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independent creative magazine 2 / 2012 / Habits / with / Alice Slater / Anneke Koster / Anniek Tijmes / MariĂŤlla van de Stolpe / Marit Frank / Willem Waterschoot

HABITS


COLOFON

EDITORIAL

{ Definite Bracket Magazine is published every

THE PART OF NOT KNOWING WHERE YOU WILL END UP, EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE CONTROL OVER THE THINGS YOU READ AND SEE, IS LIKE IN LIFE WHERE HIDDEN TREASURES CAN BE FOUND.

other month and is available through our website. The magazine wants to show the talent of young creative and their fresh insights about a variety of subjects. Every publication has a different theme.

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Editorial Team Anneke Koster - anneke@definitebracket.com Anniek Tijmes - anniek@definitebracket.com

Graphic Design Ineke Buist - ineke@definitebracket.com

Contributors Alice Slater Anneke Koster Mariëlla van de Stolpe Marit Frank Anniek Tijmes Willem Waterschoot

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All our contributors have their own habits to be able to create. The process of illustrating, writing, or any other creative skill is very personal, although there are many similar ways. My favorite part of this process is doing research. I look for text and images about the subject to find connections beyond the obvious. I find it a thrill when things, seemingly unconnected, are connecting in my mind. It is like having an Eureka-moment. Bells are ringing: I have to do something with the idea. Then the creating starts or ends. The research itself can be a project and result. It depends on what kind of value you give to the foundings, how you present them and if you send them out to the world. The research can be a precursor to an idea that needs development. In my case for this issue of Definite Bracket, I got stuck in the amazing research part. For weeks I have been researching our theme ‘habits’. Pages full of words, associations and ideas, but I couldn’t choose. Before the deadline of { Habits, I thought that maybe my habit is doing a long research without an endresult. I decided that this editorial is my final say in the subject for now and that my thoughts are enough. I am breaking a habit.

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Enjoy our second issue of Definite Bracket and also notice our new contributors: illustrator Marit Frank and writers Alice Slater and Willem Waterschoot.

Anniek Tijmes © { Definite Bracket Magazine All rights reserved. This magazine may not be reproduced without written permission from our editorial team and/or artists.

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CONTENT

Mariëlla van de Stolpe 9 / 12

Anniek Tijmes 13 / 19

Anneke Koster 20 / 24

Marit Frank 25 / 29

ALSO 4

INSPIRATION

6

THEY JUST FIND IT COMFORTING by Alice Slater

30 OVER HOE HET WOORD ZOCHT NAAR GEWOONTE TERWIJL HET IN ZIJN WONING WAS by Willem Waterschoot


INSPIRATION

Habits

Bad habits from India

Folk costume tradition from Staphorst, the Netherlands

hab•it |’habit| noun 1 a settled or regular tendency or practice, esp. one that is hard to give up: this can develop into a bad habit | we stayed together out of habit . • informal an addictive practice, esp. one of taking drugs: a cocaine habit. • psychology an automatic reaction to a specific situation. • general shape or mode of growth, esp. of a plant or a mineral: a shrub of spreading habit. 2 a long, loose garment worn by a member of a religious order or congregation. • short for riding habit. • archaic dress; attire. 3 archaic a person’s bodily condition or constitution: a victim to a consumptive habit. verb [ with obj. ] (usu. be habited) archaic dress; clothe: a boy habited as a serving lad.

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Airplane safety instructions


Addicting Tetris games from the 90’s

Healthy habits

Š Artwork by Annet Frontzek, based on the folk costumes from Staphorst (Nl.) Working 9 to 5

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They just find it comforting by Alice Slater He carries a hard-backed reporters’ notebook in the front pocket of his shirt, with a stubby soft-leaded pencil slipped into the spiral binding. He wears shirts with breast pockets for this exact reason. He used to keep his notebooks in the back pocket of his trousers, but found the stiff corners wore small holes into the corduroy. It drew unnecessary attention to his little habit. So this is what he does. He stops at a cash point, or he pays for small goods with a note, and an exchange of paper currency occurs. He takes the note or notes, be they freshly pressed or well-palmed, and finds a quiet moment to withdraw the notebook and the stubby soft-leaded pencil. He jots down the serial number of the newly acquired note(s). He has done this for twelve years, give or take. In this time, he has filled a staggering number of notebooks. If he kept them, he imagines they would fill a small bathtub. He doesn’t keep them once they’re full, so he can’t be sure of the exact number. He doesn’t need to keep them anymore. His eldest son made him an electronic database on the family computer. Now, at the end of each day, he types up the collected digits and draws a straight line under the last logged number in the book. That is his favourite part of the process; scoring that line, pressing extra hard with the

Saturday, he may well be given the same five pound note he used on Friday as change. He just finds it comforting to know.

