Criticism – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


The Artisan

The word “artist” here applies to anyone who creates. They may use any format, any medium, any creative talent and will produce something original. Written words, musical sounds, lyrics, paintings, photography, movies, videos, sculpture, crafting, dancing, acting, style, design, digital, chemical, architectural, physical – any inventive application of our imagination.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge … For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” – Albert Einstein.



To me ”Constructive Criticism” is refined. An effective type of critical feedback. The reader/viewer/listener will tell you what they find ”good” about your creative endeavors and share what “they believe” can be improved upon. So far so good. When you ask a person to “critique” your work pick someone you know to be skilled in the area of your artistry. They will give you an informed perspective with their opinion. Most artistry comes with learning the “tools of the trade”. This is important. The person who is offering critical feedback should be knowledgeable in this manner. If you don’t personally know someone like this, ask a fellow artist who they may know.



The Critics

There are many out there in the online world wide web of everything that profess to being “experts”! Many are well qualified but some are not. So do your research! Find out more about those you would ask for advice. Be very careful with those you approach for critical appraisal.


The world is in a flux of change. Some of the tried and true “rules” of what and how you should create (in any given medium) is evolving. There is a wellspring of innovative talent from around the world merging with one another right now. This means experimentation with creative new styles and methods.


You’re the Artist of your work ~ not anyone else.


Don’t let “experts” rain on your parade and tell you what’s wrong with your art just because it is perceived as different from the “norm”. Those who are tied to the past sometimes cannot easily see the essence of the future springing from your words, your art, your style of acting, your music, your photography, your videos, your technology, and so on. Be you! Create from the heart.


“The artist is still a little like the old court jester. He’s supposed to speak his vicious paradoxes with some sense in them, but he isn’t part of whatever the fabric is that makes a nation.” ~ William Faulkner


Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful day and remember to always take care of you.

With affection,

~ Penny

I … in my aloneness – reach for the event horizon!


For those of us solitary souls, we often find ourselves reaching inward, into the unknown. Not for respite, nor solace but for the unraveling of mysteries.

And when the magic of who I am encounters an unknown, there is a blossoming in the moment.

An event horizon. Not for an ending, but a beginning of the “new” – for further exploration.


… And I revel, finding myself in that moment, most gratified to be … me!


Wishing you a magical and wonderful day and an even better tomorrow!

~ Penny

Friday Fictioneers – Alone

Another opportunity to be a part of an international group of writers, enjoying the muse, by writing an 100 word (or less) ‘flash fiction’ from a photo prompt. For more details on how to enter, click on the link. Friday Fictioneers, my offering below.

If the photograph looks familiar to some, it should, a very similar photo was used recently for a Ligo Habun Challenge. It is a compelling view with the guard standing at rest and a challenge for writing creatively!





For a few solitary souls, being alone is a good thing. When standing “at rest” during duty, being alone is a part of the responsibility.

When you discover you are alone, by yourself and wishing it were not so, that’s when emotions run riot with all sorts of negative feelings.

Of all the things distinguishing the human experience on this planet, it is the emotional need to be wanted, of value, and loved. It is the strongest single emotional desire (after survival) that we possess.

And yet, in our highly interactive and connected technological world of today, the feeling of being alone is being felt “by the many”. Why?



Penny L Howe


Quandary of the Gods, Friday Fictioneers

Isn’t it funny, and sometimes fun, how quickly we become accustomed to expecting certain things to happen on certain days? In this case it’s Wednesday so it’s Friday Fictioneers time! I know it sounds odd but a wonderful thing none-the-less. Most especially if you’re a writer and/or a reader, a blogger, and love a challenge. That sums it up nicely.

For the writers in the group: Write an hundred word or less ‘flash fiction’ provided by a photo prompt. Sound interesting? Just click on the link and become a part of this fun group of writers. Rochelle, the wise and lovely hostess will provide all the information needed for you to begin. I encourage you to do so.

This weeks photo prompt brought to you by EL Appleby, copyright 2013

My offering:


Copyright – EL Appleby


Quandry Of The Gods – When the muse departs you’re left with the results!

He looked down at his latest creation, his face a mask of supreme frustration!

“Hi Zu, what’s up?” Poseidon asked, still dripping from his morning swim as he popped up next to Zeus.

“Hey Po,” Zeus answered. “Its this ‘creature’ I’ve created.”

