Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Zeitgeist of TRILLIUM by MLHolton

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada - circa 1800s
Very excited to share two recent events that capture the 'zeitgeist' of my latest #canlit novel, TRILLIUM ---

First, TRILLIUM has recently been listed on tripfiction.com - a thoroughly engaging website that links books-to-place.

TRILLIUM scores 5 stars for LOCATION and CONTENT. It is a wonderful acknowledgement that my words are deeply rooted to the landscape on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. The tripfiction website is an ideal site to send to anyone coming to the wine-making peninsula of Niagara.

Shoot visitors this link to TRILLIUM as a preparatory read!

Filled with distinct characters over a span of 250 years starting in the mid 1750s, TRILLIUM explores the rural roots of three principal & distinct families - the Italian Di Angelos, the Irish O'Sullivans and the Anglo-Canadian WASPs, the Hartfords. As their lives intertwine over the decades of centuries, their children inter-marry. - But there are secrets: deep, dark family secrets ...

Second, one of my ambitions vis a vis this book project over the past year was to create a 'playlist' that captures the zeitgeist of the novel. After a few false starts, I think I've finally got it! With a mixed medley of nearly 300 tunes, (or 16.5 hours of listening pleasure), I am very happy to share this zeitgeist mix on SPOTIFY.

I have just recently learned that SPOTIFY also has a computer and TV streaming app option. The TV streaming option is fabulous way to listen if you've got a good sound system hooked up. A very popular music site, listening-in is free on Spotify, with ads. I'd say it is well worth the small membership fee for uninterrupted listening pleasure! - If you love music, it will be hard to leave!

For those who have read TRILLIUM, tune into the TRILLIUM PLAYLIST on SPOTIFY.
For those who haven't read it yet, TUNE IN and see if you might like to ...  (One character, Kieran O'Sullivan, has an extensive record collection from the 1930s, 1940s, 50s, 60s and 70s ... Fun!)

Let me know what you think! Is there a good representation of music that wafted over southern Ontario from the mid 1750s to 2001?! When compiling it, I believed that contrary to current trends and influences, music that arrived south of the lake in the past two centuries would have come in by ships first, and then by radio stations from the States, principally Buffalo and Detroit. Thus, many of the East Coast sea shanties and popular American tunes in the playlist. -- Am I missing anything that you think is absolutely essential to reflect the decades from 1750 to 2001? -- Let me know!

Putting this list together has been a real labour of love: I had to listen to hundreds of fantastic, memorable - and dance-inducing - musical tracks. Hurled back in time, I stumbled on old favourites & all-time classics . Oh my - 'House of the Rising Sun' - CLASSIC!!! - Tune in to the TRILLIUM playlist!

If a regular on Shopify, be sure to follow the playlist.
I'll be adding more tunes as time allows.

My one regret is that I didn't set up the playlist chronologically. But after listening for awhile, I rather like how Spotify's algorithms 'shuffles'. Tunes lead naturally into each other. (Does it really matter that they may be decades apart?)

The main IDEA is to capture the zeitgeist of several evolving eras in southern Ontario ... I think it does do just that.

--- ENJOY!

Read more - TRILLIUM - by MLHolton
LISTEN IN to the TRILLIUM playlist on SPOTIFY!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Sunshine Blogger Award Nominee - MLHolton Arts Blog

Lake Ontario - by MLHolton   


How flattering to be nominated for a Sunshine Blogger Award by Veronica Cline Barton with her always entertaining writing and travel blog - My American Almost Royal Cousin Series.  It is a delightful treat to be included in such august blogging company!

The Sunshine Blogger Award empowers bloggers to celebrate other bloggers who are creative and bring positivity to the blogging community.

Veronica was nominated by Welsh writer and book blogger, Jessica Cahalin, who runs the charming book blog, 'Books in My Handbag'. And now Veronica is nominating me - and 10 others. Hoorah! 

In order to showcase the Sunshine Blogger Badge, the rules are simple.

Link back to your nominator, answer their 11 questions, then, select 11 more good bloggers and ask them your 11 questions. Pass it on! 

All nominees are under no obligation to play, but, remember, kindness begets kindness.

