Monthly Archives: October 2013

Am I a Martian?

Am I a Martian?

I am a stranger amongst the others. I watch as they go about their business while I stand out like a dot of pepper in a salt factory.

I seek to learn about their culture… their thoughts… their habits. I want to absorb it all. I am authentic in my intentions, but I cannot be perfect. I know I am good at what I do; I just do it differently.

They don’t accept me. I am not like them. Out of boredom, I don’t always follow the rules. I stretch them to fit my own needs, and it works for me. Their rules – the petty ones that aren’t important in the whole scheme of things – are how they judge me. It’s not like I’ve hurt anyone or committed a crime, but they act as if I just killed their family. Just because I am different doesn’t give them the right to be so cruel and unforgiving and heartless.

The harmless things I do anger them, but it’s not like I am rude. Sometimes others do not like it when people are themselves. They would rather see us all as sheep following the inbred heard. They would rather us live like Hitler’s little slaves yay-saying to their every whim. How dreadfully dull and pathetic life would be!

Being different does not mean I am below them; I just happen to seek a different path. If it were a different world in which we communicate they dare not ever treat me that way to my face. But the screen in which they hide behind acts as a mask and allows them to become one of the Dark Ones, even if only for a brief period of time.

I am only human… or am I?

Shannon's Creative Work: ARTOGRAPHY &emdash;

Does anyone really listen?

I could sit and write or talk all day long, but I get the feeling that no one is really listening. In fact, the only time I talk is when I’m at work, because my job requires me to speak – and even then I constantly have to repeat myself because many don’t listen. People would rather look at pictures or play on their iPhones or watch some blabbing noisy television.

Other than that, I’ve mostly stopped expressing myself, because I don’t feel that anyone really cares enough what I have to say. I would be surprised if one person that knows me personally actually reads this.

Shannon's Creative Work: Artography of ANGELS &emdash; Angel of Sound

Angel of Sound

Inspirational Poster: Manifesting

“Manifest your inner power and wisdom… your spiritual growth and abilities.”

~ Shannon Hart 

Working on what we want for ourselves spiritually isn’t as difficult as it seems. We are in charge of our own destinies. Our thoughts and words are powerful tools that can manifest our desires and abilities, which is why we must be careful of that which we are creating.

Click to order poster or other product – (will not have watermark).

Finding Treasures: Griffin & Sabine

Thrift stores are always having book sales, and since I am a book lover, they are the best place to find some great reads. I found this little treasure called Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence by Nick Bantock. It is finely illustrated in post-card format, so the reader isn’t following a typical paragraph-type of book. It is sort of a pop-up type of book, but instead of things popping up, envelopes open to reveal letters written between the two characters Griffin and Sabine. This book is like reading letters found in an old drawer between two people you’ve never met – but with a surprise twist at the end. The book sells on Amazon for about $13. The price I paid? $1.

Dream Journal Symbolism: Reality Show Mothers and Hair

A few years ago when my daughter was in high school and I was having difficulty explaining that my rules are as is, and I didn’t care what other mother’s rules are. I don’t care what other people think; it’s my life and my family, and I will do it my way.

Then I had this dream:

I was at the beach with a friend from high school. A huge wave came and took something or someone (I think it was a baby). The dream switched and I was at a reality show about mothers and daughters getting makeovers. My hair was turning brown and caramel. All of the other mothers were redheads. There were college boys in a trailer near us. I was the only mother that stayed back to watch everything in the show while the others went off and did their own thing. Still waiting to be picked for a makeover, I went to the trailer and saw a room where my daughter had slept. The bed was made.

This was a difficult dream for me to interpret at the time, because I didn’t understand the reality show portion of it. The huge wave coming and taking something – if in fact it was a baby – was probably representative of my own child, even though she was no longer a baby. She was still my baby. The fact that all of the other mothers had red hair and I did not said that I was different from them. Also different were my actions, because while I was observing things they were nonchalant in doing their own thing. This is exactly how it played out in real life.
Shannon's Creative Work: SELF PORTRAITS &emdash; Family Portrait - 2005

Finding Treasures: Raggedy Ann & Andy

When I was a kid I collected dolls. Actually, I collected dolls when I was adult, too, but had to sell them off to free up some space. I’ve recently become fascinated with dolls again, either making them myself or taking their photos. Not long ago I had to research rag dolls, which is probably what has sparked my interest in them again.