“Well I agree, rather … interesting.”

“I made him so the Platypus wouldn’t feel quite so, well, different.”

“Okay, Zu, that’s cool! So what’s the problem bro?”

“The thing is – how he sounds! Listen, the squealgruntroarhornal sound he makes is really weird!”

“Awesome, pure masterpiece of creativity! I love it! Are you ready for breakfast, I’m starving!”



Sometimes, you just gotta wonder about these things! Hope you enjoyed, have a great day!

~ Penny

Penny L Howe

Muse, Muse thy destiny is calling … where for art thou?


Oh what a tangle web we weave when first we practice to … write something that is publishable!

This is me after many hours of slaving over a hot personal computer, for days without end – okay a slight exaggeration, but my PC is telling me to give it a rest, so warm to the touch is he (yes my pc is a he, okay?) My eyes look a little glazed over, don’t you think!

And I, lost amidst the variable vowels and controversial consonants tempting to temper my volume of voluminous words into a most practical piece of literature (see … you can tell I’ve been writing a smidgen too much here!)

So I ponder on the whole “writing experience” Why do we write? Why do we blog, I mean really? Right now as it turns out creatively writing “posts” a few hundred words on different subjects is mind diverting and gives me the needed break from the book I’m working madly to complete (passed the deadlines already, twice!) Why you ask do I not just devote all my writing towards the book? Well simply because …

… my muse won’t let me. Won’t cooperate at all, going hither and thither, even yon … just won’t settle anywhere that I want it to. Actually I’m close to done, the tightening up on key elements is what’s straining my muse. To include or not to include seems to be the question.

And so it goes. Hopefully will finish up directly and off will go the requested submission for (shuddering here, but still anticipatious – yes I know that’s not a real word) review and editing!

Thanks for being there you guys, I really appreciate your support,

~ Penny


And so I wondered

… the musing of it all!




Unrequited Love ~ A sad but noble situation or so Nietzsche believed.

“Indispensable … to the lover is his unrequited love, which he would at no price relinquish for a state of indifference.”

But should there be a distinction made between love never returned and love that you thought (were told) was there, but never was?

And which heart is more broken? The one whose love was never returned or the one who thought it was?

For humans going through this often confusing condition of ‘to be’ (loved) or ‘not to be’ (loved) my muse offers her thoughts on the subject in verse, for no purpose other than she chose not to be jolly, oh the folly! Sorry got carried away with the melancholy (rhyme of it all)!

And so I wondered …

broken heart

Am I the one you dream of

Your very sacred heart of love.

Am I the one your heart beats for

The one you said you so adore.

Those were the words you used to say.

I know, I’d hear them every day.

Eternal love was ours to share

You swore we made the perfect pair.

Are now those tender loving words,

Being said, and being heard

By another love that’s true.

Off with the old love, on with the new.

How very easy it seems for you.

Just one question – what should I do

with the love inside I feel for you?



Yes, now that I’ve finished writing this piece I believe that a broken promise of love trumps unrequited love! And just so we’re clear on the subject, I am personally heart whole, no worries there, just musing with my muse, hope it was entertaining!

~ Penny

penny l howe

Go With the Flow

Melancholy – The Nature of being…

This is a fascinating word.  Evoking in each of us an immediate awareness of emotions conveyed by just saying the word.

Melancholy – the essence sneaks up on you, I’ve noticed, slowly seeping in through sensual crevices, the underpinnings that create our structured and unstructured thoughts.

Melancholy – interfering with all things mental and physical, at once insidious and hard to ignore. Hovering invasively but in such an unobtrusive manner that there is no notice until its fully-fledged arrival has occurred.

I know it’s a deeply personal state of being, whether or not we recognize it happening to another, we certainly realize when it’s happened to us. There is a specifc set of signals going on in the brain that are impossible to ignore. A fatiguing elusive quality of not caring or caring so deeply that it becomes easier to just ignore life and the people around you.

So on those days I … go with the flow!

And I’m thinking it’s okay when this happens, taking time to reflect on what might have been.

“May your muse embrace the many prisms of life contained within” – Penny L Howe

Gerry Rafferty is one of my favorite musicians, although he has gone home, his music lives on. I listen to Baker Street when melancholy. This is a nice rendition video put together by 65Seasons, if you feel so inclined click and enjoy!

Copyright © 2012 by Penny l Howe