et cetera

i haven’t written in a while, but it’s not surprise given how fast time moves. it’s the least i can do to quickly edit a photo and slap it onto my blog once in a while.

the days here in the big smoke are downright cold and if you are also experiencing the arctic air mass, then my advice is to bundle up, lay off the cotton, make soup, and tack an extra glass of wine into your evening détente. in my case, i slink around my house in the evenings wearing wool socks and wool sweaters and feeling very little inclination to do anything that involves leaving the house. inevitably i go to sleep and wake up only to have to go to work in the morning.

but actually the air feels a little warmer so i’d say the worst of it is behind us, and just in time for the weekend. who’s excited.

here is what has been keeping my company these last few days.

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 the days of the commune by bertold brecht.

brecht’s last play ever written; he didn’t live to see its first production and so it was the berliner ensemble that brought the thing to the stage. for most of my adult life i’ve been obsessed with the idea of a commune. that is, the romanticised image of a late-19th century commune. pacifism and conviction and hope, and oh, maybe a little young love. i’ve been obsessed with digging up information about the paris commune, specifically, and so i dip my toes into these waters for inspiration. i also have john leighton’s paris under the commune, available free through project gutenberg, loaded on the ol’ ereader. though, i think i want to unearth a real-life, print copy because of the pictures. if you see one somewhere, buy it for me? sorry – i meant: buy it for me.

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breakfast of champions by kurt vonnegut.

i love vonnegut and slowly make my way through his books at a rate of about one vonnegut per year. i didn’t initially like breakfast of champions. i thought vonnegut had gone off the deep end. he was having too much fun being vonnegut. it was like reading a strange inside joke he had with himself. but then i was hooked. as usual, a strange chain of events begins to unfold around a group of unusual characters (one of the main characters calls to mind an ignatius j. reilly-esque buffoon). now, the two main characters are circling around each other and it is like two warheads are about to collide.

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the returned by jason mott.

you probably haven’t caught wind of this one as it’s not being published until september 2013. this is one of the many perks of working for a publishing company. harlequin bought this book, and not long after brad pitt’s production company, plan b, optioned it for a series. abc has now green-lighted the pilot so i’m curious how they will take this commercial-literary book and turn it into a supernatural drama. the concept is that people’s deceased loved begin to show up on their doorsteps, all around the world. they show up perfectly alive and preserved, as if their deaths had never happened. it is haunting and sweet and taps into very human reactions around this subject. it doesn’t feel at all paranormal. it is more of a long rumination on the question, “what if…?”

knitting+wine+netflix

my nights are largely filled with cruising netflix for old degrassi (circa 1980s) episodes or starting a movie that i dont finish, and knitting a bulky infinity scarf. oftentimes, i’ll do this while craddling a glass of wine. i’ve been very inspired to do more knitting and sewing lately, and this impulse was further egged on when i read a blog post from sewing guru, the coletterie. i suppose it’s no surprise that this impulse to see and to want and to buy continues long after the holidays have come and gone, and i’m always looking for helpful ways to combat that impulse. i really appreciate the idea of simply re-routing the reaction we have to certain image; to distil from the image a creative idea–a point of inspiration–and to then pursue it in a way that you find gratifying. perhaps it’s photography, or sewing, or writing.

so there you have it, friends. a shortlist of the things that have been taking up my mindspace this week. and that is all i wanted to share with you today. the work is piling up, my coffee cup is empty, and i forgot to eat breakfast.

happy thursday to you, and vive la commune.

xx kc lea

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