What will you create today?

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2014… so what’s new?

The first three weeks of this year have been like a runaway train: out of control, picking up speed, full of breathless moments.

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So… what is new?

I’ve decided that this year I’m going to do a weekly book review, usually a romance novel but not exclusively. Looking to make it a Friday event, letting readers find something new for the weekend.

I plan to continue the weekly movie review and the weekly art spot, plus my posts about gratitude.

What do I need to know? Which movies you might want be to include, the romantic movies I’ve overlooked. The artists or artworks you think I’ve missed. The romantic novels I might need to review for you. Bring ’em on, readers!

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 30,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 11 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

August = Romance

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Apparently, August 2013 is both National Romance Awareness Month and National Read a Romance Month… which is sadly news to me today, August 12.

Clearly, all of us need to a/ be more romantic and b/ read more romances. I wonder if B is easier than A? or if B would lead to better A?

I’ll be celebrating my dual month of romance by writing more pages of my work-in-progress. How about you?

Photographer Tina Modotti

Tina Modotti was a working photographer who has become mostly forgotten by everyone except photography buffs.

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However, she had a brilliant modern eye for her medium. Her choice of subjects is quite significant, too, and sets Modotti apart from many of her period’s peers.

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Modotti was an actress and an acvitist as well as a photographer; her turn toward socialism and Communism, specifically the rise of socialist causes in Mexico, defined her career. In 1921, she met photographer Edward Weston, which was the relationship that defined her personal and political lives; she was first his favorite model, then his lover, then his colleague. By 1923 Modotti had moved to Mexico with Weston and one of his children. Four years later she was a member of the Mexican Communist Party, friends (or lovers) with key party officials and artists, including Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. In 1930 she was deported and exiled by the Mexican government.

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This was also the end of her photography career, but the blossoming of her career as a spy for the Soviets. In 1936 at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War she traveled to there with her lover Vittorio Vidali; they stayed and worked for the revolution for the next three years.

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Modotti returned to Mexico, her adopted home, in 1939 under a false name. She remained there until her death at age 46 in 1942, perhaps under suspect circumstances. She is buried in Mexico City.

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Modotti’s photographs of Mexican peasant life and of modern images are, finally, much more interesting to me than her portraits of leftist leaders and marches.