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

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tracy Roberts does it again!


The illustration is Papa Gatto, "program spokescat,"
from Ruth Sanderson's book, Papa Gatto.

If you have a better memory than I do, you might remember that about a year ago I talked about one of the MFA students I worked with at Hollins while a writer-in-residence there. She won The Shirley Henn Award at The Francelia Butler conference at Hollins for a story, “Head-on,” that we had gone over together, although it was a very good story before I put in an appearance.

She has done it again with the other story we worked on, “Slew-foot.” Once more, I can say it was already a fine (and highly amusing) story before I got to read it. And now they are going to have to graduate her to keep her from doing it again, tic tac toe…

Tracy is interesting and loveable and has goats that stand on jeeps and generally make a goat-fuss.  She shows and raises cutting horses and is all-around a strong and lovely mountain woman. She is also generous. All year I have enjoyed a big sack of her home-grown and home-ground Bloody Butcher meal, made from a type of corn that has been raised for meal and seed in her region of Virginia for three hundred years. And she even sent Lucius Shepard a sack of Bloody Butcher (yes, it’s a ruby red) because he is the coveting type when it comes to heirloom-seed Virginia corn meal, and he coveted mine. She probably prevented some ninja-esque robbery in the stealthy part of the night.

Confetti, Tracy! You are on the upward trail, which is the right one for a mountain child to follow...

* * *

And speaking of Lucius, Jack Dann and Nick Gevers write that the Ghosts by Gaslight anthology from Harper has won a starred review in Publishers Weekly. And that the powers there pronounced all the stories to be good—rather unusual and what Lucius (who has already read it in manuscript) said as well. It will materialize via print and e-ectoplasm and manifest itself everywhere at the start of September.

4 comments:

  1. I love to hear this! And I shall have to go check out her work. The part about "bloody butcher meal" made me curious as well. As a Philadelphia child who always thought food came pre-packed in plastic, it is a wonder to me.

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  2. Yes, Tracy won't starve... She can eat goats dipped in corn meal!

    I'll have to talk to her about where she is sending them.

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  3. Ew. I am a hypocrite about meat. Though I eat it, I don't think I could kill my own critters.

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  4. I don't know that she does do anything to her goats! I was just being silly...

    She does take pictures of them when they do oddball things like stand on a jeep or goat-like things like glare at the camera.

    We'll have to wait until she turns up and tells us if her goats are just for fun or cheese or meat or what.

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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.