Monday 29 December 2008

BOOK REVIEW: The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich

How does one even begin to review the writing of Louise Erdrich? Her words resonate with ancient mysteries and intricate complexities which draw me into her characters' lives time and time again. This novel is no exception.

In The Painted Drum we follow the story through the eyes of different people.

Faye Travers risks her moral rectitude and her career as an Estates agent by stealing an incredible Native American drum. It called to her with a single beat and she was overwhelmed by its mystical powers. Her grandmother was an Ojibwe and Faye takes the drum to return it to her tribe, its rightful owners. But before she hands it over, the drum works its magic on her. In a final healing catharsis, she is drawn to talking with her mother Elsie about the childhood death of her sister Netta. The novel concludes with Faye making life changing decisions.

There is also Bernard Shaawano, the grandson of the Ojibwe maker of the drum. He narrates the history of the drum, and we learn about the tragic life of Bernard's ancestor. He made the drum by following the instructions he received from his young daughter who sacrificed herself to save her mother, Anaquot. She came to her father in visions, and Erdrich’s masterful use of language and rhythm take us into the heart of a man’s grief for a daughter he loved so much he could not love the son who still lived.

The final section of the story relates the story of Ira and her three children. I won’t say more as this is the most powerful section of the book and I don’t want to spoil it. But here the drum comes full circle and, back in its rightful place, it throbs with life and hope.

Erdrich has a way of taking a reader deep into the mysteries that surround us: the soul of wolves; the breath of the trees; and the dead who live on in our dreams. Each word, each sentence, has layers of meaning. No matter how mundane the topic - a man mowing a lawn for his lover – everything is intricately linked and woven together, in much the same way that our individual lives are all part of the same fabric of existence. We are one with each other, Erdrich says, and we are one with all of life.

In The Painted Drum, her characters are flawed, but Erdrich does not judge them. Rather she shows them with unsentimental clarity and a deep understanding for the forces which drive people to do what they do. Erdrich's compassion is coupled with her skill and her wonderful imagination. Once again, she has written another masterpiece.

Monday 22 December 2008

To Worship Mammon or Apollo?

“But, B.B., I think we should never be too pessimistic about what we know we have done well, because we should have some reward, and the only reward is that which is within us...publishing, admiration, adulation...are all worthless”.[1]

The words of Ernest Hemingway in his 1954 letter to Bernard Berenson are echoed by the Zen Master Osho. Creativity is the inner attribute of working with joy. In whatever one does, Osho continues, one must be uncaring of whether history, or even other people, take account of what one has done. Fame, and the desire for fame or reward, should not be a consideration if one wants to be truly creative. The fulfilment one finds in what one is doing lies in the task itself: any act of creation must be completed for the simple joy of having done it.[2]

My business training has made me firmly goal oriented. One of the most difficult transitions I’ve had to make from accountant to author has been to stop emphasising the financial and other rewards of writing and to allow my unique creative voice – or Muse – to flow freely through me.

A while ago, I was faced with a difficult choice. I had been concentrating on genre fiction as a (relatively) easy route to getting published. My creative thought processes were part of a logical strategy: 1. learn how to write genre fiction; 2. get published as genre author; 3. earn money; 4. continue to earn money from genre writing while writing what I really wanted to write on the side.

After writing five full novels, I came very close to being published in genre fiction. I worked with an editor at a large publishing house in the United Kingdom on completely rewriting two of these five manuscripts; both rewrites were ultimately rejected. The second rejection was a turning point for me as it raised many doubts in my mind. Did I continue to write genre fiction? Was my voice really suited to genre writing? And, if I did continue with genre writing, when was I ever going to get to the point of earning enough money to be able to write what I really wanted to write?

According to John Gardner, this mercenary drive probably had its roots in the guilt and shame at being financially dependent on my spouse while trying to establish myself in an artistic field in which the financial rewards are notoriously elusive. However, Gardner continues, for the unpublished author to reach her full creative potential she should remove the added pressure of dependency by learning to accept that financial dependence on a generous spouse-as-patron is not only God’s bounty, but also an excellent survival tactic. It then becomes the author’s responsibility to honour this bounty, this gift from her spouse, by doing everything in her power to write to the best of her artistic ability.[3]

Paul R. Givens, in his article “Identifying and Encouraging Creative Processes”,[4] states that it’s imperative that creative people do not continually find themselves in ambivalent situations, caught between the call of multiple goals. To foster creativity, a choice must be made. And so, at this critical point in my writing life, I was faced with difficult questions.

