For spring, which has sprung, a random list of artsy things I would like to do/try/attempt someday, when time and space and money and such fickle things align properly:

  • Re-finish and creatively paint furniture, in muted technicolor funky-but-classy patterns. You know, when I have the room to strip and store furniture.
  • Art dolls, quirky creepy pseudo-Victorian porcelain nightmares in lace. This will likely require improving my sewing skills.
  • Documentary film. I don’t know what subject, maybe something will come to me eventually. But I like documentaries, and have an odd desire to make one myself.
  • Encaustic painting. Painting with hot wax! C’mon, that’s awesome. Expensive and messy, but awesome.
  • Some sort of collaborative photo-based project to be star odyssey 2.0. No idea how to fix what went wrong with 1.0 yet, though, so will require pondering.
  • Zen garden, with koi pond and fountain and meditating Buddha statues. Need a yard first.
  • Another tarot deck, perhaps in a minimalist pencil sketch sort of style.

And I have a long-harbored desire to make an installation sculpture consisting of a skull stuffed with teabags and a top hat, entitled Requiem for the Mad Hatter.

bat for lashes

The weather gods decided to drop a weekend of summer into the middle of spring. It is warm to the point of floptastically floppy kittens and desperate desire for sangria. (I have the floppy kittens, but sadly lack sangria.)

I am reading and writing and contemplating a series of monochromatic rainbow paintings.

The other day Stephen Fry tweeted about Bat for Lashes and of course I had to investigate Stephen Fry-approved music. I haven’t fallen this hard in music love since I first heard the Dresden Dolls.

I listened to everything I could find online and then promptly bought both albums on iTunes. LOVE. It’s like someone put all my favorite music in a blender with a volume of fairy tales and a bottle of red wine. There was supposed to be a show in Boston tomorrow but that’s now postponed until August, which makes me extremely happy since I wouldn’t have been able to go tomorrow but might be able to depending on when exactly in August said show is postponed until.

So, anyway. Basking in unseasonable summer and in music love. Will likely spend the afternoon sketching knights and keeping an eye on the Kitten Flop Barometer.

I finished draft 4 of the novel on Monday. I think it’s draft 4, it might be draft 3.5. I immediately found about 8 things that need changing but since that draft is now safely in the hands of three trustworthy beta readers (if they’ve already beta’d it are they gamma readers now?) so I am trying to let it go. I made notes, but I put them aside to work on and I am trying to distract myself with other things.

It is not going so well. But it’s only been a couple days so I should probably chill out about it.

I’m working on the tarot court cards. I have rough sketches for the pages and yesterday I worked on the knights a bit. Here is a sneak preview of the Knight of Wands for those of you who did not already see it via Twitter:

The large stack of paper the sketchbook is sitting on is the aforementioned draft 4-or-possibly-3.5. Happily the boy has taken it away today so it’s no longer taunting me from the coffee table. Am pleased with the knight sketch, need to do at least another one today and hopefully will have sketches for all of them by the weekend. Still not sure what to do with the queens or kings, but will worry about that later.

Other things I am doing to keep myself from over-thinking the novel include reading other novels. I finally finished Palimpsest yesterday and sadly didn’t like it as much as I’d wanted to. It’s gorgeously written, of course, but I didn’t connect with it at all. It hit wrong notes for me, or wasn’t my cup of tea or some other musical or beverage-based metaphor. Everyone else I know seems to love it, so it may just be me and my peculiar tastes.

I’ve pulled out a lot of my creativity books again, to continue ongoing self-analysis of my often tumultuous creative process. And I have more novels in the to-read pile for when I get sick of my own brain.

There is tea and sunshine, and I should probably paint something but not while I’m wearing this shirt.

Also, I have vague aspirations of updating this blog every day in May. Suggestions for content or photos or questions to answer welcome.

I think I don’t post here as much as I likely should because my days are all very similar lately, a blur of tea and reading and writing and wishing it would be warm enough to open the windows.

For instance, today I have mostly been sitting and re-working two sections from the novel, one of which just needed re-arranging and editing and one that was previously non-existent and needs to be cobbled together from notes. The former is done, the latter I am still working on.

This part of editing is weird, futzing with story and character as much as structure and form. I’m making a particular relationship more blatant than it was in previous drafts, but I think it will help. I’m taking other bits out to vague up some stuff. It’s coming together, this draft will be done soon and will be better, stronger, all that fun stuff.

I have a cup of white tea that I think I boiled the water too hot for. It is too cold to open the windows.

This morning I woke up to 770 spam messages on my previous post, all advertisting a creative variety of webcams. For different things, but all of them were both LIVE and FREE.

I am excited about LOST tonight.

I am wearing a BPAL scent called Mag Mell that I got as a bonus frimp (BPAL speak for free imp, samples are imps in BPALland) in my last order. It is light and pretty and smells like amber and ginger and grass which is more springy than today actually feels.

My days seem quiet and repetitive lately. Productive, but repetitive. I’m nearing the end of editing, and I have query letters and synopsises and such to tackle after that which I am not particularly looking forward to. But hopefully the days will be warmer and I’ll be able to open up the windows and maybe that will help.

It’s supposed to be 70 degrees on Friday. I hope that’s not lies.

early monday morning

I am up absurdly early. Even more absurdly than the timestamp might suggest. The boy leaves for work at 6am and I was vaguely awake then and somewhere in the vague awakeness I figured out the entire plot of my 2008 NaNoWriMo novel.

Seriously, the entire thing. Making just one change tied everything together in a perfect bow and made my recurring themes make so much more sense. I had to get up to write it all down, and even looking at it from the other side of a cup of tea it all makes sense.

I love moments like these, when everything falls into place. There is a shaft of early morning sunshine falling across my computer monitor. I decided to see what Pandora would come up with in a Tori Amos station and it is brilliant.

Of course, I have another novel to finish before I can really go and play in the recently untangled one too much. But it is almost there, with only la few outlined edits and additions to go, and it’s nice to know that I have someplace waiting for me that makes more sense today than it did yesterday.

Photograph taken late yesterday afternoon of the window of an antiques store. A couple more from a chilly but springy afternoon on my Flickr photostream.


Yesterday I wasn’t sure what I wanted to work on and couldn’t quite focus enough to write. So I pulled out my big box of random supplies and found a bunch of polymer clay I’d pretty much forgotten about.

And I made a sheep.

He’s a bit over an inch tall and about 2 inches from head to fluffy tail. He is more or less the same somewhat shifty-eyed sheep from Secret Agent Sheep, except with stubbier legs so he would stand up better. He’s made of polymer clay that was detailed in acrylic and glazed. I haven’t made anything with polymer clay in years so I’m pretty impressed with myself.

I kind of love him. But I might put him up for sale on Etsy. I need to see how durable he is when he’s completely dry.

Also yesterday I read Laurie Halse Anderson‘s new book, Wintergirls, in its entirety. Because I picked it up to read the first page and could not put it down. It’s heavy and somewhat draining but absolutely beautifully written. I really kind of wish I’d been able to read her books as a teenager.

Today I am chipping away at my list of book edits and compiling files of literary agent information. It is probably more fun than it sounds, because I have tea and a small clay sheep looking at me sideways.