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

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Pre-aphoristic mood

Yes, I am back after a gap, a hiatus, a dratted aporia--on Earthlink, and Blogger seems a lot happier. Perhaps it didn't like my rural dial-up service.

I have a day to think about getting into the aphoristic mood. But I've at least decided that I will definitely start with tourists and fat people, because downtown Cooperstown has been awash in both--the Dreams Park expansion appears to be doing its best to destroy village life by bringing cartloads of teenage boys to our sidewalks, along with their parents.

At left you may see my mother's first scanned photograph. She is the youngest of many children, mostly boys, but here you may see her older sisters, Julia and Sara. They're smiling at the photographer on one of the many porches of the Queen Anne house built by my grandfather, William Leicester Morris. W. L. Morris was many things, among them a house builder, and many of his homes remain in southern Georgia. If you look very closely at the dandy little wristwatch on my Aunt Sara's wrist, you will see that it is actually a neat little ringworm.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Coming Attractions at the Palace

















Upcoming project: aphorisms
12 months
12 categories
250+ chances to be an idiot

Rules for me:
--Never sound like Polonius.
--Do all the thinking in the daily shower, and no more. Don't steal writing time or child time.
--Feel free to alter any category based on whim, but once the month begins, the choice is made--doom, fate, and duty kick in, and there will be no more whimsical changes of mind.
--Skip the weekend.

The aphoristic muse:
Laura Murphy Frankstone is the official inspiration for the Palace Aphorisms. She has posted a drawing or more per day for almost a year on Laurelines. Being a tidy soul, she has organized her undertaking by sensible monthly topics--landscape, still life (see the sample above), interiors, food, animals, people, etc. I regard my more modest enterprise as a Child of Laurelines, a crepe myrtle twiglet magically sprouting from a live oak.

Why aphorisms:
Doing something firmly out of fashion always has a perverse fascination. I have picked a form that is old-fashioned, seldom practiced, and not particularly congenial to me--or maybe it is; I haven't the faintest idea. I prefer to try something I don't know how to do, and at which I may fail. Great thumping humiliations have their own interest and attraction...

My 12 categories, in no particular order:
--writing
--chickens
--the fantastic
--God & powers & principalities
--poetry
--fat people/tourists
--myth
--children
--cats
--stories & novels
--house
--the ultimate challenge of w-e-a-t-h-e-r, the boring topic with too many aphorisms already

Perhaps I should start with fat people/tourists--Siamese twin topics very much on my mind when I'm home, cheek and jowl with the varied visitors to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Glimmerglass Opera tourists never raid my cottage garden, swear at their kids on my scrap of lawn, or picnic and litter on my porch... Now don't get on to me about fat people, or I'll add "gimp" as a category. I hate the way that pithy little word keeps being carted off into the sunset by the p. c. police.

Rules for you:
--Comments, abuse, confessions, and general off-topic blatherings are always entertaining, but you may also tweak the original or offer your very own on-topic aphorism.
--Ideas for topics might be interesting. Might.

Start:
2:00 a.m.,
1 September 2006,
after the summer's kid-ferrying comes to a close.

That's Daughter of Frank-en-stone, soon to be playing at your local Palace Theatre.