Tag: art

Chapbooks, Poetry, and the Short Form in 2019

As I missed adding to the wealth of New Year blog posts on writing resolutions, veganism, teetotalism, and other ‘isms’, shouldn’t we have a spring look-at-me update about the projects lined up? Thought so.

In the winter of 2018, I took the initial draft of my novel from the locked drawer for the first time in two years. Shortly after, it went back. I might continue with the urban fantasy – I’m still in love with the story – or I might not. Plenty of first novels stay hidden indefinitely, and had this been only a stepping stone to a new plot? Whatever the gods decide.

What am I doing, then? Four projects, since you asked.

The first, and one that’s got me stoked as it nears fruition, is Rewilding, a chapbook to be published with the illustrator and anarchist, Mutartis Boswell. The story, (written, critiqued, rewritten, beta-read, rewritten, edited, rewritten and proofed :-)) explores the themes of abuse, isolation and instinct. The project is allowing Bos to experiment with inks and atmosphere, and comfort zones too. We’re looking to print using some pretty old machinery by experienced printers to gain an impressive look and touch to our product. Watch out for details of the Kickstarter on here and social media as there’ll be a chance to pick up a signed copy of the chapbook, along with artwork that captures the text and dons the many masks of the Speculative including Folk Horror.

Rewilding coffee

Next up, a collaboration with the ace Belgian photographer, Ines Adriaens, for her abandoned places project. Ines, a master at capturing atmosphere, sent me and two other writers a variety of images and asked us to write pieces inspired by them. This project has allowed me to engage in the highly concentrated, powerful form of poetry. I am lucky to have four pieces in this photography book which will hopefully be available this year.

Ines promo

I was both excited and nervous when Joffre White asked me to work together on the short story collection, The Gateway, a Speculative examination of the grit trapped in Western society’s shell, mainly because our writing styles wave to each other from across a chasm. Joffre is a UK Patron of Reading, Reading and Writing Motivator, and an author, he’s also a cracking guy to work with. The project is almost like a writing exercise, and I’m able to play with shorter length and streamline my writing style using character-driven stories.

Lastly, a collection of my own short fiction yet to be titled is in progress. A brew of horrors seasoned with a pinch of magic realism. The plan is to feature mostly published work after revision, with a couple of bonus new ones. The word count is currently at 50,000.

The opportunity to work closely with these talented artists is precious and, I’m sure, will lead to some amazing work. Should be a good year! Certainly busy.

Nash

Rewilding Interpreted

mutantedmelgmush
© Boswell

Met up with the legend that is Mutartis Boswell the other night, talked about art, horror, writing and the oddity that is Cerne Abbas – I’m not kidding that is a weird place! We also discussed publishing, and I’m stoked to announce plans for a collaboration with this talented artist to publish a very special chapbook for you all.

More to come on that one. In the meantime go check out Bos and let him know that Nash sent you.

                      BoswellArt

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Haunting Portrait Series Juxtaposes People with Plant Life – Creators

My story, The Woodwose And His May Queen (not yet published), explores Man’s relationship with Nature to the extent of actual metamorphosis. Not unlike these photographs in the Creators article.

“‘Treeheads,’ the fictional hybrids in Cal Redback’s darkly poetic images, are exactly what they sound like.”

plantlife

Source: Haunting Portrait Series Juxtaposes People with Plant Life – Creators

Stew Until Tender

tender-sam-guayWith the second draft of Up On Midwinter Hill complete it’s now time to allow the story to stew. Meanwhile, I’ve also had feedback from The Nameless Writing Group for my shape-shifter piece, Hashtag Rewilding, (which has been on the backburner) so I’m pretty much ready to revisit this one.

I reread Rewilding a few nights ago, and it was then that I saw the wonderful illustration (opposite) by Sam Guay entitled, Tender. I was fascinated by the bark-like background that the woman’s almost misshapen form appears to be morphing into and, in particular, the way her belly has become a woody knot or whorl which may symbolise anxiety or hunger.

I drew parallels in this artwork with Hashtag Rewilding, notably the theme of trust. Whilst the woman in the picture does not seem particularly happy about placing her head in the jaws of a wolf, this mouthing behaviour is very common amongst canines and can be seen as being similar to a hug for a human. Maybe the woman in the picture has a pre-conceived idea about the act, like we all have about something at one point or another. Given the present state of my (Western) society, perhaps we do need to pay a little more attention to how we act and learn to trust our instincts rather than what others tell us.

Hashtag Rewilding, borne from an exchange on the recent sighting of the Hull werewolf, Old Stinker, and the rewilding debate explores what happens when we are both ruled by prejudices and when we are free of them.

With thanks to the artist, Sam Guay, for the kind permission to use her work. Please visit: http://www.samguay.com/

For more information on where to read Hashtag Rewilding, watch this space.

Exhibiting UDP

One of the topics I’m exploring in my story, Hashtag Rewilding, is sexual harassment and how it is ingrained in our society.

This behaviour has transferred to the virtual world where it has become rife, possibly because devices offer a false sense of anonymity. A lot of the women I know have been sent unsolicited pictures of male genitalia via social media. If that is the case, then we must surely come into daily contact with men who have sent this type of image.

Whitney Bell’s art show, I Didn’t Ask For This: A Lifetime Of Dick Pics, which ran at Rhabbitat L.A. in Spring last year addresses this issue in quite a powerful way. I’ve included Konbini’s interview with Bell here.

dickpic-whitney-bell
Quote: Simone Fiasco. Image source: Vice magazine