landscapes and narrative
“I can’t untangle my queerness from my politics or my magickal practice.”

“With a prompt—I described Sea-Witch as “an actual witch, but also the place I live”. That inspired me to expand that concept, of someone living inside of the body of a being who was intentionally vague/contradictory in nature. I wanted there to be other witch gods besides Sea-Witch. I loved sci-fi and fantasy as a kid, mostly in the form of video games, and I enjoyed work that blended the world-building of sci-fi with more incongruous pieces that juxtaposed the fantasy style in unexpected ways.

Dreams are a huge part of my writing, and have been for a long time. I am interested in writing in the style of dreams. Dream-logic and dream-landscapes and dream-narrative are very compelling to me, I feel like they are a good way to short-cut the way we understand the information we are given. It makes us take a step back and sit with and interpret what we are being given for ourselves rather than throwing it against all our preconceived ideas straight-off. When done well, it resists allegory and simplification.”

After it’s over, after the last gaze has shut down,
Will I have become
The landscape I’ve looked at and walked through
Or the road that took me there
                                                      or the time it took to arrive?

Charles Wright, from “Sprung Narratives,” in Chickamauga (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1995)

Ranching, a Nature Lover’s Labor of Love

By Rachel T. Carnahan, BLM Arizona Public Affairs and Tumblr Blogger

Diamond Butte on the BLM Arizona Strip. Photo by Lorraine Christian, BLM Arizona Strip Field Manager

Driving east into the sun, I gaze south across the Arizona Strip. The sage-studded desert floor seems to stretch on forever.  

In my head, I rewrite the story of the modern day cowboy, of the rancher who scratches a living from this harsh country.  My stories draw from memories of classic westerns and an imagination fed by rugged Arizona landscapes.  Who is that modern day cowboy?  What drives the cowboy to work the land today?  

As I take the truck off highway, onto a wide dirt road, I come closer to the White Pockets Corral and possibly answers to my questions.

Quail Hill Draw, Arizona. Photo by Jon Jasper, BLM Arizona Strip Outdoor Recreation Planner

Keep reading

"Words and utterance and magic and power, all tied into one centuries-old knot."

An Interview with Ali Smith

Since her first story collection Free Love and Other Stories, Ali Smith has consistently earned critical acclaim for her layered, beguiling wordplay and texts that experiment with the boundaries of form and genre. Her latest novel, the Booker Prize-nominated How to Be Both, comes out in the U.S. today.

How to be Both functions as a diptych: depending on your edition of the text, the reader may first encounter Francesco del Cossa, a gender-nonconforming Renaissance artist in Ferrara, Italy, or George, a teenage girl in the contemporary U.K. who has recently lost her mother. In The Guardian, Smith stated that she hopes the book “gestures to all the ways to read that are possible.”

Cossa’s story moves from poetry, prose, and across the adventurous landscape between the two; George’s narrative is more conventional, though no less dazzling. The two narratives intertwine and complement each other; images accumulate meaning and then skillfully contort. Duality is at the core of the stories—dead and living, man and woman, past and present.

I conducted this interview via email over several months. Smith’s interest in simultaneity was immediately reflected in our correspondence, enthusiastically veering into parentheticals and conversational fragments separated by asterisks. I read the title of the novel, fittingly, as both a statement and a question. And if there is an question posed, perhaps the answer is: joyfully.

—Amy Feltman


THE BELIEVER: I read in your 2012 interview with The Quietus that you said, “Form will tell you everything about where [people] live and what shape they’re in.” Can you speak to how form functions in How to be Both

ALI SMITH: I came at this novel with form foremost in mind. I wanted to write something that would gesture to fresco structure. I’d been reading about Renaissance frescos and fresco technique after having traveled down in the bowels of San Clemente in Rome, a place where several different layers of the building (which has, upstairs in its surface-level church, a glorious set of frescoes depicting the martyrdom of St. Catherine opposite the Popeship of St. Ambrose—a gender lesson in itself) sift, as it were, downward, literally through time and belief systems, and end, several levels below, in a bit of ancient Roman street and an underground spring.  

