June 28- “Write to Kill” with Daniel Pennac

Dear June,

Saturday was a lazy day, since I needed time to realize yesterday’s miracle: my project passed the first round for a funding! Now, instead of going to the supermarket, cleaning up the house, being a responsible adult, I camped in one of my favorite cafĂ©s with a book.

A novel, one I have started several times, but at first, I wasn’t attracted enough to read it through. “La petite marchande de prose” by Daniel Pennac. Write to Kill, for the english translation, Harvill, 1999. It is the type of book you usually read early in life, but at the time I didn’t feel like it. Then, four years ago, some friends offered me the trilogy this book belongs to. Again, I looked here and there and left them waiting on the bookshelf.

Last summer, as I was working on my novel, for some mysterious reason I took over the first: “Au bonheur des ogres” translated by Ian Monk as The Scapegoat, Harvill Press, 1998, and I loved it! Now, I don’t know the reason for this change. Has my taste evolved? Or is it that Daniel Pennac is close to the OULIPO writers I started to appreciate that led me to it?

I realized that I feel myself at home in his writing: his style is humorous, but he also treats very deep questions with compassion and humanity. And on top of that, there is a mystery to solve. I love suspense!

For the record, the second part of the day involved taking a nap. And I didn’t even wake up early enough to go to a party!

P.S. June, if you want to know about the OULIPO writers check my post on May 15, or ask May to tell you all about it when you next meet 😉

http://www.donquixotebooks.com/?page=shop/flypage&product_id=4618

Write to Kill, DANIEL PENNAC, IAN MONK

June 27- Miracle!

Dear June,

I have started this blog in April, with the idea that I wanted to transform myself and my life. My objectives? A job where I do what I like and I manage to live from it. And of course, true love. Now, what is true love? It could be a place where two people feel at home.

I went for lunch in the whereabouts of the Platform, I had agreed to meet H. He has been asking me to collaborate for an artistic project. I think he is intelligent and I appreciate his ideas, but we are not sharing the same perspective. However, I promised to consider it for next year.

H and I have made different choices in life: He has a stable income, doing something he doesn’t like that much, but he doesn’t have enough time to express his creativity. On the contrary, I had chosen to tolerate instability, but to work on things I am passionate about. This has been stressful at times, and I have been under pressure, but I am not bitter. And I saw that in him. He seemed to say that there is no way to place oneself in a better position as event organizers.

I told him some people do, so there must be a way. And we shouldn’t give up.

But talking to him depressed me a bit, since it felt as if I my hopes were not realistic. I went for a walk by myself after lunch for a debriefing, which is not the best thing to do, when not in a good mood.

June is almost over, I thoughg, I have taken a challenge, and where am I? Three days before the end of the month, and still in the same situation I was before.

In terms of love, B is a fantasy, I have to admit it. I have fallen in love with an illusion. And there have been some artists in transit whose idea was an adventure. Something I am not interested in.

When it comes to work, I have projects, but I have only applied for two fundings. What are my chances?

In this mood, I returned to my office and checked my emails.

And here it was, a MIRACLE!

My project has successfully passed the first round for the funding I asked!

I was thrilled!

My blues disappeared!

I have until August 5 to present a more detailed version and submit it for the second round. It is not going to be easy, but I am honoured to still be in the game!

Thank you June!

http://www.hdwallpapers.in/pink_roses-wallpapers.html

https://i2.wp.com/www.hdwallpapers.in/walls/pink_roses-wide.jpg

June 26- On dentists, shopping and proximity

Dear June,

yes I know: this is not a serious title for a blog that is dedicated to personal development. There is something of a disorder about it. What is the dentist’s role for example? Well, the dentist is what pushed me to shopping.

Please, be understanding! One of the nicest months of the year in terms of temperature, you can only be good-humored. I had a dentist emergency and I went to his cabinet early in the morning. But he wasn’t there. And his assistant told me she would contact me for the afternoon. This dentist gives you an appointment for the next month, so if you have an emergency you’d better stay close and try your best to be taken seriously. She finally managed to find me a place in the afternoon.

