Post Marked: Piper’s Reach Christmas Special

It’s nice to return to previous stories and characters. The collaborative epistolary novel I wrote, Post Marked: Piper’s Reach, while still seeking a home for publication, provides a wonderful depth of characters and ideas to return to.

Jodi (my co-writer) and I have often bounced around ideas for other stories in the world of Ella-Louise and Jude, and the town of Piper’s Reach. 

Two years ago we released a Christmas Special focused on the night of the surf club Christmas party in 1991. There’s a lovely tradition in English television of the Christmas Special episode. Think of Doctor Who.

The night in question is mentioned in the letters so it was a natural place to return to and looked at their burgeoning, and doomed relationship, while also seeing their lives through their family and friends.

Old friends, like old characters, well met. We have a very soft spot for the characters of Ella-Louise and Jude; they are our “comfort writing;” the writing that flows almost unconsciously to create the lives of characters we lived with for so long that we see them almost as real. That if we were to walk down the street we’d recognise them in an instant in the crowd.

Therefore there will be a NEW Christmas Special released this year. Stay tuned for details!

If you’re unfamiliar with Post Marked: Piper’s Reach, drop into the website and introduce yourself to the characters.

Zentangle #3

An evening spent with Jostein Gaarder’s “Through A Glass Darkly” (where the previous two zentagle poems have come from) brought about this piece.

invisible words
float between 
each voice

you can lie with 
a single word

what delicate instruments
when the window is shut

I can sometimes
see with my ears

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Reflection

Unlike other zentangle examples, I cannot doodle. I find it difficult. Shapes, patterns, scribbles, images do not figure in my thinking.

I see the page for the words and the meaning contained therein.

If I had the foresight I could have used the space within the speech balloons as a canvas for doodling but I preferred the blackness; the negative space to draw attention to the words.

Making art because art. No other reason. And that’s the thing. You art. You experiment. You play. As Neil Gaiman says, “Make good art.” Not sure this is good art but I’m making art.

I hope you’re making art, too.

Alice’s Adventures In Blackout Poetry

It’s funny how way leads on to way when it comes to creativity.

Last week I was chatting with Jodi (my writing co-conspirator) and she posed the question, “What would we do with the same page of text to create a poem?”

We think very differently in some respects when it comes to creativity. 

I tend to use the blackout/erasure method while Jodi has been utilising a cut and paste methodology. 

It’s different architectures for artistry. Jodi prefers the physicality of moving chunks of text to create and find meaning whereas I use the text as it is available, using the pieces to create the whole. It is physically passive whereas the cut and paste adds another physical, active dimension to creativity.

Simply different approaches to creating art.

Even in a brief discussion about creating these poems there are lessons to be learned; different approaches and different perspectives that can be translated into other creative areas. Take each creative activity as a learning experience. 

This is my contribution (I will arrange it into lines for easier reading):

the reason
time happens
is the young
know a proposal
every word a story
their names were
questions of the extraordinary

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You can see Jodi’s contribution over on her blog, Pursuing Parallels.

Handwritten Pages #11

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She imagines through the window a future she holds as fantasy.
Behind glass she views smudged with fingerprints and streaks of leftover rain.
Remembers there isn’t an egg for the cake she wanted to bake because it broke while making breakfast for an imagined lover who wreathed her in a sensuality of stockings that spoke of opportunity and a brashness to wear trousers.

Francois Kollar

The image above is the base for today’s Handwritten Page is a photo by Francois Kollar who was a vogue photographer in the 20’s-40’s.

Earlier this week I was speaking with a friend in another city via Facebook, talking about what we were working on (I wasn’t working on anything; instead I was recovering from a migraine and procrastinating). She was in the middle of working on bibliomancy poems – taking images and old books and cutting up the text to form poems, and gave me a preview of what she was working on. The photo was the foundation image for her poem.

In my usual flippancy I made a silly comment about what the woman in the photograph was looking at. Jodi provided a list of alternatives and I melded them into a single, obtuse sentence. In her usual fashion, Jodi downloaded a quick poem, sparked by the initial thoughts and posted it. I took a single line from Jodi’s poem and remixed it into the narrative.

If you want to buy some of Jodi’s works or place an order for a commission, drop along to her website.

Creativity can be sparked by anything, anywhere, anytime. Another little glimpse behind the curtain to spoil the mystery.

What have you been creating lately?

The Heart Is An Echo Chamber Release Day

Today The Heart Is An Echo Chamber is released. It is the companion to Jodi Cleghorn’s No Need to Reply.

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My story, “Untethering” is a response story to “Squeezebox.” Get both books and see what the authors have done with the original idea.

You can grab yourself a copy by heading over here.

Zentangle Poetry #2

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I realise I am better at blackout/erasure poetry than I am at doodling for zentangle poetry. Not that I am going to give up creating zentangle poems; it’s admitting a limitation to a skill set I do not have mastery of. 

I also realised I made this poem harder to read due to the division of the sections. It looks like a comic book format which makes the reading more complex as it divides the words in a way that I had not planned. It’s an error of planning on my part.

To read it, read across from left to right as you normally would and ignore the arbitrary divisions. Hope that makes sense. 

Still learning. Still having fun creating. 

Handwritten Pages #10

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They sat opposite each other in the sand, knees drawn up and toes touching.
She pressed her finger to her lips, paused, withdrew it.
“You will know me in my silence.”
He nodded in response before resting his head on his knees and tucking his arms under his thighs.
Around their feet she smoothed the sand into a clean palimpsest. She traced patterns in the mandala of silence.
Taking a handful of sand she poured it over their toes until they disappeared in a poetry of communion.

 

I was about to take a picture when I saw the error of a repeated word. I debated what to do: rewrite or edit? First, I scribbled out the word, made the edit. Then I looked over it again and rewrote it. Oh the glamour of artistry (letting you behind the curtain of creativity).