It is hoped that blog-wandering visitors will find engaging new content and possibly a few new friends along this Sunshine Bloggers trail.

Once posted, don the Sunshine Blogger Award Nominee badge with pride! (Found on the lower right-hand corner of my blog.)

Here are the 11 questions Veronica supplied to me:

1.        A fav travel destination?
 I’m a surprising home-body these days, after several decades of wanderlust. One spot I loved was Wales and would go back in a heart-beat. Very fond memories of the people and the scenery there.
2.        Favorite outfit or fashion accessory?
A ring given to me by my father before he died. It means a great deal to me. I remember once when I thought I lost it on the streets of Toronto and was inconsolable until it was discovered in a cloth nap at the bottom corner of my cloth coat pocket. Awful feeling to think I'd lost it. 
3.        A subject you’d like to learn more about?
Hmm. I always wished I leaned to speak Italian properly. I have some German, Spanish and French. I also wish a knew more about continental Asian and Indian history.
4.        Architectural style that fits your personality?
Elegant, classic Georgian. Proportions are so GOOD.
5.        Are you better writing or speaking?
Definitely writer, I choke up at public speaking events.
6.        Do you think aliens exist (the truth is out there!)?
No, though ‘aliens’ is a pretty all-encompassing word. Humanity only knows a fraction of what the universe holds. Even at our feet: how well can any of us NAME what is there?
7.        What’s your proudest achievement (non-family)?
I was inadvertently involved with a court battle to save a public park from an injection of plastic grass. We lost, but we put up a damned good fight at the Environmental Tribunal, even forcing City Council to fly in ‘experts’ from the States to attempt to refute our claims for safety and good sense. (Those experts had the gall to attempt to hood-wink the Hearing Officer with a ‘false’ product submission. We called them out and it was removed! The gall!)
8.        3 photos to capture where you are today ?
Studio by lake, with an open Hearth  and A Sunshine Award Nomination on my mind! 
9.        Top 2020 goal?
Finish and produce Audio version of TRILLIUM. Then, package up Screen Producer’s Package. 
10.   Winter snow or sun and sand?
I wilt in the hot sun. - Love the layering, light and coziness that winter brings.
11.   Outlander or Downton Abbey or ???  -- 100% Downton Abbey. 

Now, Part 2. Nominate 11 other bloggers ...
1. I used to follow quite a few good bloggers when I ran my writing-specific blog over a decade ago, but not so much anymore. That said, I have just recently become affiliated with Sally Cronin's lively blog in Ireland, Smorgasbord Blog Magazine. So, I am passing along a Sunshine Blogger Award nomination to her. - Sally, I nominate you! 

2. There's another great blogger in #Ireland who I have been following for years, Colette O'Neill. She runs a very engaging website and Youtube channel - Bealtaine Cottage. You'll love her engaging videos, still photographic images and grassroots philosophy of life. I wholeheartedly pass along another Sunshine Blogger Award nomination to her. - Colette, I nominate you! 

3. A wonderful semi-anonymous blog/diary from Paris by a clear veteran of the culture scene and written in a lively and informed tone. Sample here: A Paris Diary by Laure - Laure, I nominate you! 

4. Another wonderful & entertaining blogger is in the UK. David Ellis has created a dense blog full of writer/reader resources, author interviews & regular updates for #creatives working throughout the world. Here's an example of an 'update' he did with me, an author interview for my third novel, TRILLIUM. - David, I nominate you! 

5. I stumbled on this blogger's site recently, and was instantly beguiled by the playful sense of formatting. A poet, writer, teacher and evidently a 'bon vivant', mid-career William Alegerzza, is a fearless explorer of the 'word' and the 'technology' that now enshrouds it. Have a gander.  Bill, I nominate you! 

6. Love the idea behind this blog, The Protagonist Speaks, managed by Assaph Mehr. Authors can explore the thoughts, feelings and perceptions of their main characters in the first person. I'm slated to let 'Anna' from Trillium speak in October.  Assaph, I nominate you! 

