~ Edie Brickell
- Christy Lenzi
- I write fiction for young adults and am represented by Erin Murphy of Erin Murphy Literary Agency. My debut novel STONE FIELD is a re-imaging of Wuthering Heights set during the Civil War. STONEFIELD is slated for publication in 2015 by Roaring Brook Press-Macmillan Publishers.
Ferrell Savage is finally twelve, and finally eligible to compete in The Big Sled Race on Golden Hill—the perfect chance to impress Mary Vittles. Mary is Ferrell’s best friend…and maybe, someday, something more.
Except the “more” Ferrell first finds is more information about his family. It turns out that his great, great, great uncle had an encounter with Mary’s great, great grandfather. And the encounter was, well, let’s just say…edible. Sure, the circumstances were extreme, but some facts might just be romantically indigestible. At least now Ferrell understands why his family is vegan.
But even as Ferrell and Mary encounter blackmail, a second sled race, and a particularly enticing bag of beef jerky, Ferrell realizes that he might still have a chance with Mary. If, that is, his family secret doesn’t eat them alive.
If you have a kid in middle school or are still a twelve-year-old at heart, go forth and be awesome--pick up the scrumptious The Secret of Ferrell Savage and dig in!
"The Art of Becoming"
The writer Kurt Vonnegut encouraged people to practice all kinds of art in order to experience "becoming," to make their "soul grow." I remember the day I first learned to appreciate the value of art. It wasn't a pleasant lesson. When I was thirteen, my family moved from the Midwest to New York, and rented a big farmhouse on the grounds of an art colony belonging to a famous feminist writer and artist. I was scared of the woman. She had long, wild grey hair and heavy dark eyebrows that always made it look like she was scowling at me. But I was fascinated by her big house, full of strange books and colorful pictures.
In my room hung a huge framed abstract painting of a woman. I didn't want that thing on my wall. I had my own picture that would fit in that frame. So I took the original painting out, stuffed it in the closet, and put a poster inside the frame. It was a picture of a kitten hanging onto a tree limb with the words, Hang in there!" written across the bottom. I soon forgot about the painting.
One day, the woman visited the house to check on things and saw my kitty poster in her beautiful frame. Her wild hair grew even wilder. Her face came alive. Her thick dark eyebrows drew together. Her eyes flamed. I thought she might cook me for dinner like the witch in Hansel and Gretel. But after she yelled at me for treating her artwork in such a careless manner and scolded my parents for letting me, she gingerly restored the painting to its frame and stormed from the house without stuffing me in the oven.
At first, I was mortified. But after crying for a while, I lay on my bed and gazed at the painting. She made that. She cared deeply about it. It meant something to her. I wanted to feel so fierce, so passionate about something, too. I began to pay more attention to the original artwork around the house. I began to make my own. When I was a senior in high school, I took art classes at night at the community college and then entered an Art program.
|My daughter, Alex, 4, after completing a painting at the art center, Boston. I developed the film and made a print of this photo at the darkroom of the same art center.|
Friday, January 31, 2014 | | 0 Comments
|Zu Vincent, Mike Jung, Nancy Tupper Ling, Parker Peevyhouse, Me, Joanne Rocklin, Elizabeth Shreeve, and Erin Murphy|
|With L.A. artist, Christine Clausen|
|Acrylic on canvas, Christy Lenzi, 2013|
|Three of my wire portraits on display in the Writer's Brush show in the Sacramento Poetry Center's art gallery.|
I'm happy to announce that three of my wire art portraits will be on display at the Sacramento Poetry Center in the "Writer's Brush" show, in February!
My wire art will be on display at SacPoetry Center's art gallery from Dec. 8th to Jan. 21st as part of the show featuring Milton Bowens' social justice paintings. If you are in the Sacramento area, consider attending the Second Saturday Art Walk event in Sacramento on Dec. 8th and stop by to see me! The Facebook page has more info.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 | | 0 Comments
I was pleasantly surprised, recently, by an invitation to display some of my wire art at the SacPoetry Center's art gallery. My work will hang from December 1st through January 22nd during a featured showing of paintings by social justice artist, Milton Bowens.
My small wire portraits are inspired by strong, quiet women in literature and in silent films, while my mobiles capture humans in the act of flying. I'm not sure at this time how many pieces will be on display, but I will post an update closer to the opening date.
In September, I began my second wire art project (my first is here) which was to form wire figures inspired by my family members caught in "flying" poses from my photographs and use them to create a wire mobile. I finally finished my "People Caught Flying" mobile today and hung it. It was so much fun to make, especially the evening I worked on it at a friend's house when a group of artist friends got together and worked on art, which we hope to continue monthly. Here's a photo history of my process:
My new Middle Grade short story, "The Secret Zoo," is in the latest issue of Hunger Mountain, the VCFA Journal of the Arts! "The Secret Zoo" is set in occupied Warsaw and inspired by true events in young Rys Zabiniski’s life. Check it out here!
