Wednesday, April 28, 2021

After One Year of COVID: Interview with Margaret Lindsay Holton


It's always so interesting to look back at various point in Time ...

In this instance, I was invited, in early April 2021, to discuss where I'm at - as an artist and author - one year after the onset of COVID. 

I remember the start of the pandemic rather vividly. It was mid March of 2020 and suddenly it seemed that everyone was going into lock-down mode. I just instinctively knew, as did so many others, that this was SERIOUS. We had to hunker down. I did not do a run out to stack-up on toilet paper, but I was struck by the disappearance of all fresh eggs from the local grocer. For two days, I literally hunted for fresh eggs, finally finding a dozen in a small convenience store. And the new reality sunk in. 

Interestingly enough, James Strecker and I go back a lot further than one year ... Many years ago, when he was running a small and vibrant publishing house in Hamilton, I submitted a poem for an local anthology about 'what Life meant'. (A typical kind of artist Q&A!)  It was also one of the first poems of mine ever published. Here's the blurb for that #poetry book, This I Believe ...

Well, time goes on ... as do writing projects ... 

Now, some 30+ years later, with three novels under my belt, numerous photo-books, two books of poetry and a social history about religion in Toronto, James and I have circled around again to each other. In the following interview, James asks, again, about 'what Life means' ... 

 
JAMES STRECKER: If, before the COVID crisis, you were asked for 50 words to summarize what you do, or have done, in the arts, what would you have said about your purpose and creations?

MARGARET LINDSAY HOLTON: I’ve been active in the local, national and international arts community for over 40 years now through a variety of disciplines: Canadian fine furniture design & making, painting, writing, experimental photography and short film works. Essentially, I am offering my vision of ‘how I see the world’ from this exact point – in Time and Space – on this, our amazing home planet. This has been my job … 

Read the rest of the free-ranging interview here.

Follow up with an MLH Book : https://linktr.ee/MargaretLindsayHolton

Or just follow MLH on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TrillLINDSAY

Or just drift off with some MLH Music: https://canadada.bandcamp.com 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

MLHolton in new 'Storytime for Grownups' Anthology


Thrilled to be included in the inaugural ‘Storytime for #Grownups Anthology: Series One & Two’, a #Paperback, published on April 17, 2021, edited by Jacqueline Belle 
 
JB: “This all started as something fun to do during covid-19 isolation & to promote positive mental health; especially for those isolated alone... it turned into so much more ... ‘Storytime for Grownups’ showcases indie & traditionally published #authors of various genre & #writing styles from around the world. It’s a wonderfully dynamic group of authors from different backgrounds, experience & abilities. 
 
‘Storytime for Grownups’ is a complimentary Twitter & YouTube-based narrated video project co-produced by Jacqueline Belle Poems and Guru Art Lifestyle. 
 
#Paperback includes short stories & poems by authors: Barbara Avon, Jacqueline Belle, Cheryl Burman, Kathleen Cranidge, Stoney deGeyter, David DeWinter, Jon Hart, Margaret Lindsay Holton, Karen Honnor, Jane Jago, Julie Kusma, Melinda Lucas, Sallie Moffitt, Val Ormrod, Bella Rayne, Romston, Carol Sheppard, Shylovedheart, Doug Stuber, Melony Teague, Duncan Wilson, Albert van der Steeg, and W Rix Victory II.” 
 
 
‘Storytime for Grownups’ BOOK LINK: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09328MCMV 
 
(SAMPLE of 3 MLH YOUTUBE VIDEO LINKS): The Frozen Goose, written by MLHolton, narrated by Jacqueline Belle > https://youtu.be/sDMTk62UD68 
 
Companion Playlist for entire ‘Storytime for Grownups’on Youtube > https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLaacYUCB9SHJqIL6rWRlleejs_WHW0U-d

 

Friday, April 23, 2021

Four-Page Spread - MLHolton in #HillStrath Spring 2021 Review

 

From my old primary school, situated on top of the Niagara Escarpment in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada - a very nice profile of my work over the past few decades in both art-making and writing ...


      As an 'old girl' (from many moons past went), I can attest to the solid educational framework that this private day school offers.  As an attending youngster, I LOVED the teachers, (even though some were ferocious on the outside, hint-hint, Mrs.LeRoy!). 

Overall, I appreciated the small class sizes, the wide-ranging curriculum that was devoted to creating well-rounded little girls and boys, the active sports days & theatrical productions, the life-long friendships made and the mushy peas at lunch hour in the school cafeteria! It was a wonderful place to just 'grow' .... 

