Wednesday, July 23, 2014

February Sun

It feels a bit strange to look at winter photos in Summer, doesn't it? Nevertheless, I have been thinking to post this photo for a while now. It was taken at Spring Grove, a very beautiful historic cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio, in February of 2006. Justin invited me and his old friend Jerry (who has recently published his first gorgeous photography book - Nature Rediscovered) to go on a photo safari. I don't remember whether we planned to take pictures if it snowed, or if it just happened that way. I remember that it was quite freezing. 

We visited the Spring Grove Cemetery a couple of times after that. Like a cultivated park or garden, it is truly beautiful in every season. And while it seemed very unusual to me at first to see people leisurely strolling or even jogging at a cemetery, I understand why they felt inclined to do it at Spring Grove. 

I took this photo with my little automatic camera - just a snap shot, really. But I've always loved it. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Хорошо быть тюленем

This story was written a year ago and illustrated by my talented brother Andrei Lialin. Very often, Andrei rushes to finish a piece of art for my birthday, and this one was sent to me last May... Just like I am a self-taught writer, Andrei is a self-taught artist who, to the best of my recollection, has never taken an art class (other then what they taught us in middle school), but he was always, as I remember, a very gifted artist in many areas - drawings, photography, carving, music... As soon as he started sending me his first illustrations to my first big story, I was amazed how finely he feels my writing. I think that is what's in common between us - the huge amount of unconditional love, support and acceptance we received from our parents as we were growing up. Seeing the light always, in all situations. That feeling is what I create in my stories, and what he understands and creates in his amazing pictures. For a few years, we have been working together on a web site where we share our fairy tales - written by me and illustrated by him. He lives in Siberia, and I live in the US. We have not seen each other for 10 years.

Хорошо быть тюленем


Жили-были два тюленя. Кто говорил, они похожи были на котят, а кто говорил – на ребят. А тюлени ничего не говорили. Одного звали Петром, а второго Иваном. Петр – тот, что покрупнее, -- был младший, а Иван старший. Петр был тюлень очень любознательный и веселый, а Иван – спокойный и разумный.