Posted tagged ‘pencil drawing’

Sadness Out of Arizona

January 9, 2011

Freedom of Expression? (Fired up, untethered, armed.)

The King(?)’s Speech

December 26, 2010

The King(?)'s Speech

A lovely film.  (Not a dog and elephant show, but if you’ve seen it, you’ll understand.)


Week Begins With Both Bang and Whimper (i.e. Towed Car)

November 15, 2010

Cars, like nature, abhor a vacuum.

My work week (and third Nanowrimo week) started with both bang and whimper.

Lesson of the day:  there is no such thing (and I repeat, no such thing) as an unrestricted legal parking space in New York City, i.e. no sign is a bad sign.

Did you get that all you forever-hopeful types who think that maybe the City just “forgot” to post a “no parking” sign, that maybe you lucked out for a change?

Woe to you justice-minded souls who believe that the NYPD couldn’t possibly give you a ticket, much less tow you, in such circumstances.

Did you not realize that the absence of a visible sign means that the open parking space in front of you, even if framed by other parked cars (which appear to be made of steel and/or aluminum or some metallic polymer) is in fact an illusion?

Did you not understand that the space is only there in the sense of a void, a vacuum, a black hole, as, in other words, an absence of space?  And that if you drive your car into this void/vacuum/black hole, it will vanish into the alternate universe that lurks around the edges of New York life (i.e. Pier 76 located at 38th Street and 12th Avenue).

Yes, the car can be reconjured.  But that trick will not be performed for free.

(BTW, Nanowrimo novel could be going better; there’s nothing like a car–even a rental car– towed from a space that you now just knew was not legal–for interrupting “flow”.)

Nanowrimo – Week 2 – Coasting Through the Bogs (Baths)

November 9, 2010

Would-be Coasting (Notice Book Is Read Rather Than Written)

Nanowrimo organizers warn that the second week of Nanowrimo is especially hard, the exuberance of the first week draining, the adrenalin of the oncoming finish not quite kicking in.

I figured these warnings didn’t apply to me;  after all. my first week wasn’t exactly exuberant.  No, now that I finally had my story, I would coast.

But when I got home from work last night, I had all kinds of non-coasting activities to attend do.

An idea for a blog!  Sure, I wasn’t going to actually write one, but get Pearl to help me.  That shouldn’t take long.  (Ahem.)

Then, well, I should really keep on exercising.  Since country music figures in the novel, I’d dance!  To Dolly Parton!  (Downloading some was a snap.)

OMG–look at you, Pearl!   Yes, it’s a bit cold tonight, but it’s not getting warmer.

Bathwater was run.  No point in a bath without a trim.

Then (I’m not completely heartless) came an hour of holding a shivering Pearl in a down parker next to a heater.

It was getting very late now, and I realized that the time for coasting was sliding down a very slippery slope.)

I would take my notebook into the bath.  (This is one of the best features of sore computer eyes.)

Oops, had to clean the tub.

Okay, so, I told myself, if you are not going to coast, you can at least be workmanlike.  (It’s true that maybe the bath is not the most workmanlike writing studio, but I did have an extra towel handy.)

I set down to writing the scene I had in mind.  Only the country music had put a bunch of other scenes in my mind.  Scenes from further along.

I set down to writing the scene that was supposed to come next.  Only I just couldn’t bear to write that scene–a kind of dinner party–and jumped straight to the after-party late night confrontation between an ancillary villain and one of my female protagonists.  I was going to fit some good (ancillary) character to help her out, not because I felt the young woman needed to be helped so much but because I had a great idea for a snipy kind of line that one of these ancillary characters might use against the villain.  (It involved the Dia Foundation!)

And finally set pen to page.  Only, as I wrote the scene, the dialogue was incredibly sweet, too sweet for the villain.

A couple pages in, I converted him to to one of my male protagonists. an important good guy.   (Who, unfortunately, would not refer to Dia.)

Oh well.

In the meantime, Pearl parked under the down parka, having had enough of Week 2.

And it's only Monday!

Nano-Update – Falling Victim To The Martyred Selves

November 5, 2010

Falling Victim To the Martyred Self

Over 11,000 words and I don’t have a super clear story yet, though I have a (sort of) direction, and a sense of viable characters.

Needless to say that a lot of the first 10,000 words have not involved these characters.  The primary characters in those beginning forays were martyred versions of myself.  Even as I was writing about those saintly victims, I knew I could probably not use them.  It’s not just that self-pity seems kind of self-indulgent in print; martyred versions of one’s self tend to be very passive, i.e. because they are victims, they don’t tend to do much; people are just mean to them and they sigh.  Little happens.