'Immersed in Art' - a very much appreciated four-page spread about me in the 2021 Spring Edition of the Hillfield Strathallan College Review. 

Read the whole article here: https://www.hsc.on.ca/alumni/hsc-review

 Page 3 of 4 ... Read the rest via link above.  

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

MLHolton Interview on IndieBookButler

There are varied ways and means to 'get-the-word-out' for #indie #authors. There are the traditional legacy media outlets that provide authenticity in one's local community. It can be a long process though that can take months, even years, to get good coverage. There are also local radio and news programs, augmented with Public Service Announcements (PSAs). These are fun to do, but fleeting in both the public imagination and as a 'record'. By far, the best reviews, interviews and community engagement comes from enterprising and focused bloggers who, not only know their audiences, but provide interesting and tasteful platforms for authors to just 'be themselves' ... 

I recently hired Indie Book Butler to do an interview with me. The have a very active presence on social media and are well plugged into the Twitter #writing and #reading communities. To my mind, two weeks of 'promo' from them, (includes daily promotion by them across social media platforms), is well worth the very reasonable $15 fee. It's effective, efficient and does reach the intended audience - YOU. 

... Here's a sample of how the interview started ...

Indie Book Butler: Let’s start things off with an introduction. Tell us a little about yourself for those not already aware of you and your work.

ML Holton:   'Hello all. – By profession, I’m an award-winning Canadian artist from southern Ontario, Canada. I live and work beside the magnificent great lake of Ontario and have been very active along its southern shore for over 40 years.

Few locals know that aside from my long-standing art practice is a dedication to the written word that has also spanned 40+ years.  I studied English Lit and Philosophy at University of Toronto, with an independent study year to pursue the ‘History of the English Language’ at the University of Edinburgh. After several years of other work, I returned to university to understudy with 2-time Giller Prize winner, M.G.Vassanji, in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at Humber College. In other words, I’ve played with words – their sounds and meaning – for as long as I can remember.

Today, aside from my visual art practice, I have completed two poetry books as well as a spoken-word/garageband album – ‘CANADADA: TAKE TWO’. I’ve been published in several anthologies (here and abroad), edited a social-religious history about Toronto, compiled eight small-press picture books that highlight my pinhole photography and paintings, written and directed a short narrative film – ‘The Frozen Goose’, written freelance art articles for local news outlets, and finally, I’ve completed three full-length novels, to date. In sum, I like to have serious fun!'

READ the REST of this fun & engaging interview on their site.

Wholeheartedly recommend their service. Timely, efficient and 'on point'.  

p.s. Just in case you missed it, here too is the MLH Spring 2021 News Update

ENJOY SPRING EVERYONE!!

The Clearing, Painting by MLHolton

 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Dundas Valley School of Art - 50th Annual Spring Auction - Margaret Lindsay Holton


Thrilled to be included in the on-line art auction for the Dundas Valley School of Art this year, running from April 12th - to - the 17th. With another 3-week 'shut-down' imposed by the provincial government throughout Ontario, (effective Friday), it's becoming increasingly more difficult for traditional artists to show and sell their work locally. 

(... FYI, the #NFT 'digital art' craze sweeping through the global 'screen-living' community is not, sad to say, doing very much for those who have long honoured the challenge - and commitment - to make actual physical objects to beautify and enhance public and private 'real life' spaces ... )

In any case, I have put up a small, framed painting of Lake Ontario. The viewpoint in that work is from the center of the lake - where waves, wind and the horizon meet ...

It is hoped this vibrant small painting will appeal to all 'lake-dwellers', especially fans of the #GreatLakes of #NorthAmerica.

Fifty percent - 50% - of the final auction price is earmarked for the DVSA school so that they can continue their GOOD WORK to encourage and develop artists in a broad range of disciplines throughout the Golden Horseshoe region of Ontario.

Please SIGN UP, look for my item under my name - or - #AU501

PLACE YOUR BID !!! -- May the Best Bid Win!

**50th DVSA ANNUAL SPRING AUCTION**

LINK HERE >> 'LIVE'Auction Site<< 

Register NOW. Bidding starts Monday, April 12th at 9am - runs until April 17th, 9pm.  

 >>> P.S. DIRECT LINK TO MLH PAINTING!! <<<

 --- and SOLD!  -- Yeah!

.... excerpt from  MLH Spring 2021 News Update ...

MLH Newsletter LINK:  https://madmimi.com/p/e3c2321



Monday, March 29, 2021

Easter is Coming! What's on your #TBR List?

