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The Artist's Duty

The Artists’s Duty

By Kenneth Patchen


So it is the duty of the artist to

    Discourage all traces of shame

To extend all boundaries

To fog them in right over the plate

To kill only what is ridiculous

To establish problem

To ignore solutions

To listen to no one

To omit nothing


To contradict everything

To generate the free brain

To bear no cross

To take part in no crucifixion

To tinkle a warning when mankind


To explode upon all parties

To wound deeper than the soldier

To heal this poor obstinate monkey

     Once and for all

To verify the irrational

To exaggerate all things

To inhibit everyone

To lubricate each proportion

To experience only experience


To set a flame in the high air

To exclaim at the commonplace


To cause the unseen eyes to open

To admire only the absurd

To be concerned with every profess

      sion save his own

To raise a fortuitous stink on the

     Boulevards of truth and beauty

To desire an electrifiable inter-

     Course with a female alligator

To lift the flesh above the suffering

To forgive the  beautiful its disconso-

     Late deceit

To flash his vengeful badge at every abyss




It is the artist’s duty to be alive

To drag people into glittering occu-



To blush perpetually in gaping inno-


To drift happily through the ruined


To burrow beneath the subcon-


To defend the unreal at the cost of

      His reason

To obey each outrageous impulse

To commit his company to all



A Day of Silence for the Victims of the Sandy Hook Silence -12-21-2012

Six years ago,  I attended a seminar in Phoenix, Arizona while doing research for "The House on Black Lake".  I planned to explore secret societies in my novel and felt that in order to write about them I needed to educate myself.  During the course of the week-end I heard numerous experts talk about the Mayan calendar and purported apocalypic event that would happen. A reknowned expert spoke assuring us that the world would not end, but rather would be transformed into a new spiritual awakening. 

It is my greatest hope that today, 12-21-2012, the end of the Mayan Calender, on this Winter Solstice, there will be an apocalyptic change and our world will be transformed by this horrific event, and evolve from acts of violence against innocent citizens to peace and good will to all.

On this fateful day 12-12-2012 this website will go silent as a pledge to honor the dead and to oppose the forces that gave rise to the loss of our innocent.

Anastasia Blackwell.


Is Christian Grey Channeling Lord Byron?

The stilted language of Christian Grey, of Fifty Shades of Grey, has me wondering if he is, in fact, a vehicle for the spirit of Lord Byron. 

 E.L. James,the author of FSG, a West London housewife and former TV exec, married to an academician and screenwriter (who edited her books), lives and was educated in the land of Byron. Ms. James has admitted that the story of obsessive love and dominance and submission is her own fantasy. However, it is highly doubtful she has spent time in the company of twentysomething Seattle billionaires (if there are any). Rather, her sexual fantasies would have been forged by likes of such romantic figures as Lord Byron, and his contemporaries Percy Shelley, and Keats.

I am a native of America's Pacific Northwest, Christian Grey's fictional stomping grounds, and know well how those guys walk, talk, think,and act - and Christain Grey would be laughed out of the states of Washington and Oregon, had he ever existed. And, let's be honest, most women would prefer to be held captive in Byron's gothic castle than in a sterile Seattle penthouse.

Clearly, Christian is of a different breed, land, and era. Perhaps the time of Lord Byron, who was a brilliant poet, war hero, and notorious naughty boy whose aristocratic excesses included incest, and the seduction at age nine by his nurse, Mary Gray.  A descendant of  "the wicked Lord Byron", who was known to be eccentric and violent, Byron gave over his beloved ancentral home, Newstead Abbey, in 1803 due to financial problems, and stayed there as a tenant of Lord Grey.

E.L. James began writing "Fifty Shades of Grey" as fan fiction of Twilight, so the character of Christian was based on a the character of Edward, who (as written) is well over a century old. Byron was a highly popular poet, and leader of the English romantic movement, in the early 1800s, and was said to have fallen into an abyss of sensuality before departing for Greece to redeem himself and fall to a greater cause.

She walks in Beauty is one of his most famous poems - note the reference to "a heart whose love is innocent","all that's best in dark and bright", and "one the more shade".

She Walks in Beauty

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One the more shade , one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

I have felt an affinity for Byron since I touched his name, carved by his own hand into a Greek column outside Athens. "Fifty Shades of Grey was written after The House on Black Lake, and my blogs on obsessive, possessive love, and other similar romantic topics were hot on the search engines when the author wrote Fifty Shades. Is it possible James also channeled my name, Anastasia, and "the scene with the belt" from "The House on Black Lake" during research for her novel?

