Stew Until Tender

tender-sam-guayWith the second draft of Up On Midwinter Hill complete it’s now time to allow the story to stew. Meanwhile, I’ve also had feedback from The Nameless Writing Group for my shape-shifter piece, Hashtag Rewilding, (which has been on the backburner) so I’m pretty much ready to revisit this one.

I reread Rewilding a few nights ago, and it was then that I saw the wonderful illustration (opposite) by Sam Guay entitled, Tender. I was fascinated by the bark-like background that the woman’s almost misshapen form appears to be morphing into and, in particular, the way her belly has become a woody knot or whorl which may symbolise anxiety or hunger.

I drew parallels in this artwork with Hashtag Rewilding, notably the theme of trust. Whilst the woman in the picture does not seem particularly happy about placing her head in the jaws of a wolf, this mouthing behaviour is very common amongst canines and can be seen as being similar to a hug for a human. Maybe the woman in the picture has a pre-conceived idea about the act, like we all have about something at one point or another. Given the present state of my (Western) society, perhaps we do need to pay a little more attention to how we act and learn to trust our instincts rather than what others tell us.

Hashtag Rewilding, borne from an exchange on the recent sighting of the Hull werewolf, Old Stinker, and the rewilding debate explores what happens when we are both ruled by prejudices and when we are free of them.

With thanks to the artist, Sam Guay, for the kind permission to use her work. Please visit: http://www.samguay.com/

For more information on where to read Hashtag Rewilding, watch this space.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe current version of Hashtag Rewilding has entered its resting period; in a few weeks time I shall reopen the folder and begin the final draft.

Another tale, that of Midwinter Hill, is already being tapped onto the screen. A ghost story set at Christmas time in contemporary England, Midwinter Hill draws upon theories in forest ecology for some of its inspiration; mainly on the social networks of trees as studied by Suzanne Simard and her team (listen to her TED Talk: ‘How Trees Talk To Each Other’), and the bestselling book, The Hidden Life of Trees by Pete Wohlleben, which I am currently reading.

And the story isn’t even set in woodland.

Exhibiting UDP

One of the topics I’m exploring in my story, Hashtag Rewilding, is sexual harassment and how it is ingrained in our society.

This behaviour has transferred to the virtual world where it has become rife, possibly because devices offer a false sense of anonymity. A lot of the women I know have been sent unsolicited pictures of male genitalia via social media. If that is the case, then we must surely come into daily contact with men who have sent this type of image.

Whitney Bell’s art show, I Didn’t Ask For This: A Lifetime Of Dick Pics, which ran at Rhabbitat L.A. in Spring last year addresses this issue in quite a powerful way. I’ve included Konbini’s interview with Bell here.

dickpic-whitney-bell

Quote: Simone Fiasco. Image source: Vice magazine