Monday, 19 January 2009

A new story

THERE HAS BEEN A STORY in my head for a long long time ... it has changed and grown and found new paths down which to wander, and sometimes bits of it have escaped onto the first few pages of a notebook or sketchbook where they hide for a long time until they lose their oomph. But always it has been there. I see life through the window of a storybook. When something troubles me I think to myself.. How might the people in stories resolve this? Would this thing that seems horrendous to me not add wonderful colour to the journey of a tale-character? Whether or not this is a practical way of viewing things, I am not sure, but it seems to be the escape route my mind chooses for itself.

As a child I would create worlds in my head under beds and behind doors. A mat on the floorboards would become a raft on the high seas of an almost-ending apocalyptic world, and all my belongings had to fit on the mat with me in order to survive the unknowns ahead. These make-believe adventures are a normal and delightful part of childhood, and I remember the feelings that certain book illustrations would evoke in me when I looked at them. The feelings were quite unlike those I get now on looking at the same pictures. Then they nibbled right into me, they changed the way I experienced life, they wrenched emotions from me strong enough to bring a sharpness akin to tears. Now I look at the illustrations and remember these feelings, and simultaneously I view the images through my adult eyes and admire the cleverness of line or the exquisite execution of watercolour backgrounds...

I wonder what it is that changes when we lose our childhoods? There is a sadness in me that I can never go back there, and I enjoy so very much to listen to the thoughts of children.
Lost youth or no, the stories have never left me. Indeed they have grown. I have always been fascinated with languages and the interesting intertwining links between the words from different countries. And recently I have decided to remove the stubborn cork from my bottle of stories. I am a world class procrastinator and a perfectionist too.. and this is a disasterous combination, because I put it off and put it off until such time as I might be able to achieve the best creation that I can.. which of course is always tomorrow.

Blogging has been a great encouragement.. for which I have all you lovely people to thank. My mouse's voice has felt a little more hearty since it has received so many kind words about my writing. I think the deciciveness necessary in capturing a moment or a small collection of thoughts in a blog post makes me write what comes into my head and publish it before I can agonise ad infinitum over the arrangement of the words. And this has softened that fear that always stopped me writing a diary when I was younger. I have to accept what I wrote and not cringe embarrassedly at a small outpouring of myself.
It seems that this coupled with our new life on wheels has kickstarted something in me and I am beginning my book!

I have been sitting at my newly marvellously windowed desk with Thesauruses and candles all about me, and I have put pen to notebook and made the first few tentative pages of my book (which have been sitting for yonks twiddling their thumbs in my head already written almost word for word), with sketches of ideas for the illustrations too. We also have a nice new sound system in our truck with speakers expertly wooded by Tui that can play us songs to inspire while the high winds of these last nights buffet us from side to side. I have begun to think lately that perhaps the reason for my never having had a proper illustration job for a publisher is that my visual world has quite a strong flavour that perhaps can only be matched with words of that same flavour.

It is a tendency of mine to gather all the things I love under one little roof of ideas, and so creating a book filled with my words and paintings and thoughts is a thrilling plan for me. It is what I have always wanted to do. This may take me years, but I want to keep it going, and not leave this notebook empty but for the first few pages. I have been spending the evenings buried in Anglo Saxon dictionaries and books illustrated by other artists I greatly admire, and writing and drawing in little frenzied spurts as ideas and images burst inside my head like smoke bubbles, and that nameless organ between my heart and my belly has felt itself settle into the thing that I love to do most of all and it has thrilled.

68 comments:

BT said...

How beautifully cosy your home looks, Rima. The browns and ambers, lit with the soft and subtle light of candles and that hanging lamp make the whole so inviting.

You must indeed write your book. I can well understand that it might be difficult for some companies to accept your illustrations, as they are just so individual and indeed, need your own superb written word to complement them and produce the perfect 'whole'. Do not waste your talent on others' stories. Write your own and it will, I have absolutely no doubt, be amazing. I'll order my copy now please.
xx

pRiyA said...

You have articulated what we all feel, but you have put it across so well with your words - the memories associated with childhood emotions,the instant wonder of blogging, the seeming eternity of procrastination...
I am surprised that you haven't created an illustrated book already. but if you are about to begin work on one now, i can't hardly wait to see whats in store.
I wish you the best!

Griffin said...

I know that feeling. Even if at the moment I am struggling with it a little. Stories suggest themselves, but right at the edge of my imagination, tantalising me because I can't quite get hold of them.

