Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Day 100 of #100days: End/Beginning

And so the 100 days is over. I made it down to the event in the fairy-lit, balloon-strewn warehouse in Dalston, where I met some lovely hundred-dayers in real life (hello, and thanks for the camaraderie, the plagiarism, the couch, the Lego and the badges!); marvelled at the Museum; and laughed heartily at Josie Long, Isy Suttie, Sara Pascoe(who also made me cry a bit), and the Pictish Trail and his 30-second songs. There was even cake. A massive cake, with 100 candles no less.

My pledge was to do something creative every day, and to learn Icelandic. The ‘doing something creative’ suited me well, as it basically meant getting on with my writing. But the more I read the blogs of other hundred-dayers, with their photos and comics and sketchbook pages, the more I felt like I wanted to do something ‘visual’, something I could photograph and document. It wasn’t till I was about half-way through that I started to focus on the ‘altered books’ thing. It was something I’d played around with before and really enjoyed. So I went with it. And it progressed from painting on pages to actually cutting things out from the pages, making the pages themselves into other things. I enjoyed it so much that I think I’ll call it a hobby, and do it some more.

My Icelandic didn’t fare as well. Learning words in isolation does not a language teach. Or something. But I’m going to continue with it anyway. And the way I see it, I’ve given myself a head start.

Talar þú íslensku? Err...I'll get back to you on that one.

Am I a better person? Who can say? It’s felt like my life over the last three months has been part of something bigger. And that’s been good and bad. It felt strange for me to be blogging nearly every day, as I’m used to giving myself time-outs from the internet. So in the end I got around that by collating entries and doing catch-up posts. I’ve been more inclined to say yes to things. And I’ve been drawing more, which is something that I missed. And I think taking stock every day changes the way you look at things, too. It stops the days all blurring into one. Which to me, is a good thing. So, stepping onto the positive side of the seesaw, I think I’ll conclude that for me, it’s not necessarily the doing of a certain thing every day that’s been important. Rather, it’s been the reflection, and the thinking about each day and all its events, actions, plans, ideas that matters, and I think it’s this that has set me on the path (and it’s possibly quite a long-ish path) to being a better person.

Chrissy Williams, who was busy learning a new word a day for the whole 100 days, sums it all up beautifully here...

"Whatever we decide to do every day affects us. We affect other people, so what we do affects them. Small things accumulate into big things. This means that small things matter. What do you want to do today? Can you make time to do something small, or will you do nothing?"

Big thanks to Josie Long and the London Word Festival for making it all happen. And hurrah to everyone! We did it.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Days 96 to 99 of #100days: The final countdown or The end is nigh

A while back, I volunteered to help out at the Writing Industries Conference in Loughborough, so that was how I spent Day 96. I got to run the bookstall, with Deirdre and Paul. It was a good day, with lots of writers and writerly things.

I've been really conscious of needing to do a big catch up on my 100 Days. The party is tomorrow (today now) and I'm really excited about meeting up with people and seeing the treasures in the Museum of 100 Days. I'm not going to exhibit anything because all but the last few cut-outs have been made in the one book, making it sort of impossible to display properly, or well. I did think about cutting the individual pages out, and mounting them on card, but then they'd just be bits of paper. I think I'll bring the book and just keep it in my bag, so if anyone wants to have a look, they can. I just hope no Mills and Boon authors are going. There were a couple at the Conference and I was a bit relieved that it wasn't their particular books I'd been slicing up. Although it would have made a brilliant story if I had. Hmmm.

See some of you tomorrow/later. Can't hardly wait.

Days 87 to 95 of #100days: When in probably won't get that much sleep

First half

Days 88 to 91 were spent between Torino and Rome. After a day in Turin and a nice bit of wandering, friends Maurizio and Simona got us up early and took us on an 8-hour roadtrip to the Eternal City, to catch up with the Fine Before You Came boys. FBYC had travelled down from Milan to play that night. It was all a bit hectic and a lot brilliant. I wish there'd been more time to see Turin, but it would've been silly to pass up the chance of sightseeing in Rome.

So here we have the cut-out Colosseum...

Trevi fountain allstar Neptune...

and Trevi fountain crazy horses...

and also, man with conch...

Second half

Days 92 to 95 were spent sleeping and catching up.

Things I've learned:

1) You really can never have too much Tiramisu.

2) If you say "when in Rome..." to people when you actually are in Rome, they just look at you funny.