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!

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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/

 

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/

(almost) daily post!

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“…and then, Little Red Riding Hood, Grandmama kicked the mean nasty Wolf in the hoohoo, and went off to teach her community college crochet class, in a truly stylin’ poke-bonnet and tabby fur combo.”

Actually, I deeply disapprove of specially designed ‘cute’ clothing for domesticated companion animals — it seems to militate against the natural dignity of other species, an offensive attempt to anthropomorphize them, and claim yet more territory from the bodies of other species than our own.

Unless they’ve knitted it themselves.  Nice work, Grandma.

 

 

image – Robyn Anderson https://www.flickr.com/photos/robynanderson/ 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/

 

The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 5

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The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 5

Something about it unfroze Adam’s vocal cords, at least. “I was in the shower,” he blurted out, explaining the inexplicable.

Milo nodded, the way you might nod to any naked lunatic. And Adam continued, annoyed – because who liked being humoured? “There was a spider in there,” he said. “I only noticed it once I was already in there, up in the corner out of the way of the showerhead.”

It didn’t get the big reaction he’d been aiming for. Markov just looked at him a moment longer, like there had to be more explanation coming that that. For nudity, and being still bedewed with shower-raindrops, and suchlike.

“It was a really big one,” Adam added. He was getting annoyed, now.

 

© Alex Ankarr 2017, all rights reserved.  Including the stellar artwork, don’t go stealing my spidey, peoples.

YAY!  5th installment of my bug-hunter/bug-phobic gay romance, here it is!

The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 4

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The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 4

 

Adam couldn’t speak, himself. He’d have choked on a word. It was impossible to come up with even a fumbled, ‘um, hi’. What was he going to do, affect nonchalance, act like he just walked around the building in the buff all the time?

After the awkwardest brief pause in the world, though, Markov saved him. He stood a little straighter – making the most of his diminutive height.  And he looked Adam right in the eye – because anywhere else would have been awkward.  “’Evening, there, neighbour,” was how he opened the conversation.  He folded his arms, and there might have been a twitch of amusement round the pretty curl of his lips. “Interesting weather we’ve been having, right? Warm,” he emphasized.

His gaze traveled and lingered over Adam’s shoulder, arm, hip – suggesting, wordlessly, that a spot of naturism was a perfectly reasonable response to the heat. Or that maybe Adam thought so, at least.

 

 

 

 

© Alex Ankarr 2017, all rights reserved.  Including the stellar artwork, don’t go stealing my spidey, peoples.

 

YAY!  4th installment of my bug-hunter/bug-phobic gay romance, here it is!