Hang a Shining Star

"Hang a shining star" 2008 Christmas Card

And here is this year’s Christmas card – a lino print of a magpie and a star (so I didn’t stray too far from the original idea). There have been many print runs and there is a lot of ink in the house, but pretty much all the cards are sent. I keep thinking of people I’ve missed, but on the upside I don’t have to make gift tags this year because all the spoiled prints have been recycled into those.

I managed, of course, not to get a picture of one of the cleaner prints, but I really like this little guy (and have learned a lot about what not to do next time, for e.g., it is ambitious to try and get the same level of detail in lino – even soft-cut lino – as can be achieved in scratchboard).

Block for 2008 Christmas card

Not this year’s Christmas Card

Not this year's Christmas card

This was a rough sketch for a Christmas card but I left it too late to finish and have printed in time to send(*coughNaNoWriMocough*). The backup plan involves brayers and presses and using black ink which splashes everywhere when you wash it off the perspex. Especially if I am still wearing office clothes.

In writing, which subsumes… well, obviously not every waking moment, but a lot of them, I am over 81,000 words on the NaNoWriMo project. It is eventful if not cohesive. Bruce Gillespie of Steam Engine Times was very nice about the part of a story that I read at Conflux. I am also accumulating short story ideas to take further when November ends. There are werewolves and masks and ibises and alien anthropologists and archivists and librarians and time travel and tramyard fires and a city which was almost called Edenglassie (that part’s apparently true), and given that I am overdoing NaNoWriMo, working on art, going to life drawing classes, showing up at work, learning to do lino printing, going to the movies and practising writing with my left hand, I will not admit to writing more than the working titles, my favourite of which is about pineapples.

And yes, I know I haven’t done the reviews for last month yet. Two more days to get them done and still be within time!