It’s not as if life actually leads me in circles.
(I prefer to think of them as ellipses.)
I’m afraid my newsletters have also hit their astronomical apogee (the point farthest from the inspiration around which they orbit) and have devolved into the common or garden blog. And a sporadic and spotty one at that.
“Spotty, Garden or Common: A shy creature of often mediocre quality, given to introspection, its sporadic appearances are largely governed by the weather (fair or foul). The Common Spotty Blog leads an uneventful if irregular existence, looks both ways before expressing itself on complex personal matters of limited interest.”
My only excuse is that, on the eve of my five decades spent on this planet, I suddenly find myself writing professionally, which should not only serve as a lesson in the style of “It’s never too late to…” but actually involves a little discipline and some serious application. Given that I used to write recreationally to distract myself from drawing and painting, half of my leisure activity has suddenly been hijacked, not really leaving me with a conscience which can close its eyes on the misdemeanour of committing lengthy newsletters when there are THINGS to write. (I would happliy paint to distract myself from writing, but I’m already doing that, so unless I find a third occupation…)
Also, I having personally signed my act of condemnation to a good year’s hard labour, I must not poke at things bordering the path or pause to admire the view but forge ahead with purpose (for once). While it’s likely a nonindictable offense, I don’t want any more trouble with my conscience than I already have.
We did make a quick trip to Strasbourg, though, for the premiere of “Le Seigneur du Château”.
Premieres are always good fun, even if it means talking to the audience a bit, which is always an exercise followed by finally discovering what I SHOULD have said. The film is really very lovely, and I am NOT saying that because I am by now sufficiently mithridatized to no longer cringe (visibly) when I see myself on a screen.
It captures the whole notion of Essence and Incident, the necessary equilibrium to be sought in any illustration, the balance between things and their meanings and uses.
Of course, after the projection and the socializing, we headed off to dinner. Now, initially relieved at being able to park on the grounds of the art school rather than circle the surrounding area to find a parking spot, I had done just that. Alas, come midnight, the car was naturally now locked in with the gate firmly shut and no concierge in sight. Going over said gate was a cinch, but the real surprise was of course the huge black unattached monster guard dog who immediately… did nothing at all.
You know those split seconds when a whole realm of possibilities flashes before your eyes, such as getting eaten alive, having to go to the hotel without our suitcases (or the hospital with no ID because it was swallowed whole by the hound of the Baskervilles), being arrested for unlawful entry… all in all, a remarkably brisk, if thankfully brief, acceleration of potentiality. Luckily for me, I have no imagination. (I grew up on a farm, had a paper route and thus many interesting encounters with the local canine population.) By the time I got back to the gate with our things, he was asleep again.
Lastly, speaking of blogs, here is an address for you:
Several years ago, I was asked if I could do a book cover in the style of Alan Lee. I promptly turned it down. The editor returned with request renewed. I turned it down, but less promptly that time.
Ultimately, I relented, and was sent a manuscript called “The Dragon-Charmer” by Jan Siegal. I’ve rarely read a more visually enthralling fantasy. As it turns out, Jan Siegal is actually somebody else, and has a web site besides. (Do bookmark her blog, it is quirky, personal and very entertaining.)
In her own words:
“Looking for more information on fantasy novelist Jan Siegel? Want to know the low-down on the comic mind behind the novels of Jemma Harvey? Or whether or not Amanda Hemingway is any relation to Ernest?
You’ve come to the right place, because these are all pen names of Amanda Hemingway (except Ernest).
Amanda lives in a county town near the south coast of England, eats, sleeps, rides horses and writes novels.”