That is his favourite part of the process; scoring that line, pressing extra hard with the pencil to ensure it is thick, solid, present. This is what she does. She goes to Mega City Comics in Camden Town each Monday and spends a fistful of notes on comic books. She buys volumes, collections, individual issues, all wrapped in plastic and neatly priced. In bookshops, she usually likes to browse, but here the pages are locked in their cellophane wallets. She has to trust her instincts, study the type-face, the cover image, the blurb and quotes printed on the back. She usually buys two or three volumes from a couple of the many series she follows, and a few new comics. She tries to keep the genres as varied as possible – political, science fiction, fantasy, horror, indie.

pencil to ensure it is thick, solid, present.

The only sections she ignores are the children’s comics and the manga. She always makes sure she buys a

This is why he does it. If, for example, he pays for a bottle of milk with a five pound note on Friday, and then buys a tin of cat food with a ten pound note on

book from at least one new author, or one new series. That way, she’ll never run out. She’s frightened of running out.

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She takes her stack to the Oxford Arms, clutching the plastic bag against her chest. She likes the Oxford Arms because it’s spacious and empty on Monday afternoons. There are no children, no dogs, no teenagers, no lager louts, no charity fundraisers, no piped music, no fruit machines, no quizzes or gigs or karaoke. There are no interruptions. If she sits outside, she can even avoid the televised sports. She orders pints of crisp cider and sits in the beer garden. She wears sunglasses, chain smokes Marlboros and works her way through the books. Around her, people come and go. Some order food, linger over sour coffees, chat over cigarettes and glasses of wine. Every so often, a light breeze passes through the pub and fills the garden with an acrid waft of ammonia. She likes comic books because they don’t give her time to think. She reads quickly, skimming the panels, admiring the artwork, adding each character to her mental library of inked faces. She finds she can’t concentrate on novels any more. Her brain wonders, her eyes switch to autopilot, she can’t absorb the sentiments on the page. Comics aren’t like that. You don’t have time to think. She finds this comforting.

He sits opposite her, on the other side of the garden. She doesn’t look up from her page, just alternates sucks between her cigarette and her drink. A plane crosses the sky above him; he watches the soft vapour trails blend into the smear of alto-stratus clouds. ‘Hey, have you got two tens for a twenty?’ He jumps. She is speaking to him. ‘Sure, of course.’ He dips into his wallet and extracts two notes. ‘Thanks, man.’ Whilst she’s gone, he jots the identification number of the new note into his notebook. She returns with a fresh pack of cigarettes. He has nearly finished his drink,

Her brain wonders, her eyes switch to autopilot, she can’t absorb the sentiments on the page.

He orders a pint of bitter. They only have John Smiths, no interesting ales in an establishment like this, but he likes the fact it isn’t a chain pub. There are no glossy menus, no lurid cocktail lists, no juke box blasting pop ballads or wide screen televisions broadcasting football matches to frothed up fans. The toilets are clean, the staff are friendly and the chairs don’t wobble. In the garden, he notices her right away. She is young, leonine, with thin arms and a main of jaw-length

so he offers her a polite smile. ‘Would you keep an eye on my belongings whilst I visit the bar?’ ‘No problem.’ ‘So kind.’ He buys another pint of bitter, and a packet of honey roasted cashews. He pays with the twenty. The barmaid is young, a curly blonde with inch-long mahogany roots. Her natural hair colour looks rich, chocolaty, divine. He thinks it’s a shame she chooses to peroxide it. She rings up his purchases, and just as she places the twenty into the cash draw, a greasy youth in chefs’ checks and a white apron appears by her elbow. They indulge in a spot of flirtatious banter. She barely

blonde hair. She is wearing sunglasses and smoking white-filtered cigarettes. A glass of lager or cider,

looks away from the youth as she drops a fistful of change into his outstretched hand.

something yellow and bubbly, rests in front of her. She is reading a book, some kind of art book full of pictures. As he gets closer, he realises it’s a book of comic strips.

He looks into his palm and counts the coins. ‘I’m terribly sorry, but I think you’ve short-changed me.’ ‘Oh really?’

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‘I paid with a twenty, you see.’ Her slack jaw drops into an ‘O’ of understanding. ‘Oh, Christ, you did? I’m so sorry sir ... but I’m afraid we’ll have to wait for the manager to count up the till at the end of the night.’ ‘Is he not available now?’ ‘Nope. He went out.’ ‘And when will he return?’ ‘I don’t know.’ ‘Well, that puts us in a rather awkward situation, doesn’t it?’ ‘You don’t have to wait. I could take your number and –’ ‘No, my dear, you misunderstand. The problem is that once I’ve finished this drink, I might like to purchase another. How am I to do so without the ten pound note you’ve deposited into your till?’ ‘Well, if you have a credit card, you could open a tab and –’ ‘I don’t own a credit card.’ ‘A debit will do.’

