Archive for writing

Writing…memoire/novel..Happy Days..

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Stories and reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2016 by kathydasilva

bookcoverimageabcIt’s funny and not, that at the moment I seem to be choosing humour to lighten what was traumatic at the time of something happening. But, I am not sure it will actually add to the ‘drama’ effect of real life being retold or for that matter remade, in the effort to fictionalize part of the story. I might be understating some of what happened if I add too much humour but humour is part of my personality, and some of that humour came from my father. At the time of a funeral the strangest things can happen. The people you have not seen for a while, can turn up looking completely different to when you last saw them, and in some way this can produce quite surprising elements to a scene. I am just remembering that famous film story, Four Weddings and a Funeral. Well that was something of a combined element of happy and sad moments in the lives of friends who had been quite close.

So to add to my dilemma, I will have to add something of what I read, or rely on for strength. Books are like old friends. My copy of Ulysses by James Joyce is thirty years old! The glue is dry and now not able to keep the pages together, it was paperback. The centenary that was being celebrated was the hundred years from his birth into this world. And that was back some years ago! I had read Stephen Hero and The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. When I recently went through the trauma of loss, I was privileged to view a newly written play, performed by Theatre of Eternal Values. They were Yogics, and multi national in terms of the cast who performed. So English, Italian, Finnish, Dutch, and Spanish actors took part in the story of William Blake’s life story. They did the whole lifestory, from birth to death and interwove the story of Job from the Christian bible inbetween scene changes to depict this. Blake  was someone who spoke about social injustice, and was also accused of sedition and ‘uttering treasonable expressions’, and he was quite a good craft person with regard to artistic drawing and print making.

A man who received visions from God, and saw angels in the fields amongst workers, as a child looking through a window. It is indeed amazing how one or two writers can impact a person, thoughout their life. So perhaps I am on the right track, with regard to my story after all!  It is like being in the river of life, the spiritual river if you can imagine a little of something of the mystery, it helps. My friend Michael’s poem, ‘in whose vortex I am caught up..’ Michael is a Brighton poet. The Blake play, showed the devil as a two character part representing his ‘tongue’ or two faced deceptions. It was well done. I thought this play needed to be in the Barbican. I think everyone should see this wonderful version of the life of William Blake. And now back to where I left off…..

The Great Escape!

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2016 by kathydasilva

This little poem or start of one, I found in a notebook recently completely forgotten about, and then, as I read it all really made sense…

THE GREAT ESCAPE!

At the interview I found them
Cream-brown, and, grey-black,
Objects with different texture

Feeling and remembering
Distracting and dream-like
Wave after wave, flows up the sea shore

Grey-black and smooth washed
Glass cutting splinters, abbrassive
Rolled between the thumb and palm

The bleeding flesh filled with salt.

 

Child Poem

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2016 by kathydasilva

CHILD POEM

Twombly said the thing that couldn’t be said,
A broken sapling, the top resting on the standing remainder,
My child saying ‘The snails make their bed in me’,
And that his bones ..’ … are as thin and brown as twigs’,
Children always tell you the truth through their own eyes and feelings.
I’d given birth to a poetic genius able to talk to me  from heaven or earth,
He says, ‘It’s all dark in the grave, there’s no light.’
I’ve learned to hate the rain.
My sister can’t bear to listen to me anymore.
She says she’s going to be cremated when she dies,
She’s adopted new beliefs,
But, it’s all old hat eastern philosophy.
I daren’t tell her I don’t follow that.
It’s true I can’t live this life more than once through,
You have to be too brave,
What will she do if it isn’t as she says?
Then there’s God Almighty,
And the question why?
But, at least we can feel close my babe and I,
In a sense there is no separation,
‘We watch you all the time,’ he says, ‘You’re a whuss.’

Chocolate

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2016 by kathydasilva

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I was once accused of having a very decadent breakfast, whilst snacking on a small bar of chocolate one morning, on a reception desk of a London leisure pool where I was working. It was seven o’clock in the morning, I was there to open up the pool to the early bird swimmers, and this usually meant skipping breakfast in order to get there on time! I was reflecting on this description of the chocolate bar as being  decadent, (excessive indulgence in pleasure or luxury) and the real meaning of that word with regard to an age of the so called ‘plenty’. We the land of the plenty, are seen as one of the first ports of call to people, travelers, refugees, students, who might settle here.  The reasoning being we are usually seen as tolerant of people’s right to choose their religion, partnerships, singularity,  sexuality, and live in relative freedom.  A democratic society with equality to opportunity. Until now!?! Mercy May! What would happen to our society after this latest blow to our world or worlds? With leadership as apparently unable to convene meetings which would result in the dissembling of violence on the planet, should we not be raising our voices of protest.

