So the sessions began on Thursday, and I attended the ones on writing. A standout one was on self-promotion. Gini Koch, author of the Alien series, and Genese Davis, a video game personality, were among the panelists.
They really deserved a picture that was more in focus
They all gave interesting advice, but Gini Koch said something that was immediately practical: Business cards have no perceived value to prospective readers. Bookmarks have some value. But the postcard-sized promotions (often featuring the book’s cover) do have value for readers. Also, postcards can be mailed, can be signed—only do promotions that can serve multiple duties. Don’t fill up the postcard with words. Think in terms of the simple Nike ads. She speculated that it might be the shape of the postcard that is attractive. I would second that, since they have golden rectangle proportions.
I also took the time that morning to visit the San Antonio Museum of Art. They have an impressive collection of ancient Mediterranean art, including ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman pieces. I decided to focus on the Roman sculptures of Greek and Roman figures.
Here is an ancient portrayal of Achilles, famous for his role in the Trojan War. As you can see, though he kept his shield, he lost his head.
My favorite among the ancient Greek gods and goddesses is Athena. Of all the Olympians, she is the only one who is noble, which is why I like to write about her. Here’s a life-size statue of her in the museum.
You have to imagine her holding a spear.
Below is an excellent sculpture of a Roman matron. Not sure what she was so mad about.
This next one is rather unusual. The Greek youth has a laurel wreath on his hair, and his arm draped on top. The rest of the arm has broken off.
For some less than fully-clad sculptures, read on.
Ariadne was the young woman who came up with the idea of giving Theseus a ball of twine, so he could find his way out of the Labyrinth after he slew the Minotaur.
So get up off that couch and get some twine, already!
Leda was the mother of Helen of Troy. Below is what remains of a beautiful sculpture of her.
This next part needs some explaining. Zeus turned himself into a swan and mated with Leda. She then laid a couple of eggs, and Helen hatched out of one of them. The usual understanding of such matings between the gods and human females was that they were stories of the gods raping women, before the Victorians got hold of these stories and turned them into more romantic accounts. I’ve done my own version of the Helen story, and one of my proofreaders objected to my scene of the swan attacking Leda. But the sculpture below clearly shows the swan and Leda grappling together. Voluntarily? Involuntarily?
Again, the heads have come off over the years, but you can see what is portrayed. What is even more odd is that this is a table leg. Imagine having this as a leg to your coffee table in your living room. That’s the ancient Greeks for you.