But there was no time to go in the direction of the Platform. And I needed something to lift my spirits. I spent the next three hours looking for certain items that were absolutely necessary for my summer wardrobe. And not only. Like a pair of jeans for example. I am not shopping a lot, not because I don’t want to. A question of budget. But discipline is not easy, I love fashion and living in Paris is full of temptations.

The last part of the day involved a farewell meeting with my friend who is visiting and his group of colleagues. We met quiet late, and that meant that we stayed until the last bars were closing. At 2.30 they were considering another round. I felt at ease with everybody, although I met most of them for the first time.

I realize I have a lot of friends on transit, and although this is a way for me to travel without buying a ticket, it is also good to open up to those a little bit closer. With far away friends I feel more secure. Like the case of the passenger next to you on the plane, to whom you tell the story of your life. And then you go your separate ways. Without worrying if what you just said is going to be used against you.

But defending oneself against potential dangers also keeps away some great things.

In the film “Confessions of a shopaholic”, the heroine is creating an imaginary life to protect herself from hardships. But this finally gets in the way of intimacy and relationships. The solution is to find a creative way to accept reality: by transforming it!

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confessions_of_a_Shopaholic_%28film%29

Confessions of a Shopaholic.jpg

 

 

June 25- Are feelings transparent?

Dear June,

this is the second day I spent at the 13 arrondissement of Paris. I was to meet a friend and some colleagues of his, close to the metro Tolbiac. It was practically the first time I was in this particular neighborhood, although I happened to walk in the same street a few days ago, but at a different level. It is a very urban part of Paris, and very lively in terms of bars and cafés, probably because of the University that is situated nearby. This friend of mine was staying in a hotel at this area, so it was very practical to meet there.

For some reason, I was in a very good mood. Not that I haven’t been in a good mood before. But I couldn’t find any particular reason for it. Another friend of mine, a man with a lot of experience in his 60s, told me I look as a woman in love. And that everybody who knows me is aware of it. Is it so easy to tell?

My “business meeting” with this group of people went well. They all work for the realization of exhibitions. Some of them are in transit to another place, planning to leave Paris at the end of the week. With an ambiance between work and holidays.

Are we aware of our feelings? Or could it be that some acute observers could know more about our state than ourselves? For example I couldn’t associate the idea of  being in a good mood with the state of feeling in love with B or anyone else. Is it what happened to the metro driver of the line 6 on my way home the same night? He started singing at the microphone, and from time to time was asking the passengers or his”public” of their opinion. Not that the public could react, but it was so funny! We started laughing with two or three other passengers, three girls in their 20s. They were very enthusiastic and would love to get to know him and ask him to be their Facebook friend.

Could it be that he would like to be auditioned as a singer?

That he wanted to entertain the passengers?

Or was he someone in love?

Anyway, here is his music selection:

June 24- Communication and relationships

Dear June,

I spent big part of the day discussing with another event organizer. I wanted her opinion on the profiles of different artists I have met recently. Who would be more appropriate for the events we had in mind?

Then I decided to go for lunch to one of the Platform cafĂ©s’ (in case I haven’t mentioned it to you, the Platform is a loose network of event organizers, artists, producers, that has a material existence, or headquarters. I work as free lance for them).

At the cafĂ© I met N, the guy with whom there was some flirting about three years ago.  But we had a communication problem. N is an attractive man about 40 year’s old, an artist. I never understood what happened. Was he offended because I didn’t go to an exhibition he had suggested? He never asked me “out” again. On my side, I was annoyed when he criticized my shoes as being too “bourgeois”. It would have been enough to find them beautiful.

Ever since, we have been running into each other every once in a while. I have seen him have lunch, dinner and drinks with various women who look interested, but he seems to be single. How do I know?

N decided to come to my summer event in the South of France, and I am grateful for it. One of the things he wanted to know, is if I have suggestions for the accomodation. Actually I don’t have any. Our budget doesn’t cover it. I would rather share an appartment and its cost with many people, or go by myself, as I explained to him. He invited me to share a place with his friends.

-How many friends are joining you?

-Just one woman.

-Excuse me but are you a couple? I asked. In this case, it would be better to have some privacy.

He insisted that C was “just a friend” and that there was no reason not to join.

I have a hard time understanding him. Unless he is gay. But he doesn’t give me that impression.

