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.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sundry

PAPERWORK
Feeling a little weary after a kid-ferrying day, to be done again soon, and realizing that I simply must take some days off for disgusting things like taxes (not only like taxes but taxes--also other related things.) I like paperwork of a very particular kind, I fear.

FUTURE-BLOGGING-THOUGHTS
Meanwhile, I am pondering weaving something new into my blog. I have meant to transcribe my father's WWII journal about his European flight runs as a teenage tail-gunner... And perhaps I will do that some time soon.

Also thinking about some sort of fragmentary story, written in little bits (epistolary, perhaps?) to weave in and out the regular posts. Woman goes mad gathering taxes and flees to the circus?

BOOK PITCHES
I was reading an article (dutifully, in my I-must-learn-marketing-why?-because-it-is-the-way-of-the-world-of-books mode) about how one must be able to pitch one's book in approximately twitter-length in order to sell it. I'm not very fond of things like that, mainly because if I had wanted to tell a story in twitter-length, I would have made it that length in the first place!

Here's A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage: "A boy on a Depression-era sharecropper's farm, stripped of his last remaining connections to a secure past where he was loved, launches himself into the world of steam trains and migrants in a restless search for light." Hmm. Better as a novel than as a tweet! More summations here. 

For The Throne of Psyche, I'd probably just steal something from the flap copy: "In The Throne of Psyche, Marly Youmans sweeps back and forth between what is human and what is other, binding the two together or crossing the thresholds between them." I mean, poetry is impossible to sum up!

9 comments:

  1. I love to read bits of the WWII journal. And I agree with you about the elevator pitch. Dumb. :P

    Good luck with the boring stuff...I think I could keep interested doing almost anything in your study. Depends on the weather too though..hmm...here's to good tax-filing weather!

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  2. What is good tax-filing weather?

    I think there are only 16 runs, as he was so young when the war started--he joined at 17 but of course it took a while to actually be based in England and serving as a tailgunner.

    Well then, I wish you were here in my study. Maybe you could sort a couple of bins of papers!

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  3. But think how good you'll feel when it's done, except of course stuff like that is never really done.

    The journal sound potentially interesting. The summary of Death at the White Camellia Orphanage is quite informative but does seem rather eviscerated! In fact the title itself is kind of better as a hook really, and takes up quite a chunk of your character allowance...

    Good luck with it all anyway.

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  4. Whatever your motivation (ie: running off to the circus), I selfishly would LOVE to read this story of your dad, who sounds so much like my own, only educated.

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  5. Lucy,

    I think you're right. Me summing up is kind of a hopeless thing, anyway. I'll stick with the title!

    Yes, I suppose so. :P

    Shall go do some exercise and feel more energetic. And then I shall make a giant list with due dates and start dates and maybe even halfway dates.

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  6. Robbi,

    Glad you made that comment because I went back and put in an extra paragraph break to make things clearer! I was having two different thoughts there!

    One, the journal transcription.

    Two, a story in bits that would appear every few days and be written as I went along. Shall have to think about it some more.

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  7. Sounds like a great idea about the journal.

    I read this article and thought you might find it interesting

    http://www.theawl.com/2012/02/romance-novels

    Susanna

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  8. Susanna,

    Mike told me about that one (and I laughed heartily at his account!), but I meant to go and look for it. Now I don't have to--you have fetched all those funny remarks about literary fiction (love the part about the cows) and Boons & Mill.

    Hot link for anybody else interested: http://www.theawl.com/2012/02/romance-novels

    Even though I have written a fairly varied assortment of books, some of which would be tagged as literary fiction, I know exactly what she means. A large subset of writers is rather scornful of many of the beliefs and culture ways of the American readership and certainly takes no care to invite readers in.

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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.