On another note, I am a huge bargain hunter. I like to buy really cool things for as little as possible. I’m not a big fan of bargaining, however, but if the price is right – I am on it!

This is one of my latest garage sale finds. I don’t know if Raggedy Ann and Andy here were handmade or authentic, but Andy’s clothes have an actual tag. They both need some TLC, but the price I paid for them – whether or not they are the genuine article – couldn’t be beat. When kids come to play, the $2 I spent on this couple makes it worthwhile!

Raggedy Ann & Andy

Raggedy Ann


Needs TLC

Grimm’s Fairy Tales – Sexual Innuendos, Weak & Evil Females

I took an online course taught by University of Michigan professor Eric Rabkin. Fantasy & Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World. Our first assignment was to read Grimm’s Children’s and Household Tales (Lucy Crane translation with Walter Crane illustrations) and write a themed essay of 270-320 words.

Shannon's Creative Work: PARANORMAL PROJECT &emdash; History Repeats

Several of the Grimm stories contain sexual innuendos and exhibit female characters as either weak or evil. In the weaker female character versions, they can only be saved by a male.

In “The Rabbit’s Bride”, the female character (maiden) is both lonely and gullible. The male character (rabbit) lures the maiden to sit on his tail, which is clearly a sexual pun, and the gullible maiden agrees to run off with the rabbit to get married. Likewise, the female character (mouse) in “Cat & Mouse in Partnership” is both gullible and weak. She believes her male (cat) partner’s lies and in the end becomes his victim when he no longer wants her to speak. The weak and gullible female (princess) character in “Faithful John” is taken by the merchant upon false pretenses after he opens his coat and shows her his “golden wares”, which could be yet another sexual innuendo. Even after being fooled, the princess still marries the King and later believes the lies he tells her.

“Clever Grethel” lives up to her name. She is conniving with both her gullible male master (who is perhaps her husband) and his guest. Giving that she is cooking two “cocks”, it may be suggested that the guest is someone with whom Grethel is having an affair.
Shannon's Creative Work: PARANORMAL PROJECT &emdash; Out of the Darkness

Some of the stories contain both a weak and an evil female character. While the princess in “The Goose Girl” is too weak to fend for herself against the wicked waiting-woman, in the end it is a male character that saves her. “The Raven” is another example of a story in which the main female character (princess) can only be saved by a male, and the male is deceived and drugged by an evil female (old woman) to keep him from rescuing the princess.

5 Must-Have Books (and exercises) for Every Writer

Reach for the sky

This was published in Flash Fiction Chronicles a few years ago:

Five Must-Have Books (and Exercises) For Every Writer

The Art of Peter Saul – Criminal Medicine

When I was a student at Florida State University, I had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing artist Peter Saul. At the time, he was 63 years old and an instructor at the University of Texas. After seeing his work at FSU’s art museum, I was inspired! There was so much detail and elements of story that I knew I just had to write my art education term paper on this awesome artist. This is a portion of my paper and interview concerning his work Criminal Medicine.

The art created by Peter Saul reflects the images of surrealism, pop art, and abstract expressionism. His use of distorted gesture and unrealistic figures imitate the style of surrealists; his bright fluorescent colors and cartoonish style represents the work of pop artists; and his abstract figures mirror the abstract expressionists. Saul’s subject matter usually includes social or psychological issues. Viet Nam became the subject of Saul’s work in the 60s. Some of the artist’s work came from a personal level, such as his “Self-Portrait”. Saul has exhibited his work all over the world, including France, Switzerland (Bibliography) and at Florida State University.

