Sunday, March 30, 2014

Guestbook Musings

"I am the keeper of fragile things and I
have kept of you what is indissolvable."
Anais Nin

When our guestbook was inaugurated in 2004 within the first hundred days of the site going live we had had posts from  Manchester, Santa Domingo, Gothenburg, Ohio, California and Texas, Chicago and Lima. The post from Lima was from Daniel Saenz More written on Nin's birthday, February 21, 2004.

Daniel Saenz_More
My grandfather was Ernesto More Barrionuevo, Gonzalo's brother. The More Barrionuevo family was an important family of artists and journalists in Peru. They were investigators and assistant at movement of Vanguard in Paris and Peru. Gonzalo was married with Helba Huara, and he became to be a great artist, but their works have not come to be very acquaintances because seems that in truth never he interest to do it. Precursor of the postmodernismo? Gonzalo is best known by its romance with Anais Nin and its friendship with Paul Eluard and Cesar Vallejo, the great Peruvian poet that wrote the part too important of its work (" Human Poems") in the atelier of Gonzalo. Nevertheless, Gonzalo was an artist that believed and the art lived on. Even I conserve some letters of Gonzalo in which declares its large dreams to integrate the arts. I hope the day arrive in which we can know the true magnitude of its contribute. 

Because of spammers, the Guestbook was forced to close down in 2009. Even though we initiated a number of security and safety measures and had three rotating moderators, the porn and crazed spam messages proliferated and both enraged and saddened our web Amazon being who purged the site daily over morning coffee, carefully allowing the wonderful posts that appeared to be read. Even though the posts couldn't go live, they still had to be quite literally scraped off each morning anew. Despite Nin's dictum of when being trapped in destruction, opening a window to creation, alas, our web maven being threw in the towel and went back to enjoying her morning coffee without thinking of the pornographic spammers. We applauded her choice and copied what we could of past messages.

We are sorry we were unable to communicate with Daniel Saenz More in 2004 however, if anyone is interested in contacting him, before we disable the last vestiges of the guestbook, we can send on the email he used almost a decade ago, perhaps the letters he mentioned of Gonzalo's have been published.

In searching for information on Daniel Saenz More, we found a number of posts (this one below with 604 comments! ) from Perhaps he could be contacted through this site or through Facebook
@Daniel Sáenz More or his other travel writings if indeed this writer's grandfather was Gonzalo's brother!

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Spirit of Place: A New Italian Site Luoghi d'Autore: Private World Maps of Famous Authors Features Anais Nin

“Regular maps have few surprises: their contour lines reveal where the Andes are, and are reasonably clear. More precious, though, are the unpublished maps we make ourselves, of our city, our place, our daily world, our life; those maps of our private world we use every day; here I was happy, in that place I left my coat behind after a party, that is where I met my love; I cried there once, I was heart sore; but felt better round the corner once I saw the hills of Fife across the Forth, things of that sort, our personal memories, that make the private tapestry of our lives.”  ― Alexander McCall SmithLove Over Scotland

As readers of Anais Nin know. Anais writes effortlessly about her private world maps in her Diaries.

A new site, Luoghi d'Autore writes about this gift in their new blog. We look forward to the upcoming articles on Nin's experiences in Bali and later, Mexico and Japan.

We relate to the Fez connection. When in Fez staying at Riad 9, we carried Xeroxed copies of her Fez writing and shared with friends we were traveling with-all were enraptured by Nin's writing and her ability to describe so accurately the labyrinthine nature of the streets we were walking. It was as if she was beside us
as a timeless spirit of place guide.


 The goal of our new site - Luoghi d’Autore - is to link the world of tourism to the literary  passions of artists known and unknown.  Luoghi d’Autore explores the complex relationship between a place, its landscape, its people, and artists who has chosen a specific destination as  their  ideal place to create a work of art. We believe that the sensitivity of artists provides them  with the ability to describe the spirit of a place. We always look for a connection between a trip  and a literary work, between locales and art. An example is the journey of Anaïs Nin to Bali;  we made the same trip while reading her Diary 7, her article The Spirit of Bali,  and the book A  House in Bali of Colin McPhee (Anaïs Nin loved it); in Sanur we stayed in the same hotel that  Nin had chosen.  It was a very special experience.

We  have  already  published  two  articles  on  her  trip  to  Morocco  (Anaïs  Nin  e  la  magia  del Morocco)and  her  stay in Los Angeles  (Anaïs Nin a Los Angeles:  gli  ultimi anni  raccontati  da Barbara Kraft). We will publish an article about her experiences in Bali and are working on  her trips to Mexico and Japan. We try to discover and describe a place through an artist’s eyes  and to explore the inner world of that artist through the places they visit. The aura of travel is  beautifully  described  by  Anaïs  Nin’s  writing  on  Fez in  Diary  7.  She  writes “The external life  matches or harmonizes with the inner one. Fez did. It matched the dreams, so I was able to unite  them. That is why it is so important to create the outer life to match one’s inner longings, so that  they reach a marriage.”

Emanuela Riverso

Friday, February 21, 2014

Happy Birthday Anais!