Did I continue to write genre fiction? By writing for the joint rewards of fame and fortune as a genre writer, was I honouring the generosity of my husband-as-patron? Did I put behind me all the experience I’d gained in writing genre fiction and start again as a beginner? In my journey towards becoming An Author, which god was I to worship: Mammon or Apollo?

I chose Apollo. And my writing is now my joy.

References:[1] Phillips, Larry W.(Editor). 1986. Ernst Hemingway on Writing. Grafton Books. London, United Kingdom. Pp. 104.[2] Osho. 1999. Creativity: Unleashing the Forces Within. St Martins Press. New York, United States of America. Paragraph summarised from Pp. 91-107.[3] Gardner, John. 1983. On Becoming a Novelist. Harper & Row Publishers, Inc. New York, United States of America. Pp. 117-118.[4] The Journal of Higher Education Vol XXXIII No 6 June, 1962, Pp. 295-301.

Thursday 18 December 2008

BOOK REVIEW: A Mercy by Toni Morrison

In preparation for Moon Rat's January 1st, 2009 Book Club, I've just finished reading "A Mercy" by Toni Morrison.

This is the first Toni Morrison book I’ve read and, loaded with the emotional baggage of white South African guilt, I approached it with some trepidation.

The story is told from numerous viewpoints, predominantly that of three women. Rebekka (a white woman), Lina (her Native American slave) and Florens (her young teenage black slave) have a complex relationship. The fragility of this relationship is highlighted in the brief glimpses we have of life in the America of the 1680’s seen through the eyes of other characters, such as Jacob Vaark (Rebekka’s husband), Sorrow (another slave), Scully (neither slave nor free) and finally, in a moving introspection, Florens’s unnamed mother (also a slave).

Characterisations were superb, although at first I found the choppy voice of Florens difficult to follow. But the last section, the only time we hear from her mother, brought all the threads of the story together in a heart-stopping moment of poignancy. With unerring accuracy, Morrison shows how the pain of loss can forever change a human soul.

The grandeur of her writing shows in her superb ability to paint a picture of a slavery that extends far beyond that of white domination over black. She makes the point that many of the original slaves who found their way to colonial America from Africa were enslaved by other Africans: “… insults had been moving back and forth to and fro for many seasons between the king of we families and the king of others…everything heats up and finally the men of their families burn we houses and collect those they cannot kill or find for trade. Bound with vine…the men guarding we and selling we are black.” Domination, Morrison makes clear, takes many shapes but the only time it is truly evil is when we ourselves give our freedom away.

Morrison also shows that slavery for women is cross-cultural. Ultimately, though, what Morrison does in her beautifully sparse and yet lyrical text is show that the enslavement of the human soul is where the most damage is done. ‘Own yourself, woman, and leave us be,’ the free blacksmith says to Florens and in the end the only way that any of the women can “own” themselves is in hatred, bitterness and loss. Their one chance of redemption comes through motherhood, as poor, mad Sorrow finds after she has given birth to her daughter.

Even that is tempered by the pathos of the final chapter. The difficult choices that Sorrow, as both slave and mother, will have to make at some time in her daughter’s future is foreshadowed in the glimpse we have of the harrowing choice that Florens’s mother had to make.

It's in this implicit threat to the brief happiness that Sorrow has found as a mother that I find my one disappointment with A Mercy lies. It’s not that I want or expect a “quick and happy ending” to any novel I read or movie I see. Rather, I’m concerned by the unremitting darkness, the lack of hope, that so many profound books offer as their raison d’être. If life was so unremittingly bleak; if, no matter how good or decent a person is, the suffering they endure always turns them into the angry and violent person Florens becomes, or the pious and bitter and evil person Rebekka becomes, how has humankind survived? Is there never any other option for the pitiful human condition but to escape into the madness of Sorrow?

Robert Orben (1927-), American magician and comedy writer, once said, “We have enough people who tell it like it is. Now we need a few who tell it like it can be.” In A Mercy, Toni Morrison’s brilliant and compassionate prose tells it like it was, but I would have enjoyed the novel more if she had also told it like it could be. If, in some small way she had shown that, despite the suffering that life, and others, impose on us, we can, and do, have the choice - even if circumscribed by the context of our lives - of unshackling the chains that bind us to a painful past.