I’d gotten excited about a particular physical conceit: how fresco restoration—which begins with the painstaking removal of the layer of the wall into the original wet plaster of which the fresco had been painted all the centuries ago—invariably reveals the underdrawing, or sinopia, under the surface: the first work of the artist, which has been under there all this time invisible. And these underdrawings, the original designs for the work on the surface, sometimes differed wildly from, sometimes differed a tiny little bit from, and sometimes were exactly related to, that surface work. I began to think about how this is like story structure. I’ve always believed that all stories (all utterances, all language constructs) travel with the undershadows or understories of themselves.

I’d simultaneously been worrying at something Saramago says in his novel The Stone Raft, where he part comically, part seriously, laments that narrative being by nature sequential, can’t ever really do simultaneity. Like him, I think we live our lives in a dimensional meld of communal and individual and what might be called historical simultaneities. How to express this? Especially in the novel, the most societally sensitive and time-tied of the literary forms.

Someone else, a proper critic, will be able to tell you what this means about where we live and what shape we’re in, I can’t critique my own forms. I know I wanted to find one which would not just graft together the seeming disparate, and reveal that they’re not disparate at all but part of the same branch, same tree, and honor the ways in which, we contradict ourselves. A form which would make visible the things invisible to us if we stay on the surface.

I know I love and am drawn to the places where the arts cross over into each other, and love the soaring-over of all the visible and invisible borders. The novel comes in two separate parts that act as the opposite of division. They don’t just hold the keys to but crucially engage and are delivered by the imaginations of each other.  

I hope.

BLVR: Do you feel like you’ve become more interested in the "undershadows” of stories as you’ve matured as a writer?

AS: No, I think I always have. The first novel I wrote told an untold unsaid understory. I don’t know how it relates to character portrayal. Maybe it’s simply that we know a great deal more about character from silence or minimality, rather than from what’s said.

BLVR: That reminds me of (admittedly my favorite) line from Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, when Quentin says, “Do you want me to say it do you think that if I say it it won’t be"—the idea that, once words are used to express something, the words inherently transform the thing into something else. 

AS: Words and utterance and magic and power, all tied into one centuries-old knot. Which is why art—in all its forms but especially the written—goes one further and is almost always about both: the said and the not said, the apparent and the invisible, the expressed and the inarticulable. Because whatever’s said, as well as working its own magic and laying down its seemingly evident rule of itself, carries the simultaneity of what’s not being said.

 Francesco Del Cossa, from the Griffoni Altar, 1473.

Keep reading


Stories Unfold on the Road

I find photographs of roads always carry subtext of a story unfolding, travelling and mystery. This makes them great vehicles (pun not intended) to produce a narrative.

Freddie Ardley Photography 

Follow Freddie on: Facebook Twitter Instagram


| 000* | SITE |


The 14 year drawing is a development towards making a landscape on which the narrative exists upon. The dystopian story of Zanzibar starts with the construction of the landscape. The landscape is found, mapped, documented, destroyed, re-found, re-mapped and then re-documented. The next step of the project is to build a construct of the landscape by means of a physical narrative.

Sufjan is one of the greatest musicians of our generation, and the music he lets out into the world is but a tiny fraction of the huge body of work he is constantly making. He is also a beautiful storyteller, who has long been interested in the American landscape, and the narrative that is told in different places through history and folklore.
—  Bryce Dessner on Sufjan Stevens

anonymous asked:

Seems oddly suspicious that Zerrie breakup announcement is on the same day as 1d on GMA with Louis' baby so-called 'confirmation,' don't you think?

I think that the fact they said perrie and zayn broke up two weeks ago could be very important because if he comes back anytime soon because he left to have time for perrie then it doesn’t come across as an overhasty decision

OH MY is the zerrie split legit? If so HALLE-FREAKIN-LUJAH! oh my god this fandom has got me all sorts of fucked up.

