Easter and passover greetings to those who mark these
Painting by: Eaton Hamilton 2021? pastel on pastel paper, Shirley poppies
ID: Red poppies in a green garden
Has the literary world has shifted to the right over, say, the length of the pandemic? If pressed, I’d say yes.
I’ve been hoping to see more work from marginalized authors–racialized, yes, and also from non-binary, autistic, disabled, older authors–but is publishing becoming more conservative, less likely to take chances on books they would have to develop or tap into unused markets for? Perhaps in part it’s book bannings having a spillover effect; perhaps the anti-drag-queen/trans propaganda is becoming convincing to some; perhaps MAiD turns people away from disabled lives? Perhaps it’s simply the economy.
Somebody was asking my favourite presses. My knowledge of US publishers is not vast, but I’m especially fond of books coming out of Riverhead (Penguin Random) and Counterpoint. In Canada, we are spoiled for small-press choice. I’m hooked on books from Book*Hug, Coach House, Wolsak and Wynn, House of Anansi and Biblioasis. Hardly an exhaustive list. Near me, Arsenal Pulp Press who brought out my last book, the novel “Weekend,” and Caitlin Press, who brought out my last book of poetry. It’s poetry month, so please consider Brick Books in Canada.
I had a good, if grinding, writing week. I’m editing 10 pages of the current novel per day, which I sometimes don’t manage to finish until after midnight. This week was hard because I’m toward the end of the book and have changed some plot lines as I’ve gone along, so there’s a lot of deleting text and new composition, and, when I’m through, a new set of scenes to write. Draft 9 and eleven years in!
These days, I generally set aside time in chunks to work on the house, paint and work on writing but my schedule sort of fell apart when I looked after grandkids for half of their spring break. Hopefully I can force myself back on track, because I count on studio time to force my over-active brain to chill out. I already sit to paint, and because of my disabilities I can only last about an hour, physically. What do other disabled painters do to manage the challenges and limitations of their bodies?
Writing and painting are similar. For both, you require discipline, creativity and the ability to translate nebulous ideas into reality. They also involve a lot of drafts. Most painters don’t refer to “drafts” of paintings, but I do. I would love to be able to paint alla prima (finishing a painting in one sitting) because my disabilities are made for it, but in actual fact I can’t stay at it long enough.
I’ve learned that my brain will switch off at a certain point when it’s unable to pay true attention any longer. That’s a better cue to vacate than waiting for my bodily cues, which often come too late to stop a day of pain.
If you’ve ever been inclined to buy a .painting, now is a most excellent time. 10% off to anyone in April who mentions this post. I mail throughout continguous N America.
Anytime is a good time to buy one of my books!