Tinkering

June 19, 2010

I’m making my way through Tinkers, this year’s recent Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Paul Harding. Yesterday I took it to a coffee shop, had an iced coffee and a cookie and sat out on the patio and read for an hour and a half of uninterrupted bliss.

I’m torn between really loving the book, and being a bit frustrated or confused distinguishing between the two main characters–father and son– and the time shifts. But I’m only almost halfway through the book. On a sentence level, however, the book is incredible.

Speaking of tinkering, last week Judy Reeves (oh, she of San Diego Writers, Ink and A Writers Book of Days, among other lovely accomplishments) and I went to a journal-making workshop at San Diego Art Department. I took a silver-ring making class there last year.

This was a four-hour workshop on crafting/collaging your own journal– though not on binding your own journal as I had thought it might be. But it was still fun. Four hours with a good friend, getting our hands all sticky with glue and watching each other create something meaningful (after all, who doesn’t love a journal, right?).

I also learned some really cool ideas for collaging– notably the use of paint in collage– as background, or sometimes applied on top of the collage. The instructor really encouraged a lot of color, but I’m a bit more minimalist than that. Still, they look pretty good I have to admit.

As much as I love to write, because it’s an act of creating, I feel that same euphoria at working with my hands to create something with paper and paint and glue and ephemera. It’s also meditative and, most of the time, I can finish a project in a few days or weeks (if only I could do the same for my novel…).

Here are some pictures of the experience. The journal with the word Grizz at the top is mine–I’m not sure what my theme is/was: there are bears, old Japanese women in cat glasses, an upside down Oscar, British Admirals– figure that one out.  (Judy Reeves, in case you don’t know her and her fabulousness, is in yellow, the instructor Carla Christensen is in Pink). Do any of you take art classes like this for fun?

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