Category Archives: Art

Pollyanna reads on Discworld, part 3

Lyda here.

I finally completed the seemingly-endless Reading on Discworld Challenge which was inspired by the books of Terry Pratchett. I wanted to read new books for the challenge, which is why it took me so long. Oh yeah, plus getting my masters. And life. I already reported here on the books I read for item #s 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, and 15, and here on the books I read for item #s 6, 8, 12 & 14.

These are the remaining parts of the challenge that I completed:

3. ‘Albert grunted. “Do you know what happens to lads who ask too many questions?” Mort thought for a moment. “No,” he said eventually, “what?” There was silence. Then Albert straightened up and said, “Damned if I know. Probably they get answers, and serve ‘em right.”’  Mort

Read a book about something you’ve always wondered about. What is string theory, really? Who was Deep Throat? And, now that we’re thinking about such things (y’all know you are)… How have attitudes and morals about sex varied and changed by country and era? (That book was my sister’s college graduation present to me – my first graduate course, she said.) Terry Pratchett book suggestions:  “Pyramids” (mathematics, philosophers, why camels look smug, and what really happens to mummies), “Monstrous Regiment” (why military intelligence isn’t always an oxymoron).

I read “The Walking Dead  – Compendium One” by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Tony Moore, and Cliff Rathburn.

What? I’ve always wondered about graphic novels – I had never really read any before – and specifically, I wondered about these graphic novels.

I love “The Walking Dead” TV series, and I knew from watching “The Talking Dead” that the graphic novels (on which the show is based) were different. Some of the characters and their character development are different, important plot points are completely different, and reading the graphic novels is a totally different experience from watching the show. They are both excellent, too.

7. ‘The three rules of the Librarians of Time and Space are: 1) Silence; 2) Books must be returned no later than the date last shown; and 3) Do not interfere with the nature of causality.’  Guards! Guards!

Go to the library and wander into an aisle you do not usually frequent. Pick a book from the shelf  and read it. One way to do this is to look in the new books section, and pick something from a category you don’t usually read. Just don’t interfere with the nature of causality while you’re there. Terry Pratchett book suggestions:  “Good Omens”, “Nation”.

I read “The Writing Diet: Write Yourself Right-Size” by Julia Cameron. (I actually bought this book, so I can use it over and over like her other books.) Y’all, I never ever read diet books. But this one is different. For one thing, it is written by one of my favorite authors, who wrote “The Artist’s Way” and many other awesome books about which I

just (blog post link #1)

won’t (blog post link #2)

shut (blog post link #3)

up (blog post link #4).

This book is really about expanding one’s creativity and shrinking one’s use of food as a block to emotions and creativity. It does not contain a food plan or rules. Instead, it give tools to use to explore one’s relationship to food and get free of old patterns and unhealthy habits. Those familiar with Julia Cameron’s work will recognize some of the tools, like Morning Pages, and find new tools, like keeping a food journal.

I’ll let you know how it goes as I try out the program.

13. ‘It may, however, help to explain why Gandalf never got married and why Merlin was a man. Because this is also a story about sex, although probably not in the athletic, tumbling, count-the-legs-and-divide-by-two sense unless the characters get totally beyond the author’s control. They might.’  Equal Rites

Read a book about sex, sexuality, and/or sexual politics. I think y’all can find one of these on your own. Terry Pratchett book suggestion:  “Equal Rites”, “Sourcery”.

I read “Are Men Necessary? When Sexes Collide” by Maurine Dowd. I wasn’t crazy about this book. Some of the science is out of date, and I didn’t agree with a lot of her conclusions. For example, she quotes a survey that found that 86% of women would quit their jobs if they didn’t need the money. This supposedly shows that women are less invested in their jobs than men are. But I immediately wanted to know: what percentage of men in equivalent jobs would quit if they didn’t need the money? I’m guessing it would be neck-and-neck.

