Friday, 18 April 2008

While my mojo gently sleeps

Things have not been to good for me on the creative front of late: nothing major, I just seem to have misplaced my creative juices. Hopefully, they haven't evaporated but have concentrated into a thickly aromatic jus that just needs water added at a later date to reactivate the crafty goodness (I've been reading far too many cookbooks; can you tell?!) Thats why I haven't been blogging or going into the Etsy forums as I have nothing new to show you, no new WIP's, and I feel like a bit of a fraud. But I have some ideas bubbling away that have started my brain cells ticking, so watch this space. Its been school hols over the last 2 weeks, so I'm hoping to get stuck in to some creative shenanigans next week. I can't remember if I'd mentioned this before, (apologies if I have: go and put the kettle on and I'll try to be brief) but my 'studio' is the kitchen in our teeny Edwardian (Victorian?) mid terrace cottage. Its a busy room, full of baking, music, chat, homework and never-ending washing up. Its hard to sustain a creative flow here whilst looking after a family and I get very frustrated. Hopefully, we'll be able to move and yumptatious can have its own space. (If you would like to buy a beautiful, 2-bed house in Tonbridge, do let me know!)

But I have been reading....
I've spoken about the possible perks of working in a bookshop before, but failed to mention this extremely generous gift from Ian McEwan to all Waterstone's employees:

The inscription on the inside reads,
'Congratulations to all at Waterstone's for a quarter of a century of brilliant service to readers'

To be honest, I didn't instantly jump at the chance to devour this book: I had tried, unsuccesfully to read 'Atonement' but could not get into it. I think I gave up when I got to the point where the young girl gazes in wonderment at her hand...for a whole page... I just kept thinking, 'I could be dead tomorrow and am wasting these precious moments that I will never get back, over a book I feel I should read but has failed to engage me on any level'. I will give it another go at some point, but from chatting to others, I think he is an author that strongly divides readers. The last time I saw such strength of feeling was over 'One Hundred Years of Solitude', a book you either adore with a passion usually reserved for George Clooney, Daniel Craig or Green and Blacks chocolate, or hate it, with an equally strong passion usually reserved for Anthea Turner, Avid Merrion or Brussel Sprouts. I hated the book and hurled it across the room with venomous aplomb when I finished it.
However, I read a review of 'On Chesil Beach' that roused my interest and so pulled it off the shelves, blew off the dust, removed it from its protective case, spending an unnaturally long time appreciating the chocolate edging of the pages, the burnt bronze embossed seagulls and lettering, and started to read.
It's a beautiful story, at times hilarious in its detailing of post-war embarrassment and social expectations. The characters are both engaging and angrily frustrating at the same time and in this instance, McEwan's eye for detail is enlightening, not stifling. If you are sweet enough to presently be thinking of holding onto your virginity until your wedding night (as if anyone with such morals would read my diatribe!) please read this first! If, like me, you married in black and thus had a carefree honeymoon, read this and feel smug in your sluttish wisdom! Just read this book: its very short, like a concentrated jus!
And thus, the posting circle is complete!

ps. what books would you recommend?

Now playing: Radiohead - Jigsaw Falling Into Place
via FoxyTunes


Unknown said...

Agree about McEwan, seems to wrapped up in human condition to remember to add any pathos (just had to look that up to make sure I was using it correctly!) Only one I liked was Child in Time - I think that is the title ... Great description of a car crash in slow motion. Terrifying subject though for anyone with kids.

Don't worry too much about the juices, they ebb and flow like ... well, like tides, only less predictably. Treat them like a ratty child, and ignore them. They'll stick to you like ... (oh good grief enough similes). Just please don't worry, you've more creativity than you need, that much is obvious (^-^)

I'm reading the Faber Book of Science again because it's sweet. But I'm looking to buy No.1 in the Buddha series by Osamu Tezuka (sp?) (astro boy, "god father of manga", (I didn't say that)) because it looks like fun.

bee said...

ahh the holy trinity..The Clooney, The Craig and The Green and Blacks. May their names always be joined in my thoughts.

I'm sold on the book by your words and by the nice cover.....I read the balloon one (he did do that one didn't he?) and thought it was such a boy book.

Very much with you on the crafting front....just can't seem to get it's seasonal perhaps?

*tea and toast to you*

yumptatious said...

Mike: I shall seek out 'Child in Time'. Might make me drive slower (yeh! Right! ;-D) You're spot on with the 'ebb and flow' analogy, and am learning to ride with them, or at least thwack out my creative body board and ride that inspiration wave all the way to Success beach! (I think that trumps your similes!)
'Faber Book of Science' heh? Sounds like the kind of book I'd use as a coaster. Enjoy! I don't know much about Manga: I shall have a look into it. (I don't think Pokemon counts, although I loved Jiggly Puff: genius Pokemon!)

Bee: I see we share the same religion! Hallelujah! :-D
Do give 'On Chesil Beach' a bash: you'll fly through it and I'd love to know what you think. I'd like to read 'Enduring Love', but that may have more to do with film , and its main star, than anything else...
re: craft.Perhaps we should think of a joint project, see if that will fire things up a bit. Or perhaps as my good friend suggests, we just surrender to the ebb and flow.
*tea and cake to you too, lovely :-)*

Florence (Flossie Teacakes) said...

So lovely to find your very own blog, after reading your post on UK Handmade - I love your writing.

Thanks so much for leaving a comment on my blog - yes...I've learnt a lot, but I'm really hoping that it's not the same as childbirth where through some kind of memory blank I find myself feeling favourably about repeating the whole thing next year.

I am having such book envy - I loved this book (and like you, didn't get on with Atonement and left it half-read), but have never seen this special edition cover, which is beautiful...I am now thinking that I must find a bookshop where I can work for an hour a week in an attempt to winkle out such lovelies. I'm unsure if anyone will have me on those it may be a protracted recruitment drive. x