Wednesday, December 26, 2012

By scented candle light

This was from ages ago this summer. I love it when Rose gets her film developed. 

My Grandma e-mailed me the other day, reminding me that I never write in my blog (by writing how much she loves reading my BLOG, all caps, indicating the lack of things to read of late), so I said I'd do one this week to make up for it. I do feel bad about this. I really do love blogging: it's a fun, different way of writing than I'm usually up to. I can never be wrong in a blog (at least not in my blog. If I was blogging about Chilean architecture then I'm sure I'd be wrong, whatever I said). I don't have to worry too much about my style and tone and characters not sucking and the all-important POINT of it all in a blog. I can just write about myself, which is far too easy and self-indulgently pleasurable, and relax in the knowledge that a) my mother will send me edits within 24 hours of posting and b) at least my parents and grandparents enjoy reading it, no matter what I write about. There are and will be very few places in life where I can write freely and know that at least a few people will always care about what I have to say, so I should really stop neglecting this space so.

The Covered Market.

Therefore, here I am, writing a blog because I was basically told to, and because I like it, and because I finally have free time. The last two months I've been working seven days a week, with only a few days off here and there, on which I usually end up working anyway, either from home or being called in at the last second. I need to learn to say no. I'm not complaining, as I usually am: I like at least two of my three jobs at the moment, however seven day work weeks and no days off don't really lend themselves to much writing time. But right now I'm in the first third of two glorious weeks off from all my jobs (I basically told them all I would not come back till the second week of January, unless it's an emergency- and I can't imagine any gift-shop related emergencies worthy of me getting out of bed) in which I plan to eat and sleep and that is all. And read and write, duh, but that's basically the same as eating and sleeping in my book.

View from the porch of one of my jobs.
I've got a stack of books on my bedside table (ie, stack of plastic boxes) higher than my lamp at the moment, but half of that stack is The Casual Vacancy, which rivals the length of the thickest Harry Potter book (but much heavier due to all the curse words, and seems bigger because of the obnoxious yellow cover (seriously: ugliest cover ever)) and The Similarion, which my housemate Jonno and I have committed to reading in the new year. It's pretty awesome so far. I wish I could be this motivated to learn the history of the real world.

Roof of The Story Museum from Carfax tower.
In true Keep Your 'Lectric Eye On Me Babe tradition, I shall change the subject abruptly. Here are some haikus (that's actual the right pluralization, even if it looks and sounds weird. I could have just said 'haiku' as well, but that sounds weirder) I wrote this evening, by scented candle light, for a purpose I will not reveal. No titles this time:

It only ever got frosty, no snow yet.

Forest light, clean and
bright, give me strength to fight the
night. And my hiccups.

Fire flickering.
Full- foes from faraway lands,
finding fairer homes.

Everything sucks, but
do not fear- the world will be
yours and more next year.

Natures blessings rain
on rocks and stone: the untold.
Haikus sure are vague.

Rose likes monsters: the
fuzzier the better. Sharp
Teeth for good measure.

Woodland creatures are
good for doing your laundry.
Only if you sing.

Rain hits glass ceiling.
Thick books on blankets beneath.
Tell yours; I’ll tell mine.

Girl in a bottle.
HATE it. Glass smells like gherkins*. 
Beware her escape.

I sigh for you, my
 heart’s true love. You sigh for me,
from the bridge above.

Feathers: what a pain.
You can’t brush them, easily.
My life is so hard. 

Christchurch Meadow in the frost.
I'm also trying to write a sexy poem about reading (it IS possible!), but I like to keep this blog PG, so we'll see if it makes my censorship cut when it's finished.

One last random thing I feel like writing about this fine evening: pipe cleaners. As most of you know, I love pipe cleaners. I used to make my own toys as a child: nothing made me happier in the whole world than a multicolored pack of pipe cleaners. Mom and Dad used to give us a certain amount of money to spend at Zany Brainy (remember THAT place? Best place EVER.) depending on if we got a good report card, and I would spend it all on pipe cleaners. So imagine my glee when I was chatting with one of the directors of The Story Museum one night about a month ago, about pipe cleaners, when she gave me permission to order as many as I could with a certain amount of money (much more than the report card reward) to use as a party game for the Christmas party we had planned for mid December. Over 2,000 pipe cleaners later, we had our very own Make Your Own Storybook Character kit, with me at the helm. 

People were tentative at first: I can't just expect everyone to immediately want to partake in my childhood obsession, after all. However with a little coxing and lots of demonstrations, everyone got really into it. I can't tell you how happy it made me to sit around a table full of adults, making princesses and mermaids and aliens and villains and heroes out of pipe cleaners. It was magic. 

If you know me, you'll probably recognize which ones I made- I think I have a pretty distinct style. It was really interesting to see the different ways people went about making them, which showed all the different ways our brains work. And no, I don't mean different as in ugly, or bad, I just mean different. Everyone was so impressed with the things I was making (which is unfair: I've been doing it my entire life!), but honestly, I don't think mine were any 'better' than what everyone else was making. Did you see Babar up there? Genius! That's what I mean about different ways: some people went for the very 3D approach, while others were flatter, like a drawing rather than a sculpture. Some stood up on their own, some needed propping up, but they were all beautiful. We used them, as you can see, to decorate our window ledges, and they are now in the windows that face the street, for all of Pembroke street to see. 

One of my childhood dreams has always been to do something large-scale with pipe cleaners. Either making something life size (like a person. OR better yet, a dinosaur!), illustrate a book with them, or, and this would be ideal, covering an entire room and making a small-scale landscape encompassing an entire room, like you're walking into a whole new world. That would be amazing, but expensive. If anyone knows where I can get pipe cleaners in the exact colors I want in VAST quantities, let me know and maybe I can strike a deal. Doing the Make Your Own Storybook Character game was sort of like my dream coming true, because really, wanting to do something large-scale really just means sharing my weird little crafting talent with people, which is exactly what I did. My parents always said that it was a shame I couldn't make a career out of pipe cleaners: well get this- at least for a day, I sort of did. It was such a success that we might pull them out for future events. I am in love. 

There is a lot more I could write about, which I will, but not right now. I hope everyone had a great Christmas, and that everyone I sent cards to got them (drop me a line if you did; I hope none of them got lost in the mail!). Start making those New Years resolution lists now, folks, you're running out of time to imagine the future, better you! Or at least a consistently awesome you, if you are currently at an optimum-awesome state of being. Either way, 2013 looms ever nearer, and with it hopefully everything we didn't get around to this year will be realized! High five for optimism!  

Wishing it would stop raining,

Maria xoxo

*Gherkin is just what British people call pickles. However, 'pickle' is something entirely different, just to make things needlessly complicated. I used gherkin instead of pickle, although most of my readership is American, just because the word gherkin, especially with it's weird silent H, is funny. To me anyway.