Monday 29 May 2023

Finalising The Book of Lost Things IIII

 The day has come and I have now completed The Book of Lost Things III.  I have edited this in Blurb Booksmart and now uploaded it to Blurb.

On my dashboard in Blurb I set the book up to sell.  I set up the details and description and then I set the price 

I add the book to my website by embedding the code and I have set a preview so the book can be seen in its entirety 

I then added buttons on the page to go back to the portfolio and on the portfolio front page 

I checked the online version once published and although there are still tweaks I need to make everything is working well

I will add to this as I still need to check and edit the mobile view.  I ordered the hardcopy book so I am hoping I can add this to my collection!

Monday 22 May 2023

Experimental Film: Exploring Ideas - Adrian Piper and Pippi Lotti Rist

"Exploring the Depths of Emotion: A Look into Ennui or Melancholy Film Adrian Piper and Pippi Lotti Rist Techniques"

Emotion is a fundamental part of the human experience, and it is often expressed through various forms of art, including film. Ennui or melancholy film is a particular genre that explores the depths of human emotion and the struggles of daily life. It is a powerful way to convey complex emotions and connect with viewers on a personal level. In this post, we will explore the techniques used by Adrian Piper and Pippi Lotti Rist, two renowned artists in the realm of ennui and melancholy film, to create compelling and emotionally charged works of art. Through their unique approaches to storytelling and cinematography, we will delve into the depths of human emotion and gain a new perspective on the human condition. Join me as I embark on a journey to explore the emotional power of ennui and melancholy film.

1. Introduction to the concept of ennui or melancholy in film

Ennui or melancholy in film is a concept that has been explored for decades. It is an emotional state of mind that can be difficult to define but is characterized by feelings of discontent, boredom, and sadness. Many filmmakers have attempted to capture this emotion on screen, and it has been the subject of some of the most groundbreaking and critically acclaimed films in history. This emotional state can be experienced by anyone at any time, making it a relatable and universal theme that can resonate with audiences around the world. Through the use of various techniques such as sound design, cinematography, and storytelling, filmmakers have been able to create powerful and thought-provoking works that capture the essence of ennui and melancholy in a way that is both authentic and captivating. In this blog post, I will explore the techniques used by Adrian Piper and Pippi Lotti Rist to explore the depths of emotion and create films that capture the essence of ennui and melancholy. I will also delve into the ways in which these films have impacted the film industry and continue to influence filmmakers today.

2. Overview of Adrian Piper and Pippi Lotti Rist's techniques in exploring emotion in their art

Adrian Piper and Pippi Lotti Rist are two contemporary artists who have explored the depths of emotions, particularly ennui or melancholy, in their art. Piper's work often addresses issues of race and gender, while Rist's work is more focused on the experience of being a woman in modern society. Both artists use a variety of techniques to explore these complex emotions, including video installations, multimedia works, and performance art.

One of Piper's signature techniques is the use of text in her work. She often incorporates written statements or phrases into her installations, which allow her to express complex emotions in a concise and impactful way. For example, in her 1981 performance piece "Funky Chunky," Piper used a chalkboard to write the phrase "Everything will be taken away." This simple statement conveyed a sense of despair and hopelessness that many people can relate to, and it helped to create a powerful emotional connection between the artist and her audience.

Rist, on the other hand, often uses bright colours and playful imagery in her work to explore complex emotions like ennui and melancholy. Her video installations, in particular, are known for their dreamlike quality and their ability to transport viewers into another world. In her 1997 work "Ever Is Over All," for instance, Rist created a video installation that featured a woman walking down a city street while smashing car windows with a large flower. This surreal and whimsical image conveyed a sense of frustration and anger, while also inviting viewers to think about the ways in which we all cope with difficult emotions.

Overall, Adrian Piper and Pippi Lotti Rist are two artists who have made significant contributions to our understanding of emotions like ennui and melancholy. By using a variety of techniques to explore these complex feelings, they have created works that are both thought-provoking and emotionally powerful.

3. Analysis of Adrian Piper's work in film and how she captures ennui and melancholy through visual and auditory techniques

Adrian Piper is a renowned American artist who has contributed immensely to the art world, especially in the field of conceptual art. Piper's work combines visual and auditory elements in her films to create a unique experience for the viewer. Her films are known for being thought-provoking, and they often touch on themes of identity, race, and gender.

In her films, Piper uses a combination of silence, music, and sound effects to create a sense of ennui and melancholy. For example, in her film "Funk Lessons," the sound of a metronome ticking in the background creates a sense of tension and unease. It is as if time is ticking away, and the viewer is left with a feeling of melancholy. Additionally, Piper often uses repetition, both visually and audibly, to create a sense of boredom and monotony. This technique helps to capture the feeling of ennui that is often associated with modern life.

Another technique that Piper uses in her films is the use of text. In her film "Cornered," Piper uses text to create a sense of tension and unease. The text, which is displayed on the screen, reads "I'm not who you think I am." This creates a sense of unease in the viewer, as they are left wondering who the narrator really is and what their intentions are.

Overall, Adrian Piper's work in film is a great example of how visual and auditory techniques can be combined to create a unique and thought-provoking experience for the viewer. Her ability to capture ennui and melancholy through her films is a testament to her artistic ability and her understanding of the human condition.