I’ve managed to find ‘Hoorah!’ My little motif, above, which is for the back of my published books via Amazon’s Create Space company in America. My own unique logo, with a name that I constructed quite a few years ago, with an intention to progress outlets for my creative energies. Bloomsbury Publishing. Well an independent form of publishing. It is not without many hours of work that anything is done it is true.

I have Italo Calvino’s wonderful The Literature Machine, at hand and was browsing it this morning, opening onto the pages about Levels of Reality in Literature. Its an essay talking I think about how the main characters contain the authors influence on their words and thoughts, but also that if a reference is made within the story to other sources of inspiration from literature for example classical references to philosophy, that this might also be two voices within the one text, or two separate influences merging within the story. I was wondering how the story I made within Driftwood, would in fact carry a sort of message for the future. I have hoped it shows my own hope for reasoning and goodness to flow once again in our society.  The first chapter was called River Walk for a symbolic reason. The ancient Greeks, use to make stories about spirits that inhabited their rivers for reasons of drama and in explanation of disasters for example. If indeed our global waters are experiencing such drama, then perhaps our good human reasoning and faith in a good God might prevail, where darkness seems to have entered. On a more objective level, civilization, civilized society is dependent on good behavior all round, and good reasoning. I rather wonder at how philosophy manages to bring down the urge to rage to a habitable level of reason, that models of thought help us to be self critical and examining. One of the most outrageous things happening in our present political climate is the emergence of the mercenary.  Way back, Leon Gollub, made an exhibition of paintings on un-stretched canvas at the ICA in London, just of that, pictures of militarized individuals who war the fatigues of army color, brandished machine guns and were seen to take hostages, and bind them to chairs, images of torture. The hostages were almost always blindfolded.

My own sense of ‘horror’ out of the news we now see on our screens, has been, the disruptive influence of terror like drama in European locations, Holland and France in particular. The unseen hand that plans all of this seemingly remaining anonymous to the general population.

I was beginning to feel that there seemed no way forward for artists and expressionists of film and fine art disciplines, to hopefully feel fulfilled if a kind of wild censorship came into place.  The need to be brave, and brave up, seemingly ever present currently.  I would have made Driftwood longer, but, for the fact that I had stopped wanting to write any further parts to its drama.  I ended up finishing it succinctly in order to get the information it contained ‘out there’.

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I would love any comments about the times we live in, and the possibilities of writing.  Whether my Michel, lives up to expectations with the cartoons he is shown to be creating. I was also leaning on a bit of Kitaj, with the imagery as Kitaj, quite rightly used the image of the whore,  showing Europe as this image, during the second world war, under the Nazis.  And this also brings me back to the cover, and should I do this or that, satire, comic drawings, or  a version of Kitaj’s pastel drawings from the  war period?.. thoughts?…

New Release ‘Driftwood’ is out now!

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2016 by kathydasilva

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‘Streaks of sunlight separated and shone strong rays of white light onto the stone floor, and as people passed through they interrupted the light, and momentarily fell under the spot light effects of the beams.’

It’s a novel about two people, who write comic satire for a magazine. Their work is full of witticism and humor about politics of the times.

My latest novel, Driftwood is now available on Amazon.co.uk as an e-book, and in the next few days as a hard copy paperback. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Driftwood-Katherine-Da-Silva-ebook/dp/B01LYQQCVP/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475673195&sr=8-1&keywords=driftwood+by+Katherine+Da+Silva

Walking on sunshine…

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2016 by kathydasilva

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I went out today… down town.. to see the BP Portrait Awards painting exhibition… but, it takes me, an inordinate amount of time, usually to leave my house, I do the rounds of the doors and the ‘lock up’, before assuring myself that the cat will be alright even if it rains. I seem to be over doing it on that element. I often think of moving back to the countryside, because of this hyper sense of tension caused by city dwelling, and by that I mean the always present possibility of burglary and intrusion. However, being able to jump on the tube train and see some of Britain’s finest portrait painting is always a bit of a thrill, though always there is the reliance for this particular exhibition to show a lot of photo-realism. I haven’t entered anything this year and it is partly a financial reason the ever increased submission fee. Even this year’s offerings are a bit thin on the ground it may seem. There are some lovely pieces, but, this is not a review, but yes I would encourage people to go, for the few treasures that do exist.

