A fourth Amherst Writers’ circle today. Zero meetings next week. Change of rhythm. Special counsel appointed. Dingdong’s hat in the ring. Dogs walks while wearing hat and gloves. Twitter sputtering, me grieving. Reading a great memoir. Watching Derry Girls. Gave up on 1899. Pretty low energy here – sorry! Black bean soup last night. Tonight a roast chicken. Planning a pumpkin cheesecake. Extreme gratitude for a new beta reader. One hundred pages in. Good questions. Back hurts but it’s time to rise and shine!
Kinda tired. How about you? I feel a little like this sagging pumpkin. Don’t get me wrong — there’s tons to celebrate.
The light is beautiful today. The air fresh.
Have a great day!
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?
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.
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.
Focus and restriction can yield relief. After a few days on the BRAT diet, I am feeling better. Blood and stool lab work all came back negative. Phew. So a re-set. I can do that.
Focusing on the history of our young nation through the lens of John James Audubon also makes me feel better. I’m reading a second biography and taking notes. I’ve read two biographies about his wife, Lucy.
Okay, okay — so much for keeping secrets. But you probably would like to learn that at one point the Audubons owned close to a dozen slaves, yes? And that for some reason, historic mentions quantify nine as “a few.” Let me reality check. Would YOU refer to nine of anything as “a few”?
You cannot read about Audubon without getting fantastic descriptions of huge sycamore and chestnut trees, of paddling down the Ohio, of camping with the Osage, and of course birds. Birds, birds, and more birds.
Audubon loved them all which makes him even more appealing somehow — from the humble warblers and wrens to the spectacular eagles and rose-breasted grosbeak.*
Here’s what I’ve learned about JJA as a husband. He was hyper-focused on his drawings and investigations of nature, which meant he roamed the woods for weeks and even months at a time. He was an abject failure at business and also given to confabulation (DID he study with Jacques-Louis David, for instance?). In short, he was unreliable.
He presents the weird mix of fate and innate capacities that produces works of genius. But you also get poverty and extended periods of isolation for Lucy. For substantial stretches of their marriage, Lucy supported them by teaching.
It’s chilly this morning but supposed to reach 100 this weekend. Huh?
Had dinner with friends last night. Seven of us. We didn’t hug even though it’s been a while but if someone was sick, we’ve all been exposed, hugs or no.
K is on a conference call with China. They tend to be endless, which is part of why I’m outside. He goes into the office three days a week now, I think I’ve said. It seems a little pointless — the commute and diminished sleep the cost of collegiality?
All the annuals are in pots now.
* Under a Wild Sky, John James Audubon and the Making of The Birds of America, by William Souder, pages 90 – 93.
I am in the process of renewing my daily writing practice. Without it I’m a little lost to be honest. My in-class writing suffers, my to-do list wilts, and I lose track of things. I am not overstating this.
So today I reset my intention. I will use up a small annoying notebook. Guess what? I have a preference! Kill me! I like college-ruled, five-subject, 8 1/2 x 11 inch pages.
I shall also reinstitute occasional practice of the Five Things entry. I learned this from my friend and fellow writer, Sarah. In case you forget, the Five Things are: 1) the weather; 2) some thing you commit to doing this day; 3) one thing you did well yesterday; 4) one thing you could’ve done better; 5) one thing that brings you joy.
The practice is simple and quick and yet manages to construct a meaningful record. It can trigger more writing.
So here goes.
1) Today is cold and clear. Not as cold as Monday, but still quite cold.
2) Today I commit to finishing that fucking orange notebook so that tomorrow I can start fresh in my preferred size.
3) One thing I did well yesterday was manage the time for my Tuesday writing group.
4) One thing I could’ve done better yesterday was to eat one ice cream sandwich instead of two.
5) Something that gives me joy is the thought of spending time with paper and scissors. I used the prompt judgment this morning.
I snipped a finger and bled on a bunch of the scraps. I left the traces and kept on working because I’m lazy that way and because it felt appropriate. Don’t we all bleed under the harsh judgment of others and ourselves?
The blood worked but the images aren’t there yet.
I’ll admit to identifying the most with the squirrel looking on from the sidelines.