4. Analysis of Pippi Lotti Rist's work in film and how she uses surrealism and dream-like imagery to explore emotional depth

Pippi Lotti Rist is a contemporary Swiss artist, known for her work in a variety of mediums, including film. Her films are often characterized by their surrealism and dream-like imagery, which she uses to delve into the depths of emotion. One of her most celebrated works is "I'm Not the Girl Who Misses Much," a short film that explores the feeling of ennui or melancholy.

In the film, Rist uses a variety of techniques to create a dream-like atmosphere. The film is shot in a soft-focus style, with blurred edges and a muted colour palette. This gives the film a dreamy quality, as if the viewer is watching a memory or a fantasy.

Rist also uses surreal imagery to explore the emotions of ennui and melancholy. In one scene, a woman lies on a bed, surrounded by a sea of wavy blue fabric. The fabric undulates and flows around her, giving the impression that she is adrift in a vast ocean. This scene captures the feeling of being lost or disconnected, which is often associated with ennui or melancholy.

Throughout the film, Rist uses imagery to create a sense of unease and disorientation. She does this by using unexpected camera angles, sudden cuts, and disorienting movements. This creates a feeling of uncertainty and instability, which mirrors the emotional experience of ennui or melancholy.

Overall, Pippi Lotti Rist's work in film is a powerful exploration of emotion and the human experience. Through her use of surreal imagery and dream-like atmosphere, she is able to capture the complexities of ennui and melancholy in a way that is both beautiful and haunting.

5. Exploring the impact of ennui and melancholy in the audience

Ennui and melancholy are complex emotions that can have a profound impact on audiences when effectively portrayed in film. These emotions can evoke a range of feelings and thoughts in viewers, leading to a deeper connection with the film and its characters.

When watching a film that accurately captures ennui or melancholy, the audience may feel a sense of sadness, reflection, or even nostalgia. These emotions can be very powerful and leave a lasting impression on the viewer.

One technique for exploring the impact of ennui and melancholy in the audience is to use visual and auditory cues that effectively convey these emotions. For example, the use of colour, lighting, and sound can all be used to create a specific mood and atmosphere that supports the narrative.

Another technique is to use relatable characters and situations that the audience can connect with. This can include exploring universal themes such as loss, loneliness, and the search for meaning in life.

Overall, the impact of ennui and melancholy in film can be significant, leaving the audience with a deeper understanding of the human experience and the emotions that come with it.

6. Criticisms and debates surrounding the use of ennui and melancholy in film

The use of ennui and melancholy in film has long been a topic of debate among critics and filmmakers alike. Some argue that it is a powerful tool for exploring the depths of human emotion and can help audiences connect with their own feelings of sadness and disconnection. Others criticise the use of these emotions in film, claiming that it can be exploitative or even harmful to viewers who may already be struggling with their mental health.

One of the main criticisms of using ennui and melancholy in film is that it can romanticize or glorify these emotions, making them seem more desirable than they actually are. This can be especially harmful to young or vulnerable viewers who may be at risk of developing depression or other mental health issues.

Another argument against the use of ennui and melancholy in film is that it can be seen as a form of emotional manipulation. Filmmakers may use these emotions to create a certain mood or atmosphere, but this can sometimes come at the expense of the audience's emotional well-being.

Despite these criticisms, many filmmakers continue to use ennui and melancholy in their work, arguing that it is a powerful way to explore complex emotions and connect with audiences on a deeper level. Ultimately, the use of these emotions in film is a matter of personal preference and artistic vision, and it is up to each filmmaker to decide how they want to approach this complex and often controversial topic.

7. The role of ennui and melancholy in contemporary cinema

Ennui and melancholy are two of the most powerful emotional states that filmmakers have been exploring in contemporary cinema. These emotions, while often associated with sadness and despair, can also evoke a sense of introspection, depth, and beauty.

Filmmakers have been using various techniques to convey these emotions to their audience. For example, Adrian Piper's technique involves creating a sense of ennui by using slow-paced shots, long silences, and monotonous sounds. On the other hand, Pippi Lotti Rist's technique uses vivid colors, surreal imagery, and playful music to convey a sense of melancholy.

Ennui and melancholy can be used in different ways to tell different stories. For instance, ennui can be used to create a sense of existential crisis in a character, while melancholy can be used to evoke a sense of nostalgia or longing.

One of the most significant roles of ennui and melancholy in contemporary cinema is that they allow filmmakers to explore complex emotions and themes that are often difficult to express in words. They can also help filmmakers to create a sense of realism and authenticity in their films, as these emotions are a part of the human experience.

In conclusion, ennui and melancholy are two of the most powerful emotional states that filmmakers have been exploring in contemporary cinema. By using various techniques to convey these emotions, filmmakers are able to create compelling stories that speak to the human experience in a profound and meaningful way.

8. How I might apply Adrian Piper and Pippi Lotti Rist's techniques in my own film-making

Adrian Piper and Pippi Lotti Rist are two artists that have successfully used ennui or melancholy emotions to great effect in their films.  Here are a few techniques I will consider:

1. Use sound to create mood: Sound can be a powerful tool in creating a melancholy mood. I could use slow, mournful music, or even silence to create a sense of sadness or emptiness.

2. Play with light and colour: Lighting and colour can also be used to create mood. For example, I could use muted, desaturated colours to create a sense of melancholy, or play with shadows and darkness to create a sense of ennui.

