This week’s books:
Selected Poems by Robert Burns
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
it by Alexa Chung
Signal to Noise by Neil Gaiman and Dave Mckean
This week has been tough- my illness has been gradually getting worse over the last few weeks and I am finding higher levels of memory and concentration hard to achieve. It feels like I’m always working through a fog. It’s been affecting my grades on my Open University course which has only made me more depressed (I have dropped to 46 marks from 72 at the start of the year). I have made the decision to drop the Open University course at the end of this year to lower the pressure on myself (stopping once I have the credits for a DipHE instead of a BA). I’ve decided to study Creative Writing BA instead- again a distance learning course, but as the OU’s is apparently wank I will be studying at the Open Study College of the Arts, which looks like an interesting (and importantly cheap) course. One thing this rapid cycling phase of bipolar that I seem to be in is good for is planning. Over the last week I have decided on a life aim- to run a therapeutic housing project for artists and writers (or people who would like to become artists or writers) with mental health problems. To get there I will need to study creative subjects (on the way), develop my own creative practise (going fairly well) and study counselling, art psychotherapy and psychology (I’m already doing this on my own + I’ve started studying Open Study College Level 3/4 Psychology courses. I’ve also found an accredited Counselling course at the Institution of Counselling that is very affordable and a Art Psychotherapy MA that is only part time so could be studied at a distance). I think it’s partly all the R.D.Laing and Mary Barnes books I’ve been reading but it seems like a good aim. I would want to do that and write/ teach creative writing part time also. I NEED TO BE BUSY OR I END UP IN HOSPITAL!!
I also planned out a TV series based on Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene and a novel about two versions of the same women- where one is fertile and the other isn’t (playing on my paranoia about being infertile due to medication etc).
In terms of books this week I have also read and reviewed a couple for my other blog: https://imaseriousjournalistyouknow.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/keen/ and have been working on research for all the biography scripts I seem to be working on right now- a TV film on Nellie Bly and a playscript about Henri Breuil.
it was an odd one for me- a kind of hybrid autobiography (so I can count it as research) but mostly I read it because Alexa Chung is very attractive and I like pseudo-80s photography. Its exploration of identity through fashion was interesting though. When I was skinny I used to do the same, but now I’m kind of a lump in a cardigan who writes and reads in a shed all day.
I read A Brief History of Time as I have been meaning to read it for years and that film reminded me. Not sure I want to see the film though, it looks like a rom-com/ vanity project and both of those bore me like fuck. The book made my brain all whizzy though and a bit of mind bending is always good if you want to try and be creative.
I didn’t manage to get through all of Robert Burn’s poems. I knew by page three that they unfortunately were not my bag. I slaved on through most of the rest, but I have to admit I didn’t finish it. I liked one of them : A Bard’s Epitaph.
Signal to Noise sees my obsession with Neil Gaiman and Dave Mckean continue. This one seems particularly thick with found-object sculptures- the best bit of Dave McKean’s amazing artwork.