 

 
Families keep Humanity Alive. 
Without them, we are cut-off from our species. 
... Love your Family ...
Care for your Family. 
 Encourage Reading, at all levels. 
Open Minds Expand through Exploration. 
 
The two titles I am offering here are novels for mature readers. 
(Women seem to prefer them more than men, but hey, that's up to you. )
The stories I share are intended to help you find your way ... 
 
ENJOY! >LINK




Thursday, March 18, 2021

A Live-Chat About TRILLIUM

Oh dear. Must share a few more thoughts about 'video-conferencing' from an artist's perspective ... I know that it is increasingly common-place for everyone and their mother to engage in 'voice chats' over Zoom, Facetime and Skype, etc. It's so commonplace now, it's consider kind of ODD not too. 

And yet, for me, this super-controlled, literal 'in-your-face' video interaction is wholly unsatisfactory as 'human communication'. It's not just the invasion of private space - as has so readily occurred over the COVID Lockdown - it is the screen's innate inability to really engage with the person you're chatting with. There is, quite literally, two screens between you.

Sure, you can see and hear each other through the screens, but what about all the other manifold physical senses and tangential happenings that naturally erupt when actually with another person? 

As example, over the past year, I have attempted at various times to 'chat' with my dear old mum in this way. Yes, it certainly does allow us a chance to catch-up and SEE each other. But we both soon discovered a mutually understanding of the incredible VOID we were experiencing through the screen. Both of us sorely miss the spontaneity of the ever-capricious 'just-being-with-each-other-in-Time-and-Space' experience. Nothing can replace the actual synergy of REAL LIFE -- and humanity would be sorely mistaken to believe that 'screen chats' suffice - or that, "it will do". 

To be clear, it does not. It cannot. -- And it never will.

Jens Hansen, Voice Artist
For those who have no qualms about interacting through video chats with others, whether for private or public use, I do get it. It's easy, it's convenient. It gives you sense you are 'connecting'. You can 'zoom' in or out over vast distances. You can seemingly control the volume, lighting, backdrop and you can exit at Will, (unless you are a 'guest' on an interview!) 

But, to be EXTRA clear, this is not what real-life surround-sound 'conversation' between living-and-breathing human beings is like, or about. So many of the delightful nuances of engagement are lost through this pervasive and invasive technology. So much is NOT seen, heard or felt through our screens. It's really just not Half as Good as the real thing! -- Really!

... Anyway, enough about why I loathe this controlled form of engagement ... Now, the juicy stuff!! 

On Monday, I and #Dutch-#Danish-#Canadian, Jens Hansen, the talented #narrator of the #audiobook version of TRILLIUM, were interviewed on a UK-based Youtube station, 'Boomers on Books'. It was a huge opportunity to 'spread-the-word' about our combined effort on the TRILLIUM audiobook project, so, yes, I had to do it. 

During the pre-live, prep period - when we were testing connections, lights, background and extraneous visuals - the loathing I hold for this kind of 'screen communication' began to manifest ... Every fiber in my being was resisting the necessity of the 'performance art' that had to ensue. (I am also very aware that I prefer being behind the camera, not in front of it.) Fundamentally, as I writer, I 'observe' while others 'perform'. Writers epitomize spectators. We are the All-Seeing Watchers. All this was swirling around in my mind as we got ready for the one-hour 'live' #interview ...

On the day of, I thought I was going to throw-up. I was overcome by a completely irrational fear that almost prevented me from joining 'in' to Vince's channel room.  -- What would others thinks? What would I think? Who would be judging? How would I judge myself? -- This reached a crescendo just a few seconds before 'air-time' ...  

How could I cope? -- How would I cope?

....  well, watch for yourself ....

... As one long interested in the impact of screen culture on humanity, yes, I crossed the Rubicon ...

And, of course, it was 'performance art'. -- Later remarks that I looked "so natural", "at ease", and "comfortable" (while very kind and supportive) attest to that. -- Believe me folks, the whole thing was, from start to finish, 'performance art'. Some have said, "it's no big deal. You did it!" -"It's excellent & necessary promotion." "You're just selling your book!" Yes, yes, and yes, BUT ... I still loathe every single second of having to do it. And that, my dear friends, is why you will see little more of this #writer 'live', on big or little screens. 

