This Ree-Writes #8 comes to you from a night of very little sleep. Not because I left it all to the last-minute and had to pull an all-nighter – but because LittleOne picked up a bug. Hopefully LittleOne is on the mend, but in the meantime, I’m a bit of a zombie – reeplete with sandy eyes, ambling shuffle and communication in grunts and grumbles.
So I’ll keep this short and sweet, lest my zombie words begin to cannibalise my good words!
I hope my words find you well in your world, and I hope you enjoy this issue.
Writing & Creativity Cool Finds
Henri Rousseau was a self-taught artist who never received any acclaim or formal recognition until near the end of his life. This is a wonderful overview of an illustrated book which tells his life story. The illustrations are truly marvellous. Imagination comes here to take flight.
Have a look at some extraordinarily-captured photos of birds who make rainbows when they fly
It’s always a deliciously excruciating moment when you realise you’re reading about writing productivity as a form of procrastination. And yet, the appeal of reading about productivity remains undiminished. So here are some strategies on writing productively which are thoroughly pragmatic, based on real life practice, productive and resolutely unglamorous. If your purpose is procrastination, these won’t do at all.
Here is a lovely in-depth interview with children’s picture-book author-illustrator, Marianne Dubuc, and weaving creativity, inspiration and storytelling mainly through pictures and with very few words. I have a copy of her The Lion and the Bird, and I talk about it in the ‘Book I love’ section below.
Something I created
If you had been awake this morning, you might have seen the path to the Other World. It was glowing bright and clear. Full of promise and suspended in eternity.
But even as you grabbed your pack and kissed your sweetheart and called for your friends the birds to lend you their wings, the Gods were laughing as the path-light dimmed.
Achingly, heartbreakingly quickly.
By the time you had soared into the skies, the light was gone. And so was the path.
You exhaled and your head dropped. A tiny corner of your heart cracked. Just a little.
You held your heart and inhaled and sutured it with determination and hope. Just like you’d done many times before, and like you will do many times yet to come.
Backstory: The sunrise light changes so quickly. This is a micro-story I first shared on Twitter. It was inspired by the two photos of the same sunrise that I took – mere minutes apart.
A Book or Piece of Art I Love
The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc
The Lion and the Bird found its way into my library a couple of years before LittleOne arrived, and I’m so happy to have it already on hand to share.
It is an almost wordless story about a lion who finds a hurt bird in autumn, and nurses it all through winter, and they become the most beautiful of friends. Come spring, the bird is fully recovered and wants to go and be with his bird family. We stay with Lion as he misses his friend, but finds contentment and joy in tending to his garden and being in the world around him. In autumn, the birds again fly south, and Lion misses Bird that little bit more. Your heart aches with Lion’s and for Lion. Then, Bird returns to spend winter with his friend, Lion, and the only thing left for your heart to do is overflow with joy.
It’s one of the many books about which LittleOne has learnt to ask me, “does it give you tears?” And the answer for this book is always, “yes, my LittleOne, it does!”
I’ve got a real soft spot for these kinds of picture-books-which-speak-to-the-heart-including-hardened-adult-hearts. It’s the kind of book Enchanted Lion publishers do so brilliantly.
Randomly Interesting Inspirations for Stories
This is an eye-opening long read into the amazing afterlife of trees which sail to sea to become driftwood.
I do love the imagination which must have gone into this amazing, wonderful treehouse and learning space for little kids.
And now, to the question that’s no doubt been keeping you all awake at night – whether or not the dodo should be made de-extinct. Or, if you’re anything like me, the thing that’s more likely to keep you awake is figuring out the right verb for this process. To make de-extinct? To get de-extincted? De-extinctify?
Correction: I recently realised that I shared the wrong link in Issue #6: Filament. I’d intended to share a link about how Australian indigenous star maps map to the physical earth. Apologies and aaarghs. I’ve also corrected it on the online version of Issue #6: Filament.
Du fond du coeur, thanks for reading x
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