3. Embrace stillness and silence: Sometimes the most powerful moments in a film are the ones where nothing is happening. Embrace stillness and silence to create a sense of introspection and melancholy.

4. Use repetition and fragmentation: Repetition and fragmentation can be used to create a sense of ennui. For example, I could repeat a certain shot or image throughout the film, or break up the narrative into fragmented, disconnected scenes.

5. Experiment with different camera angles and movements: Camera angles and movements can also be used to create mood. For example, I could use a static camera to create a sense of stillness, or experiment with unconventional angles to create a sense of unease.

By incorporating these techniques into my own film-making, I can start to explore the depths of emotion and create films that truly resonate with the audience.

9. Conclusion and reflection on the importance of exploring complex emotions in film

Exploring complex emotions in film is something that can be incredibly important for both the filmmaker and the audience. Films that delve into complex emotions such as ennui or melancholy can help to create a sense of empathy between the characters and the viewer. It can also help to create a deeper understanding of those emotions and how they affect people in different ways.

Adrian Piper and Pippi Lotti Rist are two filmmakers who have both explored complex emotions in their work. They have used different techniques to create a sense of melancholy or ennui in their films, and this has helped to create a strong emotional impact on the viewer.

One of the key takeaways from exploring complex emotions in film is the importance of authenticity. In order for the emotions to resonate with the audience, they need to be authentic and true to life. This means that filmmakers need to be able to tap into their own emotions and experiences in order to create something that feels real.

Overall, exploring complex emotions in film can be a powerful tool for both the filmmaker and the audience. It can help to create a deeper sense of empathy and understanding, and can also serve as a way to process and reflect on our own emotions. As filmmakers continue to push the boundaries of what is possible, we can expect to see more and more films that explore the depths of emotion in new and exciting ways.

10. Further research on ennui or melancholy films to watch and analyse.

One great film to watch and analyse is "Lost in Translation," directed by Sofia Coppola. This film explores themes of loneliness, alienation, and cultural differences through the relationship between a middle-aged American actor and a young woman in Tokyo. The film's use of colour and sound adds to the overall feeling of ennui and melancholy, making it a great example of the genre.

Another great option is "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," directed by Michel Gondry. This film tells the story of a man who undergoes a procedure to erase his memories of a failed relationship, only to realise he still loves the woman he once knew. The film uses surreal imagery and nonlinear storytelling to explore the complexities of memory, love, and loss.

Finally, "The Tree of Life," directed by Terrence Malick, is a beautiful and haunting film that explores the nature of existence, memory, and loss through the story of a family in 1950s Texas. The film's stunning visuals and contemplative storytelling make it a great example of the genre, and a film that is sure to leave a lasting impression on those who watch it.

I am hoping these thoughts and discussion will assist me in making my own film and I will be considering the film techniques and approaches further to inform my work. 


Script Idea: The West Wing meets Designated Survivor

 The West Wing meets Designated Survivor: A Script that Brings Together the Best of Both Shows

Political dramas are always popular, with The West Wing and Designated Survivor being two of the most beloved shows in this genre. Both shows captivated audiences with their intricate plotlines, complex characters, and intense drama. With such a large fan base, it’s no wonder that fans have been clamoring for a crossover event. While this may never happen on the small screen, we've got the next best thing – a script that brings together the best of both shows. This post will explore a fictional story that combines the best elements of the West Wing and Designated Survivor. From the political intrigues and high-stakes negotiations to the interpersonal relationships and personal struggles of the characters, this script will give fans of both shows something to cheer about. So sit back, relax, and let's dive into this exciting crossover event!

1. Why The West Wing and Designated Survivor are great shows

The West Wing and Designated Survivor are two incredibly popular television shows that have captured the imagination of audiences around the world. Both shows share common themes, such as politics, drama, and intrigue, but they also bring their own unique styles and approaches to the screen.

The West Wing, which aired from 1999 to 2006, is widely regarded as one of the greatest television dramas of all time. It follows the lives and careers of the staff of the White House, from the President of the United States to the West Wing staffers who support him. The show's fast-paced dialogue, complex characters, and gripping storylines keep viewers on the edge of their seats, and its exploration of the inner workings of the US government has proven to be both compelling and educational.

Designated Survivor, on the other hand, is a more recent show that premiered in 2016 and ran for three seasons. It tells the story of Tom Kirkman, a low-level cabinet member who becomes President of the United States after a devastating attack kills the sitting President and most of his cabinet. The show's mix of political drama, action, and suspense has made it a hit with audiences, and its exploration of the challenges and responsibilities of the presidency has been praised by critics.

While both shows have their own unique strengths, a script that brings together the best of both worlds could be a game-changer. By combining the fast-paced dialogue and complex characters of The West Wing with the high-stakes drama and suspense of Designated Survivor, you would have a show that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. The result would be a must-watch for fans of political dramas, and a show that captures the best of both worlds.

2. The similarities between the two shows

Despite being set in different scenarios - The White House and the U.S. Capitol - The West Wing and Designated Survivor share many similarities. Both shows focus on the political aspects of running a country, with a heavy emphasis on the internal workings of the government and the relationships between those in power. The shows also highlight the immense responsibility that comes with holding public office, as well as the challenges of balancing personal and professional lives in the public eye.

