|Yolanda Sharpe, Pear and Apple, 2007|
pen and ink, colored pencil and acrylic painted paper, 15 by 15 by 15 inches
- Maze of Blood - forthcoming in fall, 2015
- Glimmerglass 2014
- Thaliad 2012
- The Foliate Head 2012
- A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage 2012
- The Throne of Psyche 2011
- Val/Orson 2009
- Ingledove 2005
- Claire 2003
- The Curse of the Raven Mocker 2003
- The Wolf Pit 2001
- Catherwood 1996
- Little Jordan 1995
- Short stories and poems
- ☆ Events ☆
- Marly Youmans
is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.
--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture
Friday, February 03, 2012
Some time ago I agreed to join a choir, my arm having been twisted into strange configurations by an otherwise quite gentle and pleasant choirmistress. I had friends in the choir—my painter friend Yolanda Sharpe, who has appeared on this blog and The Lydian Stones, and who has a marvelous voice and does recitals, and many others. But right away I discovered that a choir is such a mixture of many parts--apples and oranges and pears and pomellos jumbled together. We have such an unusual number of pronounced eccentrics (a conventionally polite word for lunatics) in our choir that I have threatened to write a revelatory comic novel called CHOIR. Each member must be made to blend into a whole: into a kind of family, if you will.
I didn’t particularly want to plunge into the choir, as participation demanded a lesson once a week, practices twice a week, and performance once and occasionally twice a week. Then there are unexpected things called choir festivals and sundry other stray performances. That’s a lot to add onto the heaped plate of a mother of three who has many village activities and also just happens to be an obsessed writer. I did not know how to read music, though I was perfectly capable of bumping along if given the first note. Luckily I was a soprano, which struck me as far easier than being in any of the other sections.
Since then I have discovered something that lots of people know who are not obsessed artists of some sort, bound to a vocation. I have found out that it is a pleasure to add some focus and discipline to one’s natural feeling for an art that one is no expert in. Likewise, it is enjoyable to learn something new; at the moment, I am grasping intervals and doing much better with duration of notes and rests. These things remind me of poetry, and I certainly aspire to song there.
Each of the arts is a fertile sea in which strange, beautiful beings may be found—some immensely great, others quite invisible to the naked eye. Without the sea of culture and its innumerable small creatures, no great one could survive.