No matter how hard I cup my hands time slips through my fingers.
Yesterday, when I should have been painting I travelled to Australia and back. I am reading Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan. This is my second attempt to read it. It was first recommended to me by Meg Rosoff as a book that I would love. She said if I did not she would eat her hat so I begged a copy from David Fickling Books with a promise to review it. And I did love the way it was written, but somehow became tangled in the pages and the book sort of spit me out. I couldn't settle to it and found it too disturbing. And then I put it aside and moved on.
Tender Morsels haunted me for a while, and also the fate of Meg's hat. Should I make her a cake shaped like a hat, I thought? Lucky for Meg Marilyn Brocklehurst came to her rescue. When I told her that I could not get on with Tender Morsels she looked at me as if I were quite mad, one of those ' oh for goodness sake' looks and thrust another copy of the book into my hands. In a kind of gently threatening way she said 'read it'.
Now I find that I am lost in the pages in the right way, burning the candle at both ends of the day, immersed in the beautiful language and strange structure of this outstanding piece of fiction that rumbles with echoes of Angela Carter. Brilliant. It is strange how sometimes we are haunted by books and sometimes we cannot settle to read and the fault is often with us rather than the book and somehow it hunts us down and chases us into a corner and demands TO BE READ.
I'm sure Meg's hats will be breathing a sigh of relief and crawling from dark places in her house sure and certain that they will not be consumed.
So, in a moment of work avoidance off I wandered to Margo's Blog. Now I am excited, for this year she is publishing a Selkie novel!
One of her posts talked of the work she has on this year. That pulled me up sharp to thinking, so, here goes:
1. The Cat and the Fiddle, finished and to be published in Autumn this year.
2. I am Cat to illustrate.
3. East of the Sun, West of the Moon to work on small decorations and a few double spreads.
4. A secret project of great delight and difference for someone or something wonderful.
5. Little Dragon Small and the Search for Story- rough drawings to gather.
6. A gathering of words for new short novel, set in Venice.
7. Art in Action in July at Waterperry Gardens.
8. Various school visits, to Hertfordshire, Paris, Lake District and Norfolk ( must remember to say NO to any more)
9. Odd paintings here and there for the pleasure of pushing coloured water around paper.
10. This years MBF card. Every year it gets harder to come up with something that works in what has become a series. Maybe this year they will re publish some of the old designs as a selection pack. Also may be working on notecards for them. Maybe more mug designs.
11. Update website, change front page, work on books pages etc etc......
And if that is not enough to keep me busy then I may find time to run away and join the circus.