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of [the United States.]"


aaduna has a brief holiday story to share that speaks to the journal’s soul, and the specialness and perseverance of the human spirit.

Jen Soriano (photo provided)

Jen Soriano submitted work to aaduna on February 28 of this year. In her cover letter she shared, 



I discovered your journal not long ago and very much admire your commitment to supporting, publishing and promoting emerging writers and writers of color.  

I am a Filipina-American emerging writer who has yet to publish in a literary magazine.  I have been a journalist and communications worker for about 15 years, but have only recently given myself permission to commit to writing from "the messiness of my psyche," as one of my creative writing teachers has said.  I write personal essays about what I can't forget.  I am currently enrolled in an MFA program through the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University.

I am submitting two essays for consideration for the Summer 2016 issue of Aaduna.  The first is a short essay or prose poem called "Razing Boys," the second is a lyric essay called "Making the Tongue Dry".  



Well, aaduna finally responded with a positive publication decision on July 18th

Now, this is where this story gets poignant and interesting.  Remember Jen’s statement about being an “emerging writer who has yet to publish in a literary magazine.”

Through ongoing communication with her, we found out that “Making the Tongue Dry” received a confirmed publication decision from another journal and was no longer available.  Jen had a publication pending before we could be the first to publish her.  She had informed us a few months earlier, but we “missed” that notice. 

We congratulated her and wished that we had been quicker. 

“Razing Boys” is now available in aaduna’s summer 2016 issue that was officially released last night at 9:29 PM (Sunday, September 4th!)

Go to www.aaduna.org and Click on Current Issue. 

But Ms. Soriano’s summer journey with aaduna was not over.

bill berry, aaduna’s publisher, still wanted to extol the vibrancy of the creative non-fiction piece that was simply titled “Making the Tongue Dry” knowing that our policy is to only present unpublished work.

Working with a gracious and cooperative Jen, and through the generosity of the work’s publisher, Blue Lyra Review, aaduna shares a segment of “Making…” to celebrate Jen Soriano’s publication accomplishment(s)…from never being published to a few publication credits now under her belt!



1.

          I’ve blown a bubble, and rather than chase it with the wand, I catch it on my tongue where it stays – plump, seductive, shining – till it bursts.

          My infant son shrieks with delight, claps for more.  Is this a natural human impulse, to desire bubbles even though they burst? 

          The residue has left an acrid dryness on my tongue.  I run the kitchen faucet, cock my head to catch sips of the stream. 

          Rinse. Spit. Repeat. A dozen washes, but the bitterness remains.    

          Faucet shut, I walk with baby on hip to our balcony.  In the harsh afternoon light, we quietly watch the surface of Puget Sound recede.




The full version of “Making the Tongue Dry” is forthcoming in the Fall/Winter 2016 edition of Blue Lyra Review.   And we appreciate that publication’s spirit in enabling us to share a portion of Jen’s work with you.

Jen’s work and bio in aaduna is available via this linkhttp://aaduna.org/summer2016/non-fiction/jen-soriano/

Have a great holiday!


Stay creative,

bill




 *   *   *
aaduna - a timeless exploration into words and images - is a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.





Help us build community!  Share with your friends,  "like" our Aaduna-Inc facebook page and follow us on twitter @ aadunaspeaks !  


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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

When big things come in small packages…

we are surprised. We are also surprised when a little information turns out to be more than what we bargained for especially if it is “all good.” 

Prarthana Banikya (photo provided)
Prarthana Banikya thrilled us with her elegant and graceful poetry in aaduna’s spring 2016 anniversary issue.  A few weeks ago, she told us what she has been up to while doubting if we would be interested in sharing her update with you.  Translation: she is quite humble.

Now stay with me as I pave the path…smallness does often lead to bigger things.

Well, our sisterfriend Prarthana is currently taking a course in poetry writing from the London School of Journalism.  She is also exploring other forms of writing and experimenting with personal essays.  Now, if that info was the small package, an excerpt of her recent unpublished poem is up on her blog, http://prarthanabanikya.blogspot.com/ and is titled “Letters from Ziro.” 

Surprise!

The poem and the blog constitute the big package.   

Don’t think so?

Check the blog out from top to bottom, and if it is not chock full of pleasantries, take me to task for hoodwinking you.  Betcha you can’t!

Oh, her colleagues at aaduna like her cool “head” gear on her blog photo.





 *   *   *
aaduna - a timeless exploration into words and images - is a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.





Help us build community!  Share with your friends,  "like" our Aaduna-Inc facebook page and follow us on twitter @ aadunaspeaks !  


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Friday, August 26, 2016

When we were ignorant…

Out of the blue, I started to reflect on my primary education through to high school and how educators taught about Africa, and what was available in school books. 

