Taking the plunge
OK, so I have decided to take the plunge and apply to the Nielsen UK ISBN agency to buy 10 ISBNs and register as a publisher... I think it will look much better if, instead of Lulu.com as a publisher on my first book, I have my own logo and publisher name.
I will still publish the books on Lulu - at least, I hope so! If Lulu fails, then I'll have to think about another way, but with 10 ISBNs to use up, no messing about will be allowed!
I intend on publishing my first book, then maybe the little collection of dark texts and/or a little illustrated booklet, and then maybe a nice image book of Matt ArtPix art.
We are quite excited about it and are thinking about names... So we are drawing up lists of names and will pick one up!
The schedule is: July - apply for ISBNs and design I Am a Muse cover; August - put the book together on Lulu; Early September: I Am a Muse published, available on Lulu.com. I am hoping to buy a few physical copies and sell them myself...
This Saturday sees the return of Southend's culture festival, Village Green in Chalkwell Park. Even though none of the bands are among my favourites (sigh), I am sure it will be enjoyable anyway.
We are hoping to spend the day there and see as many things as possible! My intention is to do a little report for this very blog... Hopefully my camera won't let me down!
The writer's block seems to be receding... My medicine this week has been reading "Gillespie and I" by Jane Harris and a few stories from "Haunting Ghost Stories", a fab illustrated collection of... ghost stories published in 1980.
Ignite Books website
I have been talking about this small press quite a lot on here, and now, at last, Ignite Books have got a WEBSITE! With authors Joolz Denby, Steve Pottinger - both Ignite Books founders - and newcomer Dave Barbarossa, Ignite Books is a small press full of beans.
Long Live Ignite Books!
The Curious Home
Because obviously I am not busy enough, what with the freelance work and the books to write, edit and publish, I have offered my services to create and maintain a little Weebly website for a new shop in Southend called The Curious Home.
The Curious Home is downstairs at The Vintage Lounge in Southend-on-Sea and is the baby of Chris from Tootbageye; Chris is a very creative and dynamic person who has generously asked Matt ArtPix whether he would be interested in sharing her shop space. Of course, he said yes! We would love to have our own premises one day and being part of such a retail experiment can only be a positive thing for us... We have already learnt a lot from attending fairs and markets, and now a new phase of the learning curve is starting.
We are all very creative people who love culture and we hope we will be able to bring our very different skills and areas of expertise to the shop: Chris and Matt are both graphic designers and are very knowledgeable about antiques, art and design. I have the flexi-time that enables me to spend some time working on the promo/social networking/online presence of the shop. Oh, and I am an editor and writer by trade, as well as a culture vulture, so I guess I could be helpful in some ways (?). I am also planning on selling copies of I Am a Muse in the shop when I have published it at last...
The Vintage Lounge is a lovely vintage shop full of gorgeous items - the dresses in particular are ravishing! - and we hope to be able to all work together in the forthcoming months in order to establish two of the most exciting little shops in Southend...
In The Curious Home, you will find furnishings and furniture, Vintage, Retro, Quirky, Recycled... We will also be selling interesting second-hand books: music, cinema, art and design...
Plus! handmade jewellery and soon, some more handmade items... And of course, Matt ArtPix's vintage-inspired designs: framed pictures, foamboard posters, greeting cards, retro football designs and more...
We spent the whole afternoon there last Saturday and it felt really cosy and welcoming down there!
I am still working on the little website, but I can already tell you that there will be listings of our stock and a little blog to keep you in the loop about events, fairs and markets we will be attending, new arrivals in the shop, etc.
I really like it when creative minds work together to come up with something exciting... and I hope this new little venture of ours will prove to be an exciting one!
For more details and some pictures of the shop, go to Matt ArtPix's blog about The Curious Home!
The Curious Home, downstairs at The Vintage Lounge, 15 Market Place, Alexandra Street, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 1DA
The Book of Thoth update and extract
I am back working on The Book of Thoth. I am working out what the next scenes are going to be as well as whether I got the timeline right. This involves re-reading bits I have already written and taking notes about when the events in each part have been happening - I need to do this in order to be able to carry on with the story!
I have posted a second extract on The Book of Thoth page - please remember that this is only the first draft and I am hoping to improve on a few things in the forthcoming drafts... But I am quite happy with what I have got so far; I even find myself getting rather excited while re-reading it, which must be a good sign!
Back to the books!
Back to the books after yet some more work, I wish I could get an uninterrupted, long spell of writing!
Some more art and books!
We love going to Saffron Walden... One can find fabulous things if one is interested in ephemera, antiques and beautiful things from other eras!
Arts Decoratifs is a small shop, but it is a real treasure trove and we managed to spend absolutely AGES browsing in there. We came out clutching lovely postcards and prints, and I also purchased a stunning copy of Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market and Other Poems, illustrated by Florence Harrison (I have just stumbled upon a wonderful website dedicated to this great illustrator). The black and white as well as the colour illustrations inside are just so incredibly gorgeous...
I have done a little bit of research and my book seems to be the 1910 edition, and I probably haven't paid the price I should have paid for it, as it seems to be quite special...
We couldn't go to Saffron Walden without paying a visit to the lovely Fry Gallery - we go each time we are in town. The gallery is full of wonderful artworks by a variety of artists - The Great Bardfield Artists - and especially Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious.
The exhibition we saw this time - ending 24th June - was put together to coincide with the publication of Long Live Great Bardfield and Love to You All, the autobiography of Tirzah Garwood, Eric Ravilious' wife. This amazing limited edition book, edited by Anna Ullman, Tirzah's daughter, is published by the The Fleece Press, a "one-man enterprise" that endeavours to publish sumptuously handmade books. Turning the pages of the copy in the gallery was a real pleasure. The book is full of lovely pictures of the artist at work and at play, with her family and friends. The reproductions of her artworks are simply gorgeous. Unfortunately, at £235 a copy, this hefty tome was not within my budget; but it is worth it, believe me... I loved her work, from her delicate paintings to her lively wood engravings.
A nice article about Tirzah and some more pictures of her and her work HERE.
But a visit to Saffron Walden wouldn't be the same without going to the nearby Audley End for tea, and so we did... As we were there late in the afternoon, we had the lovely gardens all to ourselves and could really appreciate the quiet and beauty of the place... How I love my National Art Pass! We will be back for sure!
I will end this blog with one of the postcards I found in les Arts Decoratifs. I have just finished reading Laura R. King's wonderful The Language of Bees, and as soon as I saw this postcard I thought of Mary Russell, Sherlock Holmes' wife. The girl in the postcard looks exactly as I imagine Mary Russell to look! (by the way, this book - and indeed the whole series - would make an/several absolutely wonderful movie(s): a strong, free-spirited, fearless scholar marries iconic detective and they have mad detective/action adventures all around the world and the country... The dynamics in their relationship are hilarious, the dialogues sharp! I have been thinking that Keira Knightley would probably be terrific in the role of Mary! For Sherlock, I still have to think...)
The trouble with education...
I think therefore I write.
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