Category Archives: Collage

Editing as whittling

PCC collage

We are getting rain. The painters stayed home today, but yesterday as I sat upstairs in my writing chair, a man worked on a ladder directly out the window. He chatted on his phone, Spanish providing him privacy since I don’t know a word. But how I worried about him, scaling the ladder with one hand, or gripping the phone with his neck and shoulder while balancing two stories up!

In today’s blessed quiet, I’ve been editing, determined to get my word count below 140,000. Deb would scoff and maybe my paid editor would too. But a lower word count would be more appealing to the average agent. Or so I’ve heard.

Couple years back — before Covid so it feels like another lifetime — Deb visited and invited me as a guest to a writer’s conference where she was the keynote speaker. Talk at the table turned to word count.

“For a debut author, anything over 90,000 is a no-no,” one writer said. Others agreed. (Deb’s speech was amazing BTW — part humor, part wise advice).

Well, I’m not gonna even get down to 120,000, but you have to admit that our minds respond differently to 141,800 than to 139,800.

And I did it! Gonna keep going because I have a new appreciation for where I can carve. Mostly I’ll go to the Eliza chapters because she thinks too much and can be flowery in her speech. Snip. Snip.

Thirteen days

And he’s negative! Only the test could tell because he’s actually more stuffed up now than when he was sick with Covid. Seasonal allergies have hit.

This “Covid suite” aka “wreck-of-a-bedroom” will get turned back into a peaceful place today. No screens. Will run fans and air purifiers all day.

The TV was one we got for my sister. K assembled that rocker from a Shaker kit (wove the seat and back and stained and waxed the wood). That was before we got married and it’s nice to remember. Usually the rocker is hidden away for lack of a good place and if that’s a metaphor for our marriage, I don’t want to think about it.

In other news, we hired a crew to paint the house. If you knew what a DIY-household this is, your jaw would hit the floor.

We get to luxuriate in having things done for us — long overdo maintenance, at that — and to enjoy a task that gets started and finished in the same week (never mind the same season or decade). It’s also a chance to notice, not for the first time, that abrasive noise is like clutter — it bothers you less when it’s yours.

I’ll work here this morning.

A movie recommendation to end. I love stories about second chances and “I Used to Be Famous” fits the bill. Very sweet.

Kushner snuck in. Do you see his malevolent B&W eye near the left margin?

Best yard, collage, and blood

It’s one of my neighborhood’s most beautiful yards. I love walking past it.

This is a handful of the oak tree growth I mentioned recently. Definitely not gall, but what is it?

Also, one of the PCC collage artists posted another vantage of the leaning-back man which makes more clear that he is, indeed, a man.

Prepping for this week’s Paris Collage Club collages

I’m going to keep an eye out for images that are of my own making.

Lastly, Finn had a twerked nail that he was worrying. I tried to clip it so that it would stop annoying him and it was an utter mistake. He bled everywhere. I ended up putting his bed outside and giving him treats to distract him, while K ran out for that powder that stops bleeding (which we used to have and for some reason didn’t anymore). Naturally, the very act of departing to get the powder made the bleeding stop like magic.

Copyright over on Instagram

Paris Collage image plus Nat Geo photo of famous free climber Alex Honnold

As you know, I routinely use magazine cut outs in my collages — National Geographic, Vogue, Living Magazine to name just three. I also use screen shots.

I think because I’m not selling my work, copyright issues have never come up. However, this week a montage of recent collages got this weird notice on Instagram about 71 nations banning my reel.

Huh? I assume the Paris Collage Club pictures do not trigger copyright claims nor, obviously, do my own photos. When I looked over the slideshow what stood out were photos of Jared and Ivanka. Is someone scouring the internet looking for unflattering pictures of them?

Screen shots used in montages

I’ll post video here just to see what happens. I have transformed the duo’s images in a way that arguably skirts copyright problems. I don’t know. I don’t really think about this stuff much.

https://videos.files.wordpress.com/GHWsNzhq/tmpmov.mp4

By the way, this spooky portrait shows up in the Jared/Ivanka Monster series. I love it so much and I wish I’d noted who the photographer was. Cut out years ago.

Dog walk, Siri, and Worms

LANGLEY ROAD

Dogs passed: four. Finn reaction: zero. Numbers of times we crossed the street: twice.

Unidentified growth spotted: one. I found it on an oak sapling. It’s perhaps not good. Something parasitic?

CENTER STREET

We walked in front of two boys for a long block. One looked to be about twelve and wore a wrist cast (skateboarding injury, perhaps?) He told Siri to set a timer for 44 minutes. What? You can do that? Even though I knew about voice commands, it blew my mind. As soon as they split away, I told Siri to set a timer for 44 minutes. It worked. Mind blown again.

[Remedial, I know, but it just goes to show how beneficial it is to be around tweens when it comes to upping your technology skills].

CYPRESS STREET

The first pings of rain fell and we spied another growth we didn’t recognize (below).

K used plant ID app to determine that it’s Jimsonweed or Datura

Oh! I said. The enslaved used Jimsonweed to treat worms. I know this but can’t resist asking Siri to do more tricks and confirm.

Siri: Search Jimsonweed and worms.

It started to rain.

Siri: Search slave medicine worms Jimsonweed.

I didn’t get the confirmation I wanted but learned all kinds of cool stuff; how Jimsonweed has hallucinogenic properties; how there’s a history behind the name, as there is to most things.

http://www.herbalgram.org

JACKSON STREET

The sidewalk was dotted with raindrops as we rounded the block to home.

Once inside, I googled the weed without Siri’s help and found what I was looking for.

https://trace.tennessee.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=6256&context=utk_graddiss

The chart above is from an article about medicine employed by the enslaved. Vermifuge is an agent that treats parasites.

Also, found this article, excerpt above.

Time for that second cup of coffee. Hope you are enjoying this Monday wherever you are.