Dearest Penelope, So Sorry I Haven’t Written in So Long

20 Jul

My dear readers, oh you thousands and tens and hundreds of thousands of beautiful individuals, please do forgive me for not writing since June 2nd. I shall have to break you in gently to my usual prolixity by writing briefly. You were no doubt quite alarmed at my absence, but I do hope that it let you catch up on your epoxying, instagramming, cat grooming and other assorted activities. It is summer now, yes, those of the Northern Hemisphere? And so that beast of a winter is behind us. Now, it is time to smell the salt air, gather the wildflowers, eat the yellow and red raspberries off the vine–damn, is that what raspberries grow on? My husband is the one who goes out into the wilds of the backyard to collect his daily  basket of fresh greens and raspberries and present them to me with great and ceremonial pride each day.

Please forgive me for feeling a bit put out at the moment—I just wrote a long post which I neglected to save. My husband cautions his students, “Breathe. Save. Breathe. Save.” And yet I forgot that very first and most essential lesson of computer usage. I hope that may serve as a lesson to someone, somewhere.

It is hard to know, Penelope, where to start when it has been so long. Part of my lack of writing has been due to my deciding to make June into YA novel month. I challenged myself to read a YA novel every day, or read 30 YA novels in June, whichever came first. I finished the last one on July 1st so I did not entirely succeed. But I did write a number of reviews which I shall be sharing, although many of them are fairly brief. I also learned a lot about the YA field by immersing myself in it and by reading books pretty much at random (okay, shortness was actually a consideration, so, not entirely random). But that took so much energy out of me that I didn’t end up posting them. Yet. Plus, I decided my ambition for July was NOTHING, except vacation, reading, and cleaning up my art room. Although I am actually reading some interesting books at the moment, one of them being Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie, which is addressed to a fictional girlfriend named Padma, hence, why I am calling you all Penelope.I’m sure you understand.

Another large source of energy consumption was a crazed obsession with art. I have been experimenting with wood, fabric, paper, cloth, acrylics, markers, watercolors, yarn, glue, and various other media. I can spend four or more hours getting glue and sparkles in my hair—okay, while trying to get it onto PAPER. I plan to write more about art in the future as well, both mine, and maybe some inspirations. One thing I have done fer sure is build up my Pinterest board called Art Projects (under Alexandra Hanson-Harding’s pages, which now has about 470 pictures, tips, and websites for cheap and bizarre materials. I have learned something about artsy/craftsy people in the last few years. If you get taken over by the obsession to make things, there is no magazine, no cereal box, no wine bottle that doesn’t look like prey for. . . something. A mobile? A vase? A wall hanging? If you like the sausage-making part of art, you will have posts to look forward in the future. Oh, how I pity the poor giftees! Although in the future I plan to open an Etsy store, as soon as I figure out what it is I am really, really, really good at. In the meantime, I’m having fun, though the beleagured husband is constantly dabbing paint out of my hair and telling me, with a sigh, “Um, Alexandra, you have sparkles on your face.” As if that were a bad thing–hah!

Well, I AM on vacation, though not a vacation from art, since I managed to collet piles of rocks, shells, thrift shop yarn and other oddities. I read, madea drawing of all overlapping circles, and another one of lines, in the “mid-century” style. I went for a walk through galleries and chachka shops with my sister-in-law and nephew dog. It was really fun because 1. I got to see how dog people talk to each other (a lot); and 2. Sister-in-law and I have very similar artistic sensibilities, and she’s also great at chatting up artists and anyone else of interest. I picked some wildflowers and set them to dry. I am looking out my window at a river widening out to the ocean. Oh, and Betsy and I got to see a cheese rolling competition at a Celtic festival. For those who have not had the pleasure of viewing a cheese rolling contest, 10 or so men or women line up at the top of a grassy hill, some massive kilted brute tosses a large cheese as the contestants scramble down the hill and try to tackle it. Best. Sport. Ever. My teenage nephews and son are downstairs making cassoulet. Ah, vacation.

So, Penelope, and my other kind readers, please pardon my absence, and thank you to those who kept reading anyway. You inspire me!

Writing Prompt: Could there possibly be a better sport than cheese rolling?


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