Client Spotlight: Alaska or Bust w/ @ErmaOdrach

Erma Odrach.png

Erma Odrach is the author of Alaska or Bust, a collection of short stories about one of the world’s last frontiers–Alaska and the Yukon. I admit I went through an Alaska phase after reading Erma’s book and binged on Alaska reality shows till it was past my bedtime. Living off the grid always appealed to me, but it takes a certain type of person to thrive in Alaska and the Yukon. Erma used to live there herself and I wanted to know all about it. She was kind enough to tell us more about her fascinating life and work. Read on!


P. Sloterdijk – The Art of Philosophy

This describes me (though I’m still working on shattering the world), my characters, my favorite artists and writers, and many of my creative contemporaries. Being ‘normal’ is the most unnatural and incomprehensible thing for us!

An uncommon collection of quotes and thoughts

We seldom realize how much what we call high culture owes to the mournful, productive type of person with the potent combination of melancholia and energetic initiative. In today’s terminology, we would tend to locate such character images in the region of schizoid structures. They are typical of people who, in psychoanalytic terms, are “born incomplete.” Nothing is more normal for them than being remote from any kind of normality. Their realism is manifested in their tendency to move in the shadow worlds of reverie. By indulging the inclination to encapsulate themselves in webs of moods and conjecture, they sometimes come up with world-shattering revelations.

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Writing Advice from The Hands of God

Artist quotes

Sculptor, Antoni Azarov

I love to nag people for interviews, and annoying as I may be, some very famous people occasionally indulge me.

This was the case with world renowned sculptor, Antoni Azarov. Even though the press dub him, and I quote, an “asshole,” I’ve discovered once you get used to his intensity, he’s kind of funny in his own dry way.

Let me first tell you, I admire Azarov’s work with the gushing of a sixteen-year-old at a boyband concert. This man’s hands can make clay into a sculpture so striking that you feel uncomfortable being in the same room with it; as if it were a vessel that held a ghost, one that might want to escape its ceramic shell to jump into your living skin.

Not to say Azarov’s a realist. His sculptures are minutely distorted, just slightly exaggerated–preventing them from being exact human replicas. But the distortion is what gives the sculptures souls, their naked bodies adorned by the invisible cloth of their psyches.

Azarov arrived on his Ducati, a big, black machine whose vibrating engine shook my porte cochere, flooding my house with its throbbing sound. He wore dark, indigo jeans and a black racing jacket. His dark hair was overgrown, past his jaw, and blew in tangles around his face after he removed his helmet.


Exciting News for “The Sculptor”

Kristine Poole with her sculpture Bling and the Gleipnir Ribbon.

Kristine Poole with her sculpture “Bling and the Gleipnir Ribbon.”

Artist Kristine Poole will be helping me with my series-in-progress!

My series, under the working title The Sculptor of New Hope, was a spontaneous creation. I didn’t have time to do the proper research when I decided to attempt my first National Novel Writing Month. I blasted the books out, guessing and imagining what the process of sculpting was like, with no idea of the techniques and technical aspects of the art.

Fast forward two and half years.

I’m wrapping up the third and last book this month and am beginning to gorge on information before revisions so I can add realism and depth to the narrative. I love my characters and their story and I want to be diligent about incorporating all facts and details, leaving nothing to question. There were some major issues that needed to be addressed.

My first problem, which would have potentially derailed the whole concept the story, was if life-sized ceramic sculpture was even possible. I easily found documentation on marble, bronze, or smaller ceramic sculpture, but not the kind of work I imagined for my sculptor. I had a difficult time finding any detailed information on the web, until I came across the work of Kristine Poole.

"we remain in the experience of being bound, when in fact, the only restraint is wholly self-imposed." K Poole

“we remain in the experience of being bound, when in fact, the only restraint is wholly self-imposed.” K Poole

I felt immediately drawn to her sculpture. I poured over her whole website, and noticed that not only were the sculptures exquisite in form and beauty, they each had a message that resonated deeply with me.

Then I visited her blog page (she’s also an eloquent writer) and discovered that as an artist, she shares the same moments of fear and self-doubt a writer experiences. I jumped to subscribe to her blog, but I didn’t see a form or button to sign up. It was only because of that that I had the nerve to send her a contact form to ask to be added to her mailing list, and in the process, tell her a bit about my story.

I can’t tell you how ecstatic I was when she returned the email and offered to help me with my book. Not only will Kristine’s expertise give the story the dimension and credibility it deserves, it will give me the motivation to work tirelessly to realize the vision. With another artist investing her time and energy into my project, I must make my very best effort. I no longer have the luxury of entertaining doubt, and Kristine’s journey as an artist and her intention with her Bound Series inspires me. It gives me the courage to put myself out there and never give up.

Kristine Poole lives in Santa Fe with her husband, painter and sculptor, Colin Poole, with whom she frequently collaborates. Her current series will be debuted at Evoke Contemporary Gallery in Santa Fe next spring, and one of Kristine and Colin Poole’s collaborative sculptures is featured as the Silver Award winner in the Dimensional Category in “Spectrum 21: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art,” released Nov. 11.

Read her full artist bio here.

I will be sharing my interviews with Kristine Poole in future posts.

In the meantime, have look at more of her fascinating and provocative artwork on and read her inspiring articles, Approaching the “Bound Series” Surfaces and Entering the Artist’s World.

