Considering it’s Friday before the long weekend, and it’s sunny and almost the end of summer (cringe), I thought I’d feature my five favourite things literature/art and urban-related as of late. This will likely be my first and last pinterest-y style post.
1. My bike that I’ve been using to ride to and from work most days this summer. I don’t love so much the bike, but the basket. Look at that steel-wired frame. Not one of those flimsy wicker baskets at the front, which maybe look more cool but can’t hold much more than a purse. This baby can hold cartons of milk from the grocery store. It fits a backpack with a change of clothes and my lunchbag. Probably the best $30 I’ve spent. It’s much more enjoyable riding a bike when you don’t have to carry something on your back.
2. This necklace. I came across Black Drop Designs at a farmer’s market in Fort Langley the other week and fell in love with this urban-inspired photo jewellery. I asked if she had any New York scenes – she didn’t. So I got Vancouver instead – Coal Harbour to be precise, even though you can’t tell what city it is by looking at it. That’s the benefit of New York’s skyline.
3. My other favourite fashion accessory that represents the literary side of me – a silk alphabet scarf. Reading. Writing. Words. I love wearing letters around my neck. This should be the item I wear when I have writer’s block. Maybe it would inspire something with its random repetition and conglomeration of letters.
4. This book, Before We Go. My friend wrote it. We did our Master’s at UVic together. She was one of my first friends in grad school, who I saw Easy A with in theatres early in the year, feeling uncertain of this grad school thing we had gotten ourselves into, who I made sugar cookies with in her Oak Bay basement suite at Christmastime, along with the other girls in our West Coast Lit class who became a family-away-from-family. She’s starting her PhD this fall with a book already under her belt. I turned to the back cover when I bought it at Chapters and smiled. There she was. She inspires me.
You really should check out this novel, especially if you like young adult fiction. It just so happens to take place in Victoria, in only a 7-hour time span one New Year’s Eve. She balances the line between sorrow and laughter well, which is not an easy thing to do in a work of art.
5. Matthew Perryman Jones. Speaking of art, I read an interview with musician Matthew Perryman Jones the other day and it compelled me to do some research. He talked about this thing called duende that inspires his music.
Do you ever have those words or ideas you hear about and you know you will love what they mean or what they stand for even if you don’t exactly know what it is yet? I felt that way about this word. Duende. Dark sound. Mystery. The sadness that lingers on the edges of certain songs. Real love songs. The sadness that can’t be explained but you know is there. You hear it. You feel it. Impossible to describe but impossible to deny. Stumbling upon this word, I felt I had been given a tiny key into MPJ’s music. I discovered him through Noisetrade and fell immediately in love with his songs, not quite able to put my finger on what it was I loved about them. I think it’s this duende that lives in them.
Listen to this song – I think you’ll hear what I mean.