February 21, 2008

make a little birdhouse in your soul...

Collage work really helps to stretch my creative muscles when I'm working with new ideas in my writing. This first piece - Miss Understood, became my contribution to the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts "Secret postcard" fund raiser this past autumn. It has since found a new home, but I saved an image of it to remind me of how stifling and oppressive expectations can be.

It takes inspiration from many sources... the lives of women during the Victorian Era, turn-of-the-century sideshow posters, and my own personal battle with trying to balance my writing life with the rest of my life.
(motherhood, community, realationships, etc.)

I recently wrote to a friend: "So many days I ask myself which is worse, the guilt I feel for taking the time to write, or the thought of not writing?"

Her recent post on "me-time" made me examine the nature of guilt, expectation and self-preservation all over again.
What do you do for yourself?
Do you feel guilty about it?

This is a more recent collage - make a little birdhouse in your soul
I've been going back and making a collage for each chapter in The Virgin Cure, just to gain a better understanding of who my characters are and the things they are dealing with in their lives. This piece is inspired by the protagonist - a young woman who is fast coming to the realization that she is the only one who can look out for herself. Again, the expectations of society and her relationships loom large. What does she want the most in her life? Is it even possible to achive? Hopefully she will survive the journey...

And for those of you who are hovering around the 40-year mark... No, you're not imagining things, I named the collage after a TMBG (They Might Be Giants) song. The entire time I was working on this little page in my notebook, the song kept running through my head - only this time the phrase "who watches over you" was a question rather than a statement.

And if you want to have a fun, chair-dancing flashback - here's the video!

And if you're hooked on Pushing Daisies (like me) here's a clip where the song was featured on the show.


Sarah Felix Burns said...

Love you art work Ami! LOVE IT! the symbolism is striking and thought provoking. Prior to becoming a writer, I was a fine arts student and collage was one of my fav methods of expression. It really is a female-oriented medium; it defies the linear narrative.

dianeschuller said...

I really like that collage you made for the fundraiser and, like you, think it's a great idea to really massage the ol' creative muscles. Thanks for such a great idea -- I'm going to do it.

Alberta Postcards
Diane's Flickr photos

Anonymous said...

Ami, if you are conflicted over what you want to do, keep in mind that your priorities have to be ordered in a system and find the time to write. Don't wait until the muse is gone and buried under a lot of laundry, and meals. Your children know where you are and that you are "home" even if you are absorbed in your writing. If you must write 24/7, keep the notebook and pen handy and scratch down ideas and words as they come to mind.

Writing can be self indulgent escapism. Or simple fulfilment. I never know how many l's are in that word and I don't care.

I have found a wonderful editor and I never thought I would. My book is all ready to go to a publisher and I am at the holding my breath stage.

All the best...Betty Morgan

Jacqueline said...

I always collage when I feel like my writing isn't flowing...

I also love your collage- how beautiful.

Ren said...

Ah, flashback to the 80's...yes, I'm "hovering" around that 40 mark not quite there just yet.:) It's a good place to be though.

I adore your collages. And I'm glad you take the time to write and share some of your inspiration with the rest of us.