The Way of the Writing Warrior

On her blog Editorial Ass: I lost the paperback conversation, the lovely Moon Rat spoke about an editorial decision in which she (he?) was overruled because the less risky path was chosen. Moon Rat’s experience is another example of the publishing industry as a business and, for a moment, I was disheartened. Then I remembered my long-ago (and almost forgotten) days of karate lessons. What, you may ask, has writing got to do with martial arts?

Well, think about it. Writing requires certain character traits. In their highest potential, these traits remind me of the way of the Samurai warrior.

In his book The Zen Way of Martial Arts: A Japanese Master Reveals the Secrets of the Samurai”, Taisen Deshimaru talks of the seven underlying principles of bushido, or the way of the warrior. He lists these as:

1. Gi: the right decision, rectitude.
2. Yu: bravery tinged with heroism.
3. Jin: universal love, benevolence toward mankind; compassion.
4. Rei: right action - a most essential quality, courtesy.
5. Makoto: utter sincerity; truthfulness.
ó. Melyo: honour and glory without ego.
7. Chugo: devotion, loyalty.

Let’s correlate these to writing.

1. Gi: For a writer, Gi is the ability to write without thought or regret for what will happen to her story once it has left her desk. It is the acceptance that when we must be published, we will be published. This detachment from the need to be published frees the writer’s judgement. She can autonomously reach a well-reasoned decision about her novel and stick to it. In some cases these “well-reasoned” decisions come more from the heart than from the head and it is these which give a novel that extra spark which raises it above the current trends into a class of its own.

2. Yu: Can a writer, published or unpublished, ever afford to take the “less risky path”? As the Samurai warrior did not hesitate to rush onto the point of his sword if it would accomplish the greatest good, so too must the writer warrior make his decisions about his novel without regard to the consequences of that action if it is for the greatest good of the novel.

Yu works hand-in-hand with Gi, for courage without correct judgement is recklessness, and rectitude without courage is impotence. The first will destroy whatever good the writer has hoped to achieve for his novel and the second will paralyse him into taking no action at all.

3. Jin: A writer without compassion is like a sailor without a boat. How can she do her characters justice if she cannot empathize with the feelings of others? Jin extends further than the ability to create universal characters in her novel. It also applies to professional writing behaviour. It is having the ability to be benevolent and understanding when others do something silly or inappropriate or irritating.

4. Rei: The right action for a professional writer requires certain etiquette and the preservation of courtesy. For a writer it means disciplining himself to respect the industry procedures that show an equivalent respect for others. For example, most literary agents have submission guidelines. These guidelines are there not only for the agent’s benefit, but for the benefit of all the writers who have submitted work to that agent as well. The only right action for a professional writer is to respect the procedures and deal courteously with agents and fellow writers.

5. Makoto: Veracity for the writing warrior means an absolute commitment to honesty. A writer’s integrity is the only honourable way of being. It applies to the integrity of her writing (she must write what she loves; anything less is untruthful) and to her professional behaviour (if she runs a competition for her readers, she must honour any promises she made).

Politeness (Rei) without Veracity (Makoto)or Benevolence (Jin) is artifice. Veracity or Benevolence without Politeness, however, indicates a rampant writer’s ego typified by a desire to show superiority to others.

6. Melyo: honour and glory. To the writer who wishes to gain honour and glory at any cost will mean violating any one, or all, of the Bushido principles. Honour to the writer warrior means doing nothing that will bring shame on his name. It is about not disparaging another’s name or writing. It is about respecting the right of a reader to dislike his work. Melyo is about gaining writing glory with humility and holding onto the honours of writing success with a generosity of spirit.

7. Chugo: Loyalty is the adherence to the hierarchy of governance. Decisions should be made in accordance with a predictable, society-wide understanding of loyalties.

There can be no honour (Melyo) if loyalty (Chugo) is not respected, nor can loyalty be true if implemented dishonourably. This does not mean that the writer must sell his soul if his conscience dictates otherwise.

