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About Me

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Corfu, Greece
Liana Metal lives in Greece, on the island of Corfu. She is an EFL teacher(MAEd -Applied Linguistics), book reviewer and freelance writer. Liana is also an artist. Her drawings/paintings can be found both online at www.aggelia-online.gr and at several shops in Corfu town. To contact the artist visit http://LianaMetal.tripod.com or her blog at http://LianasKerkyra.blogspot.com Η Ηλιάνα Μεταλληνού διδάσκει Αγγλικά στην Κέρκυρα, γράφει άρθρα και ιστορίες για έντυπες και ηλεκτρονικές εκδόσεις σε όλο τον κόσμο και ζωγραφίζει. Μπορείτε να την επισκεφθείτε στην ηλεκτρονική διεύθυνση http://toasprosaligari.blogspot.com και http://www.coffeetimecorfu.com


A book for kids/ 3 stories in English

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Meet Harry Gilleland, the poet!

Welcome Harry Gilleland to Art Stories!

It's been a great pleasure to have you here and tell us all about your work.

Interview with Harry Gilleland, the author of "Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man".

Tell us about yourself first.

I am a southerner, born and raised in Macon, Georgia, now living in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The professional highlights of my life include earning my B.S. and M.S. in Microbiology from the University of Georgia in 1966 and 1968, respectively. Next Uncle Sam couldn't fight the Vietnam War any longer without my participation. I entered as a private but was able to get a direct commission as a captain before the end of basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO -- my first experience with snow. I served two years in El Paso, TX at William Beaumont General Hospital as Chief of Microbiology in the clinical laboratory. This was my first experience living in a desert. Then came a nice tour of sunny Southeastern Asia (RVN)...my first experience in a combat zone. I returned to the UGA for my Ph.D. in Microbiology (conferred 1973).

Afterwards, I went to London, Ontario, Canada for a two-year fellowship -- my first experience living in a foreign country without people trying to shoot me. There I learned to appreciate good cheese and the value of cut flowers in enriching one's life. Having frozen my fanny off during two Canadian winters, I moved in 1975 to Louisiana to thaw out and to become a faculty member in the Dept. of Microbiology and Immunolgy at LSU Health Science Center, School of Medicine in Shreveport. I spent twenty-nine years on the faculty, teaching microbiology to both medical students and graduate students and performing vaccine research with grants from The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF), as well as a British biotech company. I co-authored over 40 scientific papers and presented my research findings at international meetings and conferences. I was invited three times to the vaccine conference held every three years in Munich, Germany for 80 of the world's leading vaccine researchers.

In 2004 I retired from faculty life and began my new career as a poet and author. Since then, I have self-published through Lulu Press three books of my poetry, a novella (Bob the Dragon Slayer), and a contemporary romance novel (White Lightning Road). I hope to continue to improve in my writing abilities.

In my personal life, I married early at age nineteen to my high school sweetheart. We had three great children (Ginny, Geoffrey, & Gregory) together and were married eighteen years (1964 - 1982). We grew apart and divorced. I then married my current wife in 1985, becoming a step-parent to her son, Jason. My second wife is an angel on earth, and we have been and are blissfully happy together. I am now grandfather to five grandchildren. At age 64, I feel I have lived a full life. And all this detail may be more than you wanted to know. LOL

When did you start writing?

I started writing scientifically in 1968 and continued writing grant applications, scientific papers and journal articles, reports, abstracts, etc until my retirement in 2004 from my scientific career. I started writing creatively as a poet in 2001. I attempted writing creative prose in 2005, partly through the prodding of Diane Steele, as well as Vivian Zabel, at Writing.com.

What genres have you written?

I write primarily poetry. I wrote one fantasy novella, as well as one contemporary romance. I may write an action/adventure novel next. I guess I am a poet who dabbles in writing prose.

Is "Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man" your first book?

No. It is my third book of my personal poetry and my fifth book all together.

Tell us about your book. What is it about?

"Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man" contains an assortment of my poetry. It has both rhyming storoems (story-poems) and free-verse poems. It addresses a wide variety of topics. I try to both entertain the reader, as well as touch his/her mind and emotions. I want the reader to enjoy what he/she reads, but more than just that, I want the reader to think about the topic in a different way, plus I want him/her to be touched by what is read. If my poetry elicits a laugh or a tear, it makes me feel like I have been successful.

My poetry is easy to read and understand. You don't need a Fine Arts degree to read my work. I believe most readers will be glad they read my book.

"Poetic Musings of an Old, Fat Man" won Honorable Mention in the 2008 Reader Views Literary Awards for the Poetry Category of books. One of the free-verse poems in the book, "The Assembled Waiters", won a $200 prize in the High Distinction category of the 2008 Tom Howard Poetry Contest.

What inspired you to write this book?

I want the world to become aware of my poetry and reward me with fame and fortune.

How long did it take you to write it?

It took me several years from publication of my second poetry book (Gilleland Poetry: Storoems and Poems, 2005) to amass enough newly written poems and storoems to fill a new book. I write poetry on a continuing basis. Whenever I get about 150 -175 new ones, I publish a new collection.

Who is the publisher of your book?

I self-published using Lulu Press to print the books POD.

Where is it on sale?

All five of my books are on sale at Amazon.com or other on-line booksellers, plus they are available for purchase at Lulu.com (
http://www.lulu.com/harry ). They may also be ordered through local book stores.

Tell us about your other books/work.

I have two other poetry books, "Poetry For The Common Man: Storoems and Poems", 2003, and "Gilleland Poetry: Storoems and Poems", 2005. They are both collections of my poetry and well worth buying and reading.

My fantasy novella is a delightful romp with Bob the peasant teaming up with Stephen, a newly minted wizard, to kill dragons. Bob has many adventures, becomes a knight, gets involves with the lovely Lady Katherine, gets involved in a civil war, and has a merry time. My wife Linda thinks "Bob the Dragon Slayer" is my best work of prose. It is suitable for anyone from age 14 to 101. It is witty and a fun read.

My contemporary romance novel is set on "White Lightning Road" in rural northwestern Louisiana. It follows the lives and loves of two best friends who grew up on White Lightning Road but longed for city living. They keep getting drawn back to country life along WLR. It was fun to write a romance story.

What are the major challenges that you have faced in your career?

Like most self-published authors, my major challenges have been to become a good-enough writer to warrant publication of my work, then to figure out the publishing game and how to self-publish my book(s), followed by trying to get my book(s) noticed. Getting attention paid to your work is the biggest challenge. It is extremely difficult to get anyone to pick your book out of the sea of available books out there, much less convincing them to buy your book. Gaining fame as a writer/poet (and selling books) is a daunting challenge.

Has the Internet helped you in your writing career?

Most definitely yes!


I honed my skills as a poet and writer by posting my work on Internet writing sites. The critical comments and suggestions I received were invaluable to developing my talent as a poet. Plus there was a vast supply of advice on writing techniques available in on-line newsletters, essays, writing conferences, resource sites, etc. I learned most of what I know about creative writing from on-line sources.

I also learned most of what I know about marketing techniques from on-line sources. Most of the marketing I do for my books is now done on-line. My books are sold on-line through Amazon & other booksellers. Most reviews received are posted on-line. Without the Internet, I and a host of other writers would have no writing career available to them.

What do you advise new writers to do?

Write! Work every day to improve your ability as a writer. Post items for critique at writing sites, and then listen to the comments and learn from them. You must seek critical review for your writing, which requires you to develop a thick skin. Take the comments as comments on your work and not about you personally. Also, read all you can about writing techniques. Attend writing conferences, either in person or on-line. Read other authors' works. Concentrate your efforts on becoming the best writer you can possibly be before you even begin to think about trying to publish a book. Let readers of your work tell you when you are ready to think about publishing. It takes most writers years of practice before they reach that point...if ever. Finally, enjoy writing since it can be quite fulfilling.

Visit Harry at http://harrygillelandwrites.blogspot.com/

Thank you Harry!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sunday sea...

Sunday has been extremely hot in Corfu, ideal for a trip to the seaside.

I've enjoyed painting this plain sky and sea picture; I find it so relaxing sinking into the blue hues of light.