Wait how are people saying the zerrie break up is bringing us closer to zayns return ??

so… ZERRIE break up.. what does it mean for the stunt.. endgame??zayn??zolo??

With zerrie being over, could this be a step forward to zaynie coming back sooner ?

I think now that zerrie is over, zayn really isn’t with modest.. (or maybe it could be just jakesy replacing zerrie just as sophiam replaced elounor)

If Zerrie ended weeks ago why didn’t she stop wearing her ring until just now? And does this mean the management switch is coming sooner than expected?


Zerrie is over.  2 fake relationships down, 1 fake baby and 1 fake relationship and 1 fake quitting to go!

The fact that it happened with this timing after GMA is another indicator that Zayn’s news is being coordinated with the rest of 1D’s events.  This isn’t the first time this has happened.  

If you read the articles, it’s all “Poor, devastated Perrie” and Little Mix promo. They’re supposed to be coming to the US soon to promote the Black Magic single as far as I understand, so the timing makes perfect sense in that regard. 

The fact that they were supposed to have broken up 2 weeks ago just like Elounor is another repetition of patterns that points to recycling of stunts, meaning either the same old 1DHQ has a say or some other agency looks up to a terrible role model.  Anon #2 has an interesting point and I hope that’s part of why they did things that way.  I’m sure they needed to time it for Little Mix and 2 weeks ago wouldn’t have worked as well for them, but actions can have more than one reason.

Perrie didn’t stop wearing her ring because they wanted as much attention as possible on her up to the last second I would imagine.  They’ve never particularly cared about being sloppy.  Example: the edited/Zayn absent (still not sure which) BTS videos and commercials that contradict the narrative.

For the stunt, I’ve thought we were in endgame for awhile now.  The big news keeps happening one after another.  That’s the plan, that keeps them in the news, that keeps fans too busy to get a grip on things and spot the BS, and that means the narrative landscape changes every day.  

With that last point, it means they can quickly change things from a situation where it doesn’t seem like Zayn could possibly return to one where it makes perfect sense that he does.  Perrie being gone could count as removing one reason why he left although they’ve gone back on that narrative and the way they’re reporting it, it doesn’t really fit.  However, they can have just one small event and put a completely different spin on it later.  Example: this Zayn didn’t like 1D’s music detail being explicit is a brand new development.

Just the fact that this is one more big piece of news makes me feel like we’ve gotten a step closer to him returning, not further away.

tagged: zayn leaving


Dreams of Moving 2015, ink on paper, 150 x 310cm

This piece was created after travelling Peru and Bolivia. It is an attempt to look back on my own personal journeys within places, and depict them as they are in my mind. As an artist i am interested in memory and use drawing as a tool to get memories out onto paper, I am fascinated by particular scenes and moments which stick with you, and the way memories alter over time. This piece is a sprawling and dramatic landscape or mindscape, with narrative composed along paths, roads and lines. telliing personal stories and showing things which stood out to me the most in that period of time. My detailed but smudged and hazy drawing style, and the way the people and objects exist in the landscape serves to show how memories exist in my mind.


Hope everyone attending the WonderCon panel keeps their cool.

Hold ‘em accountable, but do it with class. 

Ask, don’t attack. 

Wanting to crush certain folks like bugs may be personally satisfying… BUT, if we don’t allow for amends to be attempted (even by the worst offender, even when it’s forced), then it just makes us seem as intractable as those we’re challenging. 

Remember… Mockery is not the product of a strong mind, ClexaKru.

As a movement that is genuinely seeking long-lasting change, positive rallying cries are what wins the day & the battles.

I know that I want the irresponsible storytellers to not go away embittered & forever our enemy… but to be chastened & affected to the point of going back to work and actually, seriously changing the narrative landscape.

Hearts & Minds.  Godspeed!