Why would a charming guy go on holidays with “friends” for the last two years, and not date anyone? Could it be they don’t realize he is asking them out?

I said I would look for a place and we could discuss it again. It will be two or three nights. I hope his snoring problem is not too bad 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 23- Summertime in Paris: the quartier BibliothĂšque

Dear June,

don’t tell me you don’t like this kind of open-air cafĂ©s and restaurants that open during summertime close to the concert-ships or “bateau-concerts” such as the Nix Nox, the Batofar and others. There are a lot of events organized around and on them. This time I am talking about the 13 arrondissement of Paris, close to the National Library, the “BibliothĂšque François Mitterand”.

You can also have lunch and coffee, sunbathe, if it is a sunny day. It is just wonderful to stay close to the river, on a chaise-long, listen to the music and live the illusion of a holiday by the sea.

Anyway, here is where I took one of the artists who arrived in Paris from Ireland, and who participates in a future performance. A nice, quiet person with a lot of fire, I first met two years ago. We talked about his recent work.

Then, it was question of our personal life: he had a second child in the last couple of years. How about you April? Eh… I haven’t had any, nor a stable boyfriend, job, nor a sense of material security for the future. I am in love with B, I haven’t even kissed yet. But I like what I do, and as a bonus, I can have a cafĂ© by the river whenever I want.

Ok, the truth is, I like my life, but an improvement in any of these fields could be very welcome.

I could have added: I am also part of the fantasy of foreign artists I work with, who would like to live an adventure with me, as an ingredient of their trip to Paris. Not you, dear Irish, you are very serious. But I had a recent experience with a Dutch, who wasn’t satisfied with photos, wine tasting and art.

I am flattered to be chosen as the ingredient for someone’s romantic fantasy, but I hope they don’t mind I have other plans for myself 🙂

http://www.parisrivegauche.com/

 

June 22- The art of being passionate, provocative and diplomatic

Hello June,

you want to know how I spent my Sunday? No you want me to know if there is any progress related to my objectives. Well yes, there is.

For the first part of the day I saw a couple of friends. I asked the girl, in her early twenty’s, what is her objective. She is in Paris for six months now, and I thought I might be of help. She took my question as an intrusion, and responded that for the moment she is waiting for the universe to inspire her something she could even die for, and then she will take action. Although I was a bit annoyed to find myself in the role of a parental figure who is controlling, I can’t help respecting passionate people.

Later, I had dinner with a completely different person: an actor I have met three years’ ago, and he is passing by through Paris. He is very diplomatic and capable to understand different sides. I wanted to see if there would be a possibility for a future collaboration. He is someone I get along well, and I like his work. Were he available from a romantic point of view it would have been great, but no. Anyway, he is also involved in some form of collaboration with the wannabe boss. But this is almost over, after a tour they have recently done. So I jumped in and I offered a new perspective.

Now, is this the best way to deal with my wannabe boss? My friend thinks I should avoid any form of conflict and try to be as humble as possible, showing him how intelligent, powerful etc he is. I have been acting in a proud way. As if the world were mine and hierarchy didn’t exist.

I am sorry I left my feelings getting involved, but I like to be treated with respect. I also admit having a side that likes to create a nice “scene”; something that could be part of a future novel. It kind of amuses me even if it is dangerous.

Anyway, this event belongs to the past, it happened a year and a half ago; the question is the present and the future.

My purpose is to advance with my writing and the artistic projects that are so dear to me.

With people who are also enthusiastic and who support each other in co-creating.

Just to illustrate my point, the sculpture of Eros and Psyche by Antonio Canova, both indispensable for creation!

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psych%C3%A9_ranim%C3%A9e_par_le_baiser_de_l%27Amour

File:Eros and Psyche.jpg

 

June 21- The celebration of music in Paris

Happy Music day, dear June!

Summer is officially here and it goes hand in hand with the celebration of Music in Paris! Music groups, instrument players and singers of all kinds sing, play for free all over the city. In the streets, in bars, in public buildings. Everywhere!

A few years ago I was singing “Sumertime” with a band of my University at the boulevard de Montparnasse. It was really fun! This time the idea was to attend a private concert, organized by a friend of a friend, who got me an invitation. The pianist Sarah Lavaud played Janacek, her favorite repertoire, and it was quiet an experience! I feel lucky to have discovered her work! An artist with a special way to mediate emotions we didn’t even know we had!

