Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May Book Buys???

Yeah, I didn't buy any books this month. 

Well, that's not exactly true. I received books, but I haven't bought any - does that make sense? I hope so. 

I've also begun to read some short stories before I turn out the light at night - so I'm getting back into reading again; after such a long stint of not reading and just writing (as you can read from a few posts below). 

But I'm still collecting and my office is starting to become cluttered with books again. Yes, this does mean I have to start on another lot of looking through the collection and figuring out which ones belong and which ones don't. Sad but true. But if I don't, I'll be the crazy book lady of my unit complex... and well, I don't want that.

Anyway, the author I'm reading is Kurt Vonnegut. He put out a few short story books and I found one at the Logan Art Gallery which they were keeping it for art projects and I rescued it! Yay! Now, I'm reading it. Okay, some idiot ripped out the first page of the first story, so I can't read that, but who cares? I'm reading the rest of them.
And besides, I have other books around the place which have poetry and novellas as well - just to get me back into the reading mode again. And I'm hoping to start saving up for another tattoo... this one is going to be book-related and I'm going to get it done next year sometime. 

Well, it's been a good month for me... I've been good in some aspects, bad in others, I'm reading again and I'm also writing some nice, short'n'sweet flash fictions (my last one was around 500 words long; and we had a word limit of 1,000 words). So, until my next post, happy reading! 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Art Words

I've been working with art and words in my life over the last few years - and have found that there's not that many artists who do this.

A lot of them make sculptures out of the books they use. I do as well; and use very old books that are falling apart to do this (so don't worry, I'm not using anything from my collection or anything new).

However, I do book art where I write on the canvas book titles, author names, or song-writers names and they are turned into the shape of waves, leaves or trees. It's difficult to do and I find that I have to have a certain number of names, books or songwriters. It's a difficult thing to do and yet it's something I have the patience for because I have to write out the words in pencil first then paint over them the best way I can... in a contrasting colour. 
Yes, I've almost sent myself blind doing this, so my optometrist has been a great help to me by making me glasses to work up-close and personal with my art.

I not only work with paintbrush and paint, but I also work with putting bookmarks into collages. I have a massive one about Bookcrossing called 'Spread the Word' which I still have sitting behind my front door because there's nowhere to hang it. And there's other works hanging around my library which is all book-related. I've even made a plaster cast torso which is all about books, has quotes on it and I built a book from plaster on it - with the pages all curled up as though they were caught on a breeze - then painted them gold. 

Do you know anyone who's done book art which doesn't involve the sculpture of books themselves? I find that my work takes a lot of time to do; so I don't have that much work to do a proper exhibition as yet, but it does show my passion for the written word in so many ways. Until my next post, happy reading.


I've been asked in the comments about photos of my work. This is something I forgot to upload - sorry about that guys, I was very tired and it was late. So here's the few I've done so far.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Writing More Than Reading

I've been writing more than reading lately.

This is a good thing; and a bad thing.

Bad in the way that there's no book reviews to read at the moment, but good that I'm getting stories and some books written.

One book I'm working on currently is my 'One Page' project. This is where I write one page about the day I'm having - or have had - in a journal-style notebook. I started it last December and I'm going well with it. I don't write every day, and it's been a great challenge to me, as I don't always fill up every page. Sometimes, it's difficult to fill up the page I've allocated myself, while on other days, it's filled before I know it.

Then, there' my garden journal. This is an on-going project that's being worked on since I moved into my townhouse. I'm onto my second garden journal and it shows a chronological change and life of my garden... I love reading over the old journal of how it's all gone from a desert of weeds, prickles and yellow paper daisies to the pretty little garden it is today - and it's still somewhat a project that's ongoing; and will be ongoing throughout my life.

There's another book I pick at. This one's for my niece. I don't know when this one will be finished as it's something of a book filled with advice I've gleaned from all sources throughout my life... be it my Mum, Grandmother, friends, authors, artists, famous people... just about anyone I've spoken to has given me wonderful (and not-so-wonderful) advice. I'm hoping to put a lot of it into this book over the next few years and fill it up to give to my niece by her 21st Birthday; so she has something to read when I'm no longer around to be there for her. I know that sounds really horrible, but the day will come when I'll be gone; and this book will have everything I want her to know.

Memory Book... now this is a new one. I've been recalling old memories from when I was a child and writing them in long-hand in a notebook. It's a way of getting my autobiography working from a different angle. I hope it works out. So far, I've got some stories from when I was around 7 - 12 years old. High school isn't too hard as I've been going to class reunions and talking to people I went to school with lately (so they're all bringing back good memories of being at school as well as bad - but we need them both). Then, I'm working on funny memories too... so I'm going to look through some photos Mum's got of when I was young. This will be something I'll work on over the next few years. 

Yep, writing is something of a lonely thing I don't mind doing and love to really get into; even if I am working on three things at once. Well, are you a writer? If so, are you working on anything new? Until my next post, happy reading - or writing. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Books of the Dead

When I'm walking around bookstores - particularly second-hand bookstores - I wonder how many of these books came from deceased estates. How many families had the painful task of going through somebody's library of books, looked at which ones they wanted, put them up for sale at the garage sale (or two) and then... when they wouldn't sell there... brought them into the second-hand bookstore to trade them in.

The books that are preloved often make me wonder how long they've been sitting on another person's shelf waiting to be read, or were read many times over by that person - lovingly handled and enjoyed by that person because they enjoyed that particular author - and were now haunting the shelves of a cluttered old bookstore with many other copies of the same title from who-knows-where.

When I pick up a book from a shelf in one of these bookstores, I'm don't feel disgusted - like I do in a public library. I'm often not thinking about how many horrible germs may be on the book (millions - after all, so many others have handled the book before me, just looking at it and putting it back), I'm wondering this book's history. I'm wondering how long it'll be in my possession and where it'll end up after I'm gone (that latter thought is something I don't think about much, but I do have that thought when I'm not feeling all that great that day, or I'm battling a cold or flu, or worse still, I'm just feeling older than I really am because of my medical condition). 

Do you ever wonder about the books you received from these bookstores, wonder where they've been, how they've come to be in your hands... how long they'll be with you and where they will end up after you've let them go? It's not a horrible thought, but one I've had over the last few years - and one I had to think about today as a dear friend of mine lost one of his cousins last week suddenly. This makes me think that life is far too short to not read all the books you want, learn everything you want to, watch the sunsets from all around the world and be everything you ever wish to be squeezed into this lifetime... however short or long it may be... possessions mean nothing in the end. They get shuffled around the family, sent away after nobody wants them and sold. But books? They're the gems, the goldmines people tend to get rid of and not realise they can be worth a small fortune if they're not well-informed. What do you think? Is this something I'm thinking into too much, or am I right? Until my next post, happy reading.