Free Books from the Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is making fifty years worth of books free on the Net.

I downloaded about ten from the Met Publications site. No charge. Easy search. Easier browse (since I don’t know much about art). Download as PDFs.

The artwork is, as you would expect, spectacular.

I downloaded “Bloom” because in my other life I take a lot of photos of flowers. Published in 1995 and now out of print, Bloom is a “celebration of flowers in fashion.” I didn’t read the text but I enjoyed looking at the photos and was amazed by the dressmaker’s lavish attention to detail.

I was especially intrigued by two books of American Indian art — Masterworks from the Museum of American Indian and Native Paths: American Indian Art from the Collection of Charles and Valerie Diker. I’m researching tribal legends, myths and belief systems to round out a character for the third book of the Black Orchid Chronicles. That manuscript is almost done, but I need to add some heft to the “Pony That Sees Far” character, aka for dumb white folk as Joe.

If you love ancient Egypt, you have just unlocked a graduate study of resources not just of Egyptian art but hieroglyphic language. Teach yourself Egyptian. It’s free.

I don’t know much, if anything, about art. I don’t write about art.

But I think any writer could find at least a half-dozen useful resources here. And did I mention it’s free?

Mark of the Spider: Paperback Cover Final


Subject line says it all.

Much work still to be done. Digital files in hand to be proofed.

Still on course for an August 15 launch.

Tnx again to all who provided feedback on the cover design. Once again, my design team at, conveniently located in New Zealand, came through.

Book Cover Finalists (Revised)

The people have spoken above the cover concepts for The Mark of the Spider: A Black Orchid Chronicle.

Unfortunately, they did not say what I wanted.

Half of the comments — and forty of you chimed in via comments, emails, and texts — favored the Blue version. One-quarter each liked the Green and Red concepts.

I initially favored Red but switched my vote to Blue. I’m afraid Red had to go.

I asked my design team at to make changes to the Blue and Green concepts, primarily to make both the orchid and the spider web tattoo more prominent.

Here are the finalists. Input always welcomed.

And thank you to all of you who expressed a preference in Round One. I hope you’ll still order the book when it comes out in August.