Tag Archives: Snake Plissken

Summer Ends

20. Touched with Fire – Kay Redfield Jamison
The title comes from a line in the Stephen Spender poem “I Think Continually of Those Who Were Truly Great.” The subtitle of this book is “Manic Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament.” After finishing this book, I know two things: 1. I am not manic depressive. I have never been manic in the manner described in Touched with Fire; although perhaps in retrospect it will seem like I was when I finished so many creative things this year. And I haven’t even put all of them up in my store . 2. I relate more to Henry James than I like. I hated reading Washington Square, now I begrudgingly respect it. Actually, I still have that “ugh” feeling in my gut thinking about reading it, so it may mostly be a product of whatever mental state I was in at the time.

One of my favorite aspects of Touched with Fire is the list of artists, composers, and writers who were either manic depressive, had probable cyclothomia, or had major depression. It’s marked with who was hospitalized, who made a suicide attempt, and who committed suicide and it was super interesting seeing who did what. Like extremely late to the party gossip.

There was also a section of shorter biographical pieces dealing with the family histories of “madness” of famous artists and writers called “Genealogies of these high mortal miseries” after a phrase by Herman Melville that I truly love and that was the section that resonated with me the most. Writing and art are both solitary pursuits and when you consistently wonder if anyone is ever going to connect with your work or why you should care or if you should really be doing this work when you’re not that stable financially and it’s not really helping with that and you know that it’s all you’d like to pursue regardless but you can’t put aside everything you care about aesthetically just because people tell you should if you want to make money… well, that whole section just provided a lot of material for me to relate to. There are a lot of differences between the time period when Herman Melville was writing and now, but, those differences are easily bridged by the mental anguish a large swath of artists and writers feel on a regular basis.

Personally, I remain true to my artistic vision regardless of what anyone tells me; which doesn’t mean that I don’t listen to criticism. I just look for relevance in the criticism. Sometimes you’re doing something people don’t get, and the main thing to consider in that case is whether or not what you’re aiming for people to “get” is coming through. If it’s not, there’s work to do. If it is and they don’t like it, that’s a different story altogether. You’ll have to beat them to death with their own shoes. Or not. To be fair, I know that many people are not ready for guinea pig domination or ladies being clever in realms where men are used to being the only clever ones. I would like things to be different and therefore I create. And I had a shitload of catching up to do after my on and off dealings with depression over the past thirteen yearsish. I proved to myself that even if I’m very stressed and very depressed I can write and paint and when I can focus, I can write and paint A LOT. I did drop one giant amount of baggage between last year and this year, which enabled me to focus on myself and what I want and apparently that was to finish manuscripts, print, paint and paint and paint, print some more, and actually execute some of the ideas I’ve had for so long while still working full time in a job that can be really stressful in so…many…ways. And I can’t say that me doing all of this has been met entirely positively. Some people really want you to stay in the place they expect you to be. But it’s not up to them and I have also received a lot of very encouraging sentiments too and I do want to specifically thank everyone who came out to see me at the Wizard Worlds I participated in this year, it made it clear to me that my work is unique, and, Cute, – and a special additional public thank you to those that facilitated me actually being able to participate. Overall, my experience reading Touched with Fire worked like a door through the darkness I get overwhelmed by sometimes and reminded me that I’m not the only one like this, even if I’m on the major depression side and not the manic side. To borrow a phrase from Mr. Presley, I’m a bit more “Filled with fire” now than anything else – no touching-; although that fire has turned to a smoky haze quite often in the past. No phoenix metaphors, it was there the whole time.

I also have muse-pigs to honor and I'll never let them down. Danger Crumples, perpetual muse-pig, stepping on all my journals, would personally thank everyone who purchased images of him and expressed how adorable he is, if he was available.

I also have muse-pigs to honor and I’ll never let them down. Danger Crumples, perpetual muse-pig, stepping on all my journals, would personally thank everyone who purchased images of him and expressed how adorable he is, if he was available.

 

My little unexpected muse-pig Peregrine and the start of my Pigoween painting. She (and Merricat, their relationship was very Duke of New York-Snake Plissken) was very much the inspiration for my John Carpenter's Guinea Pigs series of paintings.

My little unexpected muse-pig Peregrine and the start of my Pigoween painting. She (and Merricat, their relationship was very Duke of New York-Snake Plissken) was very much the inspiration for my John Carpenter’s Guinea Pigs series of paintings.

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The name’s Pammy!

71. Sisters Red – Jackson Pearce

I was discussing heroines at a writer’s conference recently, both formally and informally, and I found myself agreeing and saying that the world needs more badass bitches. It’s true. There just aren’t enough examples of truly badass bitches in literature. Or at least I can’t name enough main characters I can describe that way right now and that is a problem because I seek them out. There are women you can argue as being cool, or having some skills, and I’ve said before that I think that writing I don’t necessarily like very much can be saved by including a lady with some skills, because then I can at least respect it. My method of designating one of my characters as a badass bitch was to give her an eye patch, which also happens in Sisters Red with Scarlett, lose an eye gain street cred. Regan is my own personal version of Snake Plisskin (and soon the description of my book on the e-reading purchaseable sites will reflect this as well). She’s going to get to the bottom of some shit, she’s not all that nice, and she can see through bullshit (usually). I’m saying all that both as very subtle self-promotion (May! In May it will be improved and sequeled!), because the lead character in Sisters Red is pretty much a badass bitch revised-Little Red Riding Hood style, and because my darling Pammy has turned out to be a badass pig just this very week.

Pammy, badass pig, just went through her second surgery to remove a tumor from her beautiful face. If you viewed her today from above, you’d think half her face was missing, the tumor was the size of a walnut and much cheek fluffiness had to be shaved off to sort it out. Pammy was the teenage mother of a clearly incest-based child, her daughter passed away of pneumonia, Pammy had onsetting symptoms but survived, then she demonstrated every symptom of having ovarian cysts (including hitting on every single other pig in the herd, even Murderface, her sworn enemy/fellow teen mother) and had surgery to remove all her ovaries (two cysts per) three months after the end of her pneumonia medication, moved with me to Iowa and moved in with Thaddeus, and now she had a walnut sized tumor removed from her face and she is peppier than I expected. She’s the She Ra of guinea pigs and I am so proud of her. She’s a badass. She deserves an action figure. And she will turn four in June. Bow to the Pammy.

She is Duke of New York! She is A Number One!

Vintage Pammy. Teeny feets and fluffy cheeks.

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