Criminal Medicine, one of Saul’s pieces located in the Florida State University’s permanent collection, was painted with oil on acrylic in 1966. Like his other works, Criminal Medicine is filled with symbols of its time – the 1960s – the flower power, Vietnam era. This piece’s symbolism involves an objection to the war that was so devastating – and so objected – to so many people. Criminal Medicine is about the power the United States’ soldiers had over the Viet Namese. There are chemistry tubes and vials labeled “race mixer” and “criminal medicine”, a U.S. Army sergeant, a female figure with a hat, a house, protruding eyes, musical notes, a cross with an army coat nailed to it, and the word “adultery” labeled nearby a female figure with an embryo in her womb. She sun is shown in different phases: smiling empty-eyed and not smiling. The subjects are overlapped, and the cartoonish colors include bright pink, orange, yellow, green, and silver, with bright and military shades of green and blues. Saul’s style in this artwork is tightly pieced together with black outlining the colors.

Criminal Medicine takes on a deconstructionist attitude, with its contradictions in the social setting. It represents what was behind the scenes of the destructive war – prejudice, pregnancy, and prayer. The racism between both countries was prevalent. The soldiers were impregnating women before they’d leave the country, and there were people praying for their lives to be saved probably more than ever.

In his interview, Saul says that there is a lot of psychology involved in Criminal Medicine. The sun is a curious item in the painting, with its spacey smile on one side and its melancholy look on the other. Perhaps the artist was trying to remind himself that it was still the age of LSD, despite what was happening across the world. Ironically, Saul claims to have never taken LSD or any drug (Interview), although his work appears to be “trippy”.

(Note: LSD was banned in ’66 when this painting was completed.) (“Political Paintings”).

For more information about this piece at Florida State University’s Museum of Fine Art, visit:

Owning Your Power & Healing

Owning your power can be a scary process, because oftentimes we don’t understand just how powerful we are.

“Enough is enough,” I told myself one day. I had to teach myself that no matter what, I must refuse relationships that are no longer beneficial to my spiritual well being – even if it means excluding family members and outdated friends.

Being raised in a controlling and manipulative environment, I had learned that I had no power. My power belonged to someone else. If I knew in my heart that something was the color blue, I was told that it was red, and I was forced to acknowledge that it was red even against my own honor. The environment would then be manipulated enough so that things would appear red, and then I would question my own sanity and doubt myself. This type of behavior followed me into adulthood, and it caused many issues in relationships and other situations. I doubted myself many times when I should not have. I didn’t trust myself, and I didn’t trust my own instincts, and I found myself in many, many abusive situations that caused much heartache.

Shannon's Creative Work: Cats &emdash;

Take Back Your Power

It was a learned behavior, but I was determined to unlearn it all in order to become the person that I was meant to be and to heal once and for all. What has been ingrained in your life over several years can sometimes take several more years to unlearn. Years of therapy and self-help books and seminars are a good start, but most importantly, the support received from those around us is the foundation of our healing system. Finding the right “family”, so to speak, is where self-healing truly begins. Acknowledging our power and practicing using it goes right along with that first step. Knowing that we can change our own lives by using that power is a freedom that we all deserve.

However, there are other obstacles to overcome in the process. Once I reclaimed my power, those that I had released from my life didn’t take kindly to it. They provoked, prodded, accused, blamed, and hurled insults at me. I became their dartboard for all of their own problems because I chose to step away and refuse to tolerate their abusive behavior. I was tested time and time again with the same types of people and situations until I learned not to react, which is a very difficult lesson to learn. It was then that I was finally no longer a part of that wicked cycle of drama.

During my own personal process of reclaiming my power, a new friend with an old soul confided in me about her own similar situation. “When one person changes her behavior, the others that are a part of the group get upset because now they must also change. And no one likes change!” she told me. Her truth resonated in me and helped me to see my own situation in a bigger perspective.

After a few years, some of these people finally started to understand my position, because they were forced to change as well. That’s when relationships began to heal, and my power became stronger, because then I realized it was respected. Owning my power is still a process, because unlearning something isn’t overnight or even a few weeks. It can sometimes be years of learning, but once you start, it feels great.