Wednesday, October 08, 2008

♪ "I Have A Dream" la la la ♪

The mentoring thing is going ahead.

I had a conversation with the coordinator yesterday. This was to give her an idea of what I was like … so she can match me to the right mentor. She said ‘when we talk of a mentor, do you think male or female or doesn’t the thought occur to you?’ and I said ‘female.’

When I was at Art College a lot of my work was labelled ‘women’s art’ in a snotty, derisive way. Our lecturers (mostly male) were lovely, and tried to explain if I made work that was gender specific, I was wiping out half the potential viewers. I tried to explain to them that I couldn’t take my femaleness out of my experience of making art. I don’t accept that that makes my work less important, less good or less anything and I won’t apologise for it.

I am fairly sure my writing will be the same.

Let’s look at the evidence: the main character is a woman; of the next five characters four are women. There are two other main male characters and they are both dead! Hmmmm, interesting. The mentoring coordinator has read my first chapter and agreed with me.

Anyway this won’t do – I don’t know where that soapbox moment came from - I must pull myself together and do some work.

I should really turn off the soundtrack to Mamma Mia. I can’t write with music on … and particularly not when I’m warbling enthusiastically but tunelessly along with it. It’s most off putting.

But I’m rather enjoying it. In my dreams I sing so well ♪ ‘Gimme gimme gimme a man after midnight…’ ♪ although the snorting, mocking laughter that Husband’s just emitted might pour scorn on that idea.


Zinnia Cyclamen said...

'I couldn’t take my femaleness out of my experience of making art. I don’t accept that that makes my work less important, less good or less anything and I won’t apologise for it.'

Hear, hear! Three cheers!!

Caroline said...

I am just setting up on my own (got my first victim yesterday), so I'll be happily reading about your experiences. x

Debs said...

Good for you, you shouldn't take your femaleness out of your experience of making art.

I also love singing but apparently I sing rather badly, though it sounds perfectly fine to me:)

Tam said...

My hubby has a habit of turning the radio on as soon as he hears me singing when we're in the car together. I'm supposed to be quite good at it so think it's a man thing. They're just jealous...

Angie said...

I second Zinnia's 'hear, hear!'

I'm interested to hear about your experience with the mentor. I haven't heard of any similar programs here, but it sounds like a great program.
I can't write with music either, unless it's quiet and instrumental...of course, that may be tied to this particular story because I have written with music in the background before.

liz fenwick said...

Lok at it from the commercial side - women read and buuy more books.....the female experience is vitality and essentaily important - celebrate it in your art - visual or written.

The boys won't let dd sing in the car when we are together so when we are alone she and I belt it out and at the moment a man after midnight its out top hit!!!!

JJ said...

Zinnia, Yay here too. I won't stoop to bra burning (jeez, I'd put lives in danger!) but yes, I make no apology.

Oooh, Caroline, seen it over at yours. It looks great. Good luck.

Debs, I rather suspect that is my problem too.

Tam, my husband has to sing in his upcoming piano exam... I think he was mean to me because I told him I'd pulled a muscle in my jaw laughing!

Angie, I've worked with music in the past too... I can't work out why it should be different now.

Liz, Yay, Hurrah. I agree.