In my way home, I was discussing art and emotions: how is it possible for an artist to become a “medium” to channel collective and personal feelings, without becoming overwhelmed? An actress told me it is something you learn with experience, and not everybody finds a balance. She knew of actors who were excellent artists but were swept over by the artistic experience and had to stop. This was one of the reasons I haven’t become an actress. Writing was for me a vehicle to express emotions; in a way that gives a sense of balance; between the powers that can tear us apart and keep us alive at the same time: our passions!

June 20- The King and I

Shall we dance June?

The title of one of the musical’s songs. Which one? “The King and I” of course, at the ChĂątelet theater in Paris. I went with some friends tonight, it was just wonderful. Fifty people on scene and fifty musicians. Magnificent! The main actor is French and not Thai, but his charm was persuasive to us, public. Oh, what a love, with all these cultural and power complications! Too bad he has to die in the end, it is the best solution to stay politically correct for a relationship in this type of musical.

Different love stories, between Anna and the King, the Burman princess that is offered to the king as a gift and her lover, the love of the first wife of the king for him. Still, so much love, many children, but not very good communication and happy couples.

Not to speak of colonialism, inter-cultural love, slavery, East and West, power relations, passion.

Too many themes for just one musical.

Love is difficult because people have egos, and communication scripts they refuse to overcome. That is one of the musical’s messages for me. And instead of making love, the king dances around with Anna.

Well, communication between men and women can be complex, I am not sure if it is more difficult in the case of different cultures. After all, you are more prepared for it.

When it comes to the day after of the performance, things look good, in the sense that there are possible collaborations for the future. I met with two Platform organizers and we decided to join our forces together.

 

 

June 19- Performance day

Hello June,

I mean the performance of the invited artist! I met him this morning, a bit stressed, he came to the Platform and we talked in detail about it. He is quiet good I think, too bad he would have to leave right after. The people who came were not that many, compared to other Platform organizers, but they were all satisfied and stayed on to talk to us. This is encouraging. I think the feeling that lingers at the end is very important. It is what will decide us to continue.

We decided to go out for a drink with a small group composed of the artist, my project partner no 1 and some enthusiastic members of the audience. The discussion brought up the Serbian artist Marina Abramovic and her performances. Opinions were divided considering her provocative style. One person was criticizing it saying that it is the kind of provocation that mass culture encourages. I find her work impressive. But what made me think, was her life-path. She used to go to extremes, by even putting herself in danger for some of her performances. And she seems to have not found a lot of fulfillment in her love life. Actually I hope I am wrong, but this is the impression I got from my internet research.

It is as if she has integrated and represents an archetype of a woman. This is great. It is powerful. But should an archetype take control of us?

What other paths are possible in order to live a meaningful experience as a woman and let men in?

The documentary about the Serbian performance artist has been pulled from the inaugural beach film festival, which started on Thursday and ends on March 16.

Its rating of R21 for nudity and some disturbing scenes means it cannot be screened at the event, which has a licence to screen films with ratings of up to M18.

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/lifestyle/story/documentary-film-about-serbian-artist-pulled-beach-film-festival-20130#sthash.vuMuFKn7.dpuf

http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/lifestyle/story/documentary-film-about-serbian-artist-pulled-beach-film-festival-20130

The documentary about the Serbian performance artist has been pulled from the inaugural beach film festival, which started on Thursday and ends on March 16.

Its rating of R21 for nudity and some disturbing scenes means it cannot be screened at the event, which has a licence to screen films with ratings of up to M18.

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/lifestyle/story/documentary-film-about-serbian-artist-pulled-beach-film-festival-20130#sthash.vuMuFKn7.dpuf

The documentary about the Serbian performance artist has been pulled from the inaugural beach film festival, which started on Thursday and ends on March 16.

Its rating of R21 for nudity and some disturbing scenes means it cannot be screened at the event, which has a licence to screen films with ratings of up to M18.

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/lifestyle/story/documentary-film-about-serbian-artist-pulled-beach-film-festival-20130#sthash.vuMuFKn7.dpuf