happy birthday, marginalia

101,882 words written here so far and counting… and so starts the new year of writing in this space. August 1st is also the official birthday for racehorses in the southern hemisphere. As is usual on my birthdays I feel kind of depressed about all the things that haven’t quite gone according to my plans, and the usual – held back when should’ve forged ahead; raced in when I should’ve held back; and tried to do stuff that turned out, generally speaking, better if I’d never gotten out of bed that particular day. This, I guess, it the cost of creating. There’s always no shortage of people telling you how well you haven’t done. As if you can’t figure that out for yourself. I just can’t figure out how they manage to tear themselves away from the tv long enough to make the judgement.

So, what’s the plans for the next year. Do more of the same. I’d prefer to be known for having created something than having watched a lot of tv. Of course it would be nice to have made some tv over the next year. I’d like to have made a substantial start on my book. The writing here in the last year has been motivated by wondering if I can write that volume of words – the answer is yes, the average first novel is 80-100,000 words. I plan on doing more drawing, taking more photographs, walking at lunch time, all while plotting a way out of the humdrum, coupled with plotting my way through the novel. It’s time for the big project, and that will be launched this year as well. I’m really excited about that. Gee, this has been a really deep and meaningful piece of writing. Dammit, if only I had a kitten, I could write about that. Or a cheese sandwich.

image from the New Zealand Academy of Fine ArtsI’m almost always impressed by the exhibitions at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts. Quite apart from being a beautiful space, the art on display is frequently very affordable, and best, very accessible – i.e. not much by the most avant of avant. THANKFULLY! I find it refreshing to look at works that have been carefully created in a good and tradesman-like manner, and look as though they’ll last hanging on your wall. I also like the thought that for a (very) few hundred through to a few thousand dollars I could score an original for my boardroom, foyer, or the livingroom. Of particular interest today was the Mervyn Taylor retrospective. Taylor, a wood engraver, produced beautiful images of New Zealand themes – I’m not sure, possibly images being used in the old school journals. Dates me…

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