Gratitude in the Quiet Corners

I was super happy to be done with work Sunday night, and was pretty darn happy to be going to my local NaNoWriMo writers’ group. The group meets each week at a Denny’s, doing writing sprints, gabbing in between, asking for random brainstorming suggestions and eating.

Anyway I was glad to be there and I even managed to do some writing.

I had asked a poet friend if she’d throw an eyeball on something I’d written. It was a bunch different from my normal topic and although I liked it, I wasn’t sure what someone who wasn’t me would take away from it. She said yes and while I was sprinting away happily, in came the response. It was part reaction, part editing suggestion and it was GREAT! I will keep working on it and see what happens. Thanks alpha reader!

It had been a long week and I left earlier than the rest. I got in my car and turned on the radio and there it was: The Boston Symphony playing – yes! – Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. One of my favorites! And it was just an outstanding performance. Amazing. And it completely filled my ride home and a few minutes in my driveway. I didn’t hear the name of the conductor, only that he was 88. [at the time apparently. This looks to be an encore from the BSO’s 2015-16 season, led by Herbert Blomstedt.] Let me tell you – that was one of the fastest and most riotous 7ths on record. I believe this is the program I heard; the 7th starts around 1:12:00.

There was also a moment in the sprinting where I was trying to figure out where something would happen and I was looking at a series of photos that included this at Calanais, Outer Hebrides:

which I thought was pretty cool. Threw the link into the planning folder for future trips. Then I went back to writing. A few minutes later and I went to look up where a bit of story had happened and found it had included a trip to, yup, the stones at Calanais… Thank you past self!

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Tuesday This and That and the Other and Words

Today was my day off and I’m sure I could have found a lot of useful things to do, but oh well. I got some coffee and then I found a place to sit and sat and wrote for a long time. I piled up a lot of words. I was pooped at the end but I got a lot of story told.

Then I came home, and having gotten a new postcard, I sat down to add it to my little pile of postcards and to put a tick by the senders name. I’m not all weepy about getting or not getting cards but it’s always nice to get one and being that I check off my own cards as I send them out I just do the same for the incoming cards. Anyway here are the cards in the pile at the moment:

Monday at work, while waiting for someone to show up for a class, my coworker handed me an iPad Pro and said here, draw something. So I did.

This was the sky I saw tonight.

And finally (see what happens when you spend too much time stringing words together?) awhile ago I bought two of these fine Palamino Blackwing pencil sharpeners. They’re designed to put a looooong point on the working bit of the pencil. The bit that’s known as “the lead”. The second one I bought the nice young woman at the art supply store told me, very excitedly, about how the inside held two more blades. Now I don’t really know where I’d easily get more blades but I’ll worry about that when the time comes and I have to start replacing blades.

However, when emptying the trimmings of my fine pencils (I sharpened all my drawing pencils from HB to 6B the other night) tonight I noticed this message inside. I don’t think it wants me to stop sharpening my pencils… but now I might have to do a little more research.

Shoulder to Shoulder

The March of the Women (Shoulder to Shoulder) from Wild Love Music on Vimeo.

This video was produced to remind us of the brave women of the Suffragettes/Suffragists, both in the UK and the USA. It is also dedicated to the women millworkers of Bridport, Dorset, who came out on strike for better pay/conditions in 1912 and marched through the small town singing suffragette songs, including "The March of the Women".

"The March of the Women" (Shoulder to shoulder) was composed by Dame Ethel Smyth in 1910 (words by Cicely Hamilton). Dame Ethel was a leading figure in the women's suffrage movement and dedicated the anthem to the WSPU.

The anthem is sung here by "Werca's Folk", a women's choir based in Northumberland, under the direction of Sandra Kerr, their website is http://www.wercasfolk.com

There will be a recreation of the photograph of the strike in Bridport, West Dorset on 14.2.15, we will be singing this anthem as we march through the streets with our placards!

My Day with Art

I went to The Clark today, having asked for a day off so I could go to the lecture opening the new exhibit there – Drawn from Greatness. There were drawings from the 15th century and up to current times (Pollack, Picasso, Kelly etc). Big selection of the impressionists – two pages of Van Gogh letters (with drawings) and a drawing. Sketchbooks which had belonged to Cezanne and Degas. Lots of ink and wash, watercolor, gouache, chalk, graphite, different papers, techniques. Part of the exhibit was in a different part of the building, So I wandered over.

First couple very interesting. The one behind me, lovely. Next one… hmmm quite interesting. Strangely familiar, a little cartoonish but very skilled and unique style… freaking William Blake. Around the corner from that was a, as the curator noted, “showstopper” by Victor Hugo. Yes THAT Victor Hugo.

I saved getting the catalogue for another visit and perusal. It’s about big enough to be made into a coffee table but it does look very complete. I did come home with this, thinking it would be a good read and good company for my copy of The Hours of Catherine of Cleves

Remember that this time of year The Clark is closed on Mondays! If you end up there by mistake you can wander over to the Williams College Museum of Art and see other interesting things. (Ask me how I know that!)