Another similarity is the use of fast-paced dialogue and intricate storylines to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Both shows are full of complex characters with their own motivations, and the plot often twists and turns as new information is revealed. The use of multiple storylines also keeps the audience engaged and invested in the characters.

In addition, both shows address important political and social issues, such as terrorism, gun control, and immigration, in a nuanced and thought-provoking way. The writers of these shows have a knack for exploring these issues in a way that is both informative and entertaining.

Overall, The West Wing and Designated Survivor share a lot in common, and fans of one show are likely to enjoy the other. The combination of these two shows in a script would be a dream come true for many fans, and could potentially create an entirely new genre of political drama.

3. The differences between the two shows

While both The West Wing and Designated Survivor revolve around politics and the presidency of the United States, they have distinct differences in their approaches and themes.

The West Wing is known for its fast-paced dialogue, intricate character relationships, and exploration of political issues from both sides of the aisle. The show is set in the White House and follows the staff of the President as they tackle everything from foreign policy to domestic issues.

On the other hand, Designated Survivor takes a more action-packed approach to politics. The show follows a lower-level cabinet member who becomes President after a terrorist attack on the Capitol kills all those above him in the line of succession. The show focuses more on the President's personal life and struggles to lead the country in the aftermath of the attack.

Both shows have their strengths and weaknesses, but by combining the best elements of each, we can create a new script that captures the excitement and heart of both shows while also bringing something fresh and unique to the table.

4. How the two shows could come together

The West Wing and Designated Survivor are two of the most popular political dramas on television. Both shows have a unique style, but they share a common theme: the challenges and complexities of governing in modern times.

Bringing these two shows together would be a dream come true for many fans. Imagine a storyline in which President Kirkman from Designated Survivor is faced with a crisis that requires the expertise of President Bartlet and his team from The West Wing. The two presidents could come together to tackle a problem that neither of them could solve alone.

The possibilities for this crossover are endless. Perhaps a terrorist group threatens to attack the United States, and both presidents must work together to prevent a disaster. Or maybe a natural disaster strikes, and they must coordinate relief efforts to ensure that everyone affected is taken care of.

The West Wing and Designated Survivor have both shown that they are capable of tackling tough issues and presenting them in a way that is both engaging and thought-provoking. By bringing these two shows together, we could see a storyline that is even more complex and compelling than anything that has come before it.

5. Developing the script concept

When developing a script concept that merges two beloved shows, it's important to keep a few things in mind. First, you want to make sure that the concept is unique and not just a rehashing of the same old ideas. Second, you want to stay true to the tone and style of each show while also finding ways to blend them together seamlessly. And third, you want to make sure that the story you're telling is compelling and engaging, with characters that the audience will care about.

To start, think about what elements of each show you want to bring to the table. For example, maybe you love the fast-paced, dialogue-heavy scenes in The West Wing, but you also appreciate the high-stakes, conspiracy-laden plotlines of Designated Survivor. How can you blend those elements together in a way that feels fresh and exciting?

Next, consider the characters you want to include and how they will interact with each other. Are there any characters from one show that could easily fit into the world of the other? How will they clash or work together to achieve their goals?

Finally, make sure that your script has a clear and compelling plot that will keep the audience on the edge of their seats. Whether it's a political crisis, a personal tragedy, or a high-stakes conspiracy, the story should be engaging and emotionally resonant, with plenty of twists and turns to keep viewers hooked. With careful planning and a strong vision, you can create a script that brings together the best of both The West Wing and Designated Survivor and leaves audiences eager for more.

6. Building the plot and characters

When it comes to building a plot and characters that bring together the best of The West Wing and Designated Survivor, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First and foremost, the plot should be driven by a sense of urgency and high stakes. Both shows excel at creating tense situations that keep viewers on the edge of their seats, so it's important to incorporate this element into your script.

In terms of characters, you want to create a diverse and dynamic cast that brings together the best of both worlds. Take inspiration from The West Wing's ensemble cast of smart, witty, and passionate individuals, and combine it with Designated Survivor's emphasis on strong leadership and political savvy.

One approach could be to focus on a team of advisors who are tasked with helping a new president navigate the challenges of the modern political landscape. This could include a mix of seasoned veterans and fresh faces, each with their own unique perspectives and approaches to problem-solving.

As you build out your plot and characters, be sure to keep the themes of both shows in mind. The West Wing is known for its idealism and optimism, while Designated Survivor leans more towards realism and grit. By finding a balance between these two approaches, you can create a script that is both compelling and thought-provoking.

7. Tying in the best elements of each show

When it comes to bringing together two of the greatest shows of all time, The West Wing and Designated Survivor, it's essential to identify the best elements of each and combine them in a way that resonates with the audience. The West Wing is famous for its witty dialogue, complex characters, and political intrigue, while Designated Survivor is renowned for its pulse-pounding action, dramatic twists, and suspenseful plotlines.

One way to tie in the best elements of each show is to create a narrative that seamlessly blends political drama with high-stakes action. This could involve a terrorist threat that requires President Kirkman to work closely with the staff of the Bartlet administration to prevent a catastrophic attack. The characters could be written to complement each other, such as CJ Cregg and Emily Rhodes working together to handle crisis communications, or Toby Ziegler and Aaron Shore strategizing on how to thwart the terrorist's plans.