While in the Mowen Solinsky Gallery in Nevada City, CA last weekend, I was inspired by Diane Komater's wire art to try my hand at making my own wire art. I bought a variety of pliers and wire cutters and I'm using dark
annealed steel wire, 1mm (19 gauge). I'm finding it a little difficult
to bind the wire neatly to the frame and would like to find a more
flexible wire for the image, but have enjoyed my first three attempts.
The first piece was inspired by my recent reading of The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan, and the second was inspired by watching Greta Garbo in her debut, a silent movie, "Saga of Gosta Berling," a surprisingly complex and moving film with a beautiful score, and a later film, Queen Christina, in which Garbo portrays a cross-dressing Swedish Queen. The third piece was inspired by an early silent film actress, young Maude Fealy, whose intense looks sometimes remind me of a main character in one of my stories.
I find that creating something that requires my complete focus and uses my whole body and mind in concentrated energy is very satisfying. But god, how my fingers ache.
Tuesday, May 01, 2012 | | 1 Comments
It's a new year, and I'm starting it off with a new website! http://christylenzi.com/
We spent part of our Thanksgiving break in San Francisco, where I took the kids bike riding from Fisherman's Wharf to the Golden Gate Bridge. Directly under the bridge is a Civil War era building called Fort Point, which is open to the public. We rambled all over it and watched the surfers under the bridge. The views along the bike trail were breathtaking. I'm thankful to live in such a beautiful place and be able to share it with my loved ones. And when we got home, I was thankful to get these beauties, which have a story by... me!
My friends, I hope you are having a happy Thanksgiving and savoring every minute. Enjoy!
Want to read an adventure tale about a clever, kick-ass girl? The excerpt of my MG story, Forty Thieves and a Green-Eyed Girl, is in the latest issue of Hunger Mountain journal of the arts! While you're there, check out fellow category winners of the Katherine Paterson Prize as well as the interesting and thought-provoking piece, "Writing from Both Sides of the Brain" by my friend Kelly Barson.
Once a year in the fall, Hunger Mountain Journal of the Arts publishes a print edition which is sent to subscribers and sold in bookstores around the country. This annual issue is also sent for consideration to prestigious awards committees, such as the Pushcart Prize, for literary magazines and short stories.
So you can imagine how happy I was to learn that Stone Field, the excerpt of my YA novel, was selected as one of five Children/YA pieces to be included in the big beautiful print edition! Not only that, two of the other four pieces, both non-fiction, were written by my EMLA sisters, Jennifer Ziegler and Clare Dunkle! I'm so excited and look forward to having this year's edition, Hunger Mountain Managerie, in my hands soon!
Yesterday I was told that my middle grade novel excerpt was selected as a runner-up in the 2011 Katherine Paterson Prize and placed first in the Middle Grade category! The prize, named after Newbery Award-winning author Katherine Paterson, was judged this year by National Book Award winner, Kimberly Willis Holt. Holt says this about my excerpt:
The opening of the story manages to show a lot without the reader feeling overburdened. I quickly cared about the main character because of the way she interacted with her brother on page one. And because I cared about her, my heart pounded for her when she was in peril. That's important when trouble comes so early in a story. Some writers expect readers to care just because the main character is in trouble, but you have to care about them first. This writer accomplishes that.
Inspired by Andy Goldsworthy's nature art, we recently joined friends at an environmental art event in Berkeley's Thousand Oaks Park organized by Zach Pine, a talented local environmental artist. It was pure fun. Using stones, shells, flowers, bark, and other natural objects, we created spontaneous artistic expressions around the park. Footage of people and creations from the event were included in a short film (below) that was shown at the Berkeley Community Media’s Summer Shorts Movie Jam.
Around 0:59, Josh's friend, Max, talks abut artistic expression and later you can hear Alan speak as well. Look for glimpses of Josh, Noah, Alan and me and the final shot of my piece, "Free Speech"!
- Adventures in Art
- Alexandria the Great
- carpe diem
- Chats with Josh
- Everything would be splendid if only there were nachos and cake
- Gimme that old time religion
- If this isn't nice I don't know what is
- Mushy Stuff
- Noah's world
- People Caught Flying
- Philip Pullman is a pistol
- Tangled up in Bob
- They're coming to take me away--haha
- Write on
- Yet another post full of those dad-blamed whippersnappers