Gi (right decision) demands that the writer must decide for himself what is the honourable action, even if ordinarily that simply means following an editor’s requests for revisions. However, if the revisions will destroy the integrity of his work or violate his conscience, then the writer can – using the principles of politeness, veracity and benevolence - try to dissuade his editor from the problematic course of action.

Unlike the Samurai who had no honourable option but to commit ritual suicide if he could not, in good conscience, follow what he saw as an erroneous decision of his Lord, the writer warrior (thankfully) does not have to fall on his pen to prove his honour every time the publishing industry makes what he perceives as an error of judgement. The writer can, instead, choose to follow the way of the warrior in his attitude and go forward in his career with equanimity and a pure heart. And he will then become the change he wants to see in the publishing industry.

References:Deshimaru, T. 1992. “The Zen Way of Martial Arts: A Japanese Master Reveals the Secrets of the Samurai” Penguin. Pg 13.
Macro-Bushido: A Geoethical Consciousness for an Info-Cultural Age by Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D. from
The Terasem Journals Online. Volume 1, Issue 33rd Quarter, 2006.
The Seven Principles of Leadership (19/02/ 2008) at

Wednesday 17 December 2008

Five Steps to Writing a Novel

Despite my romantic view of the creative process, I’m pragmatic enough to realise that writing a novel requires far more than just flashes of inspiration and a knack with words. If you’ve always dreamed of writing a novel, either for your own enjoyment or with aim of becoming a published author, there are five simple steps to making this dream come true. They are:

1. Vision
2. Goals
3. Discipline
4. Think Positive
5. Action

Before you can start, you need to have VISION. How is your novel going to take shape? Do you have characters, setting and dialogue in your head? Do you know what your characters are going to do: will they fall in love, be murdered or go on a long voyage?

You also need to have the vision of yourself as A Writer. If you’re simply writing for your own happiness, can you imagine yourself writing those two magic words “The End”? If you’re aiming to be published, are you able to visualize yourself holding your first novel in your hands? Can you feel the weight of it? Smell that new-book scent of printing? Do you dream of the day when you will sit in your local bookstore, a pile of your books next to you and a line of readers waiting for you to sign your name? These are the carrots that keep you writing during the tough times.

Dreams are never enough. You also have to have GOALS.

You need to break your vision down into bite-sized chunks of carrot by setting goals. For example, set yourself long-term goals, medium-term goals and short-term goals. A long-term goal could be something like “Submit final copy of novel to agents within twelve months”. A medium term-goal could be “Finish first draft within four months”, while short-term goals could be “Write a thousand words a day” and "Finish research on the Namib desert as setting".

Goals are only effective when you reach them. If you find you’re constantly missing your targets, take the time to reassess your goals. Are they unrealistic? In what way are they unrealistic? Have you set a goal of five thousand words a day when you have small children to care for or a full-time job? If you still think your goals are achievable, ask yourself why aren’t you meeting them? Are you allowing yourself to be distracted from your writing? As award-winning mystery author Jeff Abbott asks in his comments, do you keep your writing time sacred? Or are you a slower writer than you think you are? Are you avoiding the next phase of your writing, and why? Or do you just lack the discipline to focus on your writing goals?

DISCIPLINE is a harsh word. But it’s a word any aspiring author needs to make friends with. Without the discipline to keep focused on your goals, you won’t meet them. Without the discipline to write when you’d rather go to bed, your story will never get finished. Without the discipline to re-write again and again, your story will not shine.

Discipline is not the same as self-criticism. But it can help with the next step to getting your novel written, which is THINK POSITIVE. You need discipline, and self-belief, to keep yourself optimistic. Optimism doesn’t just happen: it’s a choice. Writers are emotional human beings and, at times, you may find yourself doubting yourself, your writing and even your vision. So how do you overcome that doubt? You can choose to think positively. By being optimistic about your writing, you encourage yourself, and others, to believe in what you’re writing.

As long as you are writing. Nothing can get the novel written unless you TAKE ACTION. Dreaming about your writing vision and planning your writing goals are important, as are discipline and optimism. But these alone cannot result in a completed novel. You have to sit down and actually write the words that will bring your vision into reality. After all, that’s what you’re in it for, isn’t it? To tell a story?

When you’ve finished writing the story, when you write those delicious words “The End”, it’s then that you know you’ve climbed the five steps to writing success. And, finally, you are A Writer.