But agreeing with her is not the point. She made me think, and that is the point. Plus, she is a good and occasionally funny writer. While discussing the ‘war between the sexes’ she says, “Will there ever be peace? I doubt it. But there should always be laughter.” And I’ll drink to that.

16. ‘To Rincewind’s annoyance the Luggage barreled after her, cushioning its fall by dropping heavily onto a slaver, and adding to the sudden panic of the invaders because, while it was bad enough to be attacked with deadly and ferocious accuracy by a rather pretty girl in a white dress with flowers on it, it was even worse for the male ego to be tripped up and beaten by a travel accessory; it was pretty bad for all the rest of the male, too.’  Sourcery

Read a book with an inanimate object as a character and/or an important part of the plot. Terry Pratchett book suggestions: “Sourcery”, or any of the books with the Luggage in them.

I read “Wizard’s First Rule” by Terry Goodkind. There is a sword that is essential to the plot, and is practically alive. Plus, there is a talking magical doll in it. I realize as I’m typing this that “talking magical doll” sounds really creepy, but in this story it actually isn’t. No, really.

17. ‘ “It would seem you have no useful skill or talent whatsoever,” he said.
“Have you thought about going into teaching?” ‘  Mort

Read a book that teaches you something. Something that will not come in handy in your everyday life. Learn something completely impractical.  Terry Pratchett book suggestion: “The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents” (you will find out more about rats than you ever thought there was to know).

I read “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! I feel as if I found my homeland – it is a land of truly weird stuff and wonderful off-kilter people, and Jenny is our leader. Also, I learned quite a lot of very bizarre and not-useful stuff, including things about taxidermy. See this post for my full review.

18. ‘… human beings, little bags of thinking water held up briefly by fragile accumulations of calcium…’  Pyramids


‘It’s not for nothing that advanced mathematics tends to be invented in hot countries. It’s because of the morphic resonance of all the camels, who have that disdainful expression and famous curled lip as a natural result of an ability to do quadratic equations.’  Pyramids


‘It is a popular fact that nine-tenths of the brain is not used and, like most popular facts, it is wrong… It is used. And one of its functions is to make the miraculous seem ordinary and turn the unusual into the usual.

‘Because if this was not the case, then human beings, faced with the daily wondrousness of everything, would go around wearing big stupid grins, similar to those worn by certain remote tribesmen who occasionally get raided by the authorities and have the contents of their plastic greenhouses very seriously inspected.’  Small Gods

Read something spiritual, mystical, mathematical, or amazing. Something that will remind you of how magic and unbelievable the universe and everything in it really is. Terry Pratchett book suggestions: “Small Gods”, “Good Omens”, “Wee Free Men”… really, any of his books.

I read “River Flow: New & Selected Poems” by David Whyte. I love his writing. It feeds my soul. I discovered his work at school, where several of his books are required reading. Which shows you how awesome my school is.

19. ‘He [Vimes] wasn’t strictly aware of it, but he treated even geography as if he was investigating a crime (Did you see who carved out the valley? Would you recognize that glacier if you saw it again?)’  The Fifth Elephant

Read a detective novel, a crime story, a mystery, or a thriller. Terry Pratchett book suggestions: “The Fifth Elephant”, “Thud!”.

I read “Warbreaker” by Brandon Sanderson. It’s not a traditional mystery, but it definitely fits the bill. The plot twists like a corkscrew, the characters are unique, the ending is surprising, and the world is fascinating.


I post about this so I can keep it straight in my own head. Which is a rather chaotic place sometimes. Witness the digressions…


Pollyanna is puzzled but philosophical

Today’s spam message reads:

“Breaking Your property Theater Are around Sound Layer”


Thoughts that spring from this:

  • Please don’t break my property theater…
  • whatever it is…
  • Wait…
  • Property is an illusion. Really, we own nothing.
  • So “property theater” could be a useful way of thinking about stuff.
  • Rather than holding onto the illusion that stuff is real and concrete…
  • I can think of stuff as part of the theater of this life.
  • The stuff is just set dressing.
  • It’s part of the play I’m choosing to experience right now.
  • It doesn’t matter if the stuff stays, goes, or changes.
  • Because the stuff is not real anyway.
  • So…
  • I can just let go of the theater of property.
  • I can still enjoy the stuff that comes into my life…
  • and just as easily let it go…
  • knowing that it is all theater.

