Thursday 16 September 2010

Bad Day Stickers by Emma Calder

The day I started to design the bad day stickers that ended up in Emma Calder's Moody Days sticker book, I was feeling really fed up. Also I was thinking about my father who had died some seven years earlier.

 Bad Day Stickers

This is the piece of writing that triggered the stickers off.

On Bad Days

On bad days I think of the saddest things like the day my father died for instance. (I also think of my own mortality.)

I had been sitting in the hospital for about four hours my father had very bad pneumonia and couldn't breath without an oxygen mask. He hadn't spoken once but, then he said, “I feel so sad.” Those were almost his last words.

Then the nurse came and asked me if I wanted the priest to come. I didn't know what to do, so I said: “Yes” even though we were not religious.

The priest stood by my father and my father opened his eyes and said, “Oh fuck.”
And those really were his last words. I knew then that getting the priest had been wrong.

Two hours later he was dead it was exactly 9.20pm.

Later I slept.
I began to fall
and fall.

Then a dull thud.

He had landed somewhere.

When I woke up, I went out to the shopping centre.
Somehow I did what I did.
But it was odd, my feet didn't touch the ground and my head was up to the roof.

Floating home out of my body.
Then to the hospital to pick up his things.
The grey plastic bag with his shoes, wrist watch and old clothes.

I know it's still down the garage somewhere.

Orginally the bad day stickers were cut up to make a long thin book, that is partly why the woman featured was so long and thin, but it was also to reflect the strange feeling of tallness I felt after my father died.
 Bad Day Woman

Friday 10 September 2010

Google Me

It's been a long Summer Holiday and I am just getting back into work, even though one child is not even back at school yet (due to the rebuild of the once iconic Pimlico School) and the other is ill and off school. 

As I try to pick up the threads of what I was working on before the holidays, I have been going through my notes and ideas for stories. Flicking through my file, I came across the piece of writing that inspired the cover of Emma Calder's Moody Day Sticker Book and also one of the other illustrations featured in the book.

Emma Calder's Moody Days in Foyles April 2010

Black Paper

A large piece of black paper dropped in front of her face.

The tears pushed towards her eyes.
A pain spread down her throat.
She felt sick and desperate.
Her head buzzed and buzzed.
The room became smaller.
The windows had gone.

She walked from wall to wall, up and down.
A trickle of brightness came from nowhere.
Dust particles danced in the light.

Now I am grown up I google myself all day long