Thursday, January 12, 2017

2017 To-Do List

Lately I've been doing more visual "art" than writing... Not sure why. Maybe creativity not only comes in different shapes of expression but actually requires these different shapes to feed on, to renew itself, even to deepen itself. (Or maybe I'm just a five-star procrastinator and spin doctor.)

Here's one of the latest: the 2017 To-Do List. Hope you like it :)

The 2017 To-Do List, by Guilie Castillo
Created in Photoshop, January 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

On the Money We Make (or Fail to Make) Through Writing

Getting paid more than zero for your work is the first step toward learning what it’s really worth to you, the best way to learn to stop obsessing about what it’s worth to everybody else.

This brilliant piece I just found on Slate.com touches on some of the key elements of making a living through writing. Many authors I know say it should never be about the money. Many others believe it shouldn't be about anything else. Some feel that making money off their 'art' is akin to 'selling out'; some consider payment the ultimate validation.

Either way, though, and as the article says, 
"Few connections are more mysterious than the one between writing books and making money."

Oh, and this:
In their candid moments, most publishers will admit going into business with writers whose work they regard as subliterary because they believe that they can profit from their books. This is still considered shocking in some unsophisticated quarters, but publishing isn’t literature: Literature is literature.

Read the full article at Slate.com.

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Voice of Frustration

We—all of us falling under the liberal, progressive label—have just about had it with being told to "get over it", "work together", "move forward". Two months after the election and the divide is only growing wider. I've seen plenty of material—call it rants, or apologies, or whatever you want—in the blogosphere and elsewhere, and as brilliant as much of it has been, none of it has captured both the frustration and the sheer reality of it as perfectly as this post. My highlight (WARNING: strong language):

You can stop explaining the white working class rural conservative Christian farming folk, hot-takers and self-justifiers. Instead, why don't you explain liberalism to them? Why don't you explain that jobs are drying up and communities are dying not because of abortion and same-sex marriage but because of Republican economic policies that have favored the wealthy, most of whom live in cities, including a certain president-elect they voted for who took advantage of those very policies in order to stay rich? Ultimately, though, it won't matter. Because despite every fucking word to the contrary, the real problem is that those who voted for Trump are racist. They are sexist. They are Islamophobic. They are ignorant.  
The whole thrust of these "let's learn about the yokels" articles is to imply that there are real Americans and there are coastal elites. Sorry, motherfuckers. We're all Americans. And if I have to suffer under your stupid, you have to hear about our smarts.

Exactly. (Even if I take exception to the use of 'Americans'... America is a continent, which makes not just US citizens but Mexicans, Ecuadorians, Peruvians, Brazilians, Costa Ricans, Guatemalans, etc., etc., also 'Americans'.)



Wednesday, December 21, 2016

To Utopia or Not To Utopia? #WEP December Challenge

'Perfect Is Imperfect Is Perfect' — a tribute to imperfection, by Guilie Castillo
Created in Photoshop, December 2016

Utopia. To me, the word conjures visions of Huxley's Brave New World, Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, Orwell's 1984. Manic, soma-induced smiles of what passes for happiness (because everyone has forgotten what happiness—that overwhelming, inimitable joy that rises like milk boiling over and fades just as fast—feels like. Thought control. Do's and Don'ts. A shiny happy surface, and under it a roiling swamp of cruelty, of intolerance... The prehistoric, scaly skin of human nature's underbelly.


Maybe I'm a product of my age; in my imagination, utopia decomposes into dystopia rather instantaneously. Perfect is imperfect. And imperfect is perfect. So, if I had to envision a 'perfect' world, it would have to be a place where there is no perfect. Where imperfection is not only tolerated but celebrated. Where differences, and diversity of all kinds, are the only rule. A world without xenophobia, and a society of tolerance, where no life is worth more than another, and all life is sacred.

Is that possible? Current events would seem to prove it's not. But then there's Neil Young...




Do you see people being led by the righteous hand,
Taking care of everyone like they're on a piece of land.
Show me.
Show me.
Show me.
Show me.
Do you see people's lives being lost on the sacred land,
and the battle over water being fought for the baby's hand.
Show me.
Show me.
Show me.
Show me.
When the women of the world are free to stand up for themselves,
and the promises made stop gathering dust on the shelf.
Show me.
Show me.
Show me.
Show me.
Well I hear you out there when you say what you have to say.
I know how you feel 'cus that's what made me this way.
When heaven on earth is improved by the hand of man,
and people everywhere get together and join their hands.
Show me.
Show me.
Show me.
Show me.
Show me.
Show me.
Neil Young - Show Me Lyrics | MetroLyrics 
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