Thursday, 11 March 2021
How to finish a book.
I don't know how it works for other writers, but there are so many times with a book where I feel, 'right, that's it. All done'. I thought I was at the end of Feather, Leaf, but now I find a need for about another seven double spreads. So, time to make space again to get typewriters out, to think and to shape and to play. Meanwhile.....
I have been drawing foxes( practice for the Natural History Museum event in April-), buying watercolour boxes, thinking on paint and pigments. I have also been continuing to work into the book bought in support of Feather, Leaf.., a copy of The Unwinding with added images. Matthew, who bought it, asked that it become a gift for a mutual friend Rachel, also known as The Oxford Doctor on twitter. She's worked solidly through the past year with people dying from Covid. She's face herrendous trolling from 'experts' on twitter, of the ugliest kind. We see this book, a gift from both of us as an antidote to trolling. Maybe not an antidote, rather a counter-balance. I think I have one more dream key to paint and then I can post it to her. She has a new book out, called Breathtaking, an account of her work over the last year. She's an exceptional writer, doctor, person, mother, friend.
There's a couple of big pieces of news coming, one I can't talk about that involves America, and one i can talk about. The Wild Swans and East of the Sun, West of the Moon are coming back into print. Part of a series called Tales of teh Wild, both are now available to pre-order from Unbound, but will also be in bookshops in October. You can order advance signed copies here. And you can also order them separately.
Meanwhile my head moves through teh shape of foxes, watercolour boxes with beautiful histories and down to the beach, and into the skies. Envious of my daughter's clean desk I finally worked out how to get a clean one myself, so watch this space for hints and tips on housework and how to tidy up. ( Those who know me well will understand that this is not my strong point.
I still have postcards to paint. There are two events from me on Saturday from Lancaster Lit Fest. The first with Shaun Tan, the second with Nicola Davies, both of whom I have so much admiration for as practitioners of their art. Both are free but you will need to book a place.
I'm working on a cover for something, settling myself back into my studio. Been listening to Robin Wall Kimmerer. She's an amazing author. This essay give lessons from the wild, a way to a better future. Have a listen, give yourself the time. It's worth it and so are you. We do so need to change the way we live and this is about the gift economy. I've just paid my vat. It didn't feel comfortable handing over money to a government who just settled a bullying case by one of their members by paying a few hundred thousand pounds to settle out of court. I see paying tax as a civic duty, but not when it is managed by people who see value in money above all else. There's a phrase in the podcast:' I store my meat in the belly of my brother'. It's all about the Gift Economy. I'm going to sell a few more foxes soon for a charity. I would rather do this than earn more, pay more tax. I guess it's my way of directing the tax I would have paid if I had earned the money for myself, if you know what I mean.
I need to go now. I have a fox and some stones to gild. Leave a comment on here and I will send the small gold soul of one of the gilded stones to someone I pick out from the comments.