Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret
among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture Marly Youmans is a novelist and poet out of sync with the times
but in tune with the ages. --First Things

Friday, January 10, 2014

At Random

You needed some Random Fungal Fun, right?
Photograph by Paul Digby (2013)
from my mother's forested mountaintop.

While performing the slight, mildly pleasurable task of dropping spam into the realm of Balrogs, I found this "shiver in the curtain of the world"--and was surprised at my own thoughts, six years back. And it occurs to me that I haven't played with the palace characters for a while, nor let the Pot Boy exercise his talents...


Last night I went all the way to Delhi for a wrestling dual meet and . . . child no. 3 had a forfeit. Nobody in his rather skinny weight class in the great town of Delhi. Oddly, this morning I'll have a visit from a friend who is also from Delhi. Delhi is a place in my ancestral history, as one of the Yeomans/Youmans brothers who came over from England before the Revolution settled in the upstate and his branch did well--a "Youmans mansion" was torn down in Delhi some time ago. So I have a peculiar link there. (My branch went to Georgia.) I'm expecting something delphic to occur in the day. Or maybe delhic.


I'm recommending a blog by someone especially interested in children's books, teaching, writing, and more; here's Robins newest one-question interview, a clever thing. I was the lucky subject of her first one-question interview: here. (She was a student and walking companion of mine when I was writer-in-residence at the Hollins summer MFA program in children's literature.)


Dreamed about Amish vampires. Now that's just wrong. However, the landscape was wonderful, and the weird hay-bale labyrinth and constricting corridors. Woke up before I managed to get out with my daughter.


  1. I look forward to your Amish-vampire novel. Weave that dream! If Jane Austen's characters, Abraham Lincoln, and other unlikely souls can be in modern vampire novels, it only seems logical that your dream must become the next best-seller.

  2. Hah. I am afraid that my dreams may be bestsellers but that I don't write that kind of book (though my mother-in-law once asked me why not!) My love lies elsewhere and with a different kind of strangeness...

  3. I was being facetious. Your comment about your mother-in-law reminds me of the ways in which Flannery O'Connor's mother (Regina) would beseech her daughter to write something people in Milledgeville would really enjoy reading, something like another Gone With the Wind. O'Connor stayed true to herself. She had no choice. Of course, you will do the same.

  4. I thought so, but you never know... I've gotten that kind of advice in serious form from some surprising places!

    While my mother thought that I could be a superwoman and do more well than is humanly possible, she always was and is very positive about my writing and just as interested in the poetry as the fiction. So I am lucky in that way.

  5. So much to chew on here - love that great photo! and the discussions about about spam monsters (I think) as well as the 2007 post. (I see MB visited then!)

    Speaking about mother-in-laws - I was once quite miffed when asked by her why I didn't paint flowers, ie. pretty pictures.

  6. Yes, I haven't seen MB in a long time... Have you?

    She meant well, I'm sure... There's kin and there's kindred-in-art, of course!


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.