For me creating stories was always a way of escaping this world which on the whole I dislike intensely. Not the world of nature, but the human world of pointless work for bits of metal and pieces of paper that 'promise to pay the bearer the sum of'. Bah! Humbug! I'm going back to Menasca where the currency is poetry and nobody will deny you a meal if you are hungry. Tho' I would probably stay out of Pomona for want of a ducat or few.

Katie, said...

Dearest Rima, I have only just found your blog site, and am at once enchanted. I followed a link from a new favorite band called "Telling the Bees". I was immediately entranced by the illustration of their cd cover, and then seeing their website, said to myself, "This artist is someone who knows something." Having dug around and found your site, it is exactly as I had hoped. A little world you've created that leaked out into my world...I ADORE your work. That isn't a strong enough word, but it will do for now. And, YES, YES and another YES about writing your own book. I think I agree with you that the intensity of your art should be matched by equally intensified words. Reading your thoughts on writing gives me an inkling into how the words might play out on your pages, and I think to myself...'WOW' What a beautiful prospect.
Also, might I add how inspiring your living situation is. My family and I took a long holiday this last summer and stayed in a camp trailer, and we all thought to ourselves how lovely it was to live like that for so long. Of course, we came to our home and felt happy to be back, but you've inspired longer and longer holidays spent on wheels. Thank you for creating a blog that shares your world with the rest of us!

Elizabeth Harper said...

I am thrilled to hear you're working on a book. Your words are always as enchanting as your art and images.

I can't wait to purchase a copy or four or five or more.

The picture of the your new home looks so inviting. Thanks for sharing it with us all.

Kim said...

How wonderful that your heart's longing is now getting it's wish granted. You are sooo right about your words and pictures needing each other. I can't wait to see it, and yet wouldn't want you to feel pressured otherwise that illusive muse may well scurry off and hide.

Good luck, and it would be hard not to feel inspired in such a magical home.

Kim x

Kim said...

Oh and I forgot to say how much I love my 'Telling Stories to the Trees'. It fills me with inspiration and joy when I look at it. Thank you.

Kim x

ElvaUndine said...

I can't wait to see how wonderful your words will be!

Leatherdykeuk said...

Write. I think you'd be surprised at its popularity.

acornmoon said...

Your home on wheels is a fairy story already. You should carry on with your book definitely, your art needs your words.

alison said...

I can only imagine how lovely and magical your book will be.

Your post reminded me of one of the quotes I have painted above one of the doorways in my home...

"To see that your life is a story, while you're in the middle of living it, may be a help to living it well."
~Ursula LeGuin

Erynn said...

Your home and your words are both beautiful. I do understand what you mean about blogging helping to create the confidence to write. I first started out writing in APAs, before the days of the internet, and it was that and fanfic that acted as my training grounds for publication. They gave me confidence in my words and my thoughts, in my poems and my research and also in my ability to tell a story that others enjoyed and that expressed something of my self as well.

I think you will write stories as wonderful as your art.

FreeDragon said...

Really everything on earth is a story. Whether or not it's a good story depends on how it is told. I have no doubt that your stories will be wonderful. Write, write, and write some more.

Rachel Beyer said...

Hello! I have just recently stumbled upon your amazing blog and am loving reading your posts and seeing your artwork.

I loved what you said about the worlds children create in their imaginations. I am recently in the process of uncovering and reliving my own dreams I once had.

The process of remembering and recording can be both exciting and scary! I too, express myself best through both words and art.

Keep up the amazing work!

femminismo said...

Keep that thrill going inside you. Give a voice to your story and let us see those wonderful illustrations, too! jeanne in Oregon

Ciara said...

Wonderful news Rima!
It makes sense that a physical change in your life stirs up changes in other places. I cannot wait to see what flows from your pen. Your drawings alone lead me to imagine something fantastically wonderful!

I have to say that living with small children is like a little peephole into that lost and near-forgot childhood heartfeeling of other worlds and creatures. It is magical and wonderful and a little bit heart breaking. A blessing.

Vita said...

Rima, you absolutely must write! It is in you and the minute I saw your blog I fell in love with your writing.

Childhood feelings are amazing and so full of inspiration. I think our the work by our favorite Nordstein is an excellent example. Do write! And no matter how long it takes you don't give up on your story!!!

Laura said...

What you have in your wonderful movable home is such a perfect nest to create your heart's desire!

I remember those fantastic voyages on imaginary rafts all to well, and when I've tried to return to those wonderful journeys into the imagination, I've felt a sense of loss now that I've "grown up", it's just not the same. Thankfully, I have found 'it' again in my art and writing these last few years...piecing it together in bits of this and that, splashes of water and written word, sneaking them in the time in between dreams and realities...

