I’m Ready…

That’s it then. Completed all the prints, all the originals, everything I can think of. The exhibitions are ready to go; one to Manchester and one to Tregaron.

It’s an odd feeling.

I think I’ve been getting ready for both of these over the last three months. I have written books for longer, yet somehow the simple fact that I have packaged everything up, put it in boxes and got it ready to transport has left a hole, and not only on my walls. It is like I have held my breath, waiting for something to happen.

Not until I get to Manchester and stand behind that table, selling for three days, will I know whether it has been a success. Until then my dreams are boxed and packed.

So what now? I don’t leave until Thursday… The odd thing is that I was worried that I wouldn’t have time to finish, but I have, and before the deadline.

I guess I need to get on with the next project… Both with the art or the writing? Actually, it will have to be with the writing. The amount of boxes I have in the workshop means that moving around is a little tricky so I guess that the art will have to wait.

Instead the next book is going to get an outing. It is in the planning stage, and no it isn’t ‘The Gone 2’. That book is fine but some characters have been bugging me; an absent minded professor, a pregnant sailor and a world of ocean… It will be a quick one and the second Gone will come out on time. But these characters are yelling.

It’s a tricky one though. I think there are only two or three people in it. Still, I’ll see how it pans out. The title? Nomura…

A social evening…

Most people will tell you that I’m not really much of a party animal, and they’d be right. When I was a young sprightly youth I did the raves and the nightclubs, but now I’m more about the conversation and the people I’m with. Not so much the dancing and the beat.

So last night I went out. I go to meet a group of people once a month, we are all in a sort of social club. It’s basically a chance to get together and chat. And that I have no problem with. I took the new colouring book (the adult one) and we all sat around and had a giggle. But when it came to the end I was perplexed. How do you ask for a cuddle goodbye?

I mean at home I still hold out my arms and my mum, or dad, will just give me a hug, but what if you are in a social setting? I know it is my autism rearing its head and looking around, but I just don’t understand how to. The problem is that the more up-tight I get the more I seem aloof and untouchable. It just makes me frustrated.

The feeling is like… Well, have you seen that movie ‘Willow’? In one of the opening sequences the old wizard asks the potential apprentices to chose the finger of power, and he holds out his hand. Now, when it gets to Willow he pauses, then chooses a finger. The wizard bellows wrong. After he asks Willow why he paused.

“I wanted to choose my own finger,” he says (that’s a paraphrase, I don’t remember the exact words).

“But that was the correct answer,” says the Wizard.

All Willow had to do was trust himself. That is what it feels like. It is almost as if I ought to know how to initiate something as simple as a hug but I have no confidence or know how. I ought to understand innately how to do it. But I’ve only ever been taught how to. It was part of my education; learn how to speak, learn how to write, learn how to hug… But that last one was never really completed. Or it feels as if it wasn’t.

I’m sure I will work it out without standing in a pub, holding my hands out and crying ‘hug’. Although it would certainly cause some laughter. I wonder if you can get a hug coach….?

Good news!

I mean – massively good news. I know that if you have been with me from the start [of this blog] you will all know that I have an eye issue. Basically, I’m so short sighted that my right eye has a squint, and a blow to my head could result in a detached retina or worse.

Well, ten years ago I was told that my eye would last five years… Max.

Of course I still have two eyes and both are working fairly well. So I laugh in the predictions of the medical establishment. But today I went with a heavy heart to see the optician.

I sat in the chair and waited for the lady doctor to tell me that I ought to get a new pair of glasses. Each of which cost about £350 due to the complex nature of my prescription. And that’s with two nhs vouchers. Except that today was different.

They threw everything at me. I have had my head in a bucket checking my field of vision (it looks and feels like a bucket but I’m sure it isn’t), I have been photographed and had puffs of air blasted at me. I have had lights shone in my eyes and then a stronger light. Everything they can check has been checked.

And then I got to look at the chart. My right eye went first (it is far worse than my left), and then the left. Are the circles on the red clearer than the the green? Can you see the bottom letter? I did everything and then turned to the doctor to find out what was going to happen.

I expected to be told I was a step closer to the partially sighted line…

But she smiled… Up to this point there had been no reaction from her, but then she smiled.

Your prescription has stabilised.

What?

You eyes are fine and the same.

Huh?

You don’t need to change your glasses…

I restrained myself from jumping up and down and hugging her. Instead I gave a restrained thank you and got up to leave. I have never been able to not have to change my glasses after a year of wearing them. That is 30 years of getting a new pair every year. That’s almost £10,000 in specs. I’m on first name terms with everyone at the opticians. I just shrugged and say, no change. And I walk out.

They looked shocked. I was shocked.

So for the first time as long as I can remember I am not worried about my eyes getting worse. I’m okay.

I do have to put in place some different strategies. I have to wear my sunglasses more (they are prescription) so that I don’t damage my eyes with the sun, and I have to watch for flashing lights. But that is it.

So today is a very good day.

Confidence…

I find it odd how confidence wax and wane. It reminds me of the sea, sometimes the tide is in, and you bounce with laughter, while other times it is out, and you can barely drag yourself through the day.

For me these tides are affected by those around me, just like the moon dictates the sea, but my moon is everything I come into contact with. It can be a simple phrase that makes me smile or a look that can leave me alone and cold. Lately the tide has been out…

I remember being in university in Derby, I had a great time. In fact I’m still unsure as to how I passed that course, at least the first and second year. By the third I had knuckled down, but those first two years were full of laughter and music. I loved it, but you know what, through all that time I was not the most beautiful of girls. In fact, I was fat with a capital F. I mean orca fat. I would have had to turn to get through a door. But it didn’t matter because I had confidence. I wore dresses that only just covered my butt, tights and boots that reached my thighs. I was loud, large and wonderful…

Then I came home and I looked in a mirror and I saw a fat girl. So I lost weight, and although I’m large still, I am a slender reed compared to what I was.

But lately my confidence has been knocked again. Let’s just say there was a guy involved and leave it at that. Now, normally I would plod on and wait for my life to quieten and then simply wait for my confidence to slowly increase.

And it would, but it could take ages.

So, this time, as I am about to go to Manchester for a massive art exhibition, I have decided to take matters in my own hands. I need to stand up to the scrutiny of a load of people and basically say – here I am, this is my art. Don’t like it? Then move on. 

Which is why I am sitting here with red hair… No, not just red. I mean RED. Not light red but 100% dark red. The kind of colour that doesn’t occur naturally. So no more grey… Instead, a really brilliant colour. I’m not sure if it will work but I feel better. I feel less grey…

As for the rest? Well, I’ve decided to not worry so much and just go with the flow.

A book published… but this is a little different.

So, have you noticed that my art work can sometimes be a little risque?

Sometimes you can see more of the person than you thought you would?

Well, I have dabbled into  erotic art but here’s the kicker. I was asked to create a colouring book for adults…

I had a look online and there where everything from geometric shapes to wild animals. But no people… So I thought I would do one on erotic art.

No… Not that kind of erotic art. But drawings looking at form and beauty, and latex… Okay the last bit was because I collaborated with one woman and she was great, but she loves wearing latex. So I did a couple of images with her in full costume.

And now the book is complete and in the shops…

An Adult Colouring Book cover

15 hand drawn pen and ink images awaiting you to colour in. So fancy something different. Something that will be a giggle or if you are just curious. Have a go.

What are the illustrations like? you cry.

Well, here is one.

Illustrations002

So why not give it a try? It is available on Amazon US ($7.75) and Amazon UK (£4.98).

Or if you have your own printer you can download your own copy from Etsy for £4.20.