clhollandwriter: (marchin)
Last week, we went to a local museum that was holding an exhibition of works by Alphonse Mucha, who was a Czech Art Nouveau painter. That's not the reason we went, but the museum holds different exhibitions a couple of times a year and this was the latest.

Art Nouveu's not really a style that's ever interested me, but I loved some of the works on show. It appears that Mucha did advertisment posters in the same way Benedict Cumberbatch does acting - he did everything. Biscuits, beer, cigarettes, you name it he did an advert with a pretty girl in. He also did various series of linked works, with the models embodying things like the arts, or precious stones. We came away with a print of The Seasons.

For some reason, the image in the gallery - and the print we bought - has Spring and Summer round the wrong way (as here), which bugs me a little. It's still very pretty though.

The one that really caught our attention, though, was the poster he did for Sarah Bernhardt's production of Lorenzaccio, which starred Sarah Bernhardt as Lorenzo de Medici. I didn't know she played male roles, but there was a poster for her Hamlet as well, Typically, we couldn't even find a postcard of Lorenzaccio. We've agreed that if we ever win the lottery we'll be buying a full-sized copy. At around two metres tall, it would look great at the top of the stairs.
clhollandwriter: (cheshire)
Great weekend, apart from the Christmas Crazy in the shops - everything was so much busier than even a week ago. I may try to avoid shopping where possible until Christmas is out of the way.

On Sunday I had a great time with [ profile] wiffly_shwoo and [ profile] hammerhydra at the local flea-market/car boot sale. It's been ages since I last went and there was barely anything there, but now it's filled up nicely. Lots of bric-a-brac and random bits and pieces, and a jewellery-making stall where [ profile] wiffly_shwoo and I spent lots of time while [ profile] hammerhydra went off to amuse himself and came back to find the only movement was that we'd swapped places.

After that we went for lunch and had the best caramel slice EVAR, and [ profile] wiffly_shwoo let me look through her box of clockwork and nap a few bits, so now I have springs from alarm clocks to play with. I've already started designing a pendant from one, the other two may become earrings if I can work out what to do to with them. But I can't play with them now because it's Monday. Grrrrr.

On the writing front there's not been a lot of words on paper, but there has been composting. So far I have characters, background, worldbuilding.... But I can't start writing because I still don't have names and I can't work with placeholders. I can only assuming it's my subconsciou making sure I don't start too soon. *crosses finger*
clhollandwriter: (Default)
1) A few weeks ago, my LJ friend [ profile] rob_haines recommended The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin. And I'd just like to say that he's absolutely right - it's a fantastic book. So I recommend it in turn, although I will add it's not for those who find the peculiarities of religious mythology at all distasteful, particularly with regards to creation myths and how deities interact with each other.

So thanks, Rob, for recommending it.

2) [ profile] aliettedb has a competition running on her website and LJ, in which you can win a copy of her novel Servant of the Underworld, and some other goodies. All you have to do is guess where her new husband is taking her for their honeymoon....

3) In the spirit of trying new things, yesterday I went mushroom picking with a friend. Not with the intention of eating any of them, you understand. The local council was doing a biodiversity study, so we went out in groups picking mushrooms and then an expert (Charles) went through our finds to see what was in the area and teach us about them. It's the very end of the season here because of an early flush in the summer, which I guess means that most of them will have spored already for next year.

There were some interesting finds. Nothing deadly (phew!) but nothing particularly edible, either. We learned about the different ways that fungi produce their spores, and Charles showed us some that smelled of different things like coal gas or mint and coconut. There was also one that had bright yellow flesh that turned inky blue pretty much instantly when cut open.

It was good fun, and they'll be doing it again next year so we plan to go again - the bf too, as he was busy this year. There are also other events starting in the spring, such as beach-combing and bat-spotting, so we're going to give some of those a try too.

And now I have to go and spend my time on the part of the writer's life that is worse even that rejections and writer's block: my Tax Return.

clhollandwriter: (Default)
I've been off for a few days because I had a busy weekend.

On Saturday I went to Greenwood Forest Park which is, I think, the world's first eco-friendly adventure park. I was there for a charity bellydance event - fortunately dancing as part of a group! It didn't go too badly, a few mistakes were made because the stage was a lot smaller than we were expecting, but apparently we got away with it. After my group's veil dance there was a comedy dance (think pantomime dame style), a solo, another group dance (this time the advanced group with sticks), and then my instructor did two solos, one with two veils and the other with a sword balanced on her head.

After the event, the owner of the park, who was one of the dancers, had arranged for a buffet for us, so we all had tea, cake, and sandwiches. Then she took us on a tour of the park. We went on the world's only people-powered rollercoaster, the jungle boats, and the Great Green Run (think big slide). We also did the Barefoot Trail, a walk aimed at kids whereby you wander around through different textures (water, mud, sand, dead leaves). We were quite a sight - fifteen grown women with muddy feet trailing along singing the Hippopotamus Song.

Ten on Sunday we had to rearrange all the furniture, because we bought a second-hand sofa. Two two-seaters are slightly too big for our living room, but boy are they comfy.


Mar. 3rd, 2009 11:31 am
clhollandwriter: (Marvin)
Dreams about running around monster-infested tunnels (but not seeing any monsters), only to emerge into the apocalypse are not conducive to a good night's sleep. Neither is the vast amount of pain my wisdom teeth are causing at the moment. But at least the dreams were fun.

