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

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Frolics and News

Graham Ward, "King of Finisterre,"
1.  My husband is back from Morocco and Egypt, trala, where he did have many curious adventures. And he has brought home interesting loot, of course. Curly shoes and bazaar jewelry and fezes (fezi? fezzes? fezzies? fuzzies?) and paintings on papyrus and chunks of indigo and shawls and so on.  Who knew that there was such a strange, sweet-smelling thing as papyrus oil? (Well, Egyptians, for one. No doubt.)
2.  I'm about to go sing in honor of Thanksgiving, lalala, so this will be short...
3.  I am now working with UK painter Graham Ward on a collaborative project, and it is proving to be fun. I have already written one piece for him (plus I had one that was finished earlier) and plan to do some more as he produces new paintings from now through spring. Ekphrastic revels. It will result in a little book accompanying his upcoming show.
4.  I have been so busy being a single mom for the past two weeks that I have not finished my second pass proofs for A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage. Wah.  Must get on to that this evening, rather late. Time for the night-owl oil.
5.  Somebody posted a rather rotten blog post about one of my books last week (luckily The New York Times and Washington Post etc. were hot on it) and I made the marvelous discovery that I did  not mind, not even one little tiny whit of a whit. Somehow I must have outgrown feeling bad about such things somewhere in the last decade...
6.  Had Yolanda Sharpe (a painter friend) for Sunday afternoon dinner and once again can say that she is one of the most amusing people ever! She ought to be in a comic novel. (Wouldn't it be fun to write a comic novel?)
7. It's almost Thanksgiving.  So thanks for reading--I'm giving thanks for you, whoever and wherever you are!  Don't forget The Lydian Stones will begin on Tuesday. If you want to take a look at the design and put in your two cents of criticism, feel free.

13 comments:

  1. Glad to hear so many good things are going on with you, and that this not so hot review didn't trouble you very much.
    I too will sing in a Thanksgiving service we share with our sister congregation, the Irvine Church of Christ, or at least they used to call themselves that. Not sure what they're called now. Enjoy. Your loot sounds intriguing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Who is this person who wrote a bad thing? Show them to me so that I may crush them with my disdain!

    I'm so pleased that it mattered not one whit to you. Neither should it. Whoever your detractor, he or she is mistaken. There are so many who think you the best thing... the BEST... me included. So I say to whoever it is:

    'Hrrrumphhhhhhh!' and 'Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!'

    (Can you feel my withering disdain? The growl is from Jack.)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Robbi,

    The loot is fun. Shall save some for a unique Christmas...

    We had a three-church choir and a jillion speakers from all around.

    I don't think blog posts count as reviews as yet. They count as blog posts!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Clive,

    I'm afraid I have forgotten both name and blog--one would have to dig around a "past week" search on google, but my laziness about many things has kicked in!

    Of course, we have to be lazy about many things in order to be energetic about the main things.

    I am excited about your new paintings and opening--shall be there in spirit!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I found it and read it. I find hers an odd complaint, that too much of the book was what she considered to be exposition, because that's what I would have called story-telling! I think it good that you left a courteous comment, and that she returned it. The sad thing is that her opinion clearly swayed some of those who commented on the post in a way that indicated they'd be guided by her judgement.

    Hrumph! SHEEP!

    There was comment about my work in the visitor's book at the the National Library that read:

    'I just don't get what it is that people see in Clive Hicks-Jenkins. His work is grotesque.'

    Some you win...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Not everyone is going to like you or your work. In my case, I have mostly been misunderstood or ignored up to now. I'm used to it. I have to have a healthy sense of my own worth, and ignore others' views. I am sure that this will be true in spades once the book comes out.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "His work is grotesque"
    HA!
    I burst out laughing at that.
    I'm sorry, but both you, Marly, and Clive are jolly good sports to grin at the Muggles so sweetly! HAHA!

    OK. I am thoroughly giggled up by all this and will be smiling all day!

    Muggles Bloggles. Mind Boggles!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh, that is funny!

    Clive, that is priceless--in among a lot of shining remarks, I'm sure.

    You are energetic on my behalf! More so than I have been. Back home from the hair-choppers and the DMV and now off to exercise and then read second pass page proofs.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Robbi,

    Sounds very stalwart and ready for what comes. I'd probably put the emphasis on the worth of my work--I don't really expect people to value my personal worth particularly, unless we are friends.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Paul,

    You are a merry soul! And I am very glad to e-know you...

    I laughed also, though I laughed in surprise about the "not getting" business as well.

    Very nice of you to class of with magic wielders, too.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Clive,
    It is hard to imagine someone saying that of your work. But if your work is grotesque, which I can't understand or see at all, frankly, that puts you in good company... there are plenty of fine artists who have had that word applied to their stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Paul, Robbi, thank you for your votes of confidence. Marly was right, there were few gainsayers among the many who inscribed the National Library of Wales visitors book, but two stand out as being real stink-bombs among the violets! I don't mind. I'm intrigued more than offended. It added astringency to the experience. I shall not hunt them down and kill them!

    (-;

    ReplyDelete
  13. Haha! I laughed heartily at the last line because I wasn't expecting it, and the idea of you being murderous is so comical!

    Now I am curious about the other one--send me an email!

    ReplyDelete

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.