Friday, October 30, 2015

The Baslicato by Carol Ann Kauffman

So you think you're having a bad day? 

Tall, dark, and handsome British actor wakes up in the hospital after a head injury to discover he's a short, average-looking Italian race car driver known as "The Baslicato". 

Book Decription:

When Dr. Brook Wilson agreed to take on celebrity Italian race car driver Jason Maxwell, known as "The Baslicato," as her patient, little did she realize their relationship would turn her calm, pleasant, well-ordered life upside down, sending her off on dangerous adventures in southern Italy and northern Ohio. As she prepares him for his big race, she must deal with his demented wife while driving her boyfriend, Dr, Garrett MacEgan into acts of criminal desperation in a attempt to hold on to her. 

When tall, handsome British actor Richard MacKenzie wakes up in the hospital after an accident, he discovers he's a short Italian race car driver named Jason Maxwell, known as THE BASLICATO.

Buy link:

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Kubota Collection

Dear Gentle Readers,
    Six years ago, William and I had the distinct
pleasure of viewing this fabulous textile art exhibition in
Canton, Ohio at the Canton Museum of Art.  The
exhibition ran from February 8, 2009 to April 26, 2009.
and was only the second showing in the United States,
first appearing at the Timken Museum in San Diego in 2008 and ending in January, 2009.

    Itchiku Kubota was born in Japan in 1917 and became a textile art apprentice as a very young man.   His formal education and textile training were disrupted by the Second World War, when Itchiku was sent to war and  was captured by the Russians.   He was imprisoned in a concentration camp in Siberia, forgotten about by everyone except his family, and he drew and painted the Siberian sunsets in order to keep his sanity amid the deplorable conditions.

Itchiku Kubota is best known for reviving and modernizing a lost art of fabric dyeing and decorating called "tsujigahana," which means
"flowers at the crossroads."  It was a technique used in the fifteenth century with natural dyes, but was lost because of it's difficulty in controlling the resulting shading of the textile.

Kubota's masterpiece, "Symphony of Light," was
a series of painted and elaborately decorated silk
kimonos that he said depicted "the grandeur of the universe."  The kimonos were displayed on large black frames and arranged in a giant oval
depicting a panoramic view of the seasons of the year.  The textiles were shaded so that they seamlessly blended into each other ever so slightly, allowing the viewer to almost see the movement of the earth as each breathtaking view is passed.  Once around the oval is not enough to take in the intricate design and the delicate beauty of the shading on the huge silk kimonos, creating
a mural of the natural loveliness of the Japanese countryside throughout the seasons.

 The sheer size of these large kimonos, set side by side, filling up the huge exhibit hall, was a scene to behold in itself.  But upon a closer examination of the subtly dyed silks and the elaborately decorated designs was truly inspirational and awe-inspiring.  It was a once in a lifetime, spectacular display that I will fondly remember.

I sent information on this exhibit to several friends, noting "don't miss this event!" Some thought I had lost my mind, thinking that walking around in a room full of kimonas sounded more like punishment than jaw-dropping beauty and inspiration. The few who took me up on the offer were amazed at the sheer beauty of Itchiku Kubota's work depicting the grandeur of the universe.

Information for this article is from memory of my visit to the exhibition.  Photos are from the and also Canada's Homage to Nature page,

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Art of 70 by Shirley A. McElhaney

Dear Gentle Readers,
Perhaps you remember the name Shirley A. McElhaney from a Vision and Verse interview with this talented artist from Ohio, whose work has been exhibited worldwide.

Well, the lovely Shirley has expanded her artistic reach to include a book, The Art of 70. It is a reflective volume on past decades and the joyous anticipation for the next.

Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Blurb (October 18, 2015)
  • ISBN-10: 1364910683
  • ISBN-13: 978-1364910686
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.8 x 0.2 inches

       Buy link:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Destiny's Lot, A Halloween Love Story by JR Wirth

Dear Gentle Readers,

From the mind who brought us THE SEERS: LOVE AND TERROR ON THE FOURTH OF JULY, about the unsuspecting family who is hit by lightning on their way to a family reunion and walk away with an unusual ability, THE TOWN BENEATH THE CHRISTMAS TREE, where the family's children are catapulted into danger in another dimension, and GOOD FRIDAY: DREAMS ANS NIGHTMARES, about a man caught in between two worlds, now comes DESTINY'S LOT: A HALLOWEEN LOVE STORY, just in time for Halloween.

J.R. Wirth once again pulls us into a tale fraught with supernatural elements, but with a storyline everyone can identify with and understand in his typical "Outer Limits" style of writing that is classic and fresh at the same time.

If you're in the mood for a Halloween story that will take you back to high school crushes and fear of the dark, this story is for you.

Buy link:


Monday, October 26, 2015

70,000 Pageviews

Dear Gentle Readers,

Well, it happened this weekend, Vision and Verse surpassed the 70,000 page view milestone. Thank you to each and every one of you who stop by daily to see what's new here. 