Another way to bring together the best of both shows is to incorporate the personal lives of the characters, showing how they balance the demands of their jobs with the challenges of their relationships. This could involve President Kirkman seeking advice from President Bartlet on how to navigate a tricky situation with his wife or White House Chief of Staff Leo McGarry bonding with Chief of Staff Aaron Shore over their shared experiences in the job.

Ultimately, tying in the best elements of each show requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a deep understanding of what makes each show so beloved by its fans. With the right approach, it's possible to create a script that not only does justice to both shows but also brings something new and exciting to the table.

8. Bringing the script to life

Bringing a script to life is no easy task, but with dedication and hard work, it can be done. Once the script is written, it's important to find a talented and dedicated cast and crew to help bring the script to life. This includes finding actors who embody the characters, a director who can bring the story to life, and a production team that can create a realistic and engaging visual world.

It's important to have a clear vision of what you want the final product to look like. This includes choosing the right locations, creating the right costumes, and using the right lighting and sound effects to set the tone of each scene.

Rehearsals are also important to ensure that the actors are comfortable with their lines and movements and that the director is happy with the overall pace and flow of the production.

During the filming process, it's important to keep an open mind and be flexible when necessary. Sometimes things don't go according to plan, but with a talented cast and crew, you can improvise and find new solutions to make the scene work.

Post-production is also crucial in bringing the script to life. This includes editing the footage, adding sound effects and music, and color grading to create the right atmosphere.

Finally, sharing the finished product with the world is the ultimate goal. With the right marketing and distribution strategy, the script can reach a wider audience and become a success. With hard work, dedication, and the right team, any script can be brought to life and become a memorable and entertaining production.

9. Casting the perfect actors

Casting the perfect actors is crucial for any TV show or movie. For this script that brings together the best of both shows - The West Wing and Designated Survivor - it is important to cast actors who can really bring the characters to life and do justice to the script.

For the role of President, it is important to cast an actor who can portray both the intelligence and the charm that is required for the character. Perhaps someone like Martin Sheen, who played President Bartlet in The West Wing, would be a good fit.

For the role of the Chief of Staff, an actor who can portray a mix of loyalty and ambition would be perfect. Someone like Kal Penn, who played Seth Wright in Designated Survivor, would be a great fit for this role.

Similarly, for the role of the Press Secretary, an actor who can handle the pressure of the job while being quick-witted and charming would be required. Allison Janney, who played CJ Cregg in The West Wing, would be a great candidate for this role.

In short, casting actors who can do justice to the characters and the script is absolutely essential for any successful TV show or movie. With the right actors in place, the script that brings together the best of both shows - The West Wing and Designated Survivor - is sure to be a hit with audiences.

10. Conclusion and final thoughts

In conclusion, it's clear that a combination of The West Wing and Designated Survivor could make for an incredible show. Both shows have their own unique strengths and storylines that would blend together perfectly.

The West Wing's fast-paced dialogue, complex characters, and political drama would combine seamlessly with Designated Survivor's thrilling action and suspenseful plot twists.

This script has the potential to capture a wide audience, appealing to fans of both shows as well as new viewers who are drawn in by the exciting premise.

Overall, this mashup would be a perfect fit for today's political climate, with its focus on leadership, integrity, and the challenges of governing in a complex world.

Hopefully, the powers that be in Hollywood take notice and bring this idea to life on the small screen. Fans of both shows would be thrilled to see their favourite characters and storylines come together in a way that is both engaging and thought-provoking.

Monday 15 May 2023

Free Project: Initial Ideas & SMART Objective

 For this project, I can do anything and at the moment I am experimenting with editing and film I was thinking about performance and film again and I liked the idea of creating an experimental/performance piece.  

I was thinking of Pippilotti Rist as her pieces were immersive and in the gallery, you really experienced her work. 

This work takes the Chris Isaask song Wicked Game and it becomes more and more histrionic as the time goes on the use of sound and music, exploring a new take on the song is a modern expressionist response.  This kind of expression in performance art and through film I want to explore further. 

In Mythic Being (1973), Adrian Piper dresses up as a man (her alter ego), and changes her race, sex, identity, and social class to see how people in the street react to her presence.  This performance really does have social importance as it explores how we do react to different people in the street everyday.  Piper also acted as the man and exhibited male behaviour (such as ogling women) 

I like the idea that the performance can have a real effect on the viewer and make them think and question their own beliefs and ideas. 

In my own work for this project I am thinking may make an experiential film, I still can't help but think of Chris Marker Sans Soliel as I am still interested in memory and remembrance and would like to work on this further in my own work.


Mythic being (1973-1975) (no date) Adrian Piper and Identity. Available at: (Accessed: 15 May 2023). 

Book of Lost Things III: Development

 I continued to write my work and I am in the process of drafting and redrafting second and third chapters

Professor Zimmerman: Chapter Two

Professor Zimmerman: Chapter Three

I also worked on the front and back covers - used the image that I had developed in class and recreated this on Blurb 

I then stated to layout the pages and proofread and edited these pages as I went along, due to the tight timeframe. 

The pages were working well and I have to now just complete Chapter Three and write an Afterward to complete this short foray into Zimmerman's diaries.  This is not the whole story, it is just a snapshot of a whole and links with the stories of Milk and Honey which I think it does quite well.  I also like it that I don't have to answer all the questions in the story and that I never reveal the miracle that Zimmerman has witnessed. 

