“To converse is human…
to salon is divine”

"Salons are informal gatherings where people talk big talk, talk meant to be listened to and perhaps passionately acted upon. Salons are incubators where ideas are conceived, gestated, and hatched… Salons are the frontiers of social and cultural change…They’ve been flourishing since ancient Greece.” - Salons, 2001.

Salon Rooms at Soul Food

There are a number of Salon style bloggers that you can join at Soul Food but the most vibrant is the Taverna di Muse in Cyberia.

Il Taverna di Muse is a virtual performance space for story-tellers, poets, artists, photographers and song-writers. Participants of the Soul Food Cafe writing collective are encouraged to post their short stories, poems, photography, songs, and artwork.

Special Event: Each Friday (or Saturday depending on what side of the world you live on), the Bluestocking Society meets in the Lounge. For more information on this group, click the “Blue Stocking Society” link in the right column under “About the Taverna.”

Lori Gloyd, the Tavern-mistress.

Places to be Creative
by Douglas Eby

If you want to participate and find a place to be creative simply contact heatherblakey at dailywriting dot net with a request to join us. These bloggers operate independently of the Soul Food Silk Road and Riversleigh Manor.

Interesting Snippets

1. Salons - Some Background
2. Women of the French Salons
2. Meet Natalie Clifford Barney
3. Listen to Mavis Gallant talking about living creatively in Paris.
4. The Confused Memoirs of a Disallusioned Artist
5. Germaine Necker, otherwise known as Madame de Staél, was an important thinker and writer of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Era, a woman around whose homes philosophy and politics gathered. She also managed to upset Napoleon on numerous occasions...
6. Explore the Salons, soak in the ambiance and earn about the prominent Salonnières who ran them throughout the centuries.
7. Put Bluestockings into your search engine and learn about the English equivalent.




Salon du Muse

The Left Bank was, in the early part of the 20th century, "inhabited by all those on the margin of culture, a place for the dislocated, even the dispossessed." Among these expatriates were women writers, editors, poets, journalists, and novelists who came to Paris from America or England, often to escape a family or society that made it hard for them to live as a lesbian or a black woman--or simply as an intelligent, ambitious person uninterested in settling into traditional domestic life.

Janet Flanner came to Paris in 1923 to escape what she saw as the puritanism, materialism and hypocrisy of America--and also because the food was good and the wine was cheap. She settled into a Left Bank hotel and announced that she intended to spend the rest of her life at her neighborhood cafe, LesDeux Magots, and maybe write a novel if the spirit moved her. Envious friends in New York felt she should get to work, and asked her to write a fortnightly 'Letter from Paris' for a new magazine they were starting up, The New Yorker. Under the pen name 'Genet', Janet Flanner commented cleverly and often wisely on everything from haute couture to the ballet, new music, modern art, and eventually to the spread of fascism across Europe. As the Thirties progressed, she turned her sharp eye away from art and toward politics, and became instrumental in bringing first-hand accounts of the rise of fascism to skeptical Americans back home. Her popular column ran for half a century, and became an institution in its own right in which virtually all the artists and writers of the Left Bank are immortalized.

Gertrude Stein lived with Alice B. Toklas on the Left Bank of Paris for four decades. Meeting Gertrude Stein was considered a rite of passage into the Modernist movement; she was known for her collection of modern art and her weekly salons, where she encouraged and supported many young artists, writers and friends who went on to become world famous. But beyond a small circle of followers, she herself was not known as a writer. Toklas established a small press, Plain Edition, in order to publish Stein's prolific, innovative writings after every book publisher had turned them down.

The Salon du Muse is a centre for the exchange of creative ideas. It is dedicated to the memory of the great Salons and the luminaries who frequented them during the Enlightenment.

Links from here enable you to soak in some of the ambience of the Left Bank in Paris and meet famed figures such as, Mme Necker who entertained people like Voltaire and Didot in her intellectual Salon. Madame Necker entertained the chief leaders of the political, financial and literary worlds of Paris, and her Fridays became as greatly frequented as the Mondays of Madame Geoff rin, or the Tuesdays of Madame Helvetius. Madame Necker's daughter,Mme de Staël, eventually took over established her own salon as a center for leading intellectuals.

Interviews in Soul Food's
Salon du Muse
with Heather Blakey

Fun, a special, serious kind of fun, is what salons are finally all about -- which is why it is so hard to capture their spirit. For unlike literature, fun leaves no traces. There is no archaeology of camaraderie. No detective can exhume the great line, delivered offhand over the remains of a meal, that suddenly unites a group of men and women in liberating laughter, laughter at once self-conscious and free, laughter that contains something of the profound. The traces of successful conversation are fragile; they do not outlive the shining moment when thought finds its perfect expression in language.

These interviews are in keeping with the notion that Salon life should be fun.


Mike Sheppard - The Soul Rests Eternalnew
Quinn McDonald - Raw Art Journalingnew
Deanne Fitzpatrick - Hooking Rugs
Stephanie Hansen - Worth Works
Naomi Rifkin - Brush Fire Painting
SARK - Planet Sark
Sarah Boland - To Love Veronica Bee
Chris Dunmire - Creativity Portal
Lyndia Radice - Artist
Chris Dunmire - Interviewing Heather Blakey
Meet Blogmeister Lori Gloyd
Story Teller - Jane Wolfinbarger
Meet Blogmeister - Carol Abel
Talking with Anita Marie Moscosso
Chatting with Hermit, Imogen Crest

Meet Douglas Eby

author: creativity columns: interviews with artists, writers, entrepreneurs, psychologists & others; articles on psychological & social issues related to giftedness, creativity and talent development; film production articles; interviews with filmmakers: actors, screenwriters, producers, directors & others

With credentials like Eby's I could think of no one better to share space in the Salon and provide Soul Food reader's with resources that promote the development of talent. Make it a point to visit Talent Development Resources regularly to check up on new interviews

Andrea Ashworth   author of memoir: "Once in a House on Fire"

She found journal writing as a child was a kind of emotional buffer against the abuse and difficult circumstances she experienced. She thinks the process of writing fiction, on the other hand, is "hugely different. It's a massive challenge, and a luxury, to be free to make it all up."

more interviews

The potentiality of Blogging is still to be fully realised. Zen and The Art of Team Blogging explores the creative transformation that can take place within community bloggers. Douglas Eby picks up on this idea and talks about how blogs have enabled us to create a salon environment where ideas can be conceived and hatched.

Articles by Douglas Eby

Douglas Eby says that "Many creative people, even when they have achieved recognition for their talents, may experience self-critical thoughts and insecurity."

Over the years, as people have come to Soul Food, it has been the self criticism and vulnerability which so many have worn on their sleeves, which has prevented individuals from taking full advantage of what Soul Food has to offer. Alongside obvious talent many people are struck mute.

In Being Creative and Self Critical and The Alchemy of Art Eby reminds the reader that "creative expression can transform painful reactions and situations".

If the Community Bloggers at Soul Food are any indication, creative transformation and a release f rom self criticism is possible when you have faith in art as a form of self expression.

Inner Castles and Secret Worlds
Fear and Creativity
Creativity and Depression