On April 15, 2013, Texas paper collage artist Parker Kaufman approached Ohio literary fiction writer Carol Ann Kauffman (me, and no, we are not related) with the idea for a blog about inspiration and creativity, specifically the inspiration behind art and literature of today's world and today's artists and authors.

I jumped at the chance to work with this talented artist, who is also a sweet, wonderful human being. We had a blast! We posted works of the masters, lessons on art history and theory, informative articles on exhibits and museums. We shared our own work, as well as the work of other artists and authors. We devised an interview document that helped our readers see the person behind the finished project, and catch a glimpse at that elusive spark, that combination of creativity and determination that separates those who want to from those who do. We conducted over 100 interviews. This was our mission statement:

The mission of "Vision and Verse" is to familiarize our readers with our work, to share with them the inspiration we have found in interesting artists and authors along the way, to inspire our readers to explore their own avenues of creativity, and to help them unlock their ability to see the beauty that surrounds them every day. 

Parker left Vision and Verse to focus on his art. He comes back occasionally to share some of his new pieces with us, and that's always a joy for me. I love his work!

I will continue to strive to bring the most interesting artists and authors I find to your attention. Once again, thank you.



Friday, October 23, 2015

Love Around the Corner by Samna Ghani (Mobile Mistletoe Series)

★★★★★   from Carol Ann Kauffman on October 12, 2015 

Magical Mistletoe Headband

Serena owns a bookstore that's struggling to stay afloat. She also is wearing a mistletoe headband that's supposedly has magic powers. Enter a handsome, intelligent man who reads. This is a sweet tale of wish fulfillment, bravery, and finding love.

Buy Link:

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Giraffes of Technology: The Making of the Twenty-First-Century Leader

From Kirkus Reviews:

A CEO-turned-professor’s debut business book advocates a leadership style for the social media age. Many business books have been centered on animal motifs, from cats to dogs to sharks, chameleons and penguins. Arguably, the metaphor is overdone, but readers may want to make room for one more in the menagerie, as Glover’s giraffe allegory holds up well. 
Unlike many business-book peers who hire ghostwriters, Glover openly shares authorship with Curry, whose writing credits range from documentary projects to short fiction. It’s fitting, as Glover’s message is all about increasing transparency, flattening hierarchies and replacing top-down management with true dialogue in order to achieve shared goals. Glover rose from humble beginnings—his great-grandmother was a slave, his father a school janitor. Nurtured by parents and church members who emphasized education, hard work, humility and patience, he overcame racism and tradition to become CEO of an Atlanta PricewaterhouseCoopers subsidiary in 2000, and he later started his own consulting company, Rede, Inc. Glover explores, in six chapters, how technology and changing cultural norms have come to favor leadership traits reminiscent of the giraffe, a nonpredatory herbivore and gentle giant known for farsightedness. A giraffe also rises up after dramatically falling at birth, skillfully avoids lions while constantly moving forward to feed, and peacefully interacts with diverse herds. 
A serious business book with a light touch, a clear message, and much wisdom.

Here's the link to buy our book on Amazon:

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

LK Hunsaker's Thoughts and Sketches, Gates and Gardens

Dear Gentle Readers,

I met the lovely and talented L.K. Hunsaker at the Second Annual Shenango Valley Mall Booksigning sponsored by Leana's Books & More in Hermitage, PA.

This is her latest publication. Thoughts and Sketches, Gates and Gardens is a journal. It's a coloring book. It also has writing prompts for those days you want to write, but can't think of a thing you want to write about.

It is a simple volume, but one that fulfills many needs, all in one place. I picked up a copy for my own use. Here is the buy link, in case you want one, too.   

Gift yourself with the present of a good day. Make it happen. It can be as easy as a change in perspective.
See it as a good day. Don't allow the drama others like to create suck the joy out of your day.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Fabulous Artwork of Reina Cottier

"My art has reached a whole new level for me lately, there seem to be more layers, more energetically to each piece. While I have less time to paint, (my colouring book and childrens book being published has been keeping me super busy), what I am painting is feeling a lot more satisfying than previously. 

I have revisited my cosmic connections and integrated them with my love for cultural themes and nature/creatures."  
                                                                - Reina Cottier

The artist describes her work and the level of energy and inspiration in her pieces in her own words. You can't look at her work and not be moved by it's beauty and energy, by it's soothing, ethereal elegance.That she loves the New Zealand culture and nature is apparent in her work.

I was hooked the first time I saw her work. It was a dolphin in shades of blues and greens. It was graceful and elegant. It had movement and joy. I have a copy of it on my desk from her 2015 calendar. It makes me happy. It keeps me grounded. 


Above are links to follow the 
fabulous Reina Cottier. 

“Inspiration is all around me, I literally breathe it in on a daily basis. I live in Tairua, a beautiful seaside town, on the Coromandel Peninsula. I am constantly inspired by the majestic mountains to the west and the wild surf beach to the east. I am heavily influenced by our magical mystical universe, and all its wonderment and secrets. I find enormous inspiration in different cultures and tribal life, Pacifica, Indonesian, Indian, Oriental, American Indian and so on, My art has a real ‘cross fusion’ of tribal/cultural feel to it. Bits of this, and a hint of that, blended with a mysticism and ‘other worldly’ feel at times. “My art has developed and evolved immensely, at first it was totally experimental both in expression and technically, now it is certainly still very experimental, (I love being in the moment, no planning and just seeing what evolves on the canvas), but I have developed a certain style that seems to appear, whether consciously or not.”       
                                                           - Reina Cottier

Monday, October 19, 2015

Leana's Books & More Booksigning.