Follow your dreams, Rima!

Best wishes,

Laura

treehousejukebox said...

How exciting!

Amanda said...

Oh, Rima! If yours is the voice of a mouse, than it is a very large, talented mouse. I look forward to the day when you announce your book is available in the U.S. Reading your magical written voice is like journeying through a dark wood with a walking stick and a basket of baked goods. Good luck!

Pardes said...

I do hope that you will share pieces of this new notebook with us. It's not often that adults find a gifted someone to whom we want to say, "please tell me a story with pictures and words and transport me from this tired place I'm in."
My best wishes in your new creative endeavor.

Shelley Noble said...

Ahh, the wonderful connectedness of things...

I have a note taped to my computer to approach you about writing and illustrating a story with me. I'm not kidding. It's from a meaningful idea that came to me very young that I've lived with all my life since. It's held up to the test of time as valuable to share and I realized just last week that it might be time to make it a proper Rima tale.

Your style of illustration would be the ideal for this particular story too. I thought we could make the book a joint {ad}venture and publish it ourselves, as I'm familiar with doing that.

I wouldn't want to distract you from your stories though. Perhaps one day you might consider hearing about it to see if you love the idea.

Nao said...

It's funny Rima, since the very fist time I visited your blog, I found you had a fabulous knack for stringing words together. I also thought that your paintings are like stories and seem to have tales to tell. Whenever I look at your images I wonder what the story is behind the painting, of course I create my own imagined narrative, but I do look forward to the words that partner your images. How wonderful~

Happy writing~ Good Plan! Cheering you on all the way.

said...

wow, look at all those comments already! and such encouraging words! of course i agree with them!
i often wondered about you and book illustration and now i understand! oh you MUST do it! we have every faith in you and your magical worlds :)
a couple of years back i went to the bologna illustrated book fair. it was huge. i was so excited. and when i was finally there i felt somehow let down. there were some lovely books, but it seemd the majority were so ...bleugh - pink and silver and holograms and skinny fairies with lots of make up and skimpy fitting clothes, and, well, the kind of thing that closes off the fantasy and imagination of children and adults alike. it could have done with more books to enchant, to carry our minds away, to live alongside marvellous characters, in strange and wonderful places. PLEASE keep us updated with how you're going on.
good luck and have lots of fun :)

Jessie Lilac said...

Procrastination?? I was 31 before I even got round to starting to learn drawing! You have a rare gift and an audience who are enchanted by every word and every picture you produce. I'm so excited by the prospect of a book from you...save a copy for me!x

Mollamari said...

Oh how wonderful and exciting! I have enjoyed every word, and every picture in your blog, you have the gift of visuality and words. I know your book will be so charming and full of magic and imagination. Can't wait!

Melanie said...

Good luck with finding the words for the stories you capture with your illustrations. I don't think there is anything out there at the moment which is like your work. I hope you manage to get a book published.

There is an audiobook cd by Pollington where you can hear Old English spoken.

Verhext said...

oh oh! how exciting. i cannot wait to see what you create. perhaps you are right in that your illustrations need to go with your words. there are people who are here to create spaces & worlds to show others, or perhaps just to open doors...

Arija said...

Bravo!!!!
I will not wrest the title of the worlds best procrastinator nd perfectionist from you, but I run a very close second. Scraps in notebooks, envelopes, computer and inside my bursting brain. Yet I blog to distraction and pro-whats-inate!
I have been searching for your site for ages and only just re-discovered you at Faerie Shoes.
I see I have a lot of catching up to do.

Elizabeth said...

I join the others in really looking forward to your book!

Allegra Smith said...

So, when? smiles of complicity here as someone who has began that journey so many times, only to find that the side roads were like sirens to a sailor, and many of the magic inhabitants of that nearly forgotten world are, if not out of my reach, at least playing hide and seek with my memories.

Do it now. Memories are like snow flurries, filled with wondrous shapes and crystals, and as such, frail and prone to break when they hit the ground of reality. Don't wait. Do it now. Walk through those paths that call for you and never forget that what we think exists in some form, somewhere in the Universe just waiting for us to bring it to life.

Good luck my dear, your pen awaits.

d. moll, l.ac. said...

We await the result..........ready to be awestruck.........

anthromama said...

Oh, Perfectionism and Procrastination are like the twin demons of creativity. So many successful writers have said that the key is to *just write*, meaning every day without delays and without judgment at the time of writing. Later, the internal editor can be given its tasks, but in the creative moment perfection is not what's needed.

So please do keep on. You have surrounded yourself with inspiration and support, and you have success already as an artist. So be free! Love yourself, love your life, love your work! We do!

beadbabe49 said...

