Method Press- Issue 02

 Method Press-Issue 02 is now available from magcloud. This issue has an article by me on the wonderful Gabrielle Jones and her art (see images below or visit her website) as well as features on Sophie Blackall & Frankie Norstad. This gorgeous read is 76 pages jam packed with art, intellect & humor. Issue 02 is the perfect way to rock out the end of summer (or winter if you're in my hemisphere), low-fi style.

Galia Alena Photography, Gabrielle Jones acrylic painter
 One thing leads to another
Galia Alena Photography, Gabrielle Jones acrylic painter

Galia Alena Photography, Gabrielle Jones acrylic painter

Galia Alena Photography, Gabrielle Jones acrylic painter

Galia Alena Photography, Gabrielle Jones acrylic painter

Screaming Muses

I am in the last stretch of my two month game of "finishing" things, and I am realising that I am not very good at finishing things, and am even worse at stopping myself from starting new things. Firstly, I have signed up to play with Trude Callan at the Creative Mother's Group working on Shona Cole's The Artistic Mother: A Practical Guide to Fitting Creativity into Your Busy Life, though I am still waiting for Mr Amazon to bring me my copy- it should be lots of fun. Also, my good friend over at the Creative Identity is running a short story competition where all entries will receive a critique and a few will be published in an anthology of the best entries. So I am thinking about short stories I could enter. Also I am participating in an art exchange chain mail which will be such fun. I am sending something to a woman in Iran and should be receiving all sorts of surprises on my doorstep. I love surprises on my doorstep, its like christmas (if you're interested in participating in this exchange, leave a comment and I'll contact you with the details). So that's three new projects, among others personal projects and daily inspirations that like to come and distract me. I can't help starting things when the inspiration visits. Maybe I'm just not good at imposed rules which is funny as I work well with deadlines. Perhaps what I'll do is just concentrate on finishing things as I go  so I can at least see some completion. I guess if you're stuck for ideas, try to concentrate on finishing things- it makes the muses scream loud.

The Cherry Earrings

Cherry Bowl
    We don’t hang upside down as we normally do, our legs wrapped around the monkey bars, steel cold and hard behind our knees, hair hanging down freely, our dresses over our heads, our undies showing. We don’t care, we’re too young to care about being modest all the time, we’ll learn- the other children will teach us with their teasing.
    No we don’t hang upside down, our cherry earrings would fall off. We eat some, the juice bursting warm in our mouths, our teeth hitting the pit and backing off, we chew and maneuver with our tongues until the pit is free of all it’s cherry flesh. Then we spit it out as far as we can. We’d love to spit it at that revolting boy that always teases us and pulls our hair, hitting the back of his head. We don’t, we don’t want him to see us at all.
    It is hot, the heat presses down on us but we’re in the shade. This big tree that we sit in is cool and the breeze dances through it’s leaves. We’re not supposed to be in the tree, but its the coolest place and no one can see us. The bark presses against our legs, rough patterns pushing into our skin. The cicadas chant so loud we could almost not hear the bell ring if we choose.

Cherry Earrings
    We pick the best cherry pairs for earrings and hang them over our ears. We giggle and admire each other as we struggle to make them balance. Searching through the bag I find the biggest plumpest cherry I can. Full of hope, I pop it in my mouth and bite down. Sweet liquid, juicy, some escapes out of the corner of my mouth, dark juice, giggling with a full mouth.
    The cicadas thrum louder still and I realise it’s the bell calling us from our tree. I shoo away a fly and then reluctantly uncurl my legs and pack up the cherries. We wait, we let the others go first, we sneak down when no one sees our legs, stiff from being curled up under us, swing down to make our leave. A few cherries fall in the dirt at the base of the trunk where the roots are solid. I look at them regretfully, contemplating rescuing and rinsing them, and then just shrug and run off late already. An offering to our tree, I leave them happily.

A Few of My Favorite Ps

This idea to write about your favorite words beginning with a particular letter was lifted from Susannah Conway's blog Ink on my fingers (lifted from elsewhere). Here are my Ps (without the Qs).

People-  My people, they know who they are. I wrap them around me like a warm soft blanket in the dark of a cold and bitter night, tighter and tighter to me warming my soul and heart. They lead into the next two words.

Priceless- And I don’t mean in a financial  way but rather in the way that makes things unique and intrinsically irreplaceable, like my people, and all the precious things in life…

Precious- Taught to me by my little babies, not so little now, that are precious in away that fills the heart and soul. Also the Arabic meaning of my name.

Pumpkins- ummm… Pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin salad with drizzled honey soy, spinach, beetroot and pine-nuts. Pumpkin… (I say that with the same drool that Homer reserves only for “beer”, can you hear my reverence?). My kids call me the pumpkin monster.

Perfection- Not the harsh, impossible to attain, idealistic sort but the sort that describes a perfect white Gardenia or Camilla, a sunset/sunrise, a snowflake or the perfectly brewed cup of coffee.

Ponder- It just kind of deliciously pops languidly out of my mouth. It gives me the time and place for these and other thoughts. It lets me notice all of the above and all of the other bits of magic that abound daily life.

Paper- From the beautifully clean, blank sheet daunting  yet full of endless possibilities, to the well loved, coffee stained treasured ones falling to pieces with wor{l}ds of wisdom. All hail the divinity of paper.

Passion- Not only the name of one of my favorite novels, Passion by Jeanette Winterson (another P favorite novel is Perfume, by Patrick Suskind, Perfume which didn’t make the P list as though I love the idea of perfume the practicalities of it don’t work for me. Practicalities also didn’t make the list for obvious reasons). Back to passion- something to have, strive for, live with & live for. A reason to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Peace- Peace of mind and heart, balance, harmony so hard to come by and to treasured when it does. Of course, the big one: world peace- hope, harmony, tolerance, acceptance- a dream for all to pursue.

Pure- Simple, white, minimal, bare and honest, the reason I like white flowers, newborn babies, raw honest art, snowflakes. Goes hand in hand with perfection.

Photography- it somehow freudian slipped right to the bottom of the list. Too obvious to think of, too much part of my life and identity. If I wasn’t a photographer, it would still be a big chunk of my life in capturing, paying homage to my two beautiful children, being an artistic outlet and way of communicating, interacting with and interpreting the world. Stay tuned for more.

Other P words of note: Play, purple, print, private,