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  • Writer's pictureKaren Langston

HACIENDO: Project and Playground


Vapour trails and speculative ficiton

In the year and a half between finishing writing my last novel, Klova, and its publication, I did not write creatively. To my mind, that is not being a writer.


The hiatus was intentional, for reasons that I believed were valid. Retrospect and consequence have made me realise how myopic those reasons were.


The fallout? I lost confidence and gained barriers. I lost time and gained distance. I found myself with an empty page, and no ideas to fill it.


I have a close friend, Amanda Franklin - @amandafranklinceramics - who is a super talented

ceramicist, making amazing work. Recently, she has felt hindered by her own barriers to creating ceramics. Some are the same as mine; others have different words to describe them, but their bones are the same.


Faced with our empty page and empty potter’s wheel, we decided to team up and face our demons head on. To do that, we created HACIENDO.


‘Haciendo’ is a Spanish word that means ‘making’. It also means ‘doing’. And that is what the project is all about: DOING THE THING. Creating. Making art and literature. Engaging in the craft we’ve chosen for ourselves and, in the process, defeating our demons, honing our skills, and giving our creativity space to breathe.


We will create a small piece of work once a month, for twelve months. Amanda will make a piece of fired ceramic; I will write a short story. We will take turns each month to decide on a prompt, be that a word, phrase, concept, image, passage of music – anything. We have a maximum of twenty hours to spend on planning and creating each mini project. At the end of the month, we will share our work with each other, offer feedback, and reflect on what we have learnt and experienced through the course of the month.


The time limit is intended to keep us focused on the essence of HACIENDO: making. There is no time to over-think, prevaricate or perfect. There is only time to create – to grasp a spark of an idea, sketch it out, then realise it. The quality of the outcome is not our concern here; the making is what matters. That is why HACIENDO is our playground. We are committed to experimenting, embracing the mess, straying from our lanes and abandoning comfort zones.


For the next twelve months, we will be Doing the Thing. We will foreground the joy in creating. We will let loose and play!


Postscript:

Watch this space… The occasional short story, written as part of HACIENDO, may be featured as a blog here over the coming year.

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