Friday, June 22, 2007
Notes from the Dream Palace
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING REALLY MIND-BLOWING, TRALA
No sooner had I posted than great-glorious-fandangled news came in for B, our eldest child. Since tiny boydom, he has been obsessed with history, particularly military history.
He just received his statewide grade on the New York State Regents exam for U. S. History, which he took after AP History: 99.
Yes! Unadulterated wahoodles!
I forget all about our groans, moans, and bloody sweat with Geometry and Chemistry. I forget all about Sisyphus and his darned rock, and I fly up the hill, tossing armfuls of flowers at the natives below.
Fireworks, confetti, champagne!
Go, B, boy historian!
SKEWED, FANTASTIC, GENERALLY ODD BITS
Four of us (N being snoring upstairs) just watched I, Robot on a defective machine--an odd concept, given the story. Now R is up late, babbling about different categories of manga; I understand very little, but she is burbling fluently and happily, as though a little punch drunk (last Regents exam was today, so maybe she is.) She has an intense desire to learn Japanese...
Latest invite: my next (the last was with Jeff Vandermeer) KGB Bar reading in New York will be January 8, 2008. The other reader is Dan Braum. This one's in support of Electric Velocipede--zine proprietor, John Klima, who also edited that curious spelling-bee anthology, Logorrhea (Bantam.) The first time I was at KGB, I read my Logorrhea story, inspired by that mystical green word, smaragdine. (I knew smaragdine from the poetry of Puritan metaphysical poet, Edward Taylor, so it's a story about a version of him.) So I am Klimaesque at KGB again.
And I've agreed to write another story for an anthology theme I know nothing about--since I had so much fun writing "The Chinese Room" for an A. I. anthology, why not? It is interesting to be stretched in some odd direction: the request as Procrustean bed, though a pleasant one.
WHAT QUITTING THE DAY JOB LOOKS LIKE
Writers know that The Day Job can be a dubious good--that is, bread-and-butter with "no jam today," our little black dress or stranglehold tie, our dear little hovel with electronics, our bunting for the baby--the means by which life as we know it in these united States is rendered possible, as well as impossible.
But here is an astonishing thing: a writer who started in the small, small press world has successfully quit his day job. Here is his lovely, lively website, Ecstatic Days: http://www.jeffvandermeer.com/. And there you will find an example of Absolute and Consummate Dervishness that may just rouse you to caper and frolic and go without sleep in proper Vandermeer style.
Credit: Artwork by Scott Eagle, from Vandermeer's City of Saint & Madmen and Secret Life. I picked these because Eagle's artwork is the backdrop to Ecstatic Days.
“If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing.” --Kingsley Amis
I'm still thinking about this one. Perhaps it is especially intended for funny and satiric curmudgeons. Or perhaps I am too nice. Lucy wants to know where Mack the footman has been. Perhaps I should go looking.