Saturday, September 11, 2010

Welcome, Rhobin L. Courtright

Muse author, Rhobin L. Courtright joins us today and talks about art museums.

I love art museums, perhaps because no matter how abstract an artist's work, a story is being told because most art has a strong, direct emotional appeal. This is no original revelation on my part. When reading was a skill few people knew, painting and sculpture told the story. Every sculpture in a medieval cathedral had a Biblical story tied to it so the non-readers (nearly everyone) could remember the Bible's passages. Though the reading Level among today's population is much higher, every museum offers the same experience. Visual images touch people's emotions quicker than anything else. Stirring those emotions ties the art to our personal experiences from which we imagine a story.

Writers and readers can discover every type of story in art. If science fiction stories draw you, look at Picasso's 'Three Dancers' or anything by Kandinsky. Want a horror story? How about Edvard Munch's 'The Scream.' Fantasy fan? Look at Henri Rousseau's 'The Dream.' Like Romance, look at Jan Vermeer van Delft's 'The Letter.'

Walking through a museum presents an opportunity to enjoy visual beauty while imagining the story that goes with the images displayed. Most often the story is told by emotional response. Not every work tells every viewer a story. If the message is not understood, the viewer tends to glance and walk away. When the piece speaks to a viewer, they stop and study it. In their mind they might be discerning how a line or shape interacts with another, or how the colors relate, but somewhere inside it touches an emotional chord.

The marvel is that despite guides' lectures or critics' comments telling what the artwork is about, each person takes away their own story even if it is only an impression, which might be completely different from the story the artist meant to tell. Luckily, there is no wrong interpretation.

Writing a story, as well as reading one, is similar. While the words enter the brain through the eyes, the words have to create the images internally to touch the emotions. The connection created between artist and viewer or author and reader draws everyone closer by shared emotions, shared dreams and realities. Such sharing, even in fictional stories, makes us more empathetic, more understanding of the human condition. If you'd like to check my stories out, go to my website or my blog

Crewkin excerpt

"Thought you wouldn't show." The voice spoke behind her. A hand grabbed her arm and pulled her toward the hatch. "I expected you sooner."

"You said six-hundred hours." Fighting revulsion at a strange touch, too startled at his grasp to writhe, Renna repressed her immediate response to defend her punctuality. Crew position demanded deference. His appearance remained unkempt. She stretched her stride to keep up with his pace. The grid on the retractable ramp bounced underfoot, impelling her forward. A direction she wasn't sure she wanted to go.

"And you couldn't arrive early?" He coded the hatch lock pulling her inside when it opened.

A gasp greeted her entry, half heard in the sound of hatch mechanism's operation. Four crewmembers stood beyond the hatch, arrested in their work. Small stowage boxes, equipment, and personal paraphernalia scattered the deck grid.

One look at their astonished, unhappy faces made Renna take a step backward, prepared to flee. The hatch rolled, slammed shut, and locked behind her. She looked over her shoulder in dismay. The captain didn't look at her or the crew as he made his way forward.

"Prepare the ship to disembark," he ordered as he ducked through a hatch.

No one moved. Her other shortrunner crews had looked different from crewkin. They had, however, claimed a vague, scruffy resemblance. This crew looked nothing like their disheveled captain, nothing like she envisioned. From their expressions, she judged them as appalled by her.

"Holy hell, a podder. Jake's done it this time," a tall blue-black person spoke. The deep voice held a feminine timbre.


Erika Gilbert said...

Your story sounds really interesting and the cover is so amazing, it's definitely one of my favorites.

Rhobin said...

Thanks, Roseanne, for hosting me. Thank you Erika, for your kind comments. The cover, of course, is Delilah's inspiration.

Heather Haven said...

Well written. I love the excerpt. Now I really want to know what's going on! The premise is fascinating!!

Ginger Simpson said...

Rhobin already knows I love her. She has the most creative mind and this post shows it. Here's wishing you mega sales with Crewkin...I wish I had half of your imagination. :)

Cora said...

Enjoyed your interview with Rhobin Courtright. And thank you for the short book review, interesting.

Larion aka Larriane Wills said...

I had the honor or critiquing Crewkin. to me it was a great read.

Debra K. Dunlap said...

A thought-provoking post, Rhobin. Thank you! And thanks to you, Roseanne.

S.Durham said...

Rhobin, I agree... I love art and don't get to art museums nearly enough. Your excerpt is intriguing and I look forward to your book's release.