I'm in music heaven at the moment. Back when I was about twelve, I got really into 80s synth pop. Given that it wasn't the 80s at the time, I got a lot of ridicule at school for it, but I didn't care. I liked it. I liked the atmosphere, the sounds, the nonsensical lyrics, the way it made me feel. And now, here in the UK charts, 80s synth pop is having a bit of a revival. There have been hints of it for a while now (The Killers' early stuff sounds a lot like the Cure meets Depeche Mode in places) but now there are new albums out by M83, Ladyhawke, Empire of the Sun, Black Kids, and Bat For Lashes, and albums due out over the summer by Little Boots, Florence and the Machine, and La Roux. For the first time in my life what I like's in fashion and I'm loving it!

At the weekend we had the worst pub meal ever. It was write-a-letter-and-complain-about-it bad. I won't go into details, suffice is to say that we weren't told about the three things they'd run out of until after we'd paid, things were delivered incorrectly, and my veggie bf did not appreciate his potato skins having bacon in them. It was the one sour note in an otherwise great weekend.

I got 500 words into a story yesterday, only to realise I started it in the wrong place. There's a lot of scene setting, but not much happens. Given that I'm on a deadline and the beginning has to be "grabby", this is not a good thing. So today's plan is another 500 words of a new beginning, and hope it goes better this time. Also, my rejectomancy, and the increasing amount of entries in red on Duotrope, tells me that I'm due for a load of rejections all at the same time. And I still haven't started the next chapter of Reunion.
clhollandwriter: (Default)
I've posted up as much as I've done on the Desiderata challenge - four stories, two synopses of untyped work, and one completely absent story. There's unlikely to be any more, since I have a whole new set of writing planned for March.

The bf and I took the day off yesterday and went out shopping for the day. We visited a load of clothes shops because I need some new tops, but all we found was a sickening array of hippy prints and ruffles. Ruffles! For some reason almost everything around at the moment is super-frilly girly stuff. Which since I hate ruffles and frills makes it quite difficult to find anything to wear. In the end all I got was a cartoon-print t-shirt of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and a jacket that I didn't really need but really, really wanted.

And then we went to a pub for lunch, where we had the best veggie burgers ever, and the biggest piece of chocolate fudge cake I've ever seen. :)
clhollandwriter: (Default)
The boyfriend and I went out shopping this weekend - and because we don't have a car it turned into an epic journey.

An adventure on public transport. )

If we'd had a car it would have taken a couple of hours. As it was it took most of the day and eight buses. It was fun though, and nice to spend the day together.

I didn't stop yesterday either. In the morning I did the usual feeding of the kittens, then managed to bake bread, do the laundry, do the washing up, and cook beetroot for pickling, then cram in some lunch before we went out to the cinema to watch Hellboy 2. When we got back there was more laundry and more washing up, and the pickliing of beetroot. So now my crits are seriously behind and I didn't get any writing done at all.

Can I have another weekend please?

clhollandwriter: (Default)

So far I haven't shaken the writer's meh, although it's not an editing meh so I've been working on chapter 7 of Reunion instead. It's almost ready to go up, except for the huge infodump in the middle that I need to either prune, or decide I can't be bothered to prune and leave as it is for the time being.

The boyfriend and I went out for a walk today, for about 2 hours. I've no idea how far we walked, but we went down underneath the bridge and listened to the traffic crossing it, which was a weird experience. We also had a look at one of the carved lions that sit at each end. They're creepy up close, especially as while you're crossing under the bridge you pass right through its line of sight. 

The footpath we were on is called the Lion's Walk - which immediately made me think "what if it's called that because the lions actually walk?"

We followed the footpath down to the sea, and looked at the creey door in the base of the bridge, that has water seeping out of the bottom of it. We then followed the coast, but didn't get far as the tide was in (but going out). There was a little bench to sit on and look at the view - except that the water was so high it was in the water, which made me comment that at least now we knew where King Knut took his summer holidays. We backtracked a bit to cut around the water by going through the woods, and came out on the other side of the section that had been cut off. There's a lovely island there, which you can reach at low tide, but the water was too high. We wandered back towards the submerged bench, and the tide had gone in enough that we could follow the footpath back around. The funny thing was, while the tide was going out the water was moving in opposite directions, like two lanes of traffic. It's strange to watch.

After that we headed back up past the lion and then went down past the church to look at the statue of Nelson that looks out to sea (sort of). It involved walking through the graveyard, something which always creeps me out a little bit. There were a lot of neglected graves. Some were blanketed in ivy, others were those with the stone "boxes" on the top that were missing sides or cracked across the top. Space is at a premium locally, so it was common to see stones with six or seven names on them. One had a giant Celtic cross as a monument, down at the end of the churchyard, with a yew tree at each corner that had grown taller than it a boxed it in. The grave was so old that there couldn't be anyone who knew the person left alive (end of the 1800s) and yet at the base of it someone had placed a piece of slate with something carved on it.

The tide was still in, so Nelson was too far out in the water for us to get to. It also cut us off from going any further without clambering over rocks at the water's edge - something we were reluctant to do since the coastguard are on strike this weekend. We walked back up through the graveyard, and spotted a cluster of molehills by some of the graves, something which the boyfriend commented looked rather worrying (eek, zombies!).

And then we trekked home, where I baked a cake that turned out to be an absolute disaster. That's what I get for following the recipe.

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