All I can add to all the wonderful words of encouragement you've received here is one more small voice whispering...do it!

herhimnbryn said...

That last image could be a Vermeer painting. Candle light, a woman at a desk and the muted tones of wood and and books.

Lady R, you sound and look very very happy.

mariel said...

I love nothing more than filling a journal with my words and sketches. I sometimes feel that I have too many stories bundled up inside me, desperate to get out! I wish you much creative joy.

Your home looks truly wonderful, especially by lantern light.

jean said...

Sometimes it's wonderful to write a book. Sometimes you need to write a story. Sometimes it's just some words.

Crappy words or brilliant words. Creative or retreads. Awesome or dull.

Just let it flow. Don't worry about what we think, good or bad. Don't even worry about what you think. Dream about being in a vast book fair, or doing inspired blog entries--or decide you just need keep it all to yourself. Enjoy being with your stories.

Lorie M. said...

wow, I've lurked here some, but a book causes me to sit up and post! What a treasure your blog is. A book would definitely be an amazing thing.

moonbindery said...

Rima, you have such a rich imaginative life (and real life!),I know you'll come up with something wonderful. Good luck with your writing!

Barbara

Danielle said...

rima...

your wheeled home and lit words have been inspiring me since i first found your work on pottery by an artist on etsy...

please do write and illustrate your worlds.

have you ever seen the work of c. van sandwyk: http://www.jwprintsandmaps.com/charles.htm

his mythologies are hand-bound into very small and magickal books...

with love,
danielle

Snippety Giblets said...

I too have just discovered your blog and have spent a very happy week reading it from start to finish. Your creativity and your lifestyle are a huge inspiration to me. I would love to read your book !

Sonia said...

Rima,

I wanted to let you know I have tagged you, would visit my site....Stay safe, and creative...

Smiles,

Sonia ;)

4roomsandthemoon said...

I think you are an amazingly talent woman - and I, for one, will be expectantly waiting to see your book come out in print. Speaking of print, I saw one on Etsy that you had done, and I was waiting until after Christmas to buy it for myself - but your Etsy shop has been closed now. Is there a way that I could buy the print of the little witch in the bottle. I fell in love with her small hands pressing against the glass, and her calm expression of knowing that this isn't an insurmountable issue, being trapped in a bottle... If I could buy it you can email me at mimiolivia@hotmail.com. Keep up the good work - its beautiful!

RosesRadishesandRubbish said...

Dear Rima,

I see those stories which are woven in your heart, all over your blog..... different yarns snipped to create your art, your wonderful life with your honey, the cozy nooks created in your home and your special connection you have with your surroundings...all a part of you!:) As these threads somehow make themselves known and become woven back together outside your heart....I see many beautiful stories reborn.:) you are amazingly talented! A true gift. Let me reassure you that those stories never go away. (I am much older than you.) AND for me they get much clearer. When I was little, I imagined myself as a weary traveler with nothing but a few posessions in a shoebox. As my adventures unraveled, someone tucked a flute in my pocket and was gifted an accordian along the way which I strapped to my back. Now I reside at the edge of a magical wood in a cozy cottage with my brute. . . Oh, and someday I will drawn upon those stories and record those magical tunes composed along the bumpy roads!:) Thanks for the inspiration and am looking forward to hearing and seeing more your adventures. Hugs, Amy

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Ah, well it makes total sense, you had to rid yourself of stagnation to write the book. literally it was a block of all kinds. Cramps are still gone, aren't they?

From This Moment to That said...

Dear Rima, How wonderful... a book!! I can't wait, you are such a talented artist and inspire all of us with your words and paintings .... onwards, onwards!
We are right behind you sending you magic.
Hugs Jane

Sara Lechner said...

I have spent the last hour visiting your blog and links and I must tell you that I'm in love with all of it.
I will come often visit!
I also like to use inspiration from the Middle Ages for my work. I live in Austria but have a daughter studying in Wales, who I often visit. I love the folklore and fairytales of the UK!

Renee said...

There is not one bit of doubt in my mind that a book by you will be completely outstanding.

Unique and original a one of a kind.

Hope that I will be alive to enjoy it.

Peace

Renee

Yoli said...

“Write everyday line by line, page by page, hour by hour. Do this despite fear. For above all else, beyond imagination and skill, what the world asks of you is courage: courage to risk rejection, ridicule and failure. As you follow the quest for stories told with meaning and beauty, study thoughtfully and write boldly. Then like the hero of that fable, your dance will dazzle the world.”

- Robert Mckee

Gail Lackey said...

