Friday, 29 April 2011

Marrakesh or not

It isn't what you want to hear a day before you leave is it, suicide bomber hits the building next to your hotel.  Today I will spend fretting regardless of my normal laid back demenour.  If I cancel I lose a bit of money, not enough to lose sleep over, but I have to cancel today else I lose more, and I would lose sleep.  Everyone I ring though just dismisses it, I'm not afraid for my life, don't get me wrong, it's the state of the city, London, Madrid and New York weren't really tourist hot-spots after recent attacks.

Anyway, another off putting factor is amazing weather in Manchester!!

Eventually I will become more literary and write down my thoughts on books, and even include much more poetry and prose, as that is my plan for blogging, but for now I am limbering up - this is my warm up period.  If I go to Morocco however I won't post here till next Friday but be comforted that I haven't given up I'm just visiting North Africa (ha, the fool, I hear you say).  And may I add getting information about travel when there's been an incident isn't easy in this era of world media and 24 hour news.  Even the British foreign office kind of shrugged their shoulders, meh, and said just stay out of that area.  When my hotel is next door to the bombed cafe I doubt that will be possible.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Earning Money 1: Creativity 0

I worked again as a gardener today, and because it was so hot the work was tough, we couldn't turn the mower off because it wasn't restarting so in one cul de sac I mowed for what felt like hours, going from one house to another.  It's made me think how lucky I am, since my job allows me to pretty much drink coffee, read and write with occassional meetings and lectures - (hope the company I work for doesn't see that) but university life does seem to function at a slower pace.  Specifically I think my laid back job allows me the time and space to think about my hobbies and I wonder if I did a job like this gardening all the time would I have ever put pen to paper?

Just some postcard sized collages from last month, I still have loads of blank postcards and will one day have another session on these, they're so quick to do.  I keep all of my collage materials in a big box now and it was hidden away before, so easier to get at.  Tonight I can't stop listening to Chief, so I wanted to post a link:

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

I'm making a concerted effort, alongside starting this amateurish blog, to send off my writing and (hopefully) supplement my income. I don't know how realistic that is.  I used to send off poems and get them published, but I feel like it's one of those things that you spend years not only getting better at poetry, but learning about the market before you get any success.  Now I'm starting from scratch with stories and achiving publication in one seems to have no bearing on the other. 

My friend craig put me onto duotrope which shows listings of magazines, worth a look if you write stories.  But it's hard to know where to start.

And then, theory is, that when I send off a novel to a publisher I can list my published stories, that's the theory.

And I keep drawing and snapping away with my camera, but I don't think there is any money in that so it's just for fun.  That's as much as I have to say today though, decidedly unartistic, I'm working for a friend at the moment, as a gardener since I'm on Easter vacation from my university job, and all I did of note today was cut down a rotten tree, and it stunk of cheese.  Weird.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Writing versus art.

Why is it on sunny days when I open all of my windows, do my washing and put it out, air my house, oil up and arrange myself on the decking - do people in neighbouring gardens feel compelled to light fires?  Now I'm sitting at my computer inside coughing and all the rooms stink.

This isn't a self portrait, I stilled a film and sketched the character, I'm not saying what film because it doesn't look at all like the actoer it's supposed to be!!
Check out my recent photos:

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Sunday Afternoon

It seems like summer has just pounced on us
And winter had seemed so endless
Like drowning out of sight of shore -
It feels like summer has just pounced.

But with its light nights and happy dawns
Comes the sadness of every summer
A remembrance of childhood dreams
They never came true – I had faith in them.

Happy Easter to all, the weather's back and I split my time between cowering inside tingling and checking shoulders and forehead in the mirror, and basking gloriously.  I'm reading Fingersmith by Sarah Waters which is amazing and I can't seem to apply myself for very long to anything else.  The poem's very recent, the picture is Pont Nerf in Paris, done in black ink and then altered in photoshop.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

So I guess if you play with fire you get burnt, and if you live in the UK you're gonna get wet, whether its winter-spring-summer or autumn.  That's what happened yesterday - after being burnt to a nice shade of pinky-brown I called on a friend in the afternoon, and as I drove home later I took these pictures on macro of the rain on the windscreen.

I have to admit though, spring puts a nice spin on everything, even a rain storm, and since I can't sleep past 8am anymore I'm sat on the decking on a slightly damp chair and the air, and the smells and the feel of the day is amazing.  Fresh, and quiet and soft. I used to work in Italy and France years ago (in my heyday) and starting a summers day early always reminds me of crawling out of my couriers tent, hungover and ready for a strong coffee and a pastry.  They're pretty bitter-sweet memories for me, I guess all happy memories of being in love and living a little bit wild become slightly bitter once you're past thirty?  I don't know.

Anyway, maybe off to Liverpool today, or somewhere at least, since my 365 project is quite mature now and the longer it goes on the wider the radius around my home town grows within which I've photographed everything.

And I guess I mentioned a poem in a previous post, and it ties in with this nostalgia, one I wrote in France and published to the tune of £50 back in 2007 and anyone who knows poetry knows that's a fortune!

The late-evening emptiness of day-end
Blown wind swaying the hissing tops of trees
And your golden hair still damp.
Through that breezy-rustle night settles
Oceans tamed strength becomes quiet.

That Atlantic bay was geographical
But for me it was memories, feelings.
It was the landscape where I loved you
The landscape of intimacies and meetings
Of parched birches leaning like waiters
Over the warm sand, the cool thick grasses.
Harbour lights casting thin shadows
Enticing waves calling us in, distracting us
Breaking to a ripple of diamonds,
Hushed and then withdrawn.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Easter Holidays (at last)

So I was excited for about five minutes last night, thinking oh the endless possibilities - an audience for my prolific creative output.  But then I woke up this morning and the thought of even one person reading, and viewing my pictures and prose didn't seem so attractive.

Is it every amateur writer/artists experience to wonder what use is any of it - before being published?  I can find the beautiful in the things I make but when I hold it up to some other professional work on the web It sometimes looks like a child has made it. 

I'll stay safe for now, and stick to photography (and the occassional funky postcard since I have millions of them,) and when I feel more adventurous, well, we'll see.

Maybe tomorrow a poem...................

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

First Post

Or should that be Bolton's artistic son?  Nonetheless I'm in the North West of England and I produce so much on a daily basis that blogging makes such sense.  It will be saying something constructive between my art-photo and writing which will be the challenge.  Theme wise I write, make art and take photos of my home and the area I love so that will be my main topic.

So I'm not so much a newbie - if a 365 project is a kind of blog already, but I need to spread out, to increase, to unfurl my wings - that is I want to post daily poems, daily items of prose and daily drawings, but I may still add links to my 365 if I snap a pic worth sharing.

Anyway nothing is interesting the first time, the first time is usually painful and awkward, so I'll cut it short and hopefully increase with awesomeness as time goes by.  Thanks for reading.