Inktober 20th – WOLVES!

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hEY, I happen to like naif-art kindergarten scrawls…

Extract: Wolf Runaway by Alex Ankarr, gay werewolf romance FREE and downloadable via link

They’re on the loose, out on the heaths and fields and moors, now. Still on Hotstaat land, but waving a goodbye to the pruned and tended and civilized parts, that are kept within bounds and given the same semblance of civilization as the wolves themselves. With all of the wildness and the rawness up close beneath the surface. Although he’s going to feel the bumps and the bruises tomorrow, it’s at least a bit easier to keep himself upright and along for the ride, as long as he doesn’t get cocky about it and stop clinging on for dear life. As long as he doesn’t do anything crazy, like it would be to fling his arms up in the air, to just leave go of Ree’s scruff – which is at least a good third of what has him anchored in place, and not flying off Ree’s back for a bumpy landing and a broken bone or two – and to whoop and holler with the exhilaration of this wild midnight ride.

That would be crazy. And impulsive. And childish. Not to mention fulfilling all of Ree’s most cherished and dearly-held fantasies, about their sacred boyhood and the perfect lawless joyful amity they would have lived in together as adolescents. Before, presumably, falling head over heels for each other in a tragic doomed Romeo and Juliet style romance. Which in Ree’s head also translates to a happy ever after, Penn rather thinks. The inside of his head has to be a mysterious maze in itself, more so than any conglomeration of hedges and gravel on Hotstaat land.

He isn’t enjoying this exercise in idiocy, this skylarking and play-acting at Cathy and Heathcliff, at Jane and Mr Rochester? He can’t be.

Penn presses down closer into Ree’s back, holds tighter and squeezes his eyes shut as the dark world bumps and bounds past him, socking the breath out of his lungs. The tip of his nose is buried in rough thick black pelt, as it shines green-black and blue-black, and it scratches like needles against his cheeks. The world heaves past like he’s a seasick sailor on a boat in a storm, and he won’t enjoy this, won’t revel and participate and collude. Why should he give Ree the satisfaction of being actually right, as well as the wolf’s privilege he has already, of being right even when he’s wrong?

© Alex Ankarr, all rights reserved.

 

Inktober 19th – mermaids!

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Well, my very first Inktober attempt.  And I know, I know!  Arm wonky, completely buggered — and, I now notice, head too big also.  Not to mention where did the 80s Morgan Fairchild/hair metal style come from…  (Has anyone noticed just how much Taylor Swift looks like Morgan Fairchild, people?  While we’re here?  As an aside?)

I don’t completely mind it, though.  Might work it over, see if it can be fixed.

librarians, book store clerks, Pam Grout, drawing and creativity, oh my!

Kali, bookstore clerk of destruction!

Latest iteration of my Pam Grout-inspired tarot card, Kali the librarian of destruction!  An improvement on the first efforts, I feel.  I’ll be documenting every stage of the game here, because this version was fun to do, I’m quite happy with it so far and I’ll probably be cocking it up completely at some point!  So she’s currently unfinished – but don’t worry!  She’s completely ‘armless, Guv!

And she’s got a rack on her, cuz I’m rollin’ that way!

Creativity, Pam Grout and a little divine ordering… Find time to create, in Week 9!

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Week 9 (boy, these weeks are going by fast, ain’t they?) and Ms Grout is talking, in ‘Art And Soul, Reloaded’ about finding the time for your creative projects.

Phew.  Easier said than done, half the time.  Isn’t it?

Well, Ms. Grout’s first suggestion is not to just to stay up later writing, or to get up early.  In fact, she says, have a lie-in!  Daydream for half an hour!

Hey, I’m liking the sound of this!

Her second bit of advice: ditch the perfectionism, then that makes it easier to bang out a bit of your project without worrying about reaching some peak of creative perfection.  Ehh, I don’t think this one is so applicable to me.  In the midst of writing, I’m generally whistling, laughing my arse off, and holding a simultaneous conversation with the OH about whether Wyatt’s dead wife on Timeless is going to be re-animated via the wonders of time-travel, and spring out at him from a closet — giving him a heart attack in the process.

