Hokusai’s the Great Wave now at the NGV!

Hokusai tattoos, coffee, and rock and roll love stories …

Right now I’m pretty happy to be drinking coffee and reading The Age newspaper. I’m getting all fired up to head to Melbourne’s National Gallery, the NGV as we Melbournians like to call it, to dream my way around the Hokusai exhibition.

I love all his work, but I can’t wait to see The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, undoubtedly, the most famous of the woodblock prints in his fabulous series Thirty-six Views of Mt Fuji.

Meanwhile, in Siren’s Wave Book 2, Bran and Ava have already paid a visit to the NGV and checked out the print that inspired their tattoos. While there, Ava discovers something shocking that hits her exactly like a tidal wave. Something she’ll have to keep hidden from Bran or risk blasting their happiness into smithereens.

Spectrum Hokusai
Spectrum, The Age newspaper – ‘Riding the Wave’ an article by Kylie Northover. The NGV’s Hokusai exhibition runs from 21st of July until the 17th of October.

Grinning, he said, “What are you looking at? Wanna find a column to hide behind and make out for a bit?”

“No! God. Is there any place in the world you think unsuitable for getting it on?”

“That question’s rhetorical, right? You already know the answer.” Waving the catalogue at her, he said, “Hey, says here that Hokusai used around thirty different names over his lifetime. Mostly ones he made up himself.”

“Maybe you can use one of his spares when the limelight gets too stupid for you and you need to go incognito?”

“Huh. Maybe. How about Gakyojin? I think it suits me.”

She pulled the paper from his hand.“Um, lets see … that means ‘man crazy about drawing’.”

Trailing heat up her thigh, he ran his finger over the paper in her lap and asked, “Is there one for ‘man crazy about sexing up his girlfriend’?”

She laughed while he gazed at the art blazing bright against the dark-blue wall.

“What is it about that wave, Ava? I fucking dream about it. It’s weird.”

Bran and Ava at the NGV’s Hokusai exhibition – from The Wave chapter, Siren’s Wave book 2.

Bad Bran, Angry Ava …

. . . VS Brave Bran, Amiable Ava.

Gorgeous shot of Hanna Sorheim and Ton Heukels by Matteo Montanari for Cargo Collective.

“Well, that’s confirmed it. I reckon you’re about seven parts optimist and three parts moron. That’s a dangerous combo, Ava.” – Bad Bran, Thin Ice.

Christopher Mason
Christopher Mason looking very Bran-like

“Finally,” she said. “You’re a bit slow, aren’t you?” His scowl grew. Don’t believe me. I’m lying, she thought. The words tried to break through her lips, but she wouldn’t say them. He needed to move on already, bother a different girl. – Angry Ava, The Kitchen.

retro girl fighting

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Ton Heukels – Partners in Crime shoot crop for Patrizia Pepe by the very talented Nima Benati

Gripping the table with both hands, his eyes gleamed a translucent blue-green like chunks of raw beryl. “I . . . well . . .” He closed his eyes, rubbed his forehead and took a breath. “How can I say it, Ave? You’re the water. The wave. The ride. The whole lot.” – Brave Bran, This is What You Want.

“Okay then. I know you’ve never said it in the whole of your life. It’s hard. I understand that and I’ve been patient, but it’s only three words. And if you mean them, it should be okay, right? So I’ll be the brave one and say it first.” She took a big breath. “I love you.” Ava grimaced at her food. “Wow, it does make you feel vulnerable. But does that help?”  – Amiable Ava, This is What You Want.

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Dreamy waves and Jungian gems.

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”Carl Jung, Swiss psychoanalyst.

According to Jung, our dreams deliver subconscious information, long neglected or ignored, needing to be integrated into our waking lives. I like the concept of our wily night-minds waiting for the opportunity to show us things hidden from the daylight. ‘Yes, asleep again! Now come on you fool, look at this. Look!’

The Dream J.A. Hazel
The Dream – by J.A. Hazel

A while back, this vivid image of me on a mountain, for some reason naked and unusually happy about the great wave roaring forth, startled me awake and made me get the paints out before breakfast!

As you can see, I’m certainly no Van Gogh, but the picture rocked and rolled around inside my head, demanding to be exorcised.

I’m glad that I didn’t let it fade away and scratched it out onto canvas because it contained symbols that hovered and sparked feelings that eventually became my book, Siren’s Wave. So, from the watery dream realm came an earthy enterprise that kept me entertained and busy. And a little obsessed? Probably. Something long neglected was brought to life in Bran and Ava’s story. What exactly? Hmm, let’s see … Be brave. Face fears. Share the past. Be open. Be yourself. And more. So much more, in fact, but that’s another story.

Mountain J.A. Hazel
The Dream – J.A. Hazel – detail of a nuded up me loving the fact that a wave is about to swallow me up. ‘Woohoo … this should be fun!’