‘Alas, I have a habit of leaving it at home. ‘Alas, I have a habit of leaving it at home, lest I deign to overspend on frivolities.’ ‘I don’t know what to suggest then, sir.’ ‘I can prove to you that the twenty in the till was once mine.’ ‘Sir, I’m not even allowed to open the till unless I’m putting through a transaction.’ He is disappointed. It’s a fine day, and the beer garden was unusually quiet. He was looking forward to squandering the afternoon, sipping bitter and lingering on

‘Another Aspall?’ ‘Thanks.’ She notices him. ‘I’m sorry, you weren’t waiting, were you?’ He shakes his head. The girl pulls an apologetic expression, and he notices a ten pound note pinched between her fingers. He returns to his seat outside, and enjoys his drink. He savours each mouthful, alternating between the sour ale and the sweet crunch of cashews. When the glass is nearly finished, the sides marbled with dried froth, the girl seems to finish her book. She rummages through the plastic bag by her feet and extracts another. He tips his hat to her, and departs. His phone rings the following day. It is the manager of the Oxford Arms. He walks to the pub and finds an apologetic man in his early thirties. ‘The till was ten pounds over, sir. I’m so sorry for the mistake. ’ ‘It’s not a problem,’ he says, accepting a soft ten pound note. ‘I’ll pick up where I left off yesterday, if you don’t mind. I’ll have a pint of bitter.’ He pays with a twenty, carefully slipping the soft ten pound note into his breast pocket. She isn’t in the garden. He half-expected her to be there. He opens his notebook and checks the serial number against the two notes he gave her yesterday. He smiles. He just finds it comforting to know.

About Alice Short fiction aint dead yet. Alice Slater is a 25 year old writer based in London. She has a variety of minor writing victories under her belt thus far. She is

afternoon thoughts. He sighs and writes his telephone number down onto a

so used to writing mini biographies about herself in the third person, she can’t break the habit.

napkin. ‘Do make sure to tell the manager, won’t you?’ The thin girl with the comic books waits at the bar. She coughs politely, and the barmaid smiles.

acageinsearchofabird.wordpress.com

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MariĂŤlla van de Stolpe

mo-illustrations.blogspot.com

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Anniek Tijmes

www.anniektijmes.nl

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Anneke Koster

www.annekekoster.com

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Marit Frank

www.mevrouwfrank.nl

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Over hoe het Woord zocht naar Gewoonte terwijl hij in zijn woning was.

Het Woord liep over paden de berg af naar beneden; het ochtendgloren onthult, tussen de wissels die door het landschap snijden, een troepje stille reeën die rechtop staan en rukken aan de takken van een jonge den.

Willem Waterschoot

Verschoten van die vraag hielden de reeën op met eten en nadat zij enkele keren over en weer, naar het Woord en vervolgens naar de groene toppen hadden gekeken, zeiden ze niets – wellicht konden ze niet spreken – en deden ze iets waarvan, zo begreep het Woord, niet kon worden afgeweken.

Het Woord vroeg aan de reeën: “Waarom zijn jullie toch die takken aan het breken en kauwen jullie naalden die, ondanks dat ze zacht zijn, míjn maag flink zouden steken?”

Dit was een Gebruik en het Woord daalde verder af: even verderop stuitte hij op een hek waarvan de draad was aangetast door roest en hoge spanning; zo hoog en ondoordringbaar was deze opgetrokken grens. Erachter stonden mensen die niet meer konden lopen maar dolgraag zouden rennen en rollen door het gras.

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Het Woord zuchtte en hij vroeg aan één van hen: “Zijn dit jullie gebruiken? Het zitten op stoelen met ingezakte lichamen en een scheve glimlach, waarachter ik kan ruiken een vreemd soort onbehagen?” De mensen knikten van nee. Ze zaten hier al lang en lachten: “Wij zijn niet geheel vergeten hoe het is om níet altijd te zitten met een gevoel van angst. Maar kijk zelf eens, die tralies: hún armen zijn het langst!” Hier sprak de Gewenning en het Woord sloop, diep verzonken in gedachten, naar een dal waar tromgeroffel klonk en werd gedronken rond een val waarin een vosje zat, verstrikt met in zijn zij een diepe snee. Één van de hoge heren – want hij droeg een hoge hoed – sprak vurig tot zijn naaste, die door slaap werd overmand: “Sta op! En doe een dansje! Vier feest! Opdat de landen waarop je beesten staan (in ‘t schijnsel van de maan) nooit meer door vossetanden aan de zoom worden bedreigd en onrecht aangedaan.

die je maar kunt vinden, vier steken uit te delen: de laatste in zijn hart.” Dit waren Rituelen waar het Woord van had gehoord maar die hij nimmer had gezien. En toen hij knielde om te rusten van zijn wandel tot het dal, bij de reling van een brug, zag een oudje het Woord zitten en die maande hem om vlug in zijn woning plaats te nemen aan een tafel naast een haard. Het Woord vertelde hoe hij van boven naar deze plek was komen lopen, over wie hij had ontmoet en hoe zijn hoofd zich had gebogen over gebruiken en over gewenning en over een ritueel tot slot. Nu zat hij in een woning, aan een tafel met een kind en hij voelde iets opkomen: “Ik kan hier niet langer zijn, jullie zijn hier de gewonen, en het is nu míjn Gewoonte te wonen onder-weg, onder sneeuw gebukte bomen, en met mijn voet die altijd in de lucht hangt.”

Je dient dat slinkse ding met de allerscherpste speer

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Definite Bracket Habits