Saturday, 27 February 2021
A difficult week where much work was done.....
There is much 'noise' around at the moment that steals the time that could be spent in making work, real work, but is also work. This week I have somehow managed to complete the writing ( I think) and compiling of, Feather, Leaf Bark & Stone. This, because of the curious analogue way I chose to make this work, involved much scanning.
The book is now scanned, with each page in the order I feel they should go, and has gone back to John to re-edit and Jessica, my agent, so that she can look it over. And now, I wait, to hear what they, who along with Cathy Fisher, are it's first readers.
The next stages will be design.
Around this so much is also happening. The Unwinding and the Silent Unwinding are still for sale, though the trade edition is still reprinting, the gift edition is available through bookshops and direct from Unbound. Soon it will be joined by a large 'colouring in' or 'Unwinding Sheet' as I like to call it.
We are still working through options for size, paperweight, surface etc for this, but hope to have news soon. The idea is that the sheet is available for you to buy and colour yourself, however you choose, with paint, pencil, ink, and then sign and frame. I have been using the Deep Deep Light paints on this one, to see how it feels. My hope is that it will allow escape, calm, time to just be, focus, relax into colour. And indeed, in the time I spent with it I felt very much that I was getting a taste of my own medicine, in a good way. I've a couple more I want to play with. You don't have to stay within the lines. The idea is to make each piece your own and if it is succesful there will be more. It's kind of like a big version of the Silent Unwinding.
I've also been learning the shape of a fox, using both Deep Deep Light paint and some of my old paints from an old watercolour box. More on these sleepers later, but if you can't wait there is a blog post here. And there is a new pledge, which it is possible to upgrade to, with fox 'bookmarks' or small paintings made from these 200 year old sleepers.
The foxes are for a performance at the Natural History Museum at the end of April. For this Deep Deep light are making me some paints. I sent them the recipe for a fox. Chris from Seven Fable has made the most beautiful film of this all coming together. Have a look at this blog post for more, and for links to the show, which will be broadcast live and so can be seen from anywhere in the world.
It is the most beautiful day today. I have a book proposal to gather together with Cathy Fisher, and then I hope to rest my head in colouring for a while. Also, walking a little, to the sea. The light at the beach yesterday was astonishing, and to mark the closing of one book I sent a stone back to the sea. The gold ghost of it rests in the pages of FLB&S.
I am reading Crow Court by Andy Charman, another of Unbound's books. I do love how Unbound connect authors to readers. This wasn't a book I pledged to, but it's really rather a fine creature. There are echoes of The Essex Serpent, but only in the time in which it is set. It's a spell, woven well.
I'm doing two events for Lancaster Literature Festival. Both are on 13th March. One is with Shaun Tan, the other with Nicola Davies. There will be much talk of books. The first is really a celebration of the Kate Greenaway Award, and the Shortlist will be announnced not long after. Sadly although I had books nominated, none were longlisted, but there are some amazing titles on there, and the lists are always a fantastic resource if you wish to know what books to buy for a child and are unsure. That said, I read Tales From the Inner City by Shaun and it's not a 'children's' book. It is just a book. Amazing. Stunningly illustrated, beautifully written, haunting. For the next few days I will immerse myself more in the world of Shaun Tan.
And then there is this:
More on that later x
Meanwhile, funding for this is close to 150%. I have asked people on twitter to share, rt etc. If you feel able to share, post, talk about the book, word of mouth is always the best way to spread the word. And if once you've done that you leave a comment here I will in about a week choose one person to send a small parcel from my studio to ( I did say on twitter that this might be postcards, a book, something, or might just be cat hair!- but I am sure in amongst the chaos I can find a few things that would like a new home) Maybe as a comment just tell me how you are keeping. I vere between calm, focussed and panic at how much there is to be done. I find it hard to settle, then when I do it seems another day has fallen through my fingers. Time palys tricks.
There will be more updates. Finishing a book is only a beginning. I have co-ordinates to type and luckily have among my typewriters a rare thing, one that types degrees. Perhaps a posting about that would be good. Part of what FLB&S is, is about wayfinding, about knowing your place, in the real sense of the word, about navigating your way through life with words. Time, and place. Time, and place. Yes.