Current word count, as at 10 November 2016: 23,092/50,000 words. I’m doing way better on word count this time around, as compared to previous years. It’s quite exciting!(more…)
I stumbled across this live concert video of Lacuna Coil and really enjoyed it. I’ll be seeing them live in concert later in 2016 when they tour Australia, and I can’t wait. I have been obsessed with Lacuna Coil from the first moment I saw the “Within Me” video clip… Which I’ve probably already shared here (I have definitely shared it on my Facebook more times than reasonable, especially as I know a grand total of maybe one or two other people in my real life who actually like this band!). But hey, who doesn’t need a bit of Italian goth metal in their life!? I know that the songs, the imagery, their expressiveness, and the immense creativity of the beautiful Cristina Scabbia have been a source of great inspiration to me.
I’ve been known to listen to this song multiple times in a single day. Obsessed? Just a little…
Here is one of my recent drawings, now available for sale on stickers, notebook covers, t-shirts, art prints, post cards and more at my RedBubble portfolio. (If you buy it, there won’t be an obnoxious blue copyright watermark.)
The original illustration is one of several UFO and alien-themed illustrations and paintings I’ve made over the summer (December to February in my end of the world).
This one was drawn by hand using ink fineliners on A3 paper.
UFOs are one of my perennial drawing and writing themes. Ever since the day I discovered the section on the uncanny in my high school library (a sunny winter’s day, circa 1994, with the books on Atlantis and Bermuda Triangle located by the window with some couches) it was as if the universe expanded. In the face of an awe-inspiring, massive universe, human concerns like war, violence, political borders and greed seem so small and petty. Look at the vast expanses out there, the further we look we find more to admire, we find more questions, we find incredibly complex and beautiful structures… It makes me think of the lyrics from Tool’s song ‘Right in Two’ from the 2006 album 10,000 Days:
“Monkey killing monkey killing monkey.
Over pieces of the ground.
Silly monkeys give them thumbs.
They make a club.
And beat their brother, down.
How they survive so misguided is a mystery.
Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven conscious of his fleeting time here.”
Whether or not there are extra-terrestrial beings out there is a topic on which I’m a happy fence-sitter. I desperately wish Star Wars and Star Trek represented a genuine reality. I have pored over all kinds of alien books over the years, from the terrifying Whitley Striber’s Communion to Gary Bates’s Alien Intrusion – a fascinating exploration of a Creationist Christian approach to alien abductions that envisages them as manifestations of ancient Biblical demons, and again, I’m not going to posit my own personal view on that (I don’t identify as a Creationist but know many people who do and I’m not interested in ridiculing or attacking people who hold to a different origins story). One of my most-consulted reference books is the Reader’s Digest Almanac of the Uncanny, a wonderfully inspiring illustrated chronology of human beliefs, superstitions and interpretations of the metaphysical realm. I have also seen unexplained lights in the sky (okay, in retrospect they were probably easily explainable, but at the time I was convinced I’d seen something uncanny), and I come from a part of the world where it was fairly common to encounter people who had a tale of UFOs or demonic manifestations. So, who knows? I’m happy to stay open-minded, as well as keep a little skeptical distance… and I try to be reflexive about the fact that my desire for UFOs to represent a real manifestation of other worlds within our universe mustn’t override my capacity to reason through it.
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
It seems to me that Nano, third time around, is a whole lot easier than in previous years. Perhaps it’s just that I have a better sense of how it pans out, and how much easier it is if I force myself to write every single day.
Not that life hasn’t tried to throw a few hurdles in my path. Whether having one kid sick home from school or another child getting into a whole lot of trouble and the whole-family stress it generates when said child loses iPad privileges as a result. As I told them, if I were a parent who couldn’t care less then we wouldn’t have set these boundaries and upheld the rule. But to cross that agreed and clearly articulated boundary is to lose their electronic devices one-by-one until they’re reduced to primitive forms of entertainment like books, playing with the pets, totem tennis, bike riding, drawing and painting, craft, going to the playground, playing piano and guitar, jumping on the trampoline, riding the scooter or the skateboard, talking to people, swimming, planting flowers, even just doing homework projects. You know, that caveman stuff that us 1980s kids suffered through.
On top of that Child No. 2’s annual ballet school concert is coming up this week, that magical time when housewives have to morph into semi-pro hair and makeup artists. Admittedly I don’t mind, now I actually grasp how to do a proper ballet bun – but it took a lot of studying YouTube tutorials and practice before it sunk in. This year the concerts are spread over two days instead of just one so I’m stuck doing the hair and makeup twice (not to mention two weeks ago when they had their portraits taken at the dance school). And at exactly the same time Child No. 1 has a graduation event at the volunteer training programme he’s attended all year. A mix of practical experience and theology homework (as you do) it has proven to be a positive experience for him and he hopes to continue next year.
Well, the kettle has boiled and my morning cup of plunger coffee awaits (fair trade, roasted beans, ground at home, served as black as my cold metal soul). Time to crank up this word count before the busyness of the concert / weekend / other appointments / normal weekly commitments drowns me in exhaustion!
Current word count: 38,159 / 50,000 words.
Today’s writing soundtrack: Divenire by Ludovico Einaudi. Modern classical-style piano compositions. Beyond beautiful.
Do yourself a favour: turn this up, close your eyes, and just listen. I have to close my eyes because Einuadi looks so freakishly like my father that I find it distracting! 😉