Siren’s Wave: A Rock and Roll Love Story by J.A. Hazel . . .

ONLY 99C FOR A LIMITED TIME.

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Can a damaged rocker be healed by love when the only girl he wants is determined to resist him? Grab the ebook at all the usual places and find out. Siren’s Wave – on sale for 99c from April 18th!

Siren’s Wave Paperback …

the verdict is in … dal-russels absolutely love it!

I really couldn’t believe it when I glanced down at Lola. She just happened to be reading my paperback copy of Siren’s Wave, an angsty rock and roll love story. I interrupted her at the part where Bran says …

“I’m only kissing you, Ava. I don’t need anymore.”

Just like Ava, Lola certainly didn’t look fooled by his statement.lola-lay

In fact, she looked mournfully back at me with her sweet chocolate eyes, surely asking … “Do you think Bran might like girls with pale white skin all covered in irregular black dots?”

It was difficult, but I told her, “Well Lola darling, I hate to break this to you … but you’re … um … a dog. So, no, I don’t imagine that you’re his type.”

Clearly disappointed, she gazed vacuously at me then comforted herself by licking her toes for a spell. Satisfied with her work, she got back to reading, absorbed once more. Phew! Unhappy dog disaster narrowly averted.

After a time, I felt her staring at me again and was surprised to see this expression …lola-lick

Absolutely terrifying! What could she mean by wielding her tongue in that wicked manner? I can only guess that she’s really enjoying the story. Bad dog Lola.

Note: No dogs were harmed in the taking of these photos. Treats were very much appreciated, though.

Siren’s Wave paperback now available to order online at Amazon.com, Booktopia, Fishpond, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository and more …

The Astor – Melbourne’s much-loved landmark Art Deco cinema

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Running since 1936 – the Astor – with its decadent choc tops and eclectic mix of both classic and current double feature movies – is hard to beat when looking to indulge in a cool and uniquely Melbourne experience.

The Astor’s quarterly calendars, lovely works of art in themselves, have graced the walls of many an illustrious and not-so-illustrious share house over the decades. See what a joy the calendar is … well, that’s only half of mine … it’s huge!astor-calendar-sirens-wave

It was the bloody Spanish Inquisition. Her underarms started to sweat accordingly.

“Izzy and I have just come out of the movies.”

“Oh yeah? What did you see?”

“A double feature, ‘Crimson Peak’ and the nineteen thirties ‘Dracula’.”

“A double feature. And a classic too. Sounds like a pretty cool theatre.”

Ava couldn’t help but warm to the topic and her enthusiasm trumped her reticence.

“It is! The Astor’s amazing. It’s a decaying art deco beauty and the perfect place to hang out with Bela Lugosi.” She felt him smiling as he made attentive listening noises.

“Tell him about the cat!” yelled Izzy.

“And there’s this gorgeous cat, Duke, who lives there and lolls around on the couches in the foyers. And sometimes he comes and sits on a lap during the movie. He sat on Izzy for most of Dracula, purring away like a furry heat machine. She’s over the moon.”

He gave a husky laugh and she remembered how it felt breathed into her ear in the dark.

“Sounds very cool. I should have guessed you’d have a taste for the Gothic, Ava. You know, I feel like I missed out. Why didn’t you invite me?”

Once again, he’d shocked her into muteness. Then she rallied. “I’ll text you the details. You and the boys should go, you’ll love it. It’s the best place.”

Ava – Siren’s Wave novel – extolling the Astor cinema’s virtues and wondering why on earth hot-rocker Bran is calling her … surely he’s not ringing to just … chat?

It sure looks like Dia de Muertos, but it’s actually a Mexican themed New Year’s Eve party…

…and it’s going to be an interesting celebration for Bran and Ava.

Over the last hour, she’d taken great care to alternate between inside the house and the garden, always in direct opposition to his location. And thank God, he was nowhere in sight now. On a spark of excitement, she twirled around like a nine-year-old brimming over with light. When she came to a halt, there was the rotter himself standing right in front of her, beaming away. And what a nice picture he made. She could call it, ‘My Own Personal Catastrophe – Holding Two Margaritas’.

Ava, avoiding Bran unsuccessfully, at Izzy’s New Year’s Eve party,  Siren’s Wave.

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Altar Dia de Muertos by uteart

A lemony coconut scent mixed with something earthy assailed her senses, and she wondered if it was aftershave or deodorant. Either way, it made her limbs feel heavy.

Arm engulfed in heat, she looked down at his hand still wrapped around it and tried to draw his attention to the inappropriate holding thing by narrowing her eyes at him.

It must have sent a different signal because without breaking eye contact, he stepped closer and moved his thumb slowly over her skin, pressing his fingers into her muscle like he was … was …

Ava, bamboozled by Bran who’s busy bamboozling himself.