Ad astra per aspera

My mother believes in reading your stars.

That’s one excuse I have for checking my horoscope every day. The other is the scuffed-fullsizeoutput_1e5ayellow paperback of Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs that sits on the bookshelf next to my dictionaries, harking back to a lovelorn student. My preoccupations are just different these days. Today’s Your Stars by Jonathan Cainer predicts:

The grand trine has picked you up by the scruff of your neck and is whipping you away from trouble. Never mind how or why. Just be glad.’

Boy, am I relieved things are looking up. I’m glad, believe me, really, I am. Once I’ve stopped wondering who the hell the grand trine is. I never claimed to be very au fait with matters astrological. When I look it up the following is presented: The strength in the pattern of the Grand Trine is when the individual uses the Grand Trine to their maximum advantage and sets their goals accordingly, thereby reaching their goals with incredible success.

Could it possibly be referring to the hearse cover saga for The Good Cemetery Guide e-book? Read about that here sometime soon. Or is that I’ve finally accepted there’s no overnight spell to turn me into a Catherine Ryan Howard clone with sparkling wit and buoyant personality? That’s what she’s been saying all along and I finally get it. Lots of blogs use pictures from stock photo sites. And clearly ‘Consuelo, Chocolated’ won’t do. Everybody will think it’s a chocolate foodie site of some sort. And yes, I could have said ‘Writer, ballerina, straight-haired’ in my tagline. Once upon a time, feeling fat and frizzy-haired, I indulged in the harmless day-dream of being the next Dame Margot Fonteyn, but that was so I’d get to dance with the sublime Rudolph Nureyev.

So what if I’m not the most original blogger ever to hit the airwaves? I’m not the only writer who is using someone else’s visual images to market my stories. But that’s okay I’ve finally decided. So long as I acknowledge the artist. All respect to JH Lynch. And so long as the words are mine.


JH Lynch in Kalk Bay

 I’m no expert on art and I’m no expert on JH Lynch. I discovered the mystery artist quite by mistake in Kalk Bay. You really shouldn’t walk into Big Blue if you set out that morning planning not to buy anything except a cup of coffee or an ice-cream. I ended up buying a set of 6 coasters for R120.00 that reminded me of the Roman Noir covers I’d been perusing while doing research for a new thriller. My latest character is a bit of a femme fatale herself and there was something reminiscent about these women; as if they were all part of dream encounters I’d been sorry to leave behind.

Without really thinking about it I commented how amazing (I meant mesmerizing) the women’s faces on the coasters were. The shop assistant at the cash till said the artist was somebody Lynch. Did you say David Lynch? I asked, mishearing. No, she said, giving me a quick look, realising I didn’t actually have any idea. That’s how I discovered JH Lynch, right there in Kalk Bay, the atmospheric seaside town where Anthony Loxton hijacked my imagination one dark night long after midnight, resulting in The Good Cemetery Guide. There’s something about the place; I always seem to find something I don’t even know I’m looking for. No, for the record, I don’t live there. I just pass through occasionally. That’s the nature of our relationship and it suits us both. Neither of us gets bored with the other that way.

So now I have three of JH Lynch’s fabulous femme fatales gracing my header after months of sitting on my desk lending me inspiration.  When the right energy was lacking I’d shuffle them between my hands like tarot cards, marvelling at the full-lipped seductive power of those expressive faces – women with a certain bring-it-on laissez-faire attitude to love.


QI: JH Lynch’s pictures appeared in Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange. Did they epitomise kitsch? Or did Kubrick employ their temptress power on a subliminal level to draw us into his game? Rumours persist that JH Lynch was a woman.