Author Archives: emthib@gmail.com

2015 will be the Year of the Fox

Beautiful photograph of red fox on banks of Kennebec River, Red Riot by Andy Molloy

 

Who was it that said, In winter all of our dreams feel like lies?  Well, that actually might have been me.  I do get depressed in the winter sometimes.  But the great thing about this time of the year is the slower, more thoughtful pace our lives tend to take.  Holidays behind us, barren landscape before us, it is the perfect time to turn in, and see what stirrings are in our hearts and minds. I just love thinking of all you creative people out there blanketing the gorgeous terrain of central Maine huddled up around a fire of some sort, writing, drawing, reading, knitting, sewing, baking, singing, dancing.  And then, when the time is right, you set your darlings free into the night.  And that’s where Four Foxes comes in, regarding your short stories, poetry, essays, comics, and drawings. We are seeking submissions right through the spring!  We just updated our submission guidelines to include digital/email options.  So now it is easier than ever to get your work to us.  You can check that out here, Submissions.

In other news, we will be having several new guest bloggers this winter, I am looking forward to working with these awesome people that have volunteered to write a bit about their own little experience here in the Maine.  We also are going to be having a cover art contest, calling for an artistic interpretation of the Four Foxes and the theme of Light, Dark, Beauty, and Truth, which will have a cash prize (!!!!), and of course the prestige of having your artwork grace the first issue of our little adventurous new mag.  So stay tuned for more details regarding that.  It’s been a real annie dillard quotepleasure getting to know the folks who have stepped forward looking to help or submit to Four Foxes, and I encourage anyone who is feeling it to drop me a line.  We can use all the help we can get and are very eager to get more people submitting work.

I just finished doing my yearly book review for 2014, so I thought I’d share that with you.  I love to read!  Right, do I even need to say that.  And the books I read each year exist with me like a living entity, affecting and shaping my thoughts and feelings as I move through the world.  Would love to check out any book reviews you all have done, please share on our site or facebook page.  Happy New Year, everyone!

The Books of 2014

“You don’t understand anything until you learn it more than one way.” – Marvin Minsky

The more we try to define something, the further away from it’s essence we often move. If this year had a theme, that would be it.

I did not break any records this year with 39 total books read. 28 works of fiction, and 11 nonfiction. My low numbers stem from two sources; one being reading the novels Portnoy’s Complaint, and Pillar’s of the Earth early in the year and in close succession. Both are long, and neither impressed me with what they were trying to do. Two time holes that brought little resonance. But, in retrospect, important reads in their own right. My other low number catalyst is the philosophy and religion books I read. You’ll see them there in the nonfiction list below. Slow thoughtful reads that don’t look like much to someone not interested in those topics, but deep and powerful experiences that shaped my meditations for the year quite heavily.

I fear I am becoming a bit of a sentimentalist, as I couldn’t bring myself to rank my reads straight through as I have done in years past. I choose top fives for Fiction and Nonfiction, but the remaining lists are in loose descending order.

The energy this year feels good to me. Four Foxes will go to print this year. Many adventures, and much love, will unfold. Here’s to another year of great books!

FictionAll the light, Doeerr

1. All the Light we Cannot See, Anthony Doerr

I dislike synopsis in book reviews (though I’ve done my fair share of them, I figure goodreads and the dust jacket can tell you all you need to know, sometimes too much!), but there is a character in this novel, the Father, who carves wooden boxes for his blind daughter. These boxes are intricate, elegant, beautiful, and each contains a secret chamber which only careful study will reveal. And this book is just such a box. I had to get more than 300 pages in before I realized what I had on my hands; the dreamy, lugubrious prose had lulled me into a trance, when I suddenly began to see, by moving in ever widening arcs away from the details, pulling up from the individual stories, just what an impressive work of art Doerr created. It is a beautiful book, with sentences like gems plucked fro   nude in tub, wuori m the sea.