View more incredible painting and sculpture on Colin Poole’s website at

 Please leave your thoughts and comments for Kristine Poole and me below!

And the Klimt Tote Goes To…

*drum rolls*

(in game show host voice) Tami Abrioooooooo!!! Give her a big hand, folks.


My Sweet Delirium Nifty Prize Contest Winner


I’m sending the Klimt bags out today. One goes to my lovely Nifty Prize winner, Tami in Cali, and one goes to me!

*more applause*

Stay tuned for pics of us looking all cultured with our new totes.

Klimt The Kiss Tote bag Christa Wojo

I’ll also be revealing this month’s Nifty Prize!

(hint: It involves literature and hot caffeinated beverages)

*oohs and ahhs*

Like My Sweet Delirium’s Facebook page to participate in my monthly contest.

Click my Delirious Mime. Don't leave him all alone in there.

Click my Delirious Mime. He’s looking for new playmates. It’s okay. He’s medicated.

Big congrats to Tami and thanks to all who participated!

Questions or Comments about the contest? Ask below!

Giving Birth to New Realities

Pablo Picasso Quote over his painting Les Demoiselles d'Avignon


How powerful is your imagination?

As I said in a recent post, when I write I feel like I’m channeling a parallel universe. Sometimes I even feel like by imagining the story, I’ve created a new reality.

Whether one believes in string theory, bubble theory, or traditional religion–most humans sense invisible worlds that exist just beyond our perception.

Could these worlds spring into being just by us imagining them? Is our world one such dimension–a thought in another being’s head?

What do you think Picasso meant?

Art Beyond Words: Corradini’s Veiled Lady

Antonio Corradini's Veiled Lady Italian Sculpture Galleria di Palazzo Barberini

Tuccia la velata

This is an example of the divine art that inspired The Sculptor seriesCan you describe it with words?

Learn more about Antonio Corradini and the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica in Palazzo Barberini in Rome.

Photo credit.

The Essence of Great Art

Quote Image Friedrich Nietzsche by Christa Wojo

Venus and Adonis by Antonio Canova


What do you think is the essence of great art, writing, dance, or music?

Photo source.

Love Hurts

Image of Kafka quote, "Your love is like a knife, with which I explore myself.


I chose this quote as the theme of my third novel in The Sculptor series. It’s from Franz Kafka’s Letters to Milena, which is a posthumously published collection of his love letters sent to Milena Jesenská, a married Czech journalist with whom he had a long distance love affair. The relationship eventually dissolved, and Kafka died of tuberculosis a few short years later. It’s all very tragic. No happy endings. At least he managed to write some during his brief and uncomfortable life, and show us more about those black things writhing in our subconscious.

I’m binging on Kafka right now. You can be sure I will write a few more posts about him in the near future.


How would you feel if you received a love letter like this?

Would you find it romantic or disturbing?



 Photo credit

Do Not Fall in Love (No Te Enamores English Translation)

Nude woman with abstract tattoo cut-outs.

No te enamores.

Do not fall in love with a woman who reads,

a woman who feels too much,

a woman who writes …

Do not fall in love with a




crazy woman.

Do not fall in love with a woman who thinks,

who knows what she knows and also knows how to fly;

a woman confident in herself.

Do not fall for a woman who laughs or cries while making love,

who knows how to convert her flesh into spirit;

much less one that loves poetry (these are the most dangerous),

or who would stay half an hour contemplating a painting

and who doesn’t know how to live without music.

Do not fall in love with a woman who is interested in politics

and who is rebellious and feels immense horror at injustice.

One who likes ball games and soccer

and does not like to watch television at all.

Or a woman who is beautiful no matter the features of her face and her body.

Do not fall for an intense, entertaining, lucid and irreverent woman.

You don’t want to fall in love with a woman like that.

Because when you fall for a woman like that,

whether she stays with you or not,

whether she loves you or not,


a woman like that,

never returns … “


By Dominican poet, Martha Rivera Garrido.



I spotted this poem on Annette Duarte‘s blog. I fell in love with it and did my best to translate it into English. The original Spanish text is below for anyone who would like to improve on my translation. Enjoy!

No te enamores de una mujer que lee, de una mujer que siente demasiado, de una mujer que escribe… No te enamores de una mujer culta, maga, delirante, loca. No te enamores de una mujer que piensa, que sabe lo que sabe y además sabe volar; una mujer segura de sí misma. No te enamores de una mujer que se ríe o llora haciendo el amor, que sabe convertir en espíritu su carne; y mucho menos de una que ame la poesía (esas son las más peligrosas), o que se quede media hora contemplando una pintura y no sepa vivir sin la música. No te enamores de una mujer a la que le interese la política y que sea rebelde y vertigue un inmenso horror por las injusticias.Una a la que le gusten los juegos de fútbol y de pelota y no le guste para nada ver televisión. Ni de una mujer que es bella sin importar las características de su cara y de su cuerpo. No te enamores de una mujer intensa, lúdica y lúcida e irreverente. No quieras enamorarte de una mujer así. Porque cuando te enamoras de una mujer como esa, se quede ella contigo o no, te ame ella o no, de ella, de una mujer así, JAMAS se regresa.

Martha Rivera Garrido (Fragmento de Los Amantes de Inbox de Papel, 2014)




Photo Credit: dBride Arts Chile via Flickr Creative Commons