Friday 12 December 2008

WRITING TIPS: Daily Routine - How I write

Author Jeff Abbott posted this excellent link to a site called Daily Routines.

Reading the different routines of famous authors made me wonder what routine and rituals I have.

Toni Morrison writes with a pencil and requires a transition period from her daily life to her writing life.

This struck a chord with me. My best writing has come from those times I’ve written directly onto an examination pad with a soft lead pencil.

My transition period consists of two things. I start my writing day by typing up what I wrote the previous day. I do some editing. I have a short break and make a cup of chamomile tea. Then it’s back to writing and my second ritual. I sharpen all my pencils; then I line them up one by one, from the shortest to the longest. My writing time has begun.

I’ve discovered I’m a slow starter, both in my daily writing quota and in writing the whole novel. I cough and choke and limp my way along until I hit “the zone” and then I’m away. It’s as if my creative brain needs lubrication to get into the right gear.

The one thing I constantly struggle with is time management. I’m at my best in the morning, but sometimes life gets in the way and I’ve had to learn to be flexible. Instead of saying to myself, “You will write from 05h00 to 06h30. Every day!” I set a looser target. What works for me is to commit to writing an hour a day or four (handwritten) pages a day or more. That way I can cope with the demands of everyday living and still write.

The key is to write something every day! If I miss even one day, I lag behind. But when I’ve written every day for a few weeks, I hit my stride and my pencils get shorter and shorter…

Tuesday 9 December 2008

Facebook, the Time Thief

Technology astounds me. There’s iPods and iPhones and Xboxes to play with. There’s Blogger and Skype and MSN messenger to keep in touch .

Then there’s Facebook.

It is the modern world’s equivalent of the back fence in a garden. One logs in instead of leaning over, but the experience is the same. Exchanging tips and quips with people who before have only been names on book covers or little faces on a blog post is all part of moving in to a new community. When you've finished chatting, you feel like you belong. You are An Author.

But the danger is that, before you know it, an hour or two or three has slipped away. Most days, those few hours are the only spare time you have for writing so, ultimately, any time spent on Facebook is time stolen from your writing.
Unknown source. Please contact me if you are the owner of this image.
There are advantages, of course. It’s a convenient way to belong to a writing community and, as writing is essentially a lonely occupation, the sense of linking up to like-minded people can be exhilarating and rewarding. Marketing will never be the same again: there are gadgets, widgets, and links galore to advertise your work.

So how do you take advantage of Facebook without allowing it to rob you of precious writing time?

The key lies in time management. Decide on how much time you can comfortably afford to spend on Facebook. Then stick to it: a natural extension of the discipline necessary for writing.

There may be friends you cannot reply to; or photo albums you are unable to view. But learn to differentiate between what is urgent and what’s important. You can answer the rest another day, knowing that your Facebook friends are undergoing the same dilemma and will understand your need to prioritize.

In the end, what will always be urgent and important is that your focus remains firmly on the only thing that matters: your writing. Technology is a writing tool and must remain as such, or else your Facebook will become a time thief.

Sunday 7 December 2008

The Road to Timbuktu

Timbuktu. A far and distant city. An exotic people. Myths and legends and strange, dangerous customs.

It’s all that and much more. Last weekend, I was privileged to attend an exhibition of the ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu. Some of these manuscripts were from the 12th century and covered subjects as diverse as astrology and family law, astronomy and optics.

My favourite was Manuscript 776 (see photo). Written in the 16th century by the famed scholar Ahmed Baba, this work contains the lines that on the Day of Judgement the ink of scholars will be measured against the blood of the martyrs and will be found to be weightier.

I found this encouraging and I left the exhibition with a sense of calm and a renewed belief in the continuum of human existence: we live, we die and the words we write in between – no matter how mundane - carry so much responsibility. What is a mere list of possessions today can become the future’s only glimpse into our daily lives. What we think is a clichéd tradition can become the legend of tomorrow’s world.

For a writer, what can be more inspiring than this?

Monday 1 December 2008

What is Creativity? Part Four: Creativity as Divine Inspiration

As a writer, what is your biggest challenge? Is it finding the time to write? Is it being disciplined enough to do your daily quota of words? Do you struggle to come up with new ideas or snappy dialogue or believable characters? Are you an expert on the first three chapters but can never finish a novel?