I finally am coming round from my year of ‘change’, having spent five years in a rigorous routine of sorts in an academic library, which by all sense of deliberations, seems to be getting smaller and smaller in it’s collection size as subject areas are being abandoned due to cut backs and political decision making by Conservative think tanks. The lack of funding is propelling the planning  of resources toward the e- library concept. And I guess the future is going to be all a bit of a virtual experience for most of the students from now on.

I just wonder when the idea of chip and pin planted into a student’s head is all that will be required, yep, the government would probably find it all much more convenient to do just that and program the whole population to do its will.

It has taken a year to undo any damage, that occurred due to the rigor of that routine lifestyle. I had intended writing and finishing my memoir/novel Looking for Pearls, but this indeed may change again and possibly the title, but, who knows.  Driftwood is coming into being. I finally saw a hard copy printing of The Island, and spent Sunday morning re-reading it. I am happy writing Driftwood.

The academic colleges run by corporations, I think suffer particularly from a lack of purity of purpose. In my own life time, both through primary and secondary education, I truly felt I had a freedom and the right encouragement to read, and learn and grow in confidence with no particular agenda attached to the process. Going to art school was for me, a choice to do something I showed talent in from an early age, but, again the road and path a person follows is not always a straight forward thing. When I arrived in London, settling down in a vast city that was always  on the move, both night and day, seemed impossible. I made about three moves from one bedsit to another in the space of the first year. The landlords varied, and it proved a little hazardous with regard to my own sense of safety even then. I battled through three undergraduate years managing to live independently of college digs or halls of residence. All the time facing dangers that might have sent any nervous type of person running back to their parents. London school kids, for example, notably, in the winter always hang out in the local launderettes, and were so lively, they thought nothing of jumping in a drier, and trying to spin round and keep warm. They were clearly left to their own devices with regard to recreational interests. One kid had been thrown in one of Hampstead’s ponds, and was trying to get dry in order to avoid a telling off about the state of their clothing, on returning home, and had begged money for the drier. Once they got money from whoever had any, they turned the drier on whilst also climbing inside to spin and treat the whole thing like a fairground ride. I managed about two years of my undergraduate period without a television. I had persuaded myself to opt for studying and reading as many of the ‘classics’  (meaning books), that my schools had failed to show me, or fit into the syllabus. This was a reaction to a public school boy getting ‘my’ place at Goldsmith’s College to study fine art. It helped a bit, it helped me to realize a naked love of reading that started in any case when I was fairly small. In fact I cannot remember learning my alphabet, but only rather the act of reading the ladybird books, that lined our bedroom shelves. I was an ‘A’ grade English student at school. I had been I think a bit lazy not to do the Advanced level study of that subject. I found myself trying out all sorts of literature just because someone had mentioned it. From the Mysteries of Udolpho, to Sylvia Plath’s Bell Jar. But, also this period started the collection that is now at least four packing boxes worth of books. John Paul Sartre’s Words, got bought because of a radio program focusing on existentialist literature and philosophy. And I went on to read most of the trilogy  the first being, Age of Reason. My friend Quentin, had been reading A Happy Death by Albert Camus.  It was also around this time, that I started with ancient classics too, all books, leading to a kind of bolstering of some of the other subjects that I had been fortunate to have the privilege of studying by virtue of secondary school being a Catholic church school, for example Classical Civilizations. We at school had studied Oedipus the King, and read through the play Antigone. I seemed to be drawn to Plato. It has also helped subsequently that a move in recent times to Sussex, also showed me some of the Bloomsbury group’s dwellings during the war, and in particular the home  of Leonard and Virginia Woolf. Virginia Woolf wrote A Room of One’s Own. It contains the sort of reasoning, that, spurred me on to feel independent about study and writing and art. Life for me has always been with a sense of optimism of opportunity as a result. I remember encountering rather like a mirage, Nicole Kidman, as I walked down a lane in Lewes town, one summer. I had no idea she had been filming The Hours, which I also subsequently have read, as well as having watched the movie version inspired by the book. The whole thing was indeed filled with sentiment and feeling, about worth and expression. Also at this time, I had come across The Maggot, by John Fowles, and the first book I had read of his was The Collector, and that too was set in the town of Lewes. And yet again my sci-fi which is going to be completed soon too, no doubt in the next year or so, well there I go, Lewes and East Sussex feature, and yes because to stroll and walk is for me a stimulant for thought and creation of images, both artistically and with the realm of writing creatively. So rather wonderfully today took on nostalgic tones. As I left my house today, about lunchtime, I had just entered the Cranbrook Road and was walking toward my local shops for a ‘top up’ of my oyster card, when I saw a figure in the distance not in a dissimilar way that I had encountered Nicole Kidman. I had difficulty seeing who this person was, partly because of the brilliant sunshine,  glaring back into my eyes as I clearly was looking westerly as I walked, and at first, I kept thinking the person was someone with dreadlocks. I had not worn my glasses, as mainly I only put these on for reading, but, the strangest thing occurred. I looked and looked as if wanting to see more clearly, but, the person turned out to be a guy, with neck length dark hair, and quite a lanky figure loping forward at some deliberate speed, with a very intense look.  It dawned on me it could so easily have been Will Self, but, why I should think this I am not sure, but, I had read about Will’s walk to Yorkshire with his eleven year old son beside him that had nearly got him arrested. It was an amazing tale that somehow by virtue of his own inimitable style, he drew me the reader into his world of great intense engagement with life, seeking to inspire his son, whilst journeying to see relatives in the north, all by foot. When this tallish figure had passed me it was only then, I looked over my shoulder, and stood stock still, willing him to look back. And at one point his head did turn, but, hey, he probably would not have known me or the why he felt the need to look round. He was about half a mile down the road by then. This had a kind of Joycean feel to it at the time, a day in the life of……..  ‘Stephen Daedalus is my name ….’ Ulysses.