Sunday 14 May 2023

Book of Lost Things III: Images for Front Cover & Practice

 I began looking for front cover images that were copyright free.   Here are a selection I chose.  I quite like the first one however I think it is not interesting enough for a front cover image..

Batik from Pexels 

This image below I think may be a good image for inside the book but I would need to distress this image more and make it look like an older photograph

Vanya from Pexels

Again, this would be a good image for inside the book as it matches the look I am going for for these images. 

I don't think I actually like this image below at all!

I do very much like this image below and could be a very good one to use, I will think about this one as a possible. 

This is my favourite image and the one I will be using today to practice a front cover.

I opened Photoshop and created a canvas by clicking on New and then print in the dialog box I chose A4 as my book will be around 6 x 9inches.  I chose a white background as I wanted to fill the page with my image. The resolution was 300dpi as I wanted this to be high quality for printing.

I then clicked on open and opened the image from my desktop that i had downloaded from Pixabay.  I then added selected the image and copied and pasted this into the canvas.  I changed the image to black and white by clicking on Edit, Mode and then grayscale.

I then clicked on Text in the left hand menus and changed this to Book Antiqua and changed the size appropriately to fit in the title and my name. 

This is the final cover -I actually really liked this image and want to use this in my final book 

Monday 8 May 2023

Professor Zimmerman: Drafts/Redrafts

 I began to put my work together and I have redrafted the timed exercises form class  I did this after I created an introduction which gives a clear Idea of where the book is heading. After thinking about how other diaries begin I felt an introduction was essential and I liked the idea that the diaries were stolen by a former student. 

Professor Zimmerman: Introduction

Professor Zimmerman: Chapter One

I began then to put the book together on Blurb, I set up a trade book as previously and started to add the beginning pages

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Armadillo: William Boyd

 I chose to look at the  writing in Boyd's Armadillo as I must have read this book at least four times, I like the set up Lorimer Black is a Loss Adjuster with a nightmare boss called Mr Hogg, the book begins with Lorimer finding a hanged man in a burnt out warehouse full of mannequins, Mr Dupree, who he was about to offer a suitcase full of cash to settle his possibly bogus insurance claim. Lorimer has always had sleep problems and goes to a sleep clinic and also, my favourite part, he writes a diary called; The book of transfiguration, which is why I am looking at it here. 

'117. The First Adjust.

The first adjust was at a shoe shop in Abingdon whose stock had been ruined as a result of a burst water pipe, inundating the basement, unnoticed over a bank holiday weekend.

How did you know the owner was lying? How did you know that the grief and handwringing was a sham? Hogg said later it was pure instinct.  All good loss adjusters, Hogg said, can spot a liar at once because they understand, at a fundamental level, the need to lie.  They may be liars themselves - and if they are they are excellent liars  - but it is not necessary. What is necessary is this understanding of the philosophy of the lie, the compulsive urge to conceal the truth, its complex grammar, its secret structures....

'How do I know you just didn't turn your hose on the rest of the stock that weekend, Mr Maurice? It seems tremendous damage for one burst pipe?'

It is the quality of the rage that gives them away.  The rage is always there, it always erupts, and Mr Maurice's rage was impressive, but something about the pitch and tone of an indifferent liar's rage rings false, troubles the inner ear, like the whine of a mosquito in a darkened bedroom, unmistakable, unerringly disturbing.

The Book of Transfiguration'   (Boyd W. 1998:129)

The book of transfiguration does reveal Lorimer himself and his thoughts as all diaries do and I chose this extract as Boyd states that; 'Lorimer's life is in a way a kind of lie, he's created this carapace around himself and slowly but surely in the course of the novel it begins to fall apart and reveal the man beneath." (Mansfield, 2020) Looking at the writing here the way that this has been written uses recount, self questioning and answers and then Lorimer's own thoughts and philosophy which is beautifully written. If we look at how the commas are used here to consider Mr Maurice's reaction to the accusation that he is a liar, give a pace and forward motion that is urgent and insistent. 

Bernstein (New York Times) considers this one of the novels that is part of the 'globalisation' of British novels, Boyd has used Lorimer as a character as; 'Lorimer Black is the son of an immigrant family. His original name was Milomre Blocj (an anagram, OK? And the family is insistent on a dot below the c and a silent j).' (Boucher, 2001).  Bernstein also reflects that 'The multiculturalism of modern Britain -- and of London especially -- has become a staple of British fiction and has supplied it with new subjects and new energies.' (Bernstein, 1998), it could be argued that we have gone so much further now as this was written in 1998, decolonisation and the reimagining of the English canon of literature and what we teaching schools and universities have now evolved tremendously.  Here, Lorimer's origins are re-imagined, and reconfigured by himself, he tries to construct a new self and considers very precisely how to do this through the way he dresses, speaks and acts throughout the novel, he collects armour but his own armour is through his new modern day persona that he has created. The name of he book does encapsulate the idea here and Boyd states;  'The Spanish word armadillo means 'little armed man' they saw these strange creatures running around and they look like they are wearing armour, so the name stuck' (Mansfield, 2020) 

The Book of Transfiguration in terms of writing is a fantastic work to consider how writing works in diary form. Boyd created a very specific and personal diary for Lorimer, through Professor Zimmerman's diaries I intend to do the same however I think they may have more in common with The Smoking Diaries as Zimmerman does like a little rant!  