Anais circa 1934 source blog post These Little Words

"I knew a woman lovely in her bones"
Theodore Roethke
from the poem

born February 21, 1903

I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;   
Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:  

Monday, November 04, 2013

Always Your Fan: Interview with Barbara Kraft on Anais Nin: Her Last Days

Alerting readers of this blog of a interview with Barbara Kraft we mentioned earlier in the blog, now available on You Tube

I am in the midst of watching it now, and wanted  to share it with fans,
who I bet like me, say Nin to rhyme with Tin, enchanting to hear Kraft refer to her as Nin sounds like Neen!

Wonderful interview with author Barbara

Actual You Tube link is below for those who may be frustrated by non link in years to come!
if servers change.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Barbara Kraft Interview: Santa Monica Public Access Station 10/2/2013

Barbara Kraft

former reporter for Time magazine

Former reporter for Time magazine and contributor to the Washington PostUSA Today and Architectural Digest, whose interviews with leading literary figures Henry Miller, Anais Nin and Eugene Ionesco have been published in scholarly journals; classically-trained pianist and author of radio plays and opera libretti, she has written concert program notes for the Music Academy of the West, Pasadena's Ambassador Auditorium and UCLA's Center for the Performing Arts; producer and narrator for KCRW’s 2006 documentaryTransforming OC, on the opening of the newSegerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, California

For those blog readers in the Santa Monica area, Barbara Kraft will be interviewed for a half hour over Santa Monica 's Public Access station which goes to Time Warner users in Santa Monica tomorrow. She 
will be discussing her beautiful paperback edition of Anais Nin; The Last Days which has just
been published by Pegasus Books.

Please remember to purchase the book on Amazon so you can post a review that notes you are an authenticated buyer. Of course it still makes a great gift and even if you have already read the electronic version, think seriously of buying a copy for your local library. Help make this gorgeous paperback a best seller on Amazon so they will consider making an audible version.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pumpkin Spice Latte for The Soul: Your Soul at a Crossroads

Just a little reminder to  readers of Valerie' Harm's book Your Soul at a Crossroads to write a review if you are enjoying it.
I just posted mine and although Amazon has just told me it can't be posted because I mention the paperback and Kindle version and they can't take a review mentioning both products (Huh???)
I am putting the entire review here.

I travel a lot and am enjoying this book which I consider a little spa/retreat in a book.I carry it along in my luggage. Although the book can be read without doing the exercises, its fun to take a chapter, read through it, date your entry and then see where you are next time you have a moment to attend to your soul when you are somewhat solo!  Sometimes being in transit (whether going to Bhutan or just down the corner to a little cafe on a day off) with a notebook and book to spark action in one’s life is just what one needs to get a new perspective. This informative, beautifully researched and thoughtfully constructed book, is like a Starbucks for the soul, a “third place” not office or home, that allows one to think about one’s life and relationships, goals and dreams in a new way. A lively addition to a library and a fun gift to a friend facing a big birthday (21, 30, 40, etc!) or someone who has just been hospitalized or has broken a leg as in achieved some success.(I’d give the actual book with a little notebook and pen too) Of course given in a Kindle edition, it’s just four dollars so you can always easily gift yourself for the cost of a pumpkin spice latte! These crossroads in life are important moments that can be remembered. Bet you think you’ll always remember what was happening when your baby took their first baby steps, or you first fell in love or took or left a job however as Everything Changes, each day presents a new  set of cross roads (always four directions) and it’s helpful to have a  reflective record to refer to help you discover that the crossroads of the soul are different. Crossroads is a special book and is appropriate for all ages! it’s a jump start road map to look at the paths one walks  or road map one is using  in one’s life. Stop. Pause. Go.  Red Yellow Green We’re used to stop and go stoplights in our fast paced lives, so this book is a refreshing companion helping us to look at the path we are following with new eyes. Pause a little longer when your are between  the Red and Green of a busy life. Bask a little bit  in the yellow glow of the soul by reading a few pages when the spirit moves you. Or if you are truly on vacation spend a week or ten days at a soul spa/retreat for your spirit with Valerie Harm’s slight but oh so helpful book. SBUX for the SOUL.

On a sadder note, I have been thinking of a wonderful but sad, crosswords of the soul story, I'll link to it below. This week a soulful story surfaced about  parents whose daughter had text ed in early September about grabbing a Pumpkin Spice Latte. By the next day their eighteen year old daughter had died of an epileptic seizure. The heartbroken parents went to a local Starbucks.

"We tried to think of something that we could do that would be a little bit positive," her father Jason O'Neill told us in a Skype chat. He and his wife, Alyssa's mother Sarah, went to their local Starbucks and bought Pumpkin Spice Latte for themselves, as well as the next 40 customers. All they asked of the baristas was that they write #AJO on the cups, and explain to the customers why their drink was free. 

To read the entire Yahoo Story go here.

Parents' Pumpkin Spice Latte Act of Kindness in Honor of Daughter Goes Viral

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Anais Nin Last Days: A Memoir by Barbara Kraft is Now in Paperback

A friend is a present you give yourself.

Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. (Anais Nin)

Anais would have loved this elegant presentation of her Last Days by Barbara Kraft.

Please be sure and order from this link on Amazon . Anais Nin: The Last Days is a perfect gift to give to a friend, stunning gift wrap is available through Amazon. Those who have followed our web site since we created the beautiful pre-Google spacious (non ad or banner) white page site, Thinking of Anais Nin, will recognize the lovely photo by Valerie Harms. Kudos to designer Liz Des Rochers for creating such a gorgeous evocative cover that captures the magic of this luminous book

To order this beautiful paperback version of Last Days please buy on Amazon

It'a important to purchase through this link if you wish to post a review
on Amazon. Your review will have more weight if you are writing
a review as an actual buyer of the book.





Los Angeles, CA.    “I have chosen to reveal the intimacies of Anaïs Nin’s last days as I  witnessed them so that the story of her death is not lost. Everything comes back in the mind’s eye. Everything comes back in the crucible of the heart. She remains in my psyche all these years later as the most refined and rarified human being I have ever encountered.” 

Thus begins Barbara Kraft’s memoir, ANAIS NIN: THE LAST DAYS (Pegasus Books;August 2013; $14.95 U.S.).  With her sometimes loving and sometimes raw prose, Kraft has captured the humanity, mortality, and essence of one of the twentieth century’s most celebrated and yet mysterious literary figures.

Anaïs Nin, noted for her diaries and erotica, was at the height of her fame when she took on Barbara Kraft as a writing student.  Quickly, the two became intimate friends at the moment  when both would encounter tragedy: Nin’s terminal cancer and Kraft’s impending difficult  divorce.  The circumstances created an environment of interdependency: Nin, despite her failing health, supported Kraft’s writing and life decisions, and Kraft became a devoted and untiring part of Nin’s support system during her last two years of life.

As Noel Riley Fitch, author of Anaïs:The Erotic Life of Anaïs Nin, writes of Kraft’s book: “An intimate and beautiful portrayal of the final years and painful death of Anaïs Nin … This compelling memoir is honest, critical, and full of perceptive insights into the relationships between Nin and her men.”Of all the young women I've worked with you are the one most like me," Nin told Kraft as she lay dying.”

Kraft describes her initial meeting with Nin in February 1974, writing that Nin was poetry embodied and seemed to ‘glide’ over the rose-colored carpet of her Silver Lake home ‘like a swan skimming the surface of still waters.’ And in December of that year she begins what was to become a chronicle of Nin’s terrible two-year battle with cancer.

“I can’t tell the world about my illness, Barbara, but you can, and I want the world to know. I Because of the overwhelming reality of cancer, Anaïs Nin was stripped down to her bare essence, which Kraft captures expertly. She poignantly records not only Nin’s stubborn grip on life, but also the heroic efforts that Rupert Pole, Nin’s West Coast lover, made to shield her from the inevitable pain, agony, and humiliation associated with the disease. It is a monumental tribute to not only those fighting for their lives, but also the forgotten ones—the caregivers.

As Kraft writes a few days before she died, Anaïs whispered her final dream into my ear... “I dreamed that I had all my dresses and capes laid out on the floor and that we were going to have them copied exactly for you so that when I am well we can go out together as twins.... But someone told me that was foolish because I could not get up and go out and that we could not be The very personal events in this book will resonate with anyone who has gone through terminal disease or knows someone who has. So, like Nin herself, the raw reality of Anaïs Nin: The Last Days becomes symbolic, mythical, and universally inspirational.

Anais Nin: The Last Days is available in bookstores and on line at Amazon

Barbara Kraft is the author of  Anais Nin: The Last Days (2013) and The Restless Spirit: Journal of a Gemini: The latter was  published in 1976 with a preface by Anaïs Nin, and laudatory comment by  the late Carlos Baker, definitive biographer of Ernest Hemingway and Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature at Princeton.  Kraft has also written several radio plays including a play on the legendary muse of William Butler Yeats, Maud Gonne. The play won an Ohio State Award as “an outstanding example of original radio drama as written and directed by KPFK’s Barbara Kraft.” Kraft has written several libretti including The Dream 
Tunnel: A Musical Journey through America, commissioned and performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra (with Kraft as narrator) for the 1976 Bicentennial.   The Los Angeles Times wrote of her libretto for The Innocents: The Witch Trial at Salem “….Barbara Kraft gives vivid, incantatory fragments to vocal quartets of Magistrates, Clergy, two groups of Innocents and a chorus representing the Populace.  Sections of raucous, conflicting (but tightly written cries portrayed a community beset by hysteria.”

A former reporter for Time, and contributor to Washington Post, People, USA Today, and Architectural Digest, Kraft’s work has appeared in The Hudson Review, Michigan Quarterly, Canadian Theatre Review and Columbia Magazine, et al; and among the many radio programs she has hosted and produced is Transforming OC, a two-part documentary for KCRW (the award winning Santa Monica-based NPR station) on the 2006 opening of the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa. Kraft is a Registered Reader at the Huntington Library in San Marino and lives and writes in Los Angeles, California. Visit her website:; contact: