Alas, I lost a large part of January to illness, so I felt like I needed to be totally challenged by something right out of my league that would shake off the creative lethargy I found myself wallowing in.
Quite by accident, I came across a most intriguing proposition and decided to investigate it further. The order of the day is to read a specific novel and then produce a piece of artwork of any kind inspired by the book. Once the piece is finished, you upload it to a designated web site where people can view and vote for their favourites. I thought this could be a unique experience, a source of cerebral stimulation and my medium might provide a different slant in what appears to be, so far, a heavily laden field of drawings and photographs.
Now here’s the hitch for me – the book is science fiction! I did say I wanted a challenge but I didn’t anticipate jumping off a cliff ! I am currently slogging my way through my first ever science fiction novel – a lesson indeed in developing strong critical reading skills.
I tried to get a copy of the book only to find that for the most part, it is a download. I think it is possibly a generational thing, but unless you are born with a mouse in your hand, it seems that many of us of a certain age do not enjoy reading even a smaller excerpt of a novel on line. There’s something about conveniently flipping those book pages back to re-check a character, or re-follow a plot line and somehow it’s just not the same for some of us backtracking on a computer. AND believe me, I am backtracking a
trying to keep up with the who’s and what’s of this story line.
To be fair, I did go ahead and read an excerpt on line but really felt I needed something more to sink my teeth into. After checking with our local bookstores, I was told about a “previous download” again, but their records indicated that there was a hard cover edition due out March 12th. Humph – funny thing is the competition closes March 3rd. This perplexed me, so I fished around online some more and discovered that Amazon in the UK had a hardcover copy ready to ship. I felt I was invested in the project this far and time being of the essence seemed to warrant the cost of the book and having it sent Global Priority.
The book arrived promptly but to my untrained non post-apocalyptic eye it appeared rather daunting, much like reading 563 pages in Greek. Fortunately for me my Information Tech/Librarian son arrived home for a weekend and was immediately helpful. He suggested some on-line sites I might peruse to glean more information and I discovered in the process, there are communities, fan bases and forums that have been created for avid followers of this book and author. It is now beginning to sound rather cultish to this Sci Fi virgin whose needs of a challenge are definitely being met!
Nevertheless, as time has elapsed I am beginning to feel more comfortable with the genre, although it is much like a first date when things fall into place nicely but you’re not quite ready to jump into bed yet. Despite some misgivings, I am actually starting to see designs form in my head, as I hit the half way mark of the book. Excursions to the stash cupboard, some new bead purchases on my quick trip to
mid week and a few rough sketches have been conducive to the actualization of
this project. I have no realistic expectations of my foray into this competition
bringing me anything other than the satisfaction of goading myself into new areas that are out of
my comfort zone. However, in the spirit
of the contest, I will throw down the gauntlet and give it a run (-: Toronto
For now, I am going to keep you in suspense as to the name of the book until I am ready to upload the finished project to the appointed web site. At that time, I will discuss the book and my interpretation of same in greater detail while respectfully soliciting your votes. In the interim, a tiny hint lies in the photo accompanying this post.Thanks for sticking with me so far and I look forward to sharing more of this challenge with you. Keep watching this site – further updates coming soon!!