Anastasia Blackwell


'The House on Black Lake' First Edition Sold Out

The  first edition of The House on Black Lake is sold out. The story and cover design are undergoing revisions and the second edition release date will be announced by Creative Revolution Media, likely at the time a production date is set for the film.

The Chamber of Curiosities, a mythical romance, featuring a charismatic circus freak and a beautifuly young trapeze artist, that explores how an act of faith can transform society, will be published in 2014.

Thank-you all for your interest and support for The House on Black Lake. Publication of the first edition was a personal triumph. I look forward to the second phase of this great journey.

Anastasia Blackwell


The Best Face Cream in the World

A reader asked me to post the name and a link to the face cream I use, since it can't be found in stores.  I have tried most of the reputed creams on the market, including Cream de Mer, and find Comfort Zone Sublime Cream is the best. I t is imported from Italy and is very difficult to find, except online.  I love all of their products, especially the  Eye Supreme, cleanser and night cream. The products are expensive, so if there is only one purchase it should be the Sublime Cream.

If Comfort Zone is out of your budget I recommend the UK's favorite import Boots No. 7 Lift and Luminate Cream which is very reasonable, light and nongreasy, hypoallergetic and broad spectrum SPF 15  Oprah has recommended the Boots No. 7 Intense Serum. I also love Boots No. 7 Highlights Illuminating Lotion for an overall glow and great cheekbone accent, and Boots No 7 Gentle Cleanser, which gently removes all make-up, including mascara. The Boots products are extremely reasonable and effective. I have also tried their lipsticks and foundation and have been happy with every one of my purchases.

Since The House on Black lake explores the magic potions of the underground, I thought I would share my own little secrets.  And as a single mom with little time for self pampering, I love to find products that provide great results and share them with my friends.




Top 20 Bad Girl Gone Good Romance Novels

Ruth Sandeley in The House on Black Lake is a bad girl gone good, gone bad

The House on Black Lake features Alexandra Brighton, a good girl who goes bad (by society's standards), but it also features Ruth Sandeley, a former bad girl turned good, whose circumstances have turned back to her bad roots. It is always intriguing to read the story of a bad girl who reforms. Listed below are a few of the most popular tales.

The list is in no particular order.

1. The Rake, Susan Enoch Series

2. Rescue Me, Christy Reese Series

3. Kiss Me While I Sleep, Linda Howard

4. Stolen Heart, Elizabeth Nauthon

5. The Devil to Pay, Liz Carlyle

6. No Man's Mistress, Mary Balogh

7. Dirty Money, Ashley Jaquavis

8. Death Angel, Linda Howard

9. Ricochet , Sandra Brown

10. Ain't She Sweet, Susan Elizabeth

11. Lead Me On, Pearl Island Trilogy, Victoria Dahl

12. Untie My Heart, Judith Ivory

13. The Bridal Season, Connie Brockway

14. The Charade, Laura Lee Guhine

15. Faking it, Jennifer Crusie

16. The McCloud Brothers, Shannon McKenna

17. Ultimate Weapon, Shannon McKenna

18. Heart of Glass, L.A. Dale

19. The Devil Who Tamed Her, Johanna Lindsey

20. Immortality, Maggie Shayne


Anastasia Blackwell Interview on Horses of the Apocalypse in Novel

In a series of interviews in historic Jacksonville, Oregon I was asked about the horses who lead Alexandra and Ramey to their destiny The House on Black Lake. Here are a few of my thoughts on the subject:





Anastasia Blackwell Interview on Venice Poet who Inspired First Page of Novel

In a series of interviews set in historic Jacksonville, Oregon I talked about the Venice Beach poet who inspired me to begin to write 'The House on Black Lake, a story inspired by a powerful personal experience.  Here are my thoughts:



Historic First Documented Original Music Video Based on Novel 'The House on Black Lake'

A music video filmed by acclaimed cinematographer Fraser Bradshaw, and featuring the suspenseful music of  Russian artist, Andrew Oudet ,is  the first documented music video based on scenes from a novel. The video was filmed at reknowed author Sam Keene's ranch in Sonoma and features Trapeze Arts performers in a suspenseful and sexy peek into the world of The House on Black Lake.



Anastasia Blackwell Interview on Trap of Women Who Marry for Money

In a recent interview at the Ashland Shakespeare Festival in Oregon I was asked about the character of Ruth Sandeley, wife of wealthy Ramey Sandeley in The House on Black Lake. Here are my thoughts: