Craft Challenge: February is for Jo!

February 23, 2011 § 2 Comments

I know, I know, February is almost over, but things have been hectic! I’ve been working on something for a neat lady, though, and it’s about time that you all met her!

What is your name? Jo(lene), or, alternately, “that girl with the weird hair/that girl with the bicycle”.

Do you have a blog or website (or Tumblr, Twitter, etc.) that you’d like me to link? As I have a certain… not to say addiction… to test-driving nearly every new blogging platform that floats my way, I could give a rather ridiculous list, but you can mostly find me at Twitter, LiveJournal, and Tumblr. I also run a fashion blog, Her Kirtle Green, and have music for sale at Bandcamp. (NOTE FROM CHARIS: You should all go and check out all of those things, and buy music, because it is awesome)

What is your quest? To get out of small-town Pennsylvania, become a librarian, acquire several more cats, and build a reputation among neighbourhood children as that mad lady in the creepy house who is totally a witch. Also to read all the books, learn all the things, and kiss somebody marvelous someday.

What is your favorite color? COLOUR IS MY FAVOURITE COLOUR. No, but seriously: I love colour. Colour makes me happy. I’m particularly drawn to deep, rich, earthy colours — crimson, plum, goldenrod, sage, turquoise, pumpkin — and I find brown, grey, and cream to be highly underrated. Black is quite nice as well. I love finding the balance between stimulating and clashing when mixing colours and patterns.

What is your life like at the moment? What do you do in a day? As I’m currently in an in-between stage trying to work out where to go next and how, my schedule’s a bit loose — but things you can find me doing on a regular basis include baking, reading, more reading, tripping over cats, bicycling around town, writing, playing with my four-year-old sister, writing, researching for writing projects, making music, accidentally injuring myself in increasingly embarrassing ways, and even more reading. I play at a local coffeeshop every Friday night as well. They give me free drinks and a place to nest and gloriously fast wi-fi and I give them free publicity; it’s an awesome trade.

What is your creative outlet? I’m a writer by nature, and, I hope, by trade someday; I’m currently working on an alternate history pre-WWI vampire novel and an old-fashioned YA werewolf novel (with bonus Wild Hunt) set in the 1940s. (The latter setting may be entirely an excuse to dress all of my characters in tweed and flat caps and wellies, but I’ll never tell.) I also take photographs, bake (and eat), and enjoy designing graphics for my personal internet haunts (and occasionally when my dad needs a poster), and while I’m not very talented at crafty things I love to work with my hands — paints, clay, crayons, and the like feel fantastic, even if what I make with them is rarely impressive or useful. I’d like to learn to knit or crochet and sew a little, especially to alter my clothes and make little things like detachable collars. I also see the human body as a fantastic palate for art, as might be evidenced by my eccentric fashion sense and multi-coloured hair (and while I haven’t any tattoos or other body modifications I love looking at people who do).

What have you been reading and/or watching lately?  What is your current favorite thing to read or watch? Well, the library’s run out of books again, so my reading supply’s gone a bit dry recently, but books I’ve fallen in love with in the last several months include Peter S. Beagle’s Tamsin (my first re-read felt like a homecoming, which is always a sign of a personal classic), Sarah Rees Brennan’s Demon’s Lexicon trilogy (book three is out in June!), Erin Bow’s Plain Kate, Barbara Hambly’s vampire now-trilogy (linguist/retired spy and his badass scientist wife deal with vampires in Edwardian England; it is EVERYTHING I’VE EVER WANTED), R.J. Anderson’s faery books, Eva Ibbotson’s deeply hilarious and intuitive and touching historical novels, Alberto Manguel’s books about books, Karen Elizabeth Gordon’s hilariously macabre books on grammar, and Shaun Tan’s wordless graphic novel The Arrival. Filmwise, my tastes run a ridiculous gamut from Disney’s Tangled to Wim Wenders’ Der Himmel uber Berlin; other stuff I’ve been loving lately includes Moulin Rouge!, Children of Heaven, How to Train Your Dragon, Pan’s Labyrinth, and The Young Victoria. Television-wise, I’ve been a bit busy — I marathon shows at ridiculous rates and have been rewatching Chuck lately as it’s a bit of a happy place, while Fringe (OLIVIA DUNHAM AND HER FACE AND HER EMOTIONS AND HER ENTIRE EXISTENCE) and The Vampire Diaries (awesome girls who love each other!!) are pretty much my favourite things currently airing, along with Being Human and Doctor Who (come baaaack!). And trust me, that is but the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Television is bad enough; if I tried to tell you about all of the books I’ve ever loved we’d still be here this time next year and that would have been the prefacing remarks. I REALLY LIKE ALL FORMS OF STORYTELLING MEDIA, AS YOU CAN SEE.

What inspires you at the moment? Oh, lots of things — sunlight (it’s hard to come by in February), Japanese mori-girl fashion, goth and steampunk fashion, music festivals, freak folk, multi-instrumental confessional folk like Mumford & Sons and Over the Rhine and the Civil Wars and Lisa Hannigan, storytelling musicians like Vienna Teng and Richard Shindell and Sarah Slean, neo-swing, neo-tradfolk, proper tradfolk, ballads (Tam-Lin is demonstrably my favourite), tea (especially the Neipalm blend of Earl Grey and Oriental Spice), colours and textures (my bedroom is a pleasantly cluttered conglomeration of objects and contrasts), kickass shoes that make me feel like a heroine when I walk in them, my cats, long aimless walks, the atmosphere at our little coffeeshop, old photographs (and when I have trouble getting into an aesthetic mood for writing I tend to trawl Flickr or Tumblr or similarly image-driven websites for inspiration), eavesdropping (my earliest and oldest and most accomplished hobby), French Roast in the morning, Madeleine L’Engle’s fiction and nonfiction, really feral music full of clapping and stomping and group harmonies, lists of words, new places, T.S. Eliot, stars, cities, graffiti, really good food (the Orange Crème Dream I get at the coffeeshop sometimes is profoundly inspiring, as is my mother’s Hungarian goulash; I am food’s most ardent fan), bits and bobs and scraps of ideas and information, steamingly hot showers, those underwater moments between waking and sleeping when one’s mind flutters free, Neil Gaiman’s hair (does it belong to him or does he belong to it?!), any breath of spring I can possibly snatch at the moment.


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