Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Sad Day in Etsy Land

I did something today that I'd never dreamt I would do. I closed my Etsy shop.

I opened my Twitter page to find a blog that opened my eyes. I learned that there was a seller on there peddling cards that should offend everyone.


Never mind that the seller Youstupidbitch was marketing cards that poked fun of having breast cancer, congratulating people on having a child with Down Syndrome, or being sexually violated, the bigger deal is that after hundreds of emails and product reports, Etsy appears to condone it.

I have been on FaceBook all day. I have been on Twitter. I have read messages from moms that would make you weep.

Tonight I read from the people protesting these products, from people who took the proper channels, from people who were making a concerted effort to go about the matter in the right way, that they are being threatened to have their FaceBook accounts removed and that Etsy is removing their negative remarks from the forums.

Well, my aquarian knickers are in a knot. I like to think that artists are better people than this, that Etsy is better than this. And while I may be taking an economical hit to the pocketbook, I won't truck with companies that say it is ok to
laugh about the weak, the ill and the sexually exploited.

I hope others will complain, even if they get a standard form letter reply, even if they get threatened or bullied, because I like to think that artists have souls.

Good night, Etsy.

Joanne Harper

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Disgusted Cats on Psychic Radio

As many of you already know, I have been hard at work on a series of historical novels for the last three years. I have recently edited the first book, Never Brought to Mind, down to 110,000 words, a big six week project.

I was posting something on Twitter the other day and saw that they were giving free psychic readings on Psychic Radio A1R. Well, I have been wondering about these stories of mine for a while, as the most odd and coincidental things keep coming up about these two tales.

First of all, the whole concept of book one began with a dream, a dream I couldn't forget. It was disturbing, about a younger me in a romantic situation with a man dressed like my father used to be. The whole thing set me to wondering what would be the consequences if a man fell in love with someone who turned out to be his biological daughter. The notion haunted me for three years, until I started writing the story.

I decided the main character should be a doctor. He would lose his wife in childbirth, after he, himself, delivered his infant daughter. Guilt-ridden and distraught, he cannot function, much less care for a new baby. He places the child for adoption, on the condition that his best friend never mention the child again.

I had just written the chapter above when I happened to have a casual conversation with a woman in a store line to the cash register. She had just written a book and it was about how her mother hemmorhaged in childbirth and she, herself, had been rather a miracle to survive. That was the first of the oddness.

I had written about a brothel called The Montgomery House. I then set out to write about a train wreck. My characters would be returning from Atlantic City, New Jersey to rural Pennsylvania. I Googled to learn about some real crashes. The very first wreck that came up was about a passenger train, returning with cars crammed full of holiday travelers from the Jersey shore, that split a milk train. This was strange enough, but among the fatalities was a hotelier who owned a place called The Montgomery House.

OK, can you see how I might think this was getting strange? Anyway, things like this continued to happen throughout the writing of the first book. This summer I was snapping photos for my paintings of cemeteries and took a shot. When I looked back at the stone, I saw that the man had my mom's maiden name, Zell. My people came from the next county. The man lived about the same time as my character.

I uploaded my photograph to the computer and saw that he had an MD next to his name. Alright, this is giving me the heebee jeebies! I googled him and learned that he went to the University of Pennsylvania in the 1880s, like my character. Further research revealed that there was a family of Zells buried there, from which four brothers were all doctors. One was named Edwin or Edward M. Zell with a wife Lydia. Gulp! My main character is Edward Michael and his wife was Lydia.

My second story has a character named Emmory. E. M. Zell had a brother named Emmor E. Much of my story takes place in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. Doctor E. M. Zell lived near Fairmount, Lancaster County.

Now I'm beginning to wonder if I'm channeling dead people or writing about a past life!

So, here I am on Psychic radio asking about my novels: Wanna listen to the show? You can go to the page and click on the heading "ARCHIVE", I am on Psychic Gumbo, October 7th. I am the first one on after the special guest. LOL, I have to go listen, because I was so nervous and couldn't remember everything she said!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What to Wear to the Sock Hop!

OK, when I saw this I simply had to share it! A sock monkey gown, can you believe it? Isn't it fabulous? You can find it here:


As well as this one on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/53055688@N00/1262167950

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New Clara Painting In-Progress

I started a new Mournful Clara pumpkin lady painting tonight. I got pretty far with it:

Sunday, October 3, 2010

What I'd Love to Wear to the Ball

The venue:

The necklace:

The hat:

The dress:

I'm having fun looking on eBay and trying to put together a costume for the Grave Digger's Ball, Laurel Hill Cemetery's dinner and dance to be held at the Crystal Tearoom in Philadelphia.

I have picked out the dress, and hopefull I can get the necklace and hat, too. Shoes? Now what to do for shoes?