Now, let me add this link for the real #performer, the real #actor, in our midst. It goes without saying that I chose wonderful Jens for all the #acting abilities he so easily manifests during the interview: charm, wit, timing and an all-round good sense of fun.  As mentioned in the interview, it was during the taping of his STELLAR rendition of 'The Cremation of Sam McGee' that I first saw and heard the fantastic potential he had as a #storyteller. - Jens is a natural. Jens IS gifted. - And, you really should listen to the bravo 14.5 hour #performance he gives to TRILLIUM. It is outstanding!

Settle in for a thrilling, engaging and timely tale that spans 250 years of life on the Niagara peninsula. The #Ebook, #paperback and audiobook are now available in the States & Canada via  Amazon, or iTunes.  -- Plus, here are the United Kingdom links.

#ReadAlongWithJens   :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

MLHolton Poetry in 2021 UK Anthology

Delighted to have three of my older #poems - Shareware, Pond Life & Trading Post -  included in the '2021 Still Together' Anthology of Shorts, Edited by UK-based author, Tracy Hutchinson. 


As the cover reads, "2020 has been a long year. And now we must look with hope to 2021.We hope for a vaccine that can return the world to normal. We hope for an economy that will heal quickly, avoiding the painful recession that has been forecast. We hope for people to continue to develop the sense of togetherness that has appeared this year. We hope that 2021 will be an easier and a better year than 2020 has been.2021 Still Together is an anthology to follow on from 2020 Together. This second anthology reflects the community spirit of 2020, where writers, artists and photographers, who like you, want to continue to help our Covid-19 heroes. 100% of profits from sales of this book will continue to go to NHS Charities Together.Lockdown, Covid-19 and change has happened this year. Learning to stay safe, and helping to keep other people safe has happened this year. ... And we hope that you will enjoy reading these short, family friendly creations, while also providing funds to help our NHS heroes.Together, we can still make a difference." 

ALL proceeds go to support the tireless UK NHS - Help if you can, please.

Here's the Canadian Amazon link for the title. 

Trading Post - Poem by MLHolton


https://twitter.com/TrillLINDSAY/status/1363889138303447041?s=20
 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Hamilton Spectator Profile: Jens Hansen, Narrator of TRILLIUM

A fantastic profile of the #audiobook narrator, Jens Hansen - (chosen for my third novel, TRILLIUM) - came out today on the front (and full page!) of The Hamilton Spectator's GO section. 

Written by veteran lifestyle & arts columnist, Jeff Mahoney, Jeff really 'gets' the "debonair" character that Jens brings to the pages of TRILLIUM ... 

The article is a wonderful and in-depth coverage of a versatile actor whose first language is, surprisingly, not English. 

 As I explained to Jeff as background for the profile, I initially chose Jens because of his exotic life-and-lived experience from elsewhere on the globe. His cadences, tone and inflections add a rainbow of audio colour to the telling of the tale. So much so, Jeff gushes about his "great Niagara of Narration". -- Fine words indeed! 

So, if in the mood to listen to a distinctive and beguiling voice for 14.5 hours, tune into Jens' "brilliant" rendition of TRILLIUM.  You will be alternatively amused, delighted, intrigued - and seduced. -- Promise! 

TRILLIUM, written by Margaret Lindsay Holton, available on iTUNES -- or Audible. If you prefer to #read TRILLIUM yourself, download the ebook -- and/or pick up the 350+ paperback -- via Amazon.

Full, front page on the GO Section of The Hamilton Spectator! Woohoo!

Click on image for TRILLIUM links

Woorah! Followed-up by a nice 5-minute interview clip with Jens on 610 AM Radio #Niagara.


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

FLORIDA CALLING!


Delighted to have this wonderful post all the way from sunny #FLORIDA! Marcia Meara let me share the wonderful #voice of Jens Hansen on her comprehensive book blog. Dive in for a good read about what makes Jens soooo good for the 14.5 hours TRILLIUM #audiobook project. Tune into Audible, or  iTunes to have a wee listen to his stellar effort!

MARCIA's BLOG LINK:
https://marciamearawrites.com/2021/01/19/guestdaytuesday-trillium-narrated-by-voice-actor-jens-hansen-written-by-canadian-author-margaret-lindsay-holton/

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

WINTER 2020 NEWSLETTER from MLHolton


Harvest Moon - Photo Zapped by MLHolton
 
Who knew, mid-March, that we'd still be stuck here? ... ... Well, it's not all been bad ...

In fact, in some instances, it's been a welcome improvement ...

The Gilded Beaver 2nd Edition & TRILLIUM by MLHolton

 Most importantly, the pandemic 

has been a hearty wake-up call to 're-calibrate' ...

 

See more of what  

 I've been doing about that this past year ...