Medium: Acrylic on canvas.

Size: 100X70

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Meet Mary Ann Melton, the nature photographer!

Get to know Mary Ann Melton through this interview, and view the fantastic photographs she shoots.

Mary Ann!

We are happy you are here today to tell us all about you and your work!

Tell us about yourself. When did you start photography?

How long have you been doing this?

I started photography when I was young. My grandfather bought me a Kodak Brownie camera. My dad bought me a little Ansco camera with built in flash. When I first got married, my husband introduced me to 35mm photography. I shot my first wedding (with much fear and trepidation) in 1972. I continued to use my photography primarily to record our family vacations, my kids growing up, and memories for the kids that I worked with in scouting. In 2001, I got my first digital camera, an Olympus D510 zoom. As I got more serious about my photography, I bought my first DSLR. Since 2003, I've been moving from being an amateur into the professional world of photography.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the beauty that I find in the world around me. As I photograph, I become more aware and more attune to the brilliant colors of sunrises and sunsets, the small flowers, the colorful insects and butterflies, the patterns in the water ripples. etc. I am also inspired to go beyond traditional photography. My Photographer's Canvas images are created using in camera motion to create interesting effects. Sometimes I shoot from a moving car on a bumpy road. Other times I stand in place and use motion and zoom to see what happens. Digital photography really frees me, because there is no cost to develop and print film. I can try anything and if it doesn't work, you can easily delete the attempt and move on. These motion blur images are an act of faith in many ways. I chose an interesting place to try the technique and I'm amazed at what the camera captured. Right now I'm working on a sequence of images where the combination of the natural environment and the motion blurs create "characters" in the image - hidden from our eyes, but revealed in the image.

What does nature mean to you?

First and foremost, nature is representative of God's creation. As I view the mountains, the streams, the animals and their interactions, the deserts, I see the hand of God. As I watch animals interact with each other, I find applications and wisdom for living my own life better. As I watch animals defend their territory, parent their young, it helps me understand human behavior better. When I'm out in the field, not only does my physical body enjoy the outdoor activity, but my spirit rejoices in a way that is hard to explain.

Tell us about your recent work on birds. Is that your favorite species?

I've been feeding birds around my house for a number of years. So much of my photography is done when we are on trips out of state. When we're spending a lot of time traveling and I've been photographing 8-10 hours a day, it is easy to get home and put the camera away. The mundane but necessary life chores cry out for attention. Last year I saw killdeer chicks and Carolina wren chicks, but I had many other home projects going on so I didn't rush out and grab the camera - so I missed the shots. Henry bought me a book for Christmas, The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession by Mark Obmascik. I got inspired to do a bird census on our 5 acres this year to see how many species frequent our property throughout the year. Some of the bird images I taking, I'm using to help identify some species that I haven't seen at my house before. An added incentive, I had a bird image taken at my sister-in-law's house that was published last summer in Nature's Best. So I am hoping that some of the bird photos will find homes in either nature or birding magazines.

Which are your plans for the future?

I'm currently making submissions to magazines and galleries as well as the major nature photography competitions. I am hoping eventually to start publishing books that will inspire people to take time each week to notice and enjoy the beautiful world around them - whether through photography, birding, walking, gardening, etc.

Do you use any special equipment to take photos?

For my bird and animal photography, I have the big Sigma 300-800mm lens with a special tripod. I LOVE this lens because it allows me to capture images that really get up close and personal with these animals without distressing the animal or disrupting its activities. Because birds are so small and skittish, this large lens lets me set up and wait for them to come in.

Any tips to share with the readers?

First, learn your camera and the basics of photography, composition and post processing with photoshop. Then go beyond and be willing to try new things and new equipment - be creative!

What do you advise new photographers?

I would advise new photographers to spend time taking lots of images - at all times of the day - in all types of weather. As in many other areas of life, patience is a virtue. You have to spend time in an area, going back again and again. Sometimes the lighting just doesn't make great images - too bright or too dark. But consistently getting out and photographing allows you to be there when the lighting or the situation becomes what I call "magical." And you can't always predict when the sun is going to light the entire sky full of clouds brilliant red or yellow. You can't predict when you're going to see a chick flutter its wings and beg for food while the mother sighs in exasperation.

