Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture

Friday, December 09, 2005

Snow Day in the Writing Room

From the window of my writing room, I can see Otsego Lake, with Kingfisher Tower floating on its surface. Summer, I barely glimpse them through a gap between the trees of the yard behind us--the rail magnate's mansion eats up half the block with house and trees. The trees are mature, all planted by somebody in the nineteenth-century who "collected" them as rarities. Last year a Kentucky coffee tree from the neighbor's yard fell on our garage, and the canopy filled up the alley with magical jungle.

In the winter I see more of the lake and the hills around Kingfisher from my writing room. Today I see slate-blue water, ice, snow, and a tiny blue Kingfisher Tower pointing toward heavy clouds. It has snowed and snowed, and there is no school. No school spelling bee, no dentist, no karate. Just three children who want to read and frolic. Outside, the wind rocks the evergreens and spills snow, and Main Street is all garlands and Christmas, with good Saint Nicholas nestled inside a tiny Gothic Cottage next to the Tunnicliff Inn, ready to hear children's wishes and to tell a story; inside, all is cosy and bright, with books and games scattered on the floor.

8 comments:

  1. Spectacular. Such an idyllic setting, but are you getting any writing done? ;-) Enjoy the winter wonderland.

    The Raven Mocker artwork is fantastically phantasmagorical. How might one obtain a signed copy?

    Jim

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  2. Oddly enough, I managed ten pages off and on yesterday, despite having the crew at home. I have been known to keep writing with them yelling all around me...

    The new artwork by Renato Alarcao that I've posted is all in service of choosing a cover for the Firebird paperback--and it plus the pb of "Ingledove" will both be out in the coming year. The prior version (the FSG hardcover) has different artwork (a jacket by Steve Cieslawski, a marvelous surrealist painter in oils.)

    Meanwhile, the FSG hc of "Ingledove" has a jacket and frontispiece by Renato Alarcao, and the sketch proposals for that book are sprinkled around on www.marlyyoumans.com.

    All that to explain that if you wanted the pb, it's not out yet, and if you wanted the hc, it has a very different image...

    If you do want one or the other, when out (if the one you wanted isn't out--is this getting confusing yet?), you can: ask the Book Nook in Cooperstown to send you an inscribed or signed copy (they call me if they want an inscription--perks of village life!--and you can email requests to them at bnook1@aol.com or call them at 607-547-2578); check with other bookstores where I read in 2004; or cobble together some other passing of a book or bookplate with me.

    Hope your book is going well...

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  3. Oh, to have white drifts of snow that muffle the sounds of the world. How I wish for even a corner of heaven's down blanket to fall across my corner of the world.

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  4. Hello, Ms. or Mr. Anon, wishing for snow--

    You might not like it so well today. The snow is all in the air--my fearsome cabled ash tree whips about, dangling a snag. The wind blows wildly, driving the ice apart on the lake; there is a lull, then a white-out...

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  5. Wild weather! How lucky you are, for I find that chaos outside feeds the creative mind. You must have ideas flying through your mind, brought there by the wild weather.

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  6. You've come rambling here again, Anon.

    Another bitter day, with travel and snow gusting over the roads and deer threatening auto-icide. Just home from my own wanderings, I'll take my creativity in dreams tonight.

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  7. Our Christmas Card was returned so we wanted to say hello.

    Michael and Gail

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  8. Fooh! Our new mailman is a bit erratic. The address hasn't changed!

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.