Hello, all! And happy Sunday, the first of the DECADE. Kick up your feet and stay for the next ten years or so. 7-Imp’s happy to have you.
I love blogging. If I didn’t, I’d stop. But, having said that, I’ve enjoyed my blog break of sorts over the holidays and got into it so much that it’s taken me DAYS to get this post ready. (I usually whip ’em up in one night.) I’m moving at a snail’s pace, folks. It’s the holiday daze, which must end soon. This I know.
But today’s featured artist makes it really easy to get back into the groove of things. Check this out:
I don’t think there could be a more perfect way to kick this Sunday, the first of the year, in that I welcome an artist and writer here this morning who creates mysterious and evocative art with words and images. And that would be Marta Pelrine-Bacon, who takes the rough drafts of her novels, cuts them up into pieces, and makes pictures with them. The pictures capture the mood of the novels, though not the actual scenes, as she writes at her Facebook site. (Hint hint: If you like what you see here, visit “Words Are Art” at Facebook.) If a person, she further explains at the Facebook page, purchases a picture, they get a chapter password and can then take the password to the website for her novel and use it to read the chapter from which the art work comes.
Kickin’, huh? Marta also explains it all in more detail here:
A couple of years ago I started a blog for my characters. They spoke to each other through the blog, and when National Novel Writing Month arrived, I used them in my novel. One day I looked at the stack of printed pages and wondered what to do with all that paper. Five novels and all their rough drafts had left me with a lot of paper. That night I imagined a row of houses made of words, and that’s when the art and the words finally came together. We are now a happy threesome.
All the stories take place in the fictional town of Lake Belle. The stories are a mix of literary fiction and contemporary fantasy, and they are influenced by stories like David Lynch’s Twin Peaks and Bonnie Jones Reynolds’s The Confetti Man. In Jones’s novel a young woman becomes obsessed with paper and spends hours of every day pasting pictures together to create collages. I read this as a teenager and never shook that image of the slightly mad woman making art no matter the cost. This is probably also why a bit of madness appears in the novels.
(She also explains her affinity for rabbits in her art here.)
Marta, who was born and raised in Florida but now lives in Texas with her husband and son, teaches ESL as her day job (and used to do so as a Peace Corps volunteer). One of her current projects, Ink & Mirabelle, is “a picture book of two rabbits,” she told me, “who are separated when one decides to stay up on the moon.” Here’s the link to more of those images.
Her art is cut from her novel, The Labyrinth House. Here is a photo of the hand-made book she made of the novel, as well as a photo of all her novels, a stack which appears to be somewhat deadly:
I’m gonna shut my trap now and let her art do the talking. (Remember that you can click each image to see it up close and personal.) I thank her for stopping by and for sharing her rabbits, in particular, with us. Rabbits, you see, are a symbol of fertility, of course, so we can take these rabbits as a symbol of new growth, artistically and otherwise, in the new decade. Hey, why not?
Remember that there is lots more art and information here at her site.
1). It was so very, very good to see Eisha this week. Do I have pictures? No, ’cause I can sometimes be an idiot and usually forget my camera.
2). Pancakes on New Year’s Day morning with delicious, home-made peach fondue jam, the latter sent from a very kind Jam Fairy.
3). Once upon a time—in 1995, to be exact—-I decided, based on Frances Moore Lappé’s Diet for a Small Planet, to become a vegetarian. Then, almost ten years later, I got pregnant, craved meat, and ate it every now and again up until now — for about five years. I just finished this book, pictured here, which had a profound impact on me in many ways. It a.) reminded me why I became a vegetarian in the first place and b.) gave me a handful of other, even more compelling reasons to go back to being one. I want to write Mr. Safran Foer a thank-you letter is how good and so well-researched this book is — all because he wanted to give lots of thought to what he was feeding his child. I devoured (excuse the lousy pun) my library copy but then went out and bought a copy this weekend so that my husband can read it and so that I can do my own teeny-tiny part in supporting the book.
The kick here is reading a book that I found, well…life-changing, to put it bluntly.
Bacon, I will miss you. It was fun while it lasted.
4). My girls took a special week-long winter workshop this week at the art studio where they make wonderful messes every weekend, and since it was two hours each day, I got to go to the nearby coffee shop and sit and read for the entire time. With CINNAMON LATTES. This kind of me-time is pretty rare for yours truly.
5). And it was there that I not only finished Safran Foer’s book, but I also finished the new, not-even-out-yet Jon McGregor title I mentioned a few weeks ago. Wow. Eisha’s reading it, too. We might even co-post about it.
6). New music: Eisha gave me the recent Delta Spirit CD (and, I might add, some killer-good coffee). Delta Spirit makes good tune-age. Not to mention: Regina Spektor and her weird-ass pop songs. Now, there’s a songwriter who does what she wants and doesn’t give one single flip what current trends are. Also, if I could play piano like her AND sing like her, even for just about two seconds, it’d be fun. Finally, my girls got for a Christmas gift a CD of Shel Silverstein reading some of his own poems, and let me tell you that he sounds as unhinged as he sometimes looked. We’ve had fun listening to him all week.
“Do you have doubts about life? Are you unsure if it is really worth the trouble? Look at the sky: that is for you. Look at each person’s face as you pass them on the street: those faces are for you. And the street itself, and the ground under the street, and the ball of fire underneath the ground: all these things are for you. They are as much for you as they are for other people. Remember this when you wake up in the morning and think you have nothing. Stand up and face the east. Now praise the sky and praise the light within each person under the sky. It’s okay to be unsure. But praise, praise, praise.”
Seems fitting for a new decade. Thanks, John (whom I also have to thank for introducing me to Marta’s art).
BONUS: The Cybils shortlists are out!
What are YOUR kicks this week? And how about Marta’s art? It’s the best kick of all this week. Here’s one more to send you off…
p.s. I would just like to note an Extra Kick, for anyone still reading: As a big fan of blue, I like the top three posts currently on the front page of the blog. Bleu bleu bleu. I didn’t even mean to do that.