>>>>   HERE  <<<<<


p.s. TRILLIUM, the #audiobook version, is now on iTUNES !!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Painting in Defiance by MLHolton

When 2020 started, there was an a genuine sense of excitement at the start of not only a New Year, but a whole new decade. Sure, the world wasn't perfect, and MANY social, economic and personal 'injustices' continue, but, overall, in the main, Life is Good. The following was my first painting for the year, entitled 'Spring, From the Mountain, 2020'. The ground is still hard, remnants of winter remain, but the light, the blessed LIGHT, changes. The Earth responds and new growth emerges. Living beside and near Lake Ontario, one of the Great Lakes of North America, is a blessing. Not only do I get to see the land awake from slumber, but the lake heaves, rolls and shakes off its icy cleansing burden. The whole cycle begins again. This hillside promontory is near the farm. It's a root, a deep root, with a view that I adore ...

Spring, from the Mountain 2020, by MLHolton

And yet, as the year went on, the COVID pandemic swept over the land. It didn't affect the land or the lake, per se, it just devastated human activity. We turned into moles as we burrowed into our homes, locked the doors and barred the windows. In isolation, we did as best we could. Many turned into screen addicts for their lifeline to the 'outside' world. At one point, I made a statement about that with the following painting, 'I am Here'. Living and breathing, movement and eating are the mainstays of our 'existence'. We live because we are alive. A truism perhaps, but how else to say it? I am ALIVE. 

Detail from 'I am Here' by MLHolton (this is a LARGE piece, 7' by 5'.) 

As the months continued, the seasons changed as they always do. We went through spring, summer, fall and now enter winter of this awful year. And yet, within the human tragedy and collapse of commerce, we survive. We are diminished, but we are surviving. Solitary walks in nature became the greatest balm to the frightened. We found comfort in the remarkable 'routine' of Nature. Plants grew, harvest came, snow falls. And here we are. The first serious snow of the season 'dumped' a few days ago and blanketed the dwindling fall landscape. Promises of a vaccine have arrived. We have adjusted, we have adapted, we are changing to the new reality. Our communal spheres have been reshaped by a new-found love of humanity. At the end of the day, let's hold on to that. Love Humanity. We can and will make it through this as well as what's next. My last painting of the year, 'First Snow 2020', is an imaginative work, based on familiar back-country hills. Farming fields lie dormant now, but they will come back ... Hang in there people. We're almost through it. 

I will be sending out my winter newsletter shortly. If you are not on my mailing list, jump back here in about a week and look for it on the side tab under newsletters. Other than that, try to enjoy the descending winter. Get out there as much as you can. Revel in the on-going blessed beauty of it all. Continue to pursue those pandemic-induced resolutions ... Be Better. Be Healthier. Be Kinder.

xox mlh 

'First Snow, 2020' by MLHolton


Friday, November 20, 2020

Launch of TRILLIUM Audiobook, Written by MLHolton, Narrated by Jens Hansen

 

Woohoo! The AUDIOBOOK version of TRILLIUM is Finally HERE!!! 

Spanning a period of 250 years, from 1750s to 2001, three ambitious young men arrive to the Niagara peninsula. They come from rural New York, dirt poor Sicily and a squalid 19th century Dublin. As time passes, their growing families mix and mingle in the burgeoning wine region known as Niagara  ... 

… Expect very good times. Expect very bad times … 

TRILLIUM on AUDIBLE

Award-winning Canadian author and artist, MLHolton, has created a “magnificent” historical fiction that focuses on three distinct families, held together by familial roots, as they become embroiled in national and world events ... Driven by love, lust and loot, dive into the psyche of an evolving nation ...

“Beautifully written!” -“Compelling characters!” - "Epic!" - “Original & Unique”

Narrator, Jens Hansen
The 14.5 hour audiobook is narrated by the uber-talented actor,
Jens Hansen.

AUDIBLE Audiobook link for the USA/Canada – Sign up to receive your FREE copy.

AUDIBLE Audiobook link for the UK – Sign up to receive your FREE copy.

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*** Already an AUDIBLE member in CANADA? Here’s the direct link to TRILLIUM!

*** Already an AUDIBLE member in USA? Here’s the direct link to TRILLIUM!

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TRILLIUM on Amazon COM - Ebook, Paperback (or Sign Up for Audible Audiobook) - **Listen to SAMPLE **

TRILLIUM, Written by MLHolton,, Narrated by JHansen

And now, on iTunes Audiobook link

More about the Canadian Author & Artist, MLHolton, explore this website, or explore via Wikipedia.

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