Your motto?

Get yourself out photographing regularly - take LOTS of shots - you have to be out there consistently so that you will be there when the lighting, the clouds, the animal behavior all line up to create a work of art.


The way to guarantee you won't be published, exhibited, or win the competition is not to submit or enter. Submit, submit, submit!

Thank you!

Mary Ann's View Nature Photography Website

Mary Ann's Blog

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother's Day, May 10th

Hello Everybody!

If you want a lift or want to celebrate mother's day with two lovely brand new, unpublished poems go to www.screwiowa.com and stay awhile, or go directly to Jim Daniels' wonderfully rendered poems on this week's Poet of the Week and Quote here:


There's a great quote, two of Jim's new poems and a bio

Go to the Master's page and read the behind-the-scenes of how poetry or anything gets written! This month we're fortunate enough to have Michael Hettich.

So come and visit, folks. Get the lowdown on how we got our name.

enjoy and Happy Mother's Day to those that are, those that wish to be, and those that in their hearts are.

Happiness to all!



This announcement was sent to me by Nina Romano, a poet.

Thank you Nina!

Contest for artists

Good morning!
I've just found this contest in my mail and thought someone may be interested.

Art vs. Design


Images are power. In this dynamic era compelling design can move
millions and transcendent art can inspire a generation. From cave
paintings of early man to today's industrial designers, art & design
has uniquely shaped the world around us, each in its own distinct
way. This contest is designed to answer the age old question: What
shapes our world more, art or design?

To find the answer, we need YOU to enter the dialogue.

Mark Mothersbaugh, acclaimed artist and lead singer of art-rock band
DEVO leads a panel of judges including Jarrett Gregory (curator at
NYC's New Museum) and Donwan Harrell (founder and creative director of
Akademiks clothing) in selecting the top artist or designer to be
featured at a gala reception at the New Museum in June. The public
also plays judge - determining the most powerful medium of the moment -
in an online face-off that pits art submissions against design

Opportunities will be created for everyone who participates and we are
awarding over $11,000 in prizes.

Grand Prize & Student winner will be awarded with:

* A gala reception the New Museum in New York City

* $2009 cash grant

* International Publicity, including a feature in Filter Magazine and
work shown through Gawker Artists exposing the winners art or design
to hundreds of thousands of visitors across 190+ website galleries

* $500 in gear from Akademiks

* Plus the Red Bull Prize: Offering a choice of: A vintage Vespa OR a
trip to London to visit the Tate Museum and the Design Museum OR a
fully loaded Mac Book Pro

Every participant gets:

* An online portfolio and international exposure

* A $70 "Thank You" package with gear and discounts to help further
your work

Registration is open now and continues through Midnight May 31st.


Art VS Design was put together by a handful of Brooklyn based artists
and designers who have experienced first-hand the difficulties of
achieving national attention. We believe both Art & Design hold a
powerful place in our society and it is our intention to break-out new
talent through a process that is dynamic and open-ended.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A photographer is coming...

Hello visitors!

Watch out this place...a fantastic photographer is coming soon!

Her name is Mary Ann Melton.

If you love nature, then you will just love her work.

See you soon,


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The White Snail blog tour...


Follow The White Snail to Karen's blog...

Thank you for visiting!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Moving Through All Seven Days

Today you can learn about Kathy's book,


Here is what she has stated about her work:


I'm very excited to announce that Action Alley Education is close to publishing, "Moving Through All Seven Days." This book inspires movement as children learn about the days of the week. The lyrical rhymes also teach them how to spell each day! The activities at the end of the book are designed to reinforce the concepts as well as give impetus to movement exploration.


