Tuesday, May 15, 2012

curioser and curioser


No, I'm still not going to tell you the plot but you can see things are still developing. One of these fine days I may make it to whatever is that magic number of drawings that allows me to write it down properly and perhaps turning these ideas into real colored illustrations.

Meanwhile, I re-read a book I loved the first time and all the more the second. It was 'Confessions of An Ugly Stepsister' by Gregory Maguire. This story of Iris and Ruth, their complex mother Margarethe, and their stepsister Clara of the 'afflicted eternal beauty' is filled with wonderfully shaded characterizations that never fall into that good/evil dichotomy of the Bothers Grimm. It is an astonishing and unusual re-imagining of the Cinderella fairytale, focusing on one of the stepsisters, Iris, who is neither ugly nor wicked. The action takes place in 17th century Holland, and the novel involves not only the Cinderella story, but a painter's imagination, and the tulip trade that resulted in the first well known economic collapse caused by speculation.

The best books are always educational.


16 comments:

  1. Glad you're enjoying your reading. And that you're keep us up to speed on your storyboard.

    The dog looks relaxed, but watchful. And your little lady is worried and tired. Dramatic tension building.

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    1. Don't you agree reading is required fuel for creativity?

      You definitely have the right idea about the dawning situation in the story.

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  2. Love your draing, Susan, and the book sounds great - will lookg for it from the library. The tulipomania theme reminds me one book I enjoyed on that theme about a John Tradescant, a royal gardener, in Early Joys by Philippa Gregory. I agree the best books are educational... yet entertaining.

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    1. Historical fiction can be truly wonderful and you just reminded me of another series I'd strongly recommend: Amitav Ghosh's 'Sea of Poppies' and 'River of Smoke'. There's a fascinating botany connection in the second one.

      I'm delighted you like the new drawing :-)

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  3. Oh I've read one of his books--the first of his Oz trilogy--and it was really good. I will check this book out because I need something to read besides health books and Janet Evanovich :)

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    1. I actually liked this one more than 'Wicked' but I might have to check that one again. I enjoyed the Stephanie Plum books but I think I fell off the wagon around number 11.

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  4. Bothers Grimm = Freudian slip? I like flowers, but a thousands pounds of cheese and not one but two hogsheads of wine for a single bulb? It's a good thing society has wizened up over the years.

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    1. Well, it was late. You think I should fix it?

      I'll see your cheese and wine and raise you 200 pairs of wooden shoes.

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  5. It sounds like a great read. Tulipmania was utterly insane but then our own money men bet on things that don't exist!

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    1. Yeah, they think making money out of thin air is an improvement.

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  6. hmmm, dog is getting bigger? girl seems longer and taller... you have me guessing... and this novel sounds so good. i love those deep psychological tales of women in angst which i presuppose they are given all that fodder in cinderella-a sick sick tale.

    can't wait to see this one painted but then, i always feel that way! have a wonderful week if i don't "talk" to you sooner which is doubtful. :) xxx

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    1. The thing with this sketching is that I'm trying to develop both main characters into how they'll be in the larger story. So far I've thumbnailed 48 drawings and there are still more to go. I must be crazy. There are a couple I'd love to paint now (yes, this is one) but that wouldn't be very constructive.

      With what you say you enjoy in books I think you'd really like Maguire's take on the Cinderella story. It's ingenious.

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  7. I don't know that I have ever seen a dog drawn by you - I love him or her! I've had dogs on the brain because I really want one, since none of my girls are ready to produce grandchildren, as much as I long for some...

    I can't wait to see how this turns out, which will doubtless be wonderful and contain some sweet surprises.

    love, love
    Gina

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    1. I've long realized the oddity of me having leaned towards painting cats when it's dogs who are my favorite companions. It's time for a good dog now - in pictures for me and, hopefully, a nice pup for you. Not quite as good as a grandchild perhaps, but an acceptable compromise for now.

      I have hopes for the story :-)
      love, Susan

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  8. I know you're telling me all these interesting things about that novel, but I can't take my eyes off the drawing. Where is your imagination going to take us?

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    1. I like this one too. Now I'm just hoping my drawing skills are up to the imaginative challenge.

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