Thursday, March 31, 2011

Things to do and Things to paint.


A lot of my weeks have been zooming past lately. I wake up on Monday facing a week of day job and missing the weekend I've just left and then I turn around twice and it's Friday. But this week was good. I didn't have too much on my plate and things just sort of scooted along at a good pace.

On Tuesday night we went (unexpectedly) to see Paul Harding talk about the creative writing process at Harvard.
Harding wrote one of the quietest, most beautiful books I've read in a long time, Tinkers.

I read it last summer while in the woods in Maine with my family. It could only have been more perfect if it had been autumn.
My copy of this little novel is littered with tiny dogears on pages where there are amazing passages, sentences, thoughts. During his talk, Harding said that there wasn't a single sentence in the book that he hadn't rewritten 25 times. My favorite line from the book...
(We're learning about the main protagonist's father who was a traveling tinker.)
Spring and fall were his most prosperous times, fall because the backwoods people stocked up for the winter (he piled goods from the cart onto blazing maple leaves), spring because they had been out of supplies often for weeks before the roads were passable for his first rounds. Then they came to the wagon like sleepwalkers: bright-eyed and ravenous.
-from Tinkers by Paul Harding

"Like sleepwalkers: bright-eyed and ravenous..." I think I read those six words a dozen times before continuing on to the rest of the page.

It was fascinating to hear about his writing process and his general lack of enthusiasm for plots. I personally prefer deep rambling descriptions of things to storylines and conclusions so I support his style wholeheartedly. We got to hear a snippet from his next book and that sounds lovely and richly woven too. I can't wait.

Tonight C and I are taking the cats in for their yearly tuneups...I mean checkups - this time at their new JP vet. We'll miss Somerville's kitty doctors but I've spent many many hours with the folks at Angell Memorial with my last cat and they do good work (pricey work but nothing is too $$$ for my babies).

"I'm gonna scream in my carrier the WHOLE TIME."

I've been working on some new pieces for a 2-day show at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Rhode Island. It's a neat event and I'm excited to be sending some work to them for the show and to be auctioned off to support the zoo. (I'm a little torn on where I stand with zoos but that's a discussion for another post. I do appreciate their conservation efforts and captive breeding programs that keep species with us.)

I've gone back to watercolor for this project because my acrylics are buried in a closet and I'm out of wood panels. The media choice was mainly for convenience at first but I'm starting to wake up my watercolor love and I may stay here for a while. An unexpected development.

Back to work.

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