More information about Kathy Stemke's book:

(Virtual Book Tour de Net karina@fabianspace.com)

1. What inspired you to write this story?
I’m a teacher at heart, and I always want children to learn something new about life and their environment.  “Moving Through All Seven Days” inspires movement exploration and creativity in children as they learn the days of the week.  The lyrical rhymes also teach them how to spell each day. 
2. Who is your favorite character and why?
I love them all.  There is a wide diversity of races represented as well as a wide diversity of interests. In other words, there is something for everyone.  
3. What was the hardest part of writing this book?
The rhymes!!   I still struggle with finding natural words to flow and represent the ideas I have in mind.
5. What was easiest?
As a retired teacher of 37 years, I love to create worksheets and fun activities to reinforce the concepts that I feature. 
6. What's next for you?
I’ve started a series of books under the umbrella of “Action Alley Education” which combines movement activities with rhymes, phonics, math, and many other educational concepts.  This fresh new approach to learning is full of action-oriented fun!!  Since dance was such a big part of my life, I’m also writing a book which includes rebellious ballet slippers.
Name:  Kathy Stemke
 Website: www.kathystemke.weebly.com

Blog: http://educationtipster.blogspot.com


Get to know Kathy's newsletter!

It's finally done! The first issue of the "MOVEMENT AND RHYTHM" newsletter is full of the latest information, activities, and games for the home or the classroom. This issue addresses topics like: "Why Use Movement to Teach?" "Musical Consonants in Action," and "Activities for Gross Motor Skills." You'll be updated on educationtipster's upcoming events like the Virtual Book Tour and the FREE teacher teleseminars in February. Just sign up on Kathy Stemke's blog:http://educationtipster.blogspot.com.

Here's some excerpts:

"Why Use Movement to Teach?"

.....Recent studies link cognitive skills to motor skill development. Scientists now say that because a child’s earliest learning is based on motor development, so too is much of the knowledge that follows. They have found that the cerebellum, the part of the brain previously thought to control only motor activities, is a “virtual switchboard of cognitive activity.” Scientists have demonstrated a connection between the cerebellum and such cognitive functions as memory, spatial orientation, attention, language, and decision making......

"Musical Consonants in Action"

If you’re happy and you know it, bounce around b b.

If you’re happy and you know it, bounce around b, b.

If your happy and you know it, then you’re face will surely show it.

If you’re happy and you know it, bounce around b, b.....

If your happy and you know it, creep along c, c...etc


Thank you Kathy for sharing with us all this interesting information.
And Good Luck with your future endeavors!


Friday, May 1, 2009

Welcome Kathy Stemke!

Welcome to the May book tour!

This month my guest is Kathy Stemke, author of

“Moving Through All Seven Days"

Enjoy her interview!

1. Where are you from?

I’m originally from New York. I went to school in Connecticut and stayed there many years. In 1990, I moved to Georgia, and I now live in the North Georgia Mountains.

2. When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing poetry when I was a teenager to express all those new feelings and frustrations.

3. What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book was an anthology of poems and photography. I’ve always liked using mixed mediums to express myself.

4. Do you have a poem that you could share with us?

Sure, here’s one entitled, “An Empty Stage.”

Coiled torso frozen on an empty stage,

a living sculpture trapped and placed

with no gown of tulle to hide her age

but with weeping knees below her waist.

Framed in light her insides groan

with pent up passion poised for release,

she now waits long and alone

for rhythm to carry her into peace.

But I remember her unencumbered

prance, so light for one who was held down

by unfulfilled dreams remembered,

floating above her tattered gown.

5. Would you ever consider publishing your poetry?

Yes, in fact, I want to publish a whole book of dance poems someday.

6. What, in your opinion, is the most important element of good writing?

Imagination. A book has to be different to get the attention of the public. It must also have lots of unexpected surprises.

7. Why should someone buy your book, “Moving Through All Seven Days?”

This book not only teaches the days of the week but how to spell each day as well. The illustrations are colorful and are full of action. Children will be inspired to explore all types of movements as they have fun learning.

8. If you could leave your readers with one legacy, what would you want it to be?

Pursue your dreams! It’s sad, but I know so many extremely talented people who never tried to follow their dreams. I’ve found that if you have passion and
persistence, you will succeed at accomplishing many things. One thing leads to another. Just never give up!

Visit Kathy at

http://educationtipster.blogspot.com Education tips and book reviews

http://kathystemke.weebly.com Kathy Stemke’s website

More about Kathy this Sunday!

See you online.