I’ve been considering the possibility of illustrating my stories, but I don’t think I’m good enough. My drawings and collages are of doodle standard and I can just imagine my review of the book: ‘Lee’s pictures don’t do the stories justice. It’s a pity she isn’t as good an artist as she is a writer.’ Hah.
I have asked an artist I know if he will illustrate the book and sent him some stories so that he has an idea of what he’d be illustrating, if he agrees. I have not heard from him. My other idea is for each story to be illustrated by a different artist, but imagine if ten artists disappeared on me? Still, I imagine getting one artist to make one piece of art ought to be easier than getting one artist to make eleven pieces (counting the cover). Oh lordy, I wonder when the book will be ready. Will it ever?
This afternoon, I spent an hour looking at pictures on Pinterest, hoping to be inspired (to write or whatever) and I came across many tigers whom I could imagine walking through the pages of my book.
This one reminded me of Ahmed Ali, the tiger were in The Tiger Bridegroom. I can imagine him in a songkok and baju Melayu. Also, he looks as if he’s thinking of having some mutton rendang.
I’ve just come across the work of Rose Wong on the illustration blog Brown Paper Bag. Wong’s Consider Death show (last fall at Grumpy Bert in Brooklyn, New York) comprised pieces that feature lush greenery combined with stark, cold geometric shapes and lines. In some of these pictures there is a lone, faceless figure, a woman who seems to be in deep thought.
In this article, Wong says that when she’s ‘sad or frustrated’ art makes her feel better, but that it isn’t easy to draw in those instances. I feel that way about writing, and instead of working on my stories, I usually end up staring at Pinterest boards, which is how I found Wong’s illustrations.
Art has been a lifesaver for me. When I’ve felt the darkness pulling me in, when I’ve felt unable to tell myself apart from the black hole in my head and heart, the shapes and lines and colours and textures of art have given myself back to me again; have served as a climbing frame or stepping stones to safety.
By Rose Wong (7)
By Rose Wong (9)
By Rose Wong (14)
I’m afraid my writing doesn’t serve that purpose. I need to be well to even contemplate entering my stories. But I feel I am very close to that place. I am getting there, word by word, line by line.
For my fiftieth birthday, my eldest niece, Nadia, got me a voucher for a nail spa and so I went for a pedicure this morning. It was a very expensive pedicure (RM75) but seemed no different from the sort I usually have at the salon down the street. (Note to self: If a salon is called Posh!, you can expect high prices for nothing more than ambience, speaking of which, the piped music was embarrassing and included a tinkly version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.)
I also had the ‘callus heel treatment’, which cost RM70, but I’m not sure I noticed where the pedicure ended and where this treatment began, especially as the former included the ‘removal of calluses’. I must say my heels look and feel smoother than they’ve done in a long time. I’m pleasantly surprised as nothing can usually be done with the cracked and hard skin on the soles of my feet. Perhaps I was paying RM70 for magic!
I usually choose scarlett for my toe nails, but the last time I had a pedicure I picked a dark coral shade. You can see what I opted for this time. The colour is beautiful but, as always, my toes look like slug corpses.
While I was having my hour as a lady of leisure I received a text from the kids saying that my bedroom door had ‘locked itself’ and there was no key to be found. I shall have to call a locksmith tomorrow, but in the meantime, I’ve got one of the condo’s maintenance staff to remove the lock and door knobs and so now the door has to be held closed with a stool. I just thought I’d add that to this post as confirmation that a mother’s day always ends up equal parts bitter, sour and sweet.