29 May 2011

Gobsmacked: Yes, that's Marilyn Monroe

            Hearties! Birthday week has come to a close, festivities ha'e ended, and my Gold Galleon has turned back into a wooden ship.
            I haven’t fergotten you, however. You’ve been on me mind. As the Merry Month of May comes to a close, I be prayin’ for better weather and wantin' to inspire your creativity with a tour of me captain's cabin.
            Me Captain’s Cabin is not fer the faint of heart. Aye, I work surrounded by what I call “my ongoing collage.” Me Mum, bless her British white glove and need for neatness, decorated my bedroom with lavender floral curtains and frilly girl stuff, not that I don’t girly up myself, but hers was a wee bit constrained: my only place to post tidbits of self-expression were on a newspaper-size bulletin-board, too small for the likes of my imagination.
            What? you say. Still flogging that piece of fluff? Well, aye! You don’t feed an imagination by restricting it, although there's an argument for that one, too. And I've heard some questionable comments o'er the years about me room.
            A former friend once returned from San Fran and, after tourin' one of her favorite, famous-artist’s studio, she said, “I can’t believe you do exactly what he does! His studio walls are covered with Marilyn Monroe memorabilia, too.” I guess my creative impulse had no cred on its own.
            Mum used to say to me (with great hope in her voice): “Winston Churchill believed you become more conservative with age.”
            Not bloody likely. A pirate is always a pirate. Consider this a tour of my rebellion, freak flag flying (and also a peek into the room where I work).
            If ye be wonderin' why the Marilyn Monroe homage? At age eleven, when I heard o’ her death, I cried, not understandin' why. An icon had died? She was beautiful? Died young? I felt her vulnerability? Oh, sure she was famous, beautiful, sexy, all the external things we worship. But I felt a deep internal emotion. I've always championed underdogs, and later, I recognized her an underdog, no matter her so-called success. Inside she was an intelligent, creative woman who was used and abused by the powerful, and never really seen. Oh, she'd been photographed plenty, but truly seen?
            Over the years, an idea brewed: if I held her up, gave her worthiness in my own mind, I could somehow raise her up. Oh, sure, the psychoanalysts out there are havin’ a field day with that one! I can almost quote those lads and lassies. But, as my husband says, who’s complaining about a wife who covers walls with beauty?
            ‘Nuff. Onto the photos!
 A pair of awards given to me by artist Bets Cole a long time ago for the exotic earrings I used to wear
Photos of girlfriends, writer's group, and my handwritten manuscript of my first novel

Ganesh, elephant god of fertility, creativity, and removal of obstacles, (the gold one is actually a chocolate) & one of the many small drawings my best pal Jan Eliot has given me over the years

One of my favorite juxtapositions: David Bowie (R, in white) and the dancer Mark Morris (upper left)

 Just a few of my Marilyn Monroe collectibles
 The north wall and where I face when working

 Part of my altar with the Snake Goddess of Crete, Marilyn, fairy, and a Tibetan blessing bowl. The box is my "goddess box" where I put written prayers for those in need

            Creative outpourings & blessing to ye all!
            Captain Val

Ahoy, shipmates! A drawing for free books. Only a few days left!
            Leave a comment before June 1 to have your name in the drawin’ for two books--a signed copy of my France, a Love Story, and a signed copy of a book by another author. If you subscribe by email, send your name and comment to valinparis (at) earthlink (period) net. If ye wish me to post yer comment to me Captain’s Log, tell me, and it’s done!

Followers Email Comments:

I also heard the rebroadcast of Shteyngart's interview and was, like you, initially dismayed and then delighted. He's hitting the nail on the head & as the mother of two BOYS who love to read (gasp), I want to remind all of us that if we don't buy it/watch it/do it, then it won't happen (as much): if we want readers, then we need to be readers, and that means reading to our kids and providing them with books that intrigue them (for my kids, that includes sports novels: gawd bless Mike Lupica & John Feinstein, two very fine sportswriters-turned-YA-authors). I'm with you, too, on wanting/needing long chunks of uninterrupted time in which to write and read ... so I'll stop responding to your post, now and get back to my own work!  -- LESLEY HOWARD

Happy birthday! -- LOU

I've lived in the Pacific Northwest for 34 years and am an avid reader. There's nothing like being on a river rafting trip and spending the afternoon curled up on a warm rock (try it sometime) and reading away the afternoon.  Or being ensconced in a warm sleeping bag and reading by headlamp as the moon and stars make their way across the sky.  Or pulling out a book from a daypack and reading while your feet are cooling off in a gurgling stream.  Or in a bubble bath or on the couch or waiting for the bus or . . .

I think the Pacific Northwest provides the perfect environment where books can be read wherever you are.  And you can quote me on that. – JUDITH WATT

Hey Gobsmaked Pirate Lady,
Am enjoying your blog, and meant to send a reply in reference to the camisole you referenced a couple versions back….
As a found object to think about; to write about….
“How did it get there?” … etc. kinds of questions you suggested … remember??
Well, I had a bit of a different take on the notion of the camisole, and just for fun,
I figured I send it along to you.  This is a little something I jotted down a while back- not too long ago. The camisole is mentioned, but only in passing reference to the …. Well, you can read it for yourself;
It’s attached.
 ~ DAVE the Wave OATMAN
 “Oh farther, farther, farther sail.”

“Oh, Google, My Name is …”
… and IN TWO WEEKS the interview with Jessica Maxwell of Roll Around Heaven