7.  This is a bit of an odd suggestion, but might be of interest to readers. My old blog, now moth-balled. When I started out I didn't 'identify' myself by 'name'. Instead, I used the blog as a testing ground for ideas and stories in various states of evolution. Looking back at it now, I enjoy it still and happily share it with you now. Canadada.   Yeah me! :) 

As for the 3 others, give me some time to get their links up ... They are coming!

Log On - Photo by MLHolton
If game, here are my 11 questions for you:

1.  Cat or Dog? - why?
2.  Favourite Colour - why?
3.  Favourite footware - why?
4.  Favourite piece of music today - why?
5. Where were you this time last year?
6. Where will you be this time next year?
7. Favourite mode of transportation - why?
8. Favourite chapeau - why?
9. Favourite 'first name' choice, male.
10. Favourite 'first name' choice, female.
11. Your happy place - why? (3 photo optional)

Here's to A Great Gaggle of Communicators! 

Thursday, February 13, 2020

TRILLIUM by MLHolton now available in the UK & Ireland!

TRILLIUM - by Canadian author MLHolton - NOW REPRESENTED in IRELAND!    
TRILLIUM, now represented in IRELAND!

It is always so exciting when my latest novel, TRILLIUM, finds a new home! 

In this instance, I am delighted to announce an affiliation with Sally Cronin's fabulous life blog - Smorgasbord Cafe & Bookstore' - on the rugged and beautiful east coast of IRELAND. 

Sally's engaging website is chock-a-block with her varied domestic & literary interests. 

Plus, today is Sally's Birthday! - How auspicious! 
And how fitting that one of the central characters in TRILLIUM, Paddy O'Sullivan, immigrated from the east coast of #Ireland to #Canada in the 19th century. His dynasty is established through 250 years of blood, sweat and tears on the burgeoning Niagara Peninsula. Arriving as a poor man, Paddy swiftly builds an enviable real estate empire throughout southern #Ontario. By the time his great grandsons have their day, the O'Sullivan clan is a force to be reckoned with. And it is those two boys, Sean and Eric O'Sullivan, who then shape the O'Sullivan legacy for the NEXT generation ... READ MORE!

TRILLIUM is now available in IRELAND & the UK!
p.s. Happy Birthday Sally & Thank YOU! :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Women's Art Association of Hamilton - 125 year Anniversary: A Book Celebration

Commemorative Publication to celebrate 125 years of the Women's Art Association of Hamilton
Thrilled to be included in this lovely new book published by the Women's Art Association of Hamilton's to mark this vital arts organization's 125th Anniversary Year!

One of the oldest, if not oldest, art organizations in Canada, ( they predate the Women's Art Association of Canada and even Canada's Confederation), the WAAH has always understood the beneficial and restorative power of art. They understand the necessity of art creation and education to transform lives. 

With a focus on living female artists throughout the decades, this engaging arts organization presents annual scholarships to promising art students. It also holds regular art exhibitions for its members at various locations throughout the region including the Art Gallery of Hamilton , the Carnegie Gallery , Dundas Valley School of Art and the Conservatory for the Arts.

I have been a member of this art-advocacy group since the the early 1980s. It is always an interesting and fun experience to exhibit my 'naive-surreal-folk-art' paintings with members of this engaged bunch of ladies! We always have great turn-outs at the openings with (generally!) positive half-page press coverage from the largest regional newspaper, The Hamilton Spectator. 

Freesia & Hummingbird, 2013. - Copyright by MLHolton
It is a now my added pleasure to  have a few of my earlier paintings included in this new archival 125th year publication. What a marker!  

Of particular note is the one shown here: Freesia & Hummingbird, painted in 2013. This well-loved piece went on to become the cover wrap for my first musical CD, Summer Haze.

I have also been very honoured over the years by several invitations from past and present Presidents of this organization to speak about my life and practice as a living artist in southern Ontario as part of their informative and lively 'Speaker's Series'. 

An important cultural organization for the City of Hamilton, it is my sincere hope that the Women's Art Association of Hamilton will continue to inspire and promote talented artists on the local, national and global stage for another 125 fantastic years! Congrats to all members! With a particular shout-out to artist Carol Soo Lum who compiled this extraordinary legacy for this wonderful Canadian arts organization. Well done Carol!

Back Cover - with 36 current members including YOURS TRULY! :)