All those words, however, did make me think of writing about a time, a place, and an activity that I would never have come up with on my own.  Now, the problem is carrying out.  I’ve only truly begun and already I’m getting tired.   Writing does require a certain energy, and I find that that energy gets dampened by a day at the office.  It takes a considerable amount of dancing, (this is where a huge, but very inexpensive, Fred Astaire album on iTunes comes in handy) to build it up again, and so, by the time I start writing, it is very late at night, if not early in the morning.   (All that web-surfing is also a big drain.)

Okay, okay, more self-pity!  I’m sorry!   (Self-pity also generates a certain kind of energy!!!!)

Glad for the week-end.

An Egg Is Not A Light Bulb

October 26, 2010

An Egg Is Not A Light Bulb

You make mistakes sometimes.  (If you are like me, you may wish to substitute the words “often” or “frequently” or “constantly” for the temporal element in that last sentence.)

Oddly, the resulting embarrassment, shame, recrimination can be just as intense with small mistakes as big ones.

After all, caught in the wallop of a catastrophic misjudgment, you may feel that fate, or at a minimum, genetics, have conspired against you, while little stupidities seem all your own fault.  Or worse, your brain’s fault–your decaying, ill-functioning, brain.  Even worse–your not-decaying, but lifelong-faulty, brain.

I read a confirmation code to someone today that started with the letters HTO.  It was only after he said “that’s easy to remember, like water,” that I realized that I’d been repeatedly saying H2O.

And believe me, that was the least of it.

Computers compound one’s natural propensity for error–the screen providing a sympathetic gloss for the most flagrant typo; the automatic replace function exponentially upping the ante.

All of the above leads me to the reposting of a villanelle.  (I’m sorry if you’ve seen this one before, but perhaps, if you are like me, you’ve forgotten it…)

Villanelle to Wandering Brain

Sometimes my mind feels like it’s lost its way
and must make do with words that are in reach
as pink as dusk (not dawn), the half-light of the day,

when what it craves is crimson, noon in May,
the unscathed verb or complex forms of speech.
But sometimes my mind feels like it’s lost its way

and calls the egg a lightbulb, plan a tray,
and no matter how it search or how beseech
is pink as dusk (not dawn), the half-light of the day.

I try to make a joke of my decay
or say that busy-ness acts as the leech
that makes my mind feel like it’s lost its way,

but whole years seem as spent as last month’s pay,
plundered in unmet dares to eat a peach
as pink as dusk (not dawn), the half-light of the day.

There is so much I think I still should say,
so press poor words like linens to heart’s breach,
but find my mind has somehow lost its way
as pink as dusk (not dawn), the half-light of the day.

For more villanelles, or info on how to write them, check out that category from the ManicDDaily home page.

Few Clothes in Egg-Frying NYC – Tu-be or not Tu-be

July 7, 2010

Wishful Thinking? (On ManicDDaily's part)

One thing that has taken me aback in these last few egg-frying days in New York City is how few clothes women have been wearing in public.

I’m someone who has always worn a fair amount of clothing in public.

One reason for this is a lot of my travel has been to hot places which are also very prurient places, places where women, people in general, cover up (i) because of cultural modesty (in situations where people live in tight quarters, they sometimes seem to use cloth as a boundary), and (ii) to try to protect their arms, shoulders, eyes, heads, from blistering sunshine.

I tell myself I’ve adopted such practices—longish sleeves, highish necks, loose clothing—in the name of comfort and good sense.  But another reason for the cover-up, and perhaps the truer one, is simply that I grew up with a strong bodily sense of original sin.  This is different from traditional original sin in which the soul is embued with innate moral failings;  rather it is a sense that the body is embued with innate imperfections, imperfections which, if not corrected by diet and exercise, are at best camouflauged.   (I’m not sure whether to blame this on Twiggy or my mom.)

Whatever the reason, tube dresses were never my style.

I seem to be an anomaly in the modern U.S., however, at least on 102 degree days.  I find it frankly breath-taking.

So many breasts, so many thighs, so many fleshy bits, bits that in my sheltered mind are usually not seen outside a dressing room or swimming pool.

So much confidence, so much nonchalance, so much skin!  And so many many different attitudes (from “God I’m hot!” to “God I’m hot!to “God I’m hot!”)

I vary between admiration (for the freedom and unself-consciousness), to understanding (of why certain other cultures are so very hostile to us), to confusion (on one level it seems anti-feminist and self-negating while on another it seems incredibly feminist and self-accepting), to chagrin (I don’t always want to see all that skin), to–

God I’m hot.