Hi Rima,
I just stumbled across your blog. It's so hauntingly beautiful and enchanting! Thanks for sharing your mind and your art. Very Inspirational!!
Happy Hauntings, Gail

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Such wonderful news, Rima. I love having something to look forward to. I can now add your book to that list!!

mama p said...

Hurrah! Oh Rima, that is SUCH a great decision. I'll hold that image of you steadily writing at a lovingly-illumed, cozy desk 'til the project is done. I am so looking forward to see the result. :)

BT said...

Gosh Rima, so many fans you have!! And deservedly so. You may wish to ignore the following, which is quite fine by me. I was 'tagged' but the instructions given don't work for me, so it's here:

25 Things Meme from LeatherdykeUK
Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.
From me - BT

Latreille said...

I can really relate with the nostalgia and the procrastination and the perfectionism. It's hard having so many beautiful ideas that just wont go on paper by themselves.

I hope you have a lot of fun with the writing!

PS: Don't you wish sometimes you could just become a kid again? Everything being so new all the time. Then again, you wouldn't know it and the feelings wouldn't be so spectacular...

Marja said...

I am sure your storie is going to be great. Your blog evoked lots of cosy feelings when I landed here. What a treasure and what a treasure your home is. You see many of them here in NZ but I haven's seen such a beautiful wandering house as you have.
It is nice to think back when you were a kid I work with them and enjoy their fantasies but in all of us there is still a piece left of it I think
Have a nice day

Le Bon said...

I like her...

http://lolaroig.wordpress.com/

Becca said...

... and it will be magically creative and utterly lovely, as all your work is ...

Stepping off the edge said...

your blog, your home, your world- leaves me speechless with wonder and inspiration. no word does it justice. Thank you for sharing it.
:0)

Marie Antionette said...

Hello Rima,They say you can never go back.I think they are wrong.Your memories are always with you,Its part of what makes all of us.Those with bad memories are the ones in a world of hurt.You have your beautiful art,stories, to go with them.Imagination.You have such a beautiful mind.Why do you think we all flock to people like you? You set us free too.Hugs Marie Antionette

Felina said...

You are who I want to be when I grow up.

Until recently, I've had a torn-out magazine page depicting a cabin room stuffed with books and odd objects swinging from the rafters taped to the front of my fridge.... and now that I see your mobile dream factory, I know that no one is truly alone in their head. :)

Robyn said...

Rima, you are a delight! I love your thoughts and your thrilling plans to write a book that can only be whimsically wonderful. Seeing you writing and painting in your cosy little home makes me want to rush off and create something enchanting. You are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your world with us.

Michelle said...

I have absolutely no doubt you would create a superb book - unique and perfectly you, which is far more important than merely being "perfect", which can be rather dull.

I'm a recovering perfectionist. My best advice is - don't think, just do it. Follow your heart, or that organ you cannot name, and... leap.

You will fly. ;-)

Felina said...

i just keep coming back to this picture of you in that cozy book-crammed nook.... it's so like the mental image I've got of my own dream home. :) The shelving, the lighting, i could go on and on...

Solvay said...

Your words: "Then they nibbled right into me, they changed the way I experienced life, they wrenched emotions from me strong enough to bring a sharpness akin to tears. Now I look at the illustrations and remember these feelings, and simultaneously I view the images through my adult eyes and admire the cleverness of line or the exquisite execution of watercolour backgrounds..."
oh, I love that: they nibbled their way into you....
What a naked post you wrote - sharing these things with us horoed readers. Procrastinator - hardly, Rima. Be encouraged, perfection is required for visionaries, and you are certainly not going to be used, ever, as a textbook example of procrastination! You are a visionary gift.

I have not this time read the previous comments, but I'm imagining they have all said about the same thing.

So glad you have music, now, in your wheely home!
Solveg

Emily said...

Dreamy words that resound so familiarly! Looks to me as if you have succeeded in crawling through the rabbit hole into your very own cosy story!

Janessa said...

Greetings from Tucson, AZ. I just happened upon your blog, and it is such lovely thing to see the lifestyle you live. I love the photos of the countryside outside the knome-like windows. It is always hard to find inspiration, but you are on the right/ best path. Thank you for your site!
-Janessa.

Anonymous said...

Your page is amazing. It is very creative. I looked at the pictures forever. I really liked the blog about fogs and fish eggs. It was so creative to do pictures that go right along with your stories. Where did you find all of that art? I really thought that it was incredible. It is the way that I eventually want to structure my blog page. I do not have much on my page yet because I just started blogging, but it sounds like a lot of fun.

Charles Pergiel said...

Cool pictures.