Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Sylvanian Families and a week in the Lakes

Early story-making - I had this very model of Sylvanian Families caravan - now a museum-piece! The beaver family lived in it - Mum, Dad and the little girl beaver, Lily. Beavers in a caravan - why not? It got a bit broken when we lived in Texas, but our neighbour fixed it with match sticks and glue.

Having bought lots of baby Sylvanians with my pocket money - and no parents to go with them - I had to build an orphanage for them. A lady rabbit was in charge - she was a very nice lady and not a harridan like the ones in the Anne of Green Gables books.

I saw this at a cafe in the Lakes. Something to think about when you're making art and trying to one day sell it, or not sell it, or give it away...or...

A very bleak but very exciting spot - Hardknott Pass in Cumbria. I couldn't help thinking of the lost 9th legion and how *cold* it must've been for those Romans used to the continental sun. Thank you Rosemary Sutcliff.

Monday, 3 October 2011

An exciting week!

When I started out at this writing lark, I wasn't sure what I wanted in the long run but I came to realise that I wanted my work to appeal to lots of people, not just a niche group. That sounds very worthy, doesn't it? I phoned my mum from a pavement in Norwich, walking back from a shopping trip, I imagine, and I said I didn't want to write something that only academics would want to read. I said I want people to understand it. My mum laughed and said 'well, you're not exactly well-versed in the classics.' This comment - along with the one about my being not stupid but lazy - has stuck with me, because it made me relieved and a bit cross at the same time. So I sat down to write with an eye on my rather small bookcase of half-read books and a smile on my face...

So this is an exciting week because I know a handful of academics liked my little book, but I also know that Lauren Laverne (of BBC 6 music and TV fame) loves it too! She mentioned it as part of  her column in Grazia Magazine, so I had a happy morning driving into town to pick up a copy and treating myself to a little gloat (I was sharing a page with Bridget Riley!!)

From Grazia 27th Sept 2011

Back to my project or 'blogject' - I have almost completed the images for SWALLOW, and I have started thinking about the third chap. 'Chap Three' will be a re-writing of a story I started at university - there will be clematis leaves and a bicycle.  

Couldn't wait till daylight to take a proper photo - but it's just a pastel sketch - I love a clematis!