It freaks the OH the fuck out when I type and talk simultaneously.  Which is of course most of the reason that I do it.

Bit of advice, no. 3 from Ms. Grout – give up on self-sabotage.  Ehh, also not my problem.  I write lovely stories for lovely people.  Those other folks, ehh, not so much.

And finally – Pam says – in essence – do what you wanna do.  (Yes!  This is right in my wheelhouse!)  Including your projects.

Yep.  She’s a genius.  This is the proof.

 

And the main task for the week?  Give her 3 ideas for smartphone apps. Well, at least I don’t have to actually program them…

 

gif by Shane on Flickr, licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

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/

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/

 

Me and Pam, week 7

4914981236_d2440275e3_zWow, and it’s week 7 already!  ehhhh, no it’s not!  But it was!

The title of the week 7 chapter is ‘Baby Steps’ – one of my favourite admonitions to myself, so it’s gonna please me.  I guess maybe this week I should post another chapter of ‘The Entomologist and No-Spiders Man’ – that would be a baby step all right!

The main task for the week, though – as set by Ms Grout – is to write a six-word memoir.  Unsurprisingly, she gives as an example the ‘For sale: baby shoes, never worn‘ story.  And attributes it to Hemingway – the pompous self-important old dud.  Although as far as I was taught, it’s actually ‘Baby shoes, never used’ and was written by Scott Fitzgerald in response to a challenge from Gertrude Stein.  Vastly superior!  Papa H, you were an ass, and a sucky writer too.

Ehh, this one is not as easy as it might seem.

Tooled-up, smiling, pretend to agree.  Hee-hee.  

Maybe!  Or something else, later.  I THINK HYPHENATED WORDS COUNT.  I TOTALLY THINK THEY DO!  Hey, I’m the one who’s tooled up, who’s gonna argue with me?

 

 

image – Nick Harris on Flickr, licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Zumba for the soul, week 6

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So, what week are we on again?  *whistles*  well, time flies!  Moving on, in any case:

Zumba for this week!  (Or eight weeks ago, whatevs…)

  • I gotta make myself a pair of angel wings.  Ehhhhh really?  MORE ORIGAMI?  Well tell you what: I’ve got a poem halfway ready to go, about angel wings.  Serendipitous, no?  I think that counts.  I THINK THAT COUNTS.
  • Also: get a hold of three poems by Rumi, and read ’em.  Yeah, I can do that all right.
  • Aaaand I have to eat lunch somewhere ‘unusual’.  Considering I rarely eat any meal on time, and generally graze randomly on whatever’s in the fridge, I think just having a formal cooked meal at the dinner-table would count for this one.

 

image – Lavendar’s Legacy https://www.flickr.com/photos/soloflight/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

today’s ‘daily blogpost’ project

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Yeah, you didn’t get it wrong, and you’re not having hallucinations.  (Knock off the gin a bit, though.  It’s getting to be a problem.)

It’s a robin in a flower-hat.  

What?  Man, it’s fucking tough posting a blogpost every day!  You try it!

You can expect a whole lotta cute animals in titfers over the next few days.  And you are welcome!

image – Scott Koon https://www.flickr.com/photos/skoon/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Me & Pam – week 6

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Ta-dah!  Here we are, somewhere around week 15 of the year so far, and…. er…   well, my resolutions are good.  Here I am, catching up with my weekly (!) blogging about the exercises and projects involved in reading Ms Grout’s ‘Art and Soul, Reloaded‘.

So.  Week 6, then.  *coughs*  Ms Grout’s essay for this chapter is about the practice of daily blogging.  A practice she is fairly faithful to, for anyone else who reads https://pamgrout.com/.  Much more faithful than I am, at any rate!  And the task assigned, for this chapter, is to start a blog.  *coughs again*  Well, as we all know, starting something is the easy part…

Oh, I missed a bit.  The complete task is to start a blog – job done, there.  And to blog every day, for a week.  Oh hell…

 

 

image – Hans Splinter https://www.flickr.com/photos/archeon/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/