2. Nude in a Tub: Stories of Quillifarkeag Maine, G. K. Wuori

This was a random book I picked up at the library just based on the looks of it. This collection of short stories is wildly it’s own animal. Words like raw and assault come to mind. But they fail to express what wandering the trailers, fields, and woods of Wuori’s little fictional northern Maine town feels like. For anyone that has ever felt like they’ve been abandoned at the ends of the earth in some little isolated corner of Maine, this book will tap that vein, and hard. Insanity. That’s another word that comes to mind.

3. House of Mirth, Edith Wharton

I keep a reading journal and my entries around this book were just ridiculously sad and romantic, and can be wrapped up in this little gem, “She is beautiful, and men love her, and it ruins her.” Beautiful portrait of despair and futile suffering. Razor sharp assessment of a kafka on the shore, murakamiwoman’s worth at that time in that society. Like all Wharton I’ve read, pitch perfect and always exceeding expectations.

4. Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami

Talking cats, transgender librarians, metaphysical journeys, sex with a ghost, much talk of preparing simple yet delicious sounding food, this is Murakami at his finest. I loved this novel. Goal for 2015 is to finish the Murakami canon. Probably not going to happen, considering his most recent weighty tome, but I am at least going to catch up on his older works.

5. Snow Country, Yasunasnow country, kawabatari Kawabata

Remarkably sad and beautiful. Stark, elegant, exposing the faulty hearts of us all. A great read for winter. A doomed love affair set in an isolated snowy world.  Sound familiar to anyone?

NW, Zadie Smith

MaddAddam Trilogy (3 books), Margaret Atwood

NOS4A2, Joe Hill

Just had to note that I started reading Joe Hill last year and that this novel rates so high for me in part because it is, in my mind, the book where he looked his Dad in the eye and said, there, I can do it too. It is an entirely Steve book. And it is my favorite of his so far. And I have a crush on him.

Doctor Sleep, Stephen King

Lovers of good King writting will not be disappointed with this.  An excellent revisit to The Shinning universe.

Everything is Illuminated, Johnathon Safron Foer

Crampton Hodnot, Barbara Pym

The Flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner

Great quote from this raucous book, “People who want their love easy don’t really want love.”

Heartshaped Box, Joe Hill

Some Tame Gazelle, Barbara Pym

Silent House, Orhan Pamuk

The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follet

We’re all in this Together, Owen King

Pandora, Anne Rice

Tobacco Road, Erskine Caldwell

Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan

When She was Good, Philip Roth

Portnoy’s Complaint, Philip Roth

I do not like Philip Roth.

 

Nonfiction

1. The Soul’s Religion: Cultivating a Profoundly Spiritual Way of Life, Thomas Moore

I’m not going to try to talk anyone into this one.  If the quotes below mean anything to you please check this book out, it’s the best I’ve read on religion.  It is not dogmatic.soul's religion, moore

“All things have an accompaniment of magic. If the facts seem plain and thoroughly known to thee, tis plain thou knowest nothing about it.”

“A sense of self appears when you no longer have a need to be somebody. Transcendence arrives when you embrace the life that is given.”

“The deep soul tends to be soft, and receptive. While the transcending spirit has a sometimes wounding point.”

2. ThThe lost city of z, granne Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, David Grann

Just a really fabulously researched and written book looking at the amazon forest and those who, “…were sometimes swallowed up by the mystery that their hearts were so persistently set on unveiling.”

3. Secret Teachings of Plants: The Intelligence of the Heart in the Direct Perception of Nature, Stephen Harrod Buhner

A foundation in some basics of neurobiology and other related sciences to help you understand the basis for how direct perception or depth mode cognition works, a good explanation of nonlinear thinking/perception and how this relates to the nonlinear nature of the universe and living things, then helpful tips on how the experience tends to unfold. Pretty heavy, but very accessible.