 

 

 

 

Dance like you never danced before……

Posted in Autobiography, Current affairs, Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , on May 19, 2016 by kathydasilva

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I had a recent scrape with a vehicle going the wrong way down a slip road.. in Ilford. There is a subtle irony, about accidents and incidents. I am now having to rest up. Yes. Not easy for someone who likes to move about quite a bit by nature alone. Not easy for someone who actually cannot stand being ill. But, heaven is defining the moment as the most opportune one for getting pen to paper. It is not until you loose the use of something like a foot that its apparent usage becomes more in focus. My right foot and my left are often used when I dance as much as when I do any performance act, and for that matter I like to walk quite a bit too. So having lived a lifetime nearly with nearly no incident or accident which put my mobility at risk, I was then weighed down by the enormity of challenge to get right back to normal as soon as possible. But, it is a learning curve over how and when a limb may be able to mend and bone to grow and then all the rest of the physio exercise to get back what may have been lost. I am not exactly a very patient person physically either! I am in the middle of writing a new novel ‘ Driftwood’, and I hope to finish this at some point in the summer possibly ready for September and autumn.
I am mindful of all the political events going on around the world, the American elections and how that might impact us the little Britain of Dickens…We are tiny in size but mighty in stamina. Small island but how enormous the effort to be globally seen and counted.
I hope to reach out a bit more. I got the polling card through this morning for the referendum debate of whether to stay or go from Europe. I have thought to stay because it made travel and work abroad more easy. I quite like having some relationship with other European countries but, can understand economically we do pay out quite a bit to help other countries too.
And hopefully England might recover? Austerity is not in my mind that good a deal for anyone. I feel totally ashamed that we have food banks for our own poor. But, allotment growing your own might be a more dignified stance for self help and then where does that leave the market place. My mother’s parents grew their own food and kept goats, lived near an orchard and ate, all through a war. I feel for the staff of all our NHS hospitals. I can see just by the whole organization of clinics especially outpatients that, everyone is working to their maximum and more. And how can that be right.
Dance like you never danced before….I when I was new to the London area had a great enthusiasm for keeping mobile in limb and I did this going to jazz dance and tap whatever was going at Pineapple studios and Dance Attic. I also had a hankering for doing dance professionally. I was slim a size 8 English size that is. And had no fat on my limbs to hamper any movement or agility. I think dance is a spiritual expression and internal thing. And I intend to keep that in mind as I mend. I also somehow by accident or fate, learned the sport of aerobic exercise and what happens with the body and working heart rates for people whose intention is to stay healthy. Air is a good thing. Oxygen helps mend all parts of a body. Oxygen for healing cells, and renewal.
So I pray I mend quickly. I will be patient. I believe in the goodness of God. I believe people should have a conscience about their own behavior. I believe in honesty. There is opportunity for nations to do better than the current messy internal wars going on. The only way people can free themselves from the tyranny of prejudice is to learn to be mentally free from their own past. To learn to be intellectually diligent. To learn reason. To learn to listen to debate. I just can say this is something an individual can do. But, it is the only thing that will put things right also for the collective.
Any comments to my articles and reviews are welcome.