Josephine's Dream Reading

Josephine's Dream Reading
Trying to look like Josephine Baker - and failing miserably!

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls
Conquering the Beast

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nudge, Nudge.

Completing a project is always very satisfying, isn't it? Even though you sometimes have to nudge yourself along. I just completed what is probably the tenth edit of the long version of one of my stories. Oh yes, there's a short version and a long version. I've never done that before. Crazy as it may seem I'm actually sending both versions to a publisher. They might not like either version, of course, but that's just one of the prices a writer pays for all the hard slog. I've decided that all will not be lost. I'm going to leave my unpublished writings to a university library special collections department, so one day a dedicated (or desperate) PhD student can plow through every scrap of paper and perhaps write a thesis on me.
Obviously MY final edit is not THE final edit. But a final something is better than an unfinished something, and I should know, because there's way too much unfinished stuff around here.
Yes, it's all slow going, but never give up, my friends. Remember the musical I wrote? The one that's in rehearsal right now? A brilliant musician recently set to music the lyrics of one of my songs. He did an amazing job. I hope I can do it justice. Yes, I'm the one singing it! The pressure is on, but sometimes that's a good thing. It makes a person feel alive. Of course if it happens all the time - pressure I mean - then it can be stressful. But the odd bit of pressure is like a nudge to get on with it. If no one is around to say to you, 'Come on, you can do it,' then look in the mirror and say it to yourself.
Remember what I told you about talking to yourself? You're not crazy, you're a writer.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I'm Back in Vancouver.

When last heard of I was full of trepidation - and a sinus infection. Yes, I chewed gum at take off and on landing, and swallowed two Tylenols a couple of hours before we hit the tarmac. Well, we didn't hit it, thank goodness. We landed smoothly. My ears are still not 100%, but you don't want to read about my health, nor do you want to read a travelogue. This is about turning life into art. Or art into art. I saw a lot of art in London, in the North of England, and in Malta. And I had adventures. Most adventures are daring escapades, or things that go wrong, and are not especially funny while they're happening, but are hilarious when you tell about them later, adding a bit more colour with each telling.
Every day I wrote in my little notebook - the one my friend Joyce gave me. The top half of every page is blank and the bottom half is lined, and even though I am about as far from being an artist as it is possibe to get, I 'sketched' and wrote little bits of information, captions and remarks (coming out of the mouths of my stick people). This helped me remember a lot of the events, impressions and adventures without my spending hours handwriting. Yes, yes, I know. I really should get a laptop or small electronic notebook or something. I'm very out of touch with technology, but I do realize that a)my handwriting is awful and b)because I tire quickly when writing by hand, I don't do my best work that way. ("Please sir, can I be excused from in class-essays? I tire so easily." "No, you can't. However, these are modern times and you may use a laptop.") No laptops in the 1950s, alas. Consider yourselves lucky to be going to school in 2010. If you are going to school, that is.
So for those of you who enjoy doing funny sketches and cartoons with captions, I hope you took my advice and carried a notebook along on your recent travels.
I promised you this would not be a travelogue, so I'll keep it brief.
Malta is a very colourful country, full of history, interesting streets and beautiful doors and door knockers. Also, lots of underground tunnels and hillside caves where you can escape from the 34 degrees Celsius heat.
London has layers of history but still seems new and vibrant.
The North of England has lovely gardens and rugged coastline.
And when I come back home I see Vancouver with fresh eyes.
I hope you have similar experiences. Store them up. One day they'll come in handy.