4. Cultivating Compassion: A Buddhist Perspective, Jeffrey Hopkins

This book is written by a gentleman who traveled extensively and studied with the Dalai Lama. The book is basically a deconstruction of the type of meditations that Buddhist monks use to, you guessed it, cultivate compassion. I have a meditation practice, so this book gave me a lifetime of ideas to ponder.UntetheredSoulMech-#1.indd

5. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, Michael Singer

In the same groove as “The New Earth” it’s a book about perception and consciousness. And there is a picture of a unicorn running free on a beach on the cover, so, home-run. —–>

Drink: The Intimate relationship Between Women and Alcohol, Ann Dowsett Johnston

One Man’s Meat, E. B. White

A taste of the master, “There is furthermore slight chance of my becoming provincial this summer, as I am raising a baby seagull, and there isn’t time. A young gull eats twice it’s weight in food every ten minutes, and if he doesn’t get it, he screams.”

Poet’s Guide to Rilke, Rainer Maria Rilke, Ulrich Baer

I love me some Rilke:

You who never arrived
in my arms, Beloved, who were lost
from the start,
I don’t even know what songs
would please you. I have given up trying
to recognize you in the surging wave of
the next moment. All the immense
images in me — the far-off, deeply-felt
landscape, cities, towers, and bridges, and
unsuspected turns in the path,
and those powerful lands that were once
pulsing with the life of the gods–
all rise within me to mean
you, who forever elude me.

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Nicholas Kristof, Sheryl WuDunn

A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are, Byron Katie

Add More -ing to your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness, Gabrielle Bernstein

We’ve got Music in our Hearts

 

Hello!

Here at Four Foxes summer is in full swing.  We’ve been getting a wonderful response to our website, and the submissions are trickling in every day.  Thank you to all who have submitted, supported (through word and deed), and shared your enthusiasm for Four Foxes.  Please keep it up, we want to reach as many people as possible in the central Maine area!  We will be accepting submissions until next March, so there is plenty of time for you to get some work together and submit.  If you are interested in helping with the magazine in any way, please email me: editor@fourfoxesmagazine.org.  I would love to talk with you about it.  I hope you are all going swimming, feeling sun on your bare skin, spending time with the people you love, and basking in the glory of August in Maine.  Be well!

Shane shanebillingsMalcolm Billings, Four Foxes founding board member, librarian, and all around nicest guy you’ll ever meet, has spent some of his summer listening to music.  His love of musicians and his commitment to cultivating a true appreciation for music have always inspired me.  He was kind enough to guest blog some reviews for his top picks of the season.

Music Reviews

by Shane Malcolm Billings

Lights Out by Iingridmichaelsonngrid Michaelson

Ingrid Michaelson scored new heights with her previous album, 2012’s Human Again. With Lights Out, released this past May, she has managed something even better! Michaelson’s music has always struck a balance between light quirkiness and serious contemplation, but with her recent music, she seems to have landed more firmly in the latter category. Opening track “Home” contains a front and center vocal performance that is simultaneously comforting and somber. Lead single “Girls Chase Boys” follows, and it’s virtually impossible not to sing along. In the album’s middle section, “Time Machine” busts out of the speakers like a force of nature, while the catchy “One Night Town,” a duet with Matt Nathanson, is an energetic burst of light, before the album settles into darker territory in its final third. “Stick,” a song in which Michaelson asks a former lover whether or not any part of her remains with him, is arguably the best song of her career to date. Ingrid’s voice shines throughout this cd.

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

Unrepentanttoriamos Geraldines by Tori Amos

The release of a new CD by Tori Amos is always a huge deal for the fans who have followed her creative muse over the past two decades. Unrepentant Geraldines, her fourteenth full length studio album, came out in May to rave reviews. Tori hasn’t received such unanimous praise from the music critics since 2002’s Scarlet’s Walk. Unrepentant Geraldines finds the singer-songwriter in reflective mode, exorcising very different demons at 50 than she did at 30. It’s refreshing to see an artist accept a new phase in her life, and to legitimize it with beautiful songs, rather than try to pretend she is at the same place, perpetually stuck at 30 years old. Some of this album’s songs, including the mournful “Weatherman” and the multi-layered title track, rank among the finest of Amos’s career. What is astounding, even more than the always adept piano playing, is the pristine quality of her voice, and the high notes that she hits with seemingly no effort at all. Best moment: “Oysters,” an emotionally gripping ballad that sounds like it could have been on Under the Pink.

 

____________________________________________________________________________________

 

Please help us spread the word by liking and following us on Facebook, and sharing this website with your friends and neighbors!  Have an idea for a guest blog?  Tell me about it. We will be featuring new guest bloggers regularly, it could be you.

 “Like so many others in this century I found myself a displaced person shortly after birth and have been looking half my life for a place to take my stand. Now that I have found it, I must defend it.”

-Edward Abbey

I wanted to be a writer once. Novels. Short stories. Something.  So I wrote a lot, and I read a lot of books, and I submitted short stories to a lot of literary magazines. I started doing this in earnest after Stephen Kind told me to, in On Writing, one of his finest books. I had a dog eared Writer’s Market, and I checked out sites on the internet, and mailed in a lot of stuff. Then I started to read the literary journals I was submitting to. I sensed that I was missing something. And it was then that I realized that not all writers come from MFA programs, and thank God, as these journals were pretentious, and made for terrible reading. And I learned what Academia meant. And I walked away from the whole scene a bit bored and jaded. I should make my own literary magazine, I grumbled… And so it began.

Well, the role of art is transcendence.

-Chris Hedges

I started writing blogs and hubs. And it was satisfying.  With the click of a button people could read my work. But despite some ineffectual attempts to make money off my writing I realized it wasn’t to be so.  Not the way I was doing it. And I read a great book by Chris Hedges, Death of the Liberal Class, in which he discusses (among other things) the serious problem of creative ownership in writing, journalism, and the visual arts because of a) the internet, and b) corporate monopolies.  They use art as bait!  Often times people are working for pennies, while large sites rake in collective earnings off of thousands of people’s hard work.  It seemed a mirror image of the work I was doing for corporations while being paid minimum wage.  This was enlightening, and I saw evidence of it in my own tepid dip in the creative internet pool.  Capitalists do not value art, or people. It’s outrageous. But it’s created by a broken system. What more could you expect.  There needed to be another way.

I don’t know a lot of people. I am an introverted soul who can usually be found outside with my dog in the middle of the day, if I am to be found at all. But of the people I do know, there are so many outstanding artists and writers.  And I want to celebrate that, I think that is incredibly important. And when I travel around central Maine, my favorite place in the world (!!) I find so many exciting pockets of coolness, sitting off the beaten path.  I want to create a forum for amazing work.  A real magazine that anyone could realistically submit to, get published in, read with interest, and look forward to.  Whether you’re 10 or 100, wealthy or poor, regardless of where you sleep at night, or what you do, or who you know, this magazine is for you.


 The Name

The four foxes represent Truth, Beauty, Light and Dark.  They appeared to me this winter, in a sense, and were totems, leading me into some pretty intense inner worlds, and through to a slow, but beautiful, Spring.


I know that if people throw in on this magazine it will be awesome. I know it for a fact. I’ve already seen it in my mind’s eye, clear as day. And it is a publication that is exciting, unexpected, moving, and built completely by and for the people I live with. Here. In Maine.

I have spent a lchildress maineot of time searching.  Trying to find meaning in life.  Over time I found that the things that mattered to me, the things that I truly valued, were right in front of me, sitting neglected in the corner, while I chased ghosts and illusions.  When I turned my time, energy, and attention towards what mattered to me, and away from what other people valued, life became simpler, richer, and better. It is in this spirit that I am starting this magazine.  Please join me!

 

Update:

  • We are rolling out an open call for submissions now through March 1st 2015.
  • This summer we will be traveling around distributing flyers and talking to people about the magazine.  If you’re interested in meeting with us or having flyers at your business/organization please contact me, editor@fourfoxesmagazine.org.
  • The website is up and running thanks to Dan Audet and our IT team 😉  We’ve been getting great feedback.
  • Submissions are coming in!
  • We are still plugging away on our 1023 form.

Thank you for your interest in Four Foxes.  Please submit often, share this site, and be well!

Eryne Thibeau
Founder & Editor

 

Hello!  Greetings!  Welcome!  My name is Eryne.  What you’re looking at here is Four Foxes’ website, and specifically the first blog post for the Four Foxes’ website.  You’re in on the ground floor.

photo

Four Foxes is a non-profit literary magazine based in Hallowell, Maine, that celebrates and promotes the writing and visual art of the people of Central Maine.  We do this through publication of said work in a print only magazine (this website is not a digital magazine, the magazine is paper only, and hasn’t been printed yet!).  This magazine is going to be pretty damn exciting.  And you are going to want to be a part of it.  A great way of doing that would be to check out this site.  It has Submission guidelines, information about who we are and what we’re doing in the community, and in the very near future you’ll be able to subscribe to our magazine and make donations to help cover our printing costs.  So please take a moment to look around, subscribe to our blog for email notification of new posts, and like and follow us on Facebook.  This way you can track the fox.

Nuts & Bolts


What have we been up to these past months?

We created a facebook page, and a website with an interactive blog (you’re looking at it).

We established submission guidelines and an editorial mission statement.

We formed a board.

We are currently filing for 501(c)(3) status.  This would allow our nonprofit magazine to function as an IRS approved non-profit organization.  This is important for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, we want to protect the artists we hope to publish.  One of the unfortunate results of the World Wide Web, and corporate monopolies, is that artists and writers are not valued, and their work is exploited to make money for other people.  This is not what we are about, not at all.  No one working for/with this magazine, or any one person affiliated with this magazine, will be making money off of the blood, sweat, and tears of the people contributing their work to Four Foxes.  This publication is about promoting and celebrating, not capitalizing.  We also will be needing funding to cover things like printing costs, website maintenance, events, etc.  We will be selling ad space, magazine subscriptions, and seeking donations.  As a non-profit we can do this with government sanctioned ease, and we can pass that ease on to those donating, as they will be able to write off their donations as charitable.  We can also seek grants and alternative funding avenues like Indiegogo and other crowd funding platforms as a nonprofit organization.  It will open a lot of doors to us as a magazine, and it is entirely in the feeling of what we are hoping to do.

We have created informative flyers which we will be distributing to various hotspots around Central Maine.  Have an idea about that or want to help?  See our Community page.

We are receiving images and written work everyday!  This is very exciting!!

What We Need


We need short stories, poetry, essays, reviews, memoir excerpts, comics, drawings, paintings, photographs, and images of pottery/sculpture.  See submissions.

We need guest bloggers, and people willing to pass out flyers, talk with creative folk in your community and tell them about us, and we need art to feature on our website and blog.  Contact me for more information or if interested : editor@fourfoxesmagazine.org.

Money.  We are currently talking with a few local printing companies in Maine to get an idea of how much money we will need to cover our printing costs.  And of course we are also filing for non-profit status.  Once we have a handle on both of those arenas we are going to launch a crowd funding campaign.  There will be a button on this site that will link you to that campaign so that you can donate money easily right on the magical internet.  This fall we will begin selling subscriptions to Four Foxes right here on this website.  This fall we will also begin selling adspace to small businesses in Maine that are complementary to our mission and supportive of Maine arts.

Energy!  Are you excited about this project?  Do you want to help, share your work?  Are you really looking forward to reading this magazine when it comes to print?  Please let us know by following this blog, liking and following our facebook page, messaging me at editor@fourfoxesmagazine.org, and telling your friends about this magazine and this website.  We are really excited, and the only thing more exciting than that is how excited we get to hear that other people are excited!  You get the idea 😉

 

Thank you so much for joining me here on this site!

Be well,

Eryne Thibeau, Founder and Editor

Coming Attractions


The next blog post will be about why I decided to start this project and what it means to me personally, and where the name Four Foxes came from.

The following blog post will be about Railroad Square Cinema’s brand new lobby!  We <3 Railroad Square Cinema and independent movie houses.

[print_thumbnail_slider]