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

Thursday, May 18, 2006

A Day in the Life

The Bookish Part of a Day in the Life, that is...


Of course, this leaves out almost everything, particularly various ingenious and less ingenious forms of drudgery and the ferrying of children. And the leaning on children to do homework... Tonight that included helping a 3rd-grader make a blueprint for a Recycle Tiger. Can't wait to wield the old hot glue gun.

1. Acquisition of books, some new to me:

Italo Calvino, Difficult Loves
Angela Carter, Wise Children
Angela Carter, Nights at the Circus
Steve Erickson, Tours of the Black Clock
Steve Erickson, Arc d'X
Alasdair Gray, Poor Things
Milorad Pavić, Landscape Painted with Tea

Alas, I already owned the Calvino.

2. Felt an itch to read short stories, and did:

Akutagawa Ryunosuke, In a Grove
Borowski, Tadeusz, This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen
Buzzati, Dion, Seven Floors
Endo Shusaku, Unzen
Hildesheimer, Wolfgang, Why I Transformed Myself into a Nightingale
Kawabata Yasunari, The Izu Dancer
Mukoda Kuniko, Mr. Carp

I left off one that I hated, alas, and didn't finish some others that I won't list. Not every story is right for everyone at every time. Perhaps somebody is giving up on one of mine right now, somewhere on the planet...

3. For the Nth time, I revised a long story called "Drunk Bay." For the second day in a row, I cut the middle third to step up the pace. Next, I burnished the whole thing. Then I sent it out into the world.

4. The penultimate bookish thing: I talked to R about the Alpha writing workshop and ordered some books by the teachers.

5. The last bookish thing: this.

Good night.

***
"Flower box bookshelf" is a royalty-free photograph by Lauren Baker of New York, www.sxc.hu/.

9 comments:

  1. I love the flower box bookshelf photo (immediately started scheming...would my landlady agree...probably not).

    But...what is a Recycle Tiger?

    I imagine someplace where one finds old tigers and props them up a little and feeds them, and they go on for another decade or two?

    My daughter's tigery orange cat (currently boarding at the bookshop) is sitting in the open transom, behind the screen, yowling...

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  2. The Recycle Tiger (he does not yet exist) has a body made of a Hawaiian Punch bottle, a face made from the face of another such bottle, tail and ears of remnants of the second bottle, cans for legs (N says two cans high, so this may be Leggy Recycle Tiger), and fierce bad painted eyes and mouth with many teeth.

    I rather hope this one will not go on for decades. However, one never can tell with Old School Projects. At least we're not planning an extravaganza of chicken wire and papier mâchè, as some are!

    Some of my favorite cats have been tiger yellows. I had one named Honeysuckle (I was homesick for Louisiana at the time), and my mother currently has a tigerish sort named Wesa. Honeysuckle had a penchant for sleeping on the tops of tires. The pursuit of such habits can only end badly.

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  3. My bookish yesterday: Finished Little Jordan, started Catherwood. My honeysucklish tonight: honeysuckle sorbet at Crook's Corner.

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  4. I, too have been stuck inside hidden gems. I reread Ingledove and discovered something: the book Ingledove is published in paperback by Firebird, and Ingledove means "firebird."

    How peculiar that honeysuckle should be mentioned: I recently had honeysuckle, sweet and straight of the vine...

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  5. My heart is broken: I want to eat honeysuckle sorbet at Crook's Corner. Ah, the good old days! Though they didn't have honeysuckle sorbet then.

    Laura, I hope you like the second book as well as the first... Better, I hope. One likes the idea of improving.

    Yes, the Ingledove link is odd. A "hearthfire bird," I suppose. Ingledove was a real name used in the Hazel Creek area of North Carolina.

    We are at the end of flowering crab apple season here, and still have lots of marvelous late tulips and hyacinths. The lilacs are coming in, great house-sized things flopping about in the rain. But no honeysuckle, Megan... Pick one for me.

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  6. I will. And once berry season rolls around, I'll pick some wild blackberries and mulberries in your honor.

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  7. A magical bookish moment:
    Yesterday the long awaited "Curse of the Ravenmockers" arrived from Cooperstown. I wish you could have seen the excitement as "my two girls" received their books, reverently ran their fingers over the covers, read your inscriptions, and left school hugging their precious treasures tightly to their breasts.--A magical moment, indeed.

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  8. Correction: "The Curse of the Raven Mocker"

    Yikes, I'm so sorry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  9. No, don't be sorry, Connie. I struggle to remember the names of my characters a year later!

    I'm glad they were pleased--and hope they are just as happy with what they find on the inside.

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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.