The Shenango Valley Mall Booksigning Event sponsored by Leana's Books & More was a terrific day! We had a nice crowd, met some wonderful people, and signed some books. Leana and her husband Vince did an outstanding job of organizing the event, complete with story times and face-painting, balloons, the works! A great time was had by all.

This is me photobombing my husband. Oh, this man has the patience of a saint. He helped to lug it all in. He helped me lug it all out. He kept me calm and hydrated.

This is me with the lovely and 
talented L.K. Hunsaker, who was
 my "table buddy." I must thank
Leana of Leana's Books & More
for teaming me up with this
sweet and delightful soul. We
had a blast. A review of L.K.'s 
"Thoughts and Sketches, Gates 
and Gardens" will appear later 
in the week. 

And here I am with the wonderful and amazing Burt Cole, humor columnist with the Tribune Chronicle as well as assistant metro editor at the Chronicle in Warren, Ohio. His delightfully funny and touching award-winning humor column, “Burt’s Eye View,” has appeared weekly in the Tribune Chronicle for 19 years.

Burt has written a series of children's books about chickens and farm life pranks, called "Bash."

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Interview with Author John Curry

Professor John Curry
 American University, University of Maryland
Washington, D.C.

Good morning, John, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the place for Art and Authors. As I said on Tuesday when I talked to Dr. Glover, I've been waiting for this interview for a very long time. I am thrilled to have you here. Can you tell us a little about what you've written?

  • Giraffes of Technology: The Making of the Twenty-First-Century Leader, Awarded Best Review published in Kirkus Reviews Magazine and recommended to the leadership book rooted in literature by Harvard Professor and Pulitzer-Prize winning author, Robert Coles.
  • “Licensure Landscape Forum,” National Education Report, National Education Association (NEA)
  •  “Scientific Literacy: A Nation at Risk,” Education Report based on RAND Corporation research for Dr. Shirley Thomas (University of Southern California)

    “Reading, Writing and … Entertaining,” Johns Hopkins University Graduate Writing Program and American Independent Writers (AIW) Conference (Essay, conference program)
(Literary Fiction)
  • Novella:The Archer Prize, Paris Belletric, Los Angeles Literary Fiction, Honorable Mention
  • Short Story: PaperplatesVol. 5, No. 2 (Toronto, Canada)
  • Short Story: SNReview (Connecticut)
  • Short Story: Entre NousStoneflower Press, accepted for thematic issue “rooms and spaces” (Texas)
  • Short Story: Short Stories Bimonthly (Pennsylvania)
  • Short Story: The Prose Menagerie (California)
  • Short Story: Renaissance Magazine (Rhode Island)
Wow! Impressive list. What is your favorite genre to write? 
Creative Nonfiction and a variety of fiction styles.

Favorite Food? 
Greek Yogurt.

That surprises me, John. I had you pegged for an Italian food guy. Tea or Coffee? 

Pizza or Ice Cream? 
Frozen Yogurt.

Where would you like to visit? 
Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Through my work at Voice of America (VOA), I've visited most other countries around the world except for these three.

What makes you laugh? 
My 7-year-old daughter, daily. 

Favorite work of art or sculpture? 
RC Gorman.

How old were you when you started writing?
Elementary School.

Describe your perfect evening? 
Exercise class with friends.

Where do you get your inspiration? 
Through writers and their books, early in life.

What you do when you get a writer's block? 
Read and think more.

Who is your favorite author? 
Too many!

Best book you ever read? 
Atonement by Ian McEwan

Last book you read?  
Madd Adam by Margaret Atwood

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why? 
My mother, and certain professors, who carefully listened to my ideas but also offered their views through a positive, creative conversation.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with One Person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
I would speak with Michael Chabon, the author of "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay," to learn how he can write literary fiction that wins a Pulitzer Prize (and other literary awards) but also broader popular fiction and movies. Unique writer.  

Do you have any links for us to follow you?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Rachael Slate's Moon Borne Blog Hop

(¸.•´ (¸.•`¸🌙 Welcome to the Moon Borne Release Blitz Hop!

For the next five days (October 13-17th), we’ll be celebrating the release of Rachael Slate’s steamy, Greek myth fantasy romance, Moon Borne. Dozens of amazing prizes will be up for grabs at the stops along our hop. Check out the pinned post at for a full list of giveaway locations. Be sure to follow the entry directions on each page.

On this stop, enter to win:

Prize: (e.g. e-book, SWAG, gift card, etc.)
How to Enter: (e.g. Like this page, tag friends, comment, subscribe to newsletter, etc.)

Don’t forget to enter the grand prize giveaway at (look on the pinned post for details).

Thanks for stopping by and happy hopping!
Rachael and Carol