Africa was a homogeneous “country” instead of a continent that comprised a multitude of countries, cultures, and ethnicities rich in socio-economic, religious, and health maintenance beliefs.  Back then, “Africans” (everyone was an African and not a citizen of a specific country) were savages with bones through their noses and scantily clad or half-naked women instead of a region marked by kingdoms, scholars, dynasties, complex civilizations, and lasting gifts to world knowledge.  Africa was dark, the land of Tarzan, King Kong, pygmies, apes, and the breeding ground for popular world-wide racist attitudes.  “Go back to Africa” is a phrase that many African-Americans of a certain age heard incessantly by people who were raised in ignorance and misplaced privilege based on white skin. 

Anyway, I will figure out why these thoughts entered my world while I thought about how to introduce you to Nzekwe Favour-bell, a contributor to aadunas summer 2016 issue.

Nzekwe Favour-bell (photo provided)



Favour-bell hails from Nigeria and brings a critical voice to the genre of fiction. Maybe his work and country triggered my thoughts. Dunno…especially since he illuminates the diverse richness of Nigerian culture and adds his embryonic voice to the expanding and strong literary scene in his country.

Nonetheless, here is the opening to his story, “Dead End:

I rub my chin.  It is the third time I do this. I am becoming drowsy and light headed. I need to go home right now despite beckoning calls from my playmates.  I will ignore them I decide. I put my head on the pale orange desk in front of me. I listen to my pulse.  It reverberates against the nape of my neck, my head has this reoccurring thud, thud, thud!!! It rings louder.  Doors are jammed, a crowd in stampede.  Girls are chattering and laughing wildly. I am in a stadium where the spectators chant “Ola!!! Ola!!!” that rises and drifts across the four directions of the wind. Then it is my first day in the museum and I am on a roller coaster.  Its wheels round. I am wheezing alongside the rushing gust of wind. Without hesitation, I grab the legs of the desk for support. Someone taps me. These girls wouldn’t let me be.  I hiss inwardly but contrastingly I see a warmer face which suddenly turns cold, alarmed. I guess.

“Sick?

“Yes,” I reply wearingly.

“Then you should go home.”

His words pumps adrenaline into my system, but it is short lived because as I lift myself up, I fall back again.
             


Finish reading this story when we launch aaduna's summer issue…coming at you soon!


And please stay mindful of the contemporary illusions, misconceptions, distortions and falsehoods regarding cultures and ethnicities that may be different from yours. Years from now, we do not want our children and others throughout the world to regard our global generation as ignorant. 








 *   *   *
aaduna - a timeless exploration into words and images - is a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.





Help us build community!  Share with your friends,  "like" our Aaduna-Inc facebook page and follow us on twitter @ aadunaspeaks !  


aaduna-Inc aaduna-Inc  Visit regularly for updates !




Thursday, August 25, 2016

When was the last time you were left speechless?

Routinely, at aaduna, we have something to say either via the blog, Twitter, Facebook or the available or pending issues.  However, I do remember when the cavalcade of words became an erupting volcano with superlatives cascading all over the place and then an unexpected silence.  You do become speechless when words no longer convey what you want or need to say.  The reason for this stupefying silence was when a young photographer submitted her work to us. 

Eleanor Leonne Bennett, (Photo on file/aaduna contributor Summer 2012)

In 2012, Eleanor Leonne Bennett was an award winning photographer and a wunderkind for her age (16).  aaduna, at that point, was an embryonic online journal trying to manifest our mission to be multi-cultural, diverse, multi-generational, edgy, and somewhat traditional.  Eleanor grabbed our attention and we presented her work in  aaduna's summer 2012 issue/The Kuta Gallery.  We recently re-visited with Ms. Bennett and once again words cannot readily convey her accomplishments.  So, we will not try.  However…
We strongly encourage you to take the time and visit her links ESPECIALLY www.eleanorleonnebennett.com  Bennett’s site tells you more about her then we can.
She is a jewel and you do want to be able to say you knew her and her work.
 Here is some additional information on Eleanor.
Joined as the Content Executive for Agency @magnafication
Eleanor’s twitter: @artandcontent


Eleanor Leonne Bennett is an early aaduna contributor and we still value what she does to make the world of visual arts that much more exciting and stimulating!






 *   *   *
aaduna - a timeless exploration into words and images - is a globally read, multi-cultural, and diverse online literary and visual arts journal established in 2010.  Visit us at www.aaduna.org where we put measurable actions to our words.





Help us build community!  Share with your friends,  "like" our Aaduna-Inc facebook page and follow us on twitter @ aadunaspeaks !  


aaduna-Inc aaduna-Inc  Visit regularly for updates !