Or are all of these simply excuses to hide a deeper resistance?

Perhaps your conscious challenges in your writing process mask a deeper resistance such as fear of failure in that you’ll never be published or the fear that, once published, you will be fated to remain an obscure and neglected author.

In the creative process there is, says Michelle James,[1] a natural resistance to the transforming force of creativity. Creativity, by its very nature, births into the world something new. Such a potential is bound to meet a deep-seated resistance to any internal personality change (for example, I will have to become more organised) and external life style change (if I am actually published, how will the status quo of my life change?) that results from the creative process.

James points out that, as the hard eggshell protects the unborn chick, this resistance is the psyche’s way of protecting what is. And, in the same way that the resistance of the eggshell to the chick is hardest in the moment before hatching, so too is the psyche’s resistance to change strongest at the moment immediately prior to the transformation of the identity through the creative process.

Every time I sit down to write, the biggest challenge I have to overcome as a writer is the fear of letting go of all intellectual control during the process of creative writing. In surrendering completely to my Muse, I allow some unknown force to work through me. In that surrender there is too great a potential that - in undertaking the creative, and therefore transforming, journey of creative writing - I will lose touch with the world of my “real” existence.

Margaret Atwood[2] in her book 'Negotiating with the Dead' describes the creative process of writing as being a compulsion to enter into a dark underworld; to seek to illuminate this darkness and to, perhaps, bring something back into the light. In the darkness, a writer has to ‘negotiate with the dead’: and the dead do not always let the writer return to the safety of the upper world. There are the suicides: Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, Ingrid Jonker. The addicts : Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Ernest Hemingway. And the mental illnesses of Plath, Woolf and Hemingway, to name but a few.

But it is this very darkness, this journey into the unknown realms of the creative psyche, that lifts a writer beyond the virtue of being a skilled author and, as Plato says, makes of him “a light thing, and winged, and holy”.[3]

In Ion, Plato describes the difference between an inspired author and one whose art is a product of his technique.[4] It is when a Divine Madness grips a writer that he becomes inspired. Untouched by the madness of the Divine Muse, believing that technique alone will inspire him, the author’s creative composition does not soar into the realms of brilliance.[5]

A great author, Plato states, becomes by Divine dispensation an interpreter of the messages of the gods.[6] It is only a writer or poet capable of surrendering his reason to the Divine forces which move within him who can create work which is like a god‘s. And Plato distinguishes these works from the writer who merely creates art as a product of his mind and his technique. “It’s a much finer thing,” says Plato's Ion, “to be thought Divine.”[7]

Thus, the author gripped by Divine Madness finds – as John Keats did – that the journey into the psychological or spiritual terra incognita of his creative intuition is not so much a loss of his primitive, or lower, state of awareness, easily disturbed and thus distressing, as it is a journey into an intuitive awareness of some higher knowledge which is beyond the horizon of his consciousness.[8]

My initial image of a creative genius has come full circle. I have found that true creativity requires an artist to learn the techniques of his craft, connect with his creative intuition, and practice until he is prepared. And then, as a final sacrifice to his Muse, he[9] must surrender all rational thought and leap into the abyss of ‘creative madness’ to write and write and write until he can write no more.

[1] Article Source :
[2] Atwood, Margaret. 2003. Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing. Virago Press. United Kingdom. Chap 6 and Pp. xxii.
[3] Saunders, Trevor J. (Editor). Plato: Early Socratic Dialogues. Penguin Classics. London, United Kingdom. “Ion”, Pp. 55.
[4] Goldberg, M.A. 1969. The Poetics of Romanticism: towards a reading of John Keats. The Antioch Press Ltd. Ohio, United States of America. Pp. 28-38.
[5] Radice, Betty. (Editor). 1973. Plato: Phaedrus & Letters VII and VIII. Penguin Classics. Harmondsworth, United Kingdom. 1981 Reprint. Pp. 48.
[6] Op cit., Saunders. “Ion”. Pp. 55-56.
[7] Op cit., Saunders. “Ion”. Pp. 65.
[8] Gradman, Barry. 1980. Metamorphosis in Keats. The Harvester Press. Brighton, United Kingdom. Pp. xiii to xviii and Pp. 135.
[9] For ease of reading, the artist is referred to in the male gender. This reference does, of course, mean either the male or female gender.