Day 4 of Getting Inside James Joyce’s Head:

Getting Inside James Joyce’s Head

1. I made it a point not to read the introduction and not pay attention to footnotes in the text. I’m sticking to typing the meat of what is on the page.

2. I’m notorious for missing “the” every time I retype a status update or blog, even missing it when I edit (I dislike editing, by the way). However, while retyping “the” has become a nagging point of focus. In the four days so far, I’ve only missed one “the” and I caught it before I posted the entry.

3. After my retype sessions, I open up Word and type up whatever comes into my brain. I’ve been aiming for some sort of narrative, but all I came up with in the first two days were convoluted journal entries that went nowhere. The two days after that saw me skimming my retype entry, and then using the skeleton of Joyce’s text with a story idea. I still don’t know if anything worthwhile will come out of it, but I am keen what I’ve written so far. Everything around me can be mined and that pretty much blows my mind.

4. As in Ulysses, Joyce adds thoughts we’d easily throw out in a writing session simply because they seem frivolous. The point is, little things like, how shoes smell, or how someone throws a ball, little by little they add up to an environment that doesn’t require a rain of adverbs to illustrate. Instead of making of a paragraph, they are the paragraph, which is a unique technique in Joyce’s work.The background, the setting, the people, and their quirks are all there in chunks. The reader is left with a buffet of tastes and sounds to pick and choose from; it’s a freedom for the reader to interpret each chunk in their own way.

5. And lastly, with what I’m painting this week: I have an art exhibit that is coming up in April ( and I’ve decided to do some paintings to include with the illustrations I’m putting up. For the paintings I had previously decided to place my characters, Charlie and Crush, in different parts of Toronto.  Now they’re in my own versions of a few of my favourite paintings.

“Home” acrylic on canvas


“Charlie Is No One’s Son” acrylic on canvas

Charlie Is No One's Son by Jacqueline Valencia

“The Kiss” (still a work in progress) acrylic on canvas

The Kiss (work in progress) by Jacqueline Valencia

I’m not going to analyze the synchronicity of it and just play along. I’m highly entertained with the process of everything right now. We’ll see what happens.

Edit: I’m using wikipedia scans of the above artworks to guide me, in case anyone was wondering.

* * * *

Tomorrow you can find me reading a conceptual piece I wrote exclusively for an event at Videofag where I’ll be sharing the floor with Nik Beat, Salt Circle (Liz Worth & Sam Cooper), and Brandon Pitts:

* Now to sketch out a book review and some more illustrations. Hey, beware the Ides of March. Fifteen years ago on this day I met up with a boy to watch “Star Trek: First Contact.” We missed the show and now we have two kids.

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