'Yesterday, rudely interrupted when writing by the stupid telephone, the Dean had called me, at home!  Unbelievable!  There is no peace from that man he wanted to know what I would be contributing to the termly staff meeting and how it would be interactive so that the staff would engage, he let the word linger for what seemed like hours.  I lit a cigarette and considered the best possible ways of killing him.' (Van-de-Velde Z. 2023) 

Here is an example from my own writing and here I use commas to to make a point. I consider this almost like jabbing someone in the chest with a finger; stupid telephone (jab) called me (jab) at home (jab)!  I like the pace here and the insistence and in Boyd's writing there is an unravelling of truth, of story that I want to capture in my own writing, I say unravelling as in this book it does do that. I will end on Bernstein's words as this does encapsulate much of my feeling towards this work;  '''Armadillo'' is full of loose ends, unsolved mysteries and red herrings. But it is also charming, unsettling and sneakily, serendipitously profound.' (Bernstein, 1998)


Boyd W. (1998) Armadillo, Penguin Books, London.

Boucher, C. (2001) Observer review: Armadillo by William Boyd, The Guardian. Available at: (Accessed: 08 May 2023). 

Bernstein, R. (1998) New York Times Article Archive, The New York Times (Archive). Available at: (Accessed: 08 May 2023). 

Mansfield, P. (2020) Insurance covered christmas special – a look at armadillo (with William Boyd), RPC. Available at: (Accessed: 08 May 2023). 

Timed Writing Exercise: Continuing my book - Professor Zimmerman's Diaries


Yesterday, rudely interrupted when writing by the stupid telephone, the Dean had called me, at home!  Unbelievable!  There is no peace from that man he wanted to know what I would be contributing to the termly staff meeting and how it would be interactive so that the staff would engage, he let the word linger for what seemed like hours.  I lit a cigarette and considered the best possible ways of killing him.  Death my lawnmower, falling out of the staff room window (while have an experiential moment with tears welling up in his eyes!), he has actually cried in a staff meeting and then 'shared' some painful illness that his son had suffered, and his terrible time in the hospital.   In a staff meeting, really, God, I hate oversharing! I really don't need to know the inner feelings of my work colleagues. 

Well, rant over, I will calm myself to tell you, my imaginary reader, more about my young student, Honey Devlin.  This boy, this scruffy urchin, is a most important find, I would go as far to say THE most important find.  There he was in the tutorial chair (it is a special chair, purple, worsted, and has housed the bottoms of students for decades)  picking nervously at the threadbare arm when suddenly, as if the courage has just entered him like a spirit, he leans forward and says: 'I need to tell you a true story of a miracle, and how we must pursue an investigation into the proving the miraculous without delay.  I have proof, this is not a joke and I am not a spiritual person.  This miracle will change the course of everything.' Of course, at first I laughed, he's eccentric, I liked him.  But he appeared deadly serious and not a religious nut at all.  In fact by the end of his story I understood why he wanted to pursue this academic path, as he truly believed in academia itself. I was so taken aback I agreed to a strange meeting with him, which was to take place at Best Buy the local electrical store on its last legs on the edge of town. I was to meet him there at 7pm, well the day just took a far more interesting turn that expected!  

Thursday 4 May 2023

Simon Gray: The Smoking Diaries

 I read The Smoking Diaries many years ago and I was very taken with them, I did not know Simon Gray but a friend had recommended the book and it really was a joy to read.  Gray was an English playwright and, wrote around 30 plays in his lifetime, was born in Hampshire in 1936 and died in 2008, not long after these diaries were published. He also taught English literature at Queen Mary, University of London, for 20 years. He loved to smoke, drink, and to write.

 The Smoking Diaries, Diski states that you can; 'take Simon Gray's diaries for just what they seem to be: a grouchy-hearted, grimly comic rant against the world by a playwright in his mid-60s who finds himself neglected by the modern theatre' (Diski, 2004).  It is a man getting older and as all of us get older the world becomes a place we less and less understand as it moves forward and we are still stuck in our youth (in our head).  the book begins with Gray lamenting how he hates Christmas as this seems to be now the time that those he loves die.  This is the other thing with age you begin going to more funerals than weddings or christenings. 

Grays's diaries are obviously highly edited and written with a reader in mind, Diski argues that; 'I'm inclined to reject the innocence of the diary form, especially this elegant and carefully crafted version of it. There are those who say that all fiction is autobiography. I'm of another party, the one that says all autobiography is fiction.'  (Diski, 2004).  This is a highly crafted book that uses the diary form well and the reason I wanted to discuss it here.  Gray has elevated this with a fine balance where the reader feels that they are intimately involved (as one should in a diry) however it is clear that Gray is also not giving anything away that he has not as Diski states fictionised to an extent.  This has been beautifully done here.  There is a pace to the writing that moves the reader with the sentence here is an example; 

'The rehearsal room is in a church hall off Kensington Church Street and actually within walking distance of here - not that I actually walked it, Victoria drives me, or I take a taxi.  It's a large handsome room on the first floor and I can smoke in it.  I sit on a chair beside another chair with an ashtray on it, and watch the actors, watch Harold [Pinter] at a long table directing the actors, watch and watch, sometimes saying something, but often not.' (Gary S. 2006:139)

Here I am transported immediately to the kind of rehearsal room that all actors are used, the community hall in the church, when I was younger I loved to write and direct plays, I acted in some but I think I much preferred directing.  I imagine here being in Kensington in London and walking the street, getting a taxi through the streets of London a good hansom cab.  the joy here of smoking inside is terribly bad now but I also used to enjoy this pleasure.  I can imagine the wooden chairs lined up to watch the rehearsal, quietly.  With writing you must make the reader connect to the scene and Gray does this perfectly here, it brings back to me my own memories and that is possibly why I enjoyed this, like sitting in your favourite chair, the familiarity, the comfort, is always a joy.  The use of commas gives the pace to sentences, they help you breathe and pause within the text, which gives you time to ruminate on the scene presented and the feeling of the moment he describes.

My lesson is about to begin but I will be returning to this post!


Diski, J. (2004) Review: The smoking diaries by Simon Gray, The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Available at: (Accessed: May 4, 2023). 

Gray S. (2006) The Smoking Diaries, Granta, London

Gray, S. (2014) Playwright, diarist, novelist and screenwriter, Simon Gray. Available at: (Accessed: May 4, 2023). 

Tuesday 2 May 2023

Timed Writing: Beginning my book...


Oh the misery! another day seeing my dreadful students in the Philosophy 101.  These students, I don't think they have ever had a single thought about anything that is outside of themselves.  I could cry thinking about the future of Philosophy itself!  Aside from it being Monday and having the worst class ever, my stomach is still playing up and Doctor Smallback is sending me for 'further tests'.  There should be dignity and grace in old age but it seems there is only humiliation, indignity and memory loss!

I did not think the memory was that bad, and I can recite Hegel at will and consider deeply his idea of the actualization of the will, but I can never find my glasses, the book I was reading yesterday or where I left my keys.  I wish Hegel could explain these things to me, I think I would be better here at thinking of the philosophy of Montaigne, I remember clearly he said; ‘to learn that we have said or done a stupid thing is nothing, we must learn a more ample and important lesson: that we are but blockheads… On the highest throne in the world, we are seated, still, upon our arses.’ And, lest we forget: ‘Kings and philosophers shit, and so do ladies.’ - he was not afraid to face our bodily functions and I am starting to think we should focus more on how our bodily functions really affect our thoughts..

Damn it all, I also met with Dean today, he is a new appointment and is a pompous ass!  He obviously has been educated at one of these new universities and kept talking about meetings and how they should be more 'experiential' worse, so much worse than that, he started going on about a 'team building day trip', I would rather eats maggots...why in the world do I need to get know people I work with better!  I frankly see quite enough of them each week and I really don't want to know or see anymore of them, or listen to them, or have to interact with them 'socially' - my god, what a bore! 


Had a terrible dream/nightmare that I was stuck in a lift with my work colleagues, the Dean and the student that smells of garlic constantly.  I was screaming to get out in the end, the lift got hotter and hotter, the phone was broken in the lift and the smelly kid had started to touch me.  I woke up sweating and hyperventilating.  I think my blood pressure is too high, I need to see Doctor Smallback again, I am afraid he thinks I am a hypochondriac and I hate the smell of his rooms they remind me of death.

A small pleasure I have in life is smoking - I do love a cigarette, the post-prandial cigarette is truly a joy, the meal of course has to be good for the cigarette to be perfect.  I digress after my terrible dream I went outside onto the porch and sat on the steps it was early and it was quiet, then I look over to my neighbour across the road (another single man) and he appeared to be digging in his garden, I could only see the spade moving back and forth and the earth flying about, the small fence covered the area itself.  Very odd man, 

The Chapbook: Planning


  • What is your final idea?  Please explain in two sentences the theme and the form your writing will take.

I will create the diaries of Professor Zimmerman, a character from The Story of Honey. The diaries will work on characterisation, a narrative that brings pace and there will be remarks related to 'Honey' to bring this piece together with my two previous works.

  • Considering the form, how do you intend to layout your book pages?

This will be in the form of a diary with a short introduction. I may do this over months or it could be snapshots from different years..

  • How many pages do you expect there will be?

30-40 pages

  • Are you going to use images?  Are these your own images (illustrations/photographs) or copyright free images that you will source? 

I want to use images like in Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald where they relate to the event or a memory

  • What is the plan of your time and how much you will need to spend on this?

Remember writing is something that you will need time and concentration without disturbance - you must make sure that you plan time to do this.

I will spend 8-10 hours, writing, drafting, rewriting and proofing this book and with additional hours spent on image sourcing, front cover and completing publication

  • What do you imagine the final book will look like?  

I am hoping it will look a little like The Smoking Diaries or Austerlitz.  Beautiful wring ad images that excite the senses and the memory and create connections for the reader. 

  • Have you considered the cover page/contents page/back cover with blurb?

I will create this on Blurb and I will source a suitable cover image or I will take it myself - at the moment I am nort sure what that will be.

  • Drafting and redrafting will need to be done?  Who would you get to proofread your work?

I will ask my partner to proofread this work

Write down any other thoughts or comments related to your plan on your blog post.

I will be working on researching other diary forms to consider how I will structure my own to make sure that this will make sense to the reader and will really get the elements I discussed earlier through to the reader.