dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

dark am i, yet lovely, a lily among thorns, majestic as stars in procession

Thursday, 26 August 2010

I Am Cutter

Notice the minute bits of blu-tack used to stick the image. These are pinched off and rolled into worms between the fingertips. They then have to be flicked off and positioned with the blade.

Unless one is inspired, writing most definitely feels like a chore. Staring headlong into the blank white paper or screen and trying to convey thought and ideas into original syntax is not straightforward. The only time it flows effortlessly is when you are writing a diary. Biographically, 1000 words a morning would be absolutely no problem (my record word count in a single day is 6 or 7000, writing Slithering Lake). Writing about writing is much easier than writing, I’ve just realised.

The last time true raw sober inspiration swept over The Blob™, it was here:

As with most of the best inspiration, it has to do with a woman. A woman, and the sky, and the time of day, and whatever else. I’ve written nothing but short stories for 3 years because they convey emotions instantaneously – they can be in print almost as soon as they are born. Although the concept of a novel may be an inspiration in itself, penning the thing is nothing less than gritty determination through an obstacle course of question marks and barriers. That’s how I see it now, anyway. But don’t take my word for it, because I have only done one proper thick doorstop novel, although I must say that it didn’t seem too bad at all back then. I was 20 and my imagination was still fresh and excited, na├»ve and daring in its prime.
Now, even typing it up seems like the ball-ache of all ball-aches.
C U T T I N G, on the other hand, does not leave you gazing off into space. It also involves tools, so makes you feel like you are working a proper job. You can listen to the radio and not be distracted too. I love the tinny pop a new blade makes when its tiny tip stabs the cutting pad. And I love compiling scores of images in polly pockets and cataloguing the polly pockets in those folders and files we used to have at school. I don’t even mind doing a repair job with some sticky tape on a paper rip only 2 millimetres across.

It can be time-consuming, because the smaller images are what it’s all about. The smaller the image, the more precise the cut. But once these are arranged on larger images, which are stuck onto card, then the picture begins to emerge. A4, for me, is the be-all and end all. Why go bigger and have difficulty transferring to a computer? Besides, two A4s make one A3. Fifteen A4s, stuck together on a wall, with common themes running throughout in detailed colourful splendour, make one big kick-ass collage set.

Writing is turd. I' getting pig-sick with it. But somebody in my family has to do it. They say write everyday. I can’t write fiction everyday. It would be about a man sat a desk wondering why he didn’t join the army, picking his nose and itching his crotch when he wasn't up and down like a yo-yo to fetch cups of hot water and bagels from the kitchen. Lately though, I’ve been thinking how bad it would be to have no access to a pen or computer. Because I am compelled to scribble something, even if it is a single note, every single day. I'm not at the stage yet where people are asking me where I get my ideas from, but I already know the answer....TV!
I don’t feel compelled to cut. I just enjoy doing it. There are millions of images in magazines, and asserting control over a hand-picked smidgen of them produces immensely satisfying results.
Art Till Death®
See it, cut it, stick it

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