Zumba for the Soul, week 8

Picking up speed on this project now!  And the Zumba ideas for this week, from Ms Grout’s ‘Art And Soul, Reloaded‘, are:-

a) make a sock monkey or some such soft toy

ehhhh.  Sewing etc. are not my strong point!  Still, at least I don’t have to knit the sock…  I doubt I can come up with anything as malevolently genius as this little dude by Gus and Ollie on Flickr, though.  The mis-matched eyes make him look like Sir Patrick Moore on The Sky At Night.

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b) buy a sub-£5 pressie, wrap it ‘creatively’, give it to somebody.

This one is probably easier.  I’m always picking up things for presents in the future.  (And forgetting about them, coming across them five years later.  I may take inspiration from the kitty below, by Kitty Baby Love also on Flickr.

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c) draw your Year 1 classroom.

How the heck do I remember that?  Well, I remember the teacher reading Kipling’s ‘Rikki-Tikki-Tavi’.  So maybe something based around that.  (What the heck does a mongoose look like?  Is the plural of mongoose mongeese?)

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image – Gus and Ollie on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/gusandollie/, licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

image – Transport Pixels on Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/levien66/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

image – Kitty Baby Love on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/kittybabylove/, licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

image – smalljude on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/judemasti/, licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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Me and Pam, Week 8

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Moving right along!  A week a day, it’s like one of those stop-motion nature vids with a plant growing before your eyes!

Anyhow: this week’s chapter is called Summoning the Muses.  It’s about showing up, being faithful to your creative practice, like Woody Allen advised.  And the main task for the week, is to ‘invent a creativity ritual’, to get you in the right state of mind for your project, for creative endeavour.

Well.  Thinking about it, I guess I already have one.  Because every day, I get up, and I watch a little Frasier (because Frasier is of the immortals, never gets old, is never not funny.)  Then I put the kettle on, I make a cuppa, I eat biscuits.

I watch an inspirational video: a Ted Talk, or Joel Osteen, or Steve Pavlina.  (Love Steve Pavlina!)

And I write.  It seems to work.  I’m grateful to the writers and speakers who put me in the right frame of mind, who act as my trainers and call up the Muse for me, a long-distance connection.

So that’s my ritual.  Tea, biscuits, and a little positive thinking.  Pour a second cup, put a bourbon cream on the saucer, invite the Muse.

 

image – Betta Living https://www.flickr.com/photos/bettalivinguk/licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

 

What I’ve been reviewing – Danny the Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl

 

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Danny the Champion of the WorldDanny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a kid (the squirrels! the Oompa-Loompas!). But this is the Roald Dahl book that has stayed with me, and a lot of other people I’ve met along the way. Like any really outstanding kids’ book it has a lot to say to, and about, adults.

Danny has a warm and loving relationship with his Dad: it’s a touchstone that gives him a measure for sane and healthy adult behaviour. It enables him to see the reverse, too: when an adult is nothing but a tall child, using a position of power and control to get off on exerting that power. He sees clearly, cannot be gaslit: he has the insight to know there are not two standards of ethical behaviour between children and adults, or indeed between any two groups of people. If an adult lies to his face, then calls him a simply awful little liar, he is not confused and not convinced.

Projection, much? There’s a lot of it about, of course: the corrupt impugn the honesty of others, the self-important want to take others ‘down a peg or two’. It’s a misdirection that works with the sheep, the weak and the stupid, often enough. But you can’t piss on Danny’s shoes and tell him it’s raining: he knows what ethical behaviour in good faith looks like, and what it don’t, bud.

Love gives him wisdom, and strength: but of course even the kindest most loving adult is a well of secrets, and Danny finds out his Dad is a more complex character than he dreamed… Isn’t everyone? That’s part of growing up, too.

Absolutely darling illustrations in the old Puffin edition by Jill Bennet, rather less enchanted by Quentin Blake.

View all my reviews

 

image – James Havard https://www.flickr.com/photos/64885769@N08/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

What I’ve been reviewin’ – Wilkins’ Tooth by Diana Wynne Jones

Wilkins' ToothWilkins’ Tooth by Diana Wynne Jones

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A charmingly daft, deft, graceful early work. The workaround for swearing is hilarious! And beware, the Big Bad is actually quite scary. A darling of a read, and ought to be as celebrated as many of her other great works.

View all my reviews

Flash Forward – Art and Soul Reloaded Chapter 39: DESIGN A TAROT CARD

Yeah, you read it right!  What the hell – I’m only about 13 weeks behind with this project.  Never mind bringing it up to speed: what about skipping forward twenty-six weeks or so?

Why not?  Just because, hey, it’s a hella fun project and I can’t wait 26 weeks to get on it!

So, the main task for the chapter, lemme quote: ‘DESIGN A TAROT CARD’.

Yeah?  Pretty cool?  Here’s what I came up with, ta-da…..  drum-roll…

The Bookstore Clerk!  AKA Kali, (Hipster) Goddess of Destruction!  (My own personal role model!)

(BTW it is Kali, right?  Not Shiva?  Hang on a mo…  Yeah.  Woah, yeah.  That’s me.  *nods*  Mother Kali.)

a)

Aw, gosh-darn.  You don’t need to tell me my drawing chops need work.  Dammit, I used to be able to get a likeness at least, I wasn’t awful.  See, use it or lose it.  Gotta practice.  Think I will have another try drawing her digitally.  Those are attempts at books and pens in her hands, although you might never know it!

Yep, she has three pairs of arms – or I tried to give her the appearance of them, at least.  And I like the font: it’s got that old-skool hand-printed library-ticket vibe.  She needs extra arms, for stamping all of those books with her old-skool library stamp.  (Which I also tried to draw.  THAT’S NOT A RAMPANT RABBIT!  It’s a library stamp.  Granted, possibly not one that would hold together structurally, but that’s the intent.)

Kali’s got a Scooby-Doo Velma vibe, right?  More than I intended.  She may evolve in further iterations.  I think a monochrome card and a slinkier goddess of the bookstacks is possibly in order.

Practice, practice, practice.  PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!

 

 

 

Zumba for the soul, week 7

Oh, dammit!  I am totally getting on this!  I will be getting up to speed with it very shortly indeed, scout’s honour!

Ehhhh.  Anyhow!  Zumba for week 7 (and we’re only on, *gulp* week 20?  eeeeeeek)…

i) ‘2 hrs in a hammock doing nothing’.

Does the sofa in front of Netflix count?  I think it counts!

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ii) ‘Record yrself acting out a scene from A Wonderful Life.’

Hey, I could do Clarence the angel!  Yeah!  I identify with Clarence…  I don’t know why…  Maybe it’s just that humans are so exasperating…  Or maybe it’s the nœud papillon.

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iii) ‘Find the best vantage point possible and watch the sunset.’

I can watch the sunset from my living-room window…  Sorted!

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image – https://www.flickr.com/photos/slgc/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

image – https://www.flickr.com/photos/tom-margie/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

image – Laura Cook on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/63036883@N07/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

What I’ve been reviewin’ – Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones

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Witch Week (Chrestomanci, #3)Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good fun, but it’s like observing the characters through glass – there’s less emotional attachment than in the other Chrestomanci books, for me.

View all my reviews

 

image – bird flew https://www.flickr.com/photos/birdflew/ on Flickr, licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/