Wednesday, 24 February 2010

What is Performance Art?

Last night I was lucky enough to witness the most real form of performance art. I went to an event called Horseplay (a monthly evening of spoken word and music at the Sanctuary) hosted by Ash Ffrench and Hattie Snooks.

Apart from enjoying pancakes and performances by The Bobby McGee's, Bernadette Cremin and Steve Larkin the audience got treated to a real surprise.

Before the main act came on Ash asked Hattie to turn her back to him on stage. He said a lot of nice things about her and how happy he was to be hosting Horseplay's 2nd birthday party with her. And all of the sudden he went down on his knees and proposed! Thoughts like "Is this part of the show?" crossed my mind ... and of course it was part of the show, but even so it was sincere and Ash & Hattie are getting married! (What made it slightly surreal was that Bernadette (who didn't have a clue and don't know the couple very well) blurted out "are you going to propose to her?" earlier in the evening.)

They might not agree with it being performance art, and I don't like labelling people, but I'm fascinated by the concept "performance art". In the beginning of January I went to see a show called "Kim Noble will die" at Soho Theatre in London. It was a one-man show where the artist/actor played himself as a suicidal desperado who handed out his own spunk in little plastic containers to the audience ... It might sound sick, but still there's nothing I like better when the line between truth and fiction, performance and real life is very thin.

While I'm on the subject I also have to mention that my best friend in Sweden married herself last year and about twenty people turned up to her ceremony. When she first thought of the idea she didn't intend to make art or put on a show or performance. It was other people starting to label it as performance art ...

And I think it's quite artistic to propose to someone on stage. Label or not.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


I'm off sick today. I didn't get much sleep last night because I had a bad stomach ache and wanted to throw up, but couldn't. I'm still feeling a bit queasy and all I want to eat is ice cream.

On my way to the nearest ice cream vendor (Co-op) I stopped off at the post office and sent off REPLACING ANGEL. So maybe I'm feeling sick because I'm suffering from postnatal novel depression ...

It's like I'm no longer capable of looking after my book baby, and therefore the nanny agents will take care of her and let me know when I'm fit to look after her again. They'll also let me know if my baby is all right, and if she needs to go through another health check (draft.) It sounds horrible, but I hope it'll take a while. I have things to get on with. Like having a hair cut.

PS. the post office in the picture has nothing to do with my local post office.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Printing my baby

I don't have any metaphor for this. If you have followed my blog you know that I compare writing a novel to having a baby, but I can't think of any comparison to "printing out the manuscript". Most agents want to see the first three chapters, so I have "only" printed about 50 pages. (Double-spaced).

I'm almost there. My synopsis is ready. My CV is ready. The first three chapters are ready. The only thing I've got left is the most important thing - the cover letter. Someone asked why I've spent two weeks on writing a letter ... But then I spent two years being pregnant with Replacing Angel (here we go again - bring on the baby metaphors!) and I think the baby deserves to be presented in the best possible way. Yes, maybe I found a metaphor after all. Writing a cover letter is like when you dress the baby up to meet the relatives for the first time ...

Friday, 5 February 2010

Painting My Book Baby's Toenails

So, I've finally given birth to my book baby and it's a girl!
But I'm keeping her safe at home, am not ready to let the world see her yet.
I feel bad for wanting to beautify her, painting her toenails.

The 5th and final draft of Replacing Angel is finished.
But it's hard to leave her alone.
I wake up in the middle of the night
and think of sentences I want to polish.
I keep adding coats of nail varnish to her toenails.
Sometimes using aceton to remove things I don't like.

I guess you're never really finished.
You just have to set a date when you decide that you are not going to make any more changes and be happy with your creation, happy enough to let it engage with the world, i.e. send it out to agents.

I have drafted a cover letter, synopsis and some kind of CV and sent it to a very kind writing collegaue for feedback.

At the moment I'm doing some detective work, trying to find out who the best nanny for my baby is. (I'm going to approach the agents of some of my favourite authors to start with, and I also have a couple of recomendations that I want to investigate.)

Hopefully I'll send my baby off before my birthday on the 26th of Feb. I can't wait to have an evening off. Even if I'm out and about doing other stuff she's constantly on my mind ...