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  • Michelle

How to make a lino print

I don't know about you, but sometimes my inspiration gods are unforthcoming. There are days when perhaps the weather has dulled my spirits. Or work, with its myriad of unsent emails and narrative spreadsheets, has sapped my focus. Days when I sit down to write in earnest, with a hopeful heart and a blank mind... On days like those, it's good to remember to play.

Author Tim Clare, in one of his many brilliant podcast episodes, once said "piss about in purpose of serendipity". Advice so potent I scribbled it down on a yellow post-it note that I try to keep in view of my desk at all times. It's something I often forget, but joyful, pressure-free experimentation can be just the spade to dig you out of an unwelcome rut.

So, in an attempt to beat what feels like extended winter blues, I've been pissing about this week (as instructed) with no aim other than to put some stuff in my notebook. I've been aided in my recreational efforts by way of another author, Tania Hershman, who put together this very springy 5-day hybrid writing challenge for Arvon.

In the interest of un-precious sharing – here's something a bit silly that came out of it...

How to make a lino print

  • Step 1: Coat yourself with microscopic colonists. (Remember: extremophiles thrive in high intensity environments.)

  • Step 2: Retrieve your cartouche and coddle till pliable. Somewhere between hard and hermitian should do it.

  • Step 3: Thumbsprag your desire onto the lino, taking care not to effilerate.

  • Step 4: Once satisfied, toe pick your way through the afore-expressed undulations. WARNING: Take care not to chocktow one's thumbs. Bevels and block cutters are extremely sharp.

  • Step 5: Think like an Überkatze.

  • Step 6: When you have finished your commutations, prepare for the runneling.

  • Step 7: Twizzle and platter until life stirs in the depths of your oxygen-deprived bowels.

  • Step 8: Print to release.

It was fun to find a few minutes each day to play and remember what I love about writing – the freedom to do whatever you want, and the power of writing to surprise you.

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