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

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Frolics, various

Updatery department: Lucy of Box Elder has pointed out to me that artist-Annie-who-moved-to-California is working on a picture for "Static." Go see (i.ink). There are several versions, so you can see changes, too. Last month I wrote some poems for a little book in honor of Clive Hicks-Jenkins and his 2011 retrospective (I'm early! Such a lovely and unexpected sensation), so I've had ekphrasis on the brain lately. I always enjoy seeing what people dream and make in response to my writing. Those lightning bolts look like creatures, though ones I don't want to meet up close. Thank you, Annie...

Next up on the anthology front: "Static" in Extraordinary Engines, ed. Nick Gevers (Solaris). Pub date for this all-original steampunk collection is September 30th.

I finally joined Dickens in wreaking a certain kind of mysterious and lively death on a character, and I can reveal that this was an extremely satisfying experience. In fact, riotous fun and maximal steam was had in the writing of this story. Moreover, I have evidently raised my family status because a mother who writes a steampunk story is more appealing to preteen and teen children. Why this should be, I do not know, but one of my old editors at FSG, Robbie Mayes, guarantees it.

Speaking of children, I am glad to say that my mother spoke to somebody in B's dorm who said that he sees B yacking in the lobby constantly or else riding his bike. Evidently the mountain bike is noticeable because everybody else thinks it's too mountainous to ride a bike on campus. So at least he is practicing his social skills and getting lots of exercise! Meanwhile, he keeps adding courses and has passed the audition to enter the theatre arts program. Go, B! So it looks like a double major in history and musical theatre if we don't yack and ride bikes to absolute excess.

***

Overheard just now: Mike and N have already woven a diamond-pattern seat for the Shaker's elder chair that Mike made for my father when he became debilitated. Now N is helping to weave a flame-stitch seat onto a Shaker bench.

Mike, evidently feeling mightily sentimental: Some day when you're an old man and your mother and father are dead, you can tell your grandchildren how you made this bench for your mother when you were a little boy.

N, 11, blasting through the treacle skies like a red-hot rocket: I'm going to tell somebody before that.

***

Recalled from yesterday: R, 16, is talking to her friend M during a rehearsal for Grease. The two are doing a little bit of chatter-patter as part of the background, so it doesn't much matter what they say.

M, with enthusiasm: I think boys are nice!

R: I'm a cat person myself.

***

Yes, I've been perfectly perfect in my horribleness about blogging. Or about not blogging. And I'm way overdue to talk about lots of new books by people I like, so I'll try to come back soon... What have I been doing? I've been committing more poetry, polishing the summer's very long poem, answering or postponing various requests, and generally pinwheeling about like a cat on ice who wishes that she was as clever and fast as a chimpanzee on skates.

17 comments:

  1. Hi Marly! Welcome back!
    SOunds like you are busy, as usual, perhaps more so. I'm not familiar with the genre you mention. Tell me more about it.

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  2. blogging should be fun. You should do it when you feel like it and forget it about it if you dont.

    Just because we are all Marly whores that cant get enough of you it doesnt mean you should make it one more commitment in your life.

    This should be a fun thing for you! your fans arent going anywhere.

    awesome news about all your work this summer. YOu just keep on keeping on!!

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  3. You sound very well indeed, and that is what matters. I'll always be happy to read your updates.

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  4. The Rams just lost to the Marauders, and I'm now dreading the next game--more than an hour away at 8:30 p.m. Brr! It's getting cold.

    Robbi,

    Genre? Oh, steampunk! Here goes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk is my lazy way of telling.

    Susanna--

    Happy b-day! Isn't it your b-day or thereabouts?

    Guess you can tell that I've been happily ignoring my blog. And am glad you approve! As for guilt, I blame it on my Georgia ancestors who planted a seed of guilt in me.

    Amanda,

    Must go by and see what's in the sculptor's studio. I hope all is going well in that new spot!

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  5. I don't think a chimp, even on skates, would fare very well on ice.

    Gosh darn shame, it is, that you're too busy living and enjoying life to write about it on the internet. :)

    I hope you mention it, though, when that anthology is available. I and several people I know will be wanting to read it.

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  6. Hey Miss Annie,

    Just google "chimps on ice" and be transported to the youtube world of old black-and-white movies featuring chimpanzees on skates--turning flips like little furry over-trained maniacs.

    I just checked Amazon, and the book is listed as in stock, so you should be able to get a copy most anywhere. The official pub date is eight days away, but it seems that books have shipped.

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  7. Very good to see you.
    Your blogs are unique and are missed when unavailable!

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  8. A renaissance "brill", great quips too!

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  9. Hi Jan--

    I'm puzzling over the unique part... one feels so un-unique, of course. But am glad you find it so!

    Robert--

    Brill as in slang for brilliant, Brill as in Brill as in a village which recently had its Brillenium birthday, Brill as in the model for Bree, Brill as a brillo pad without the "o"?

    Rampant confusion!

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  10. Thanks Marly. I will try to get it together to check out steampunk at Wikipedia.
    Am celebrating the New Year here, and next week will pay for overdoing it when I fast for Yom Kippur. But if I feel hungry, I think of the Muslims' whole month of Ramadan fast. They just ended it yesterday, I think.

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  11. Hello Marly, I read this on feeds ages ago but forgot to comment!

    I love the boys/cat person exchange!

    Did you see Annie did a picture for your steampunk story? My brother's a steampunk fan too...

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  12. Hey M,

    I know I just had the pleasure of a visit from you but you have to stop back by and listen to my ghost phone I just put up. It is so cool!

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  13. Robbi,

    Worry not! You can probably go through the rest of your life without knowing a thing about it...

    Lucy,

    Thanks again for telling me. Some lovely photographs at your blog lately.

    Susanna,

    I've promised a ghost story, so the phone was, I hope, inspiring.

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  14. Glad to see you have been keeping busy. I'm with R. by the way.

    I've been a bit sick with thyroid probs. so have just re-joined the blog fray myself, feeling much better now.

    Love hearing about your kids and what you are doing.

    Much love,
    Donna

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  15. Donna,

    I'm sorry to hear that you've been unwell. That old mortal state, the one that says we're born to trouble as the sparks fly upward...

    Hope your student artists are treating you well this year. I'm up late with R, who is working on a project. How silly homework can be, keeping children up so late.

    Much good cheer to you, despite all!

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  16. Brill as in brilliant; silly. (As in "when we were six".)

    The English garden is not usually at its best in mid October but we shall see!

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  17. I was just remembering that wonderful tree photography you sent... My garden still has blooms--rather amazing, given the zone. Lots of asters but a smattering of others as well.

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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.