Still pondering “sound layer”…

And speaking of illusions… and more illusions


Pollyanna drops names, not stitches

Lyda here. Well, okay, I drop stitches too. But this time, it’s about names.

Knitting attracts some fabulous folks.

Famous knitters in real life include Eleanor Roosevelt, Joan Crawford, and Katherine Hepburn.

Russell Crowe. (Do you think he’s really knitting? But how could I resist?)

Knitters on TV and in movies include Lucy & Ethel. And animated chickens.

And of course, there are knitters in art.

Our list would not be complete without including these two literary knitters. “…the best of knitters, the worst of knitters…”

The worst:  Not unskilled, but certainly the most evil – Madame Defarge of A Tale of Two Cities (shown here in a illustration from the novel)

My favorite parody is Cloris Leachman in History of the World – so poor she doesn’t have yarn, just needles. “We don’t even have a language! Just a stupid accent!”

The best of knitters:

Agatha Christy’s Miss Marple

(depicted here by the marvelous Julia MacKenzie)


Makes you want to pour a cuppa and knit with her, doesn’t it?

Pollyanna predicts Yarn Storms will continue

Lyda here.

Saturday was International Yarn Bombing Day. Yarn bombing

some prefer the less-violent terms:  yarn tagging,


yarn storming

(my personal favorite, like fiber is raining down from the sky

But I digress…)

is decking out public spaces in knitting, crocheting, and/or other yarn crafting. This is a fun form of temporary graffiti using fiber to warm up public spaces. Really, it has evolved into public art. Keep in mind that this might be illegal in your area. Even if it is okay with the property owners/ authorities, someone needs to be responsible for taking the yarn down later.

It can be as simple as putting a scarf on a statue, or as crazy-wonderful as covering a whole bus in knitting (see picture #13 in this gallery of yarn bomb pictures.)

Or even a whole building – check out LA’s Craft and Folk Art Museum:


covered in yarn courtesy of Yarnbombing Los Angeles. This installation will be displayed elsewhere in the city after it comes off the building, and will be turned into blankets for those in need.

Pittsburgh is spearheading “Knit the Bridge“, which will cover a bridge in panels of yarny goodness. Later the panels will be distributed to homeless shelters and such.

Check out this cheeky video of yarn bombing in Freeport, Maine. And this one of yarn bombers in Melbourne.

Look around – you may see evidence of yarn storms in your area this week.

“It’s rainin’ yarn… hallelujah… it’s rainin’ yarn…”

Pollyanna goes buggy

Lyda here.

Today, Google is celebrating the 366th birthday of Maria Sibylla Merian.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts says: “Using her keen observational skills, Maria Sibylla Merian revolutionized both botany and zoology.” Her drawings of insects and their life cycles were meticulous and detailed, and her scientific writing was ground-breaking. She traveled to observe insects in their natural habitats, which was radical for a natural scientist of that era and unheard-of for a woman.

She made even cockroaches beautiful:

More of her amazing art is here.


Pollyanna is encouraged

Lyda here.

Exciting – readership is up since I started posting regularly again. And apparently the new trend is to “like” a post instead of commenting.

But y’all know I had to check out some of their blogs. So here is a smattering, for y’all to check out as well.

In no particular order:

Hannah Jane is a writer, artist, and theater student. Her most recent post quotes this poem and speaks lyrically and with longing of Greece. Lovely blog!

When you have swam in the sea
a lake will no longer do;
everyone else was always a pond
but the ocean was always you
Tyler Knott Greggson]

Refined Quotes (or quotily) includes quotes, movie stills, and music clips. Like this one: They Are Night Zombies! 


Tell ’em Pollyanna sent you.