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Book Review for Dixie Luck by Andy Plattner

Andy Plattner’s collection, Dixie Luck, is a stirring read right out of the gate, full of finely crafted short stories, as well as the novella Terminal, winner of the Faulkner Society’s 2016 Gold Medal for Best Novella. Plattner – a former horse-racing journalist – also teaches English and creative writing at universities throughout the south, including Emory College of Arts and Sciences and the University of Southern Mississippi. Plattner’s work has won multiple awards. His novel Offerings from a Rust Belt Jockey (2014), won the Castleton-Lyons Book Award as well as Dzanc Books’ Mid-Career Novel Award. His first short story collection Winter Money(1996) was awarded the University of Georgia’s Flannery O’Connor Award.

Dixie Luck is full of movement, both literal and figurative. Its characters are nomadic,  yearning for and running from change. They search for understanding in the unreliable, for meaning in an oblique glance, and for hope in that next bet they place. Many of these tales are set in the world of horse-racing that the author knows so well. Plattner pulls heavily from both personal and journalistic experience, introducing us to people one might not otherwise meet had they not been part of the racing world themselves. Dixie Luck brims with tales of flawed, sometimes fragile people, the people who live outside the spotlight: gamblers, grooms, and jockeys.

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BURLESQUE STRIPPED DOWN TO ITS COMEDIC ROOTS

Laughter is an important part of being human. We use humor to navigate unfamiliar territory and to make bad news more palatable. We use it as an outlet for stress and to make others and ourselves feel better. And of course, we use it just for fun. Is it any wonder that humor also plays a key role in burlesque?

“Burlesque’s far-back history is that of comedy,” said Paige Rustles, a burlesque performer from the Pacific Northwest, in an interview with Crixeo. “I think that using comedy in current-day burlesque is so important because it allows us to tackle big and important topics in a highly accessible way.”

Early burlesque was more about lampooning or satirizing social and political figures. The acts also involved scantily-dressed ladies to add to the appeal of the show. The striptease, as we know it, came much later. Actors would perform skits featuring thinly-disguised caricatures of famous people. Even existing and well-respected literature and music weren’t safe. The Weird Als of the 17th century made fun of it all — and showed their ankles while doing it.

More at Crixeo

[REVIEW] The healing properties of 16 PILLS by Carley Moore

Carley Moore’s debut collection of essays, 16 Pills, is a therapeutic read, and while no book can boast being a panacea for the ills of modern life, this one comes close. Moore writes like her life depends on it. She dissects the stories of her life with intelligence and precision, and invites the reader to share in her examination. Feminist, political, funny, and irreverent, Moore’s essays are masterful, and show a true love of the form; the stories are deeply personal, while still tapping into shared human experience

continued at Pank magazine!

ARTIST’S HYPERREALISTIC REPAINTS TURN CELEBRITIES INTO LIFELIKE DOLLS

Cyrus Bronock’s day starts just like anyone’s might: He rises early, brews some coffee, gets dressed, gives his still-sleeping husband a quick kiss on the forehead — Kamden is a college professor — and then it’s off to work. But here’s where his day diverges from the average nine-to-fiver’s. Bronock, known to his fans as Cyguy83, is a repaint artist who specializes in lifelike dolls. Specifically, he takes prefab 11.5-inch fashion and character dolls, strips off their assembly-line paint, then lovingly re-creates them into astonishingly accurate one-of-a-kind representations of celebrity actors and musicians in some of their most iconic incarnations.

Continued at Crixeo

Business Forum Newsletter

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Design Services

How many times have you set out to make a simple newsletter or brochure for your business and you wind up, hours later, frustrated, scanning desperately through software tutorials, and no nearer to your goal than when you started. Don’t feel bad: it takes years of training and practice to learn to expertly navigate some of those design programs, and who has time for that?

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Pro Special Effects Makeup Artists Talk Monstrous Transformations

Before 1981 there was no special effects makeup category in the Academy Awards. One movie changed that: An American Werewolf in London. The film’s first transformation scene was shocking in its realness. It took a frightening folklore tale and dragged it, growling and biting, into the real world. Rick Baker, the special effects designer and creator of the film, is now a legend in the special effects makeup industry.                  Continued in Crixeo 

 

Controversial artwork removed; Professor says potential for violence led to decision

News Article for University of Alaska, Anchorage newspaper The Northern Light

Jessica Keil (maiden name)
Northern Light Features Editor

A sculpture depicting a Ku Klux Klansman was erected in the Arts building on Wednesday, but was taken down two days later after repeated threats were made to tear it down if it was not voluntarily removed.

It was created by engineering major Tony Hamilton for a project in Professor Ken Gray’s beginning sculpture class. The assignment was to create a work using natural materials like wood, fiber and rope for inclusion in an exhibition titled “Nightmare Images.”

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Sinfonia: it’s not just for music majors anymore

Features Article for University of Alaska, Anchorage newspaper The Northern Light

by Jessica Keil (maiden name)
Northern Light Features Editor

If music hath charm to soothe the savage breast, members of the University Sinfonia might well be the most placid people on campus.

A sinfonia is an orchestra scaled down. Way down, if you’re looking at UAA’s sinfonia, with its core group of about 15 members.

The University Sinfonia is run as a two-credit class, so anyone can sign up, but the prerequisite may make some people rather squeamish. You have to audition to get in.

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Connachen talkes life, hitchiking and underwear

Features Article for University of Alaska, Anchorage newspaper The Northern Light

by Jessica Keil (maiden name)
Northern Light Features Editor

From beehives to bell-bottoms, it appears the 70s are making a comeback in a big way, so one might assume that the era’s favorite mode of transportation – hitchhiking – will be coming back, too.

But will anyone stop to pick up those restless souls?

Steve Connachen, 23, wondered the same as he stood with thumb poised by a Canadian highway. Tired of watching cars pass him by, Connachen decided it was time to pull out the heavy ammo.

Stepping behind a tree, he doffed his jeans and faster than you can say “shazam!” he was clad in his national dress.

Less than 45 minutes later, someone stopped and offered him a lift.

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