May 19, 2009

So I'm now in Cornwall-on-Hudson, at The Grail, staying in this old beautiful farmhouse with my friends Massie and Marcie, who live here, and two cats and a dog. I've written about this place before but it's totally idyllic: my room looks out on green in every direction... and right this second I'm sitting on a bed in front of a huge window and right below me is a deer stopped between two trees, chomping on leaves. I'm part of an art collective that Massie and Marcie started -- I'm collaborating with this amazing artist Timi in Arizona, who's making a sculpture based on a story I'm writing about a girl with a compass for a heart (the theme of the collective's first show, which will be held here on these grounds on June 27 and then stay up through the summer, is "compass") -- and spent a big chunk of the weekend helping them clean out and wash and whitewash a huge old garden shed that will be used as an art gallery. To get to the shed you walk from this house down a bright green path lined by swishing tall grass, and there are other structures here.. a cottage where work is done, another house where other women live, an old mansion that gets rented out, a hermitage for people to come to reflect in.. There are 45 acres in all, lots of woods, some ruins, etc. -- and the art show will be spread among the grounds.. -- and down the street a mile or so is the Hudson River. Anyway, I'm here to finish my mermaid book, which is due at the end of July, since this is the most peaceful place I know and the best place to write that I've found. The other night I holed up in the cottage for hours and wrote while it stormed outside and it was totally perfect. As perfect as writing can be, anyway.

I haven't had time tho to write about the last week or so... starting with the lovely lovely afternoon I spent at the home of Ms Trillian Stars and Mr Kyle Cassidy, now newlyweds!, who hosted a lovely reading/music salon in their gorgeous old house in West Philadelphia. I wish all readings could be like that: everyone talked and milled around and ate scones (made by Trillian's mama!) and drank wine and then everyone sat down and I read from my mermaid book, and then people asked questions and were talking and I ended up reading from Godmother and Rain Village as well, and THEN after a break, Nicki Jaine sat down with her guitar and played us cabaret songs, mostly ones she's written with a couple Marlene Dietrich songs thrown in, and that girl is all lithe and sweet and elegant and then she starts singing and this voice that comes out, this deep rich crazy dark soulful Dietrich-y Marianne Faithful-y voice you wouldn't even think could fit in that body, and it's astonishing, and then the song ends and she transforms back and is all light. She's really wonderful. PLUS it turns out has some good friends in Berlin -- including a girl who writes vampire novels -- to introduce me to for when I'm there this fall. Anyway, Trillian and Kyle are amazing hosts and I hope to write many books and read from all of them at they house!

Plus Kyle takes gorgeous photos wherever he is. Look!

And me, Trillian, and Nicki:

Kyle also, by the way, took my author photo:

Anyway, so after hanging out in Philadelphia for a night and day and seeing a bunch of friends, I flew down to Texas to the home of Ms. Kathy Patrick, Pulpwood Queen Extraordinaire and owner of the only book store/hair salon in the country (which is one of the coolest places I've been to). But I have to write about that later! In the mean time, I will show you the hairdo she gave me for the Charm Night Out event I went to with her and a few other authors (Lauretta Hannon, Carol Lay, and Marian Henley, all awesome) in Nacogdoches, Texas:

That is right. She plucked a fairy from a Christmas tree and done pinned it in my hair.

I was in Texas!

The end.

May 10, 2009

So I've been in Pennsylvania the past couple of weeks, writing writing my next novel (about the little mermaid), and today I'm heading to Philadelphia with my friend Barb to read from it at the gorgeous house of Kyle Cassidy and Trillian Stars. In case you don't know, Kyle is an amazing photographer who published this book and just did a book with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer (not to mention did my author photo!), and Trillian is a gorgeous actress who is now starring in this, and they are the most glamorous couple ever and live in an old, sweeping West Philadelphia house with a big fireplace and a Victrola and window seats and many many cats. So this afternoon I'm going to read and Ms. Nicki Jaine shall sing old world and original cabaret songs with Ray Ashley accompanying her on the accordion. A few months ago I sat next to Nicki Jaine at a dinner and she was vibrant and light and girly and then later that night Kyle and Trillian played me some of her music and I couldn't believe that that same girl has a voice like Marlene Dietrich, rich and deep and melancholy and gigantic. I'm very excited to see her sing in person.

Then tomorrow I fly down to Texas to see Ms. Kathy Patrick, founder of the Pulpwood Queens book club and author of this and owner of the only hair salon/book store in the country, and will be on a panel at this event in Nacogdoches.

Then I fly back to NYC to see my sister off on her 6-week trip to Europe, where she will, among other things, do a walking tour of the Scottish highlands and go to a yoga retreat in southern Sweden. I know. She is very obnoxious.

Then I shall go to a big farmhouse in Cornwall-on-Hudson where Massie lives and hole up and write like a mofo until I turn my book in at the end of July.

Oh!! And I saw the loveliest film! And yesterday I bought my ticket for Berlin, where I shall be all this fall!

The end.
So earlier this week I was procrastinating on Facebook, looking up people I knew back in Michigan, where I lived from when I was 12 to 14, and then I decided to look up this boy Michael that I had a mad crush on when I was 14 and a freshman in high school. He was a senior, and on the football team, and he was pitch black and his hair stood straight straight up and whenever I passed by him he would stop and stare at me and my heart would A FLUTTER cause I just thought he was so byoootiful. And weird and deep, and all those things, because he was always carrying around notebooks and poetry, etc., and I was a sucker for that. So anyway, halfway through the year my family moved to Pennsylvania but then that summer I went back to visit and stayed with my friend Janice and MICHAEL lived near her and saw me and one night he tapped on Janice's door and lured me out of her house (which infuriated her parents, who were from China I think, and promptly made Janice my ex friend) to the park nearby and that is when I had my first French kiss. I think we also went out to see ALIENS 2 together that week. And maybe after I went back to Pennsylvania he called once or twice, but that was it, and I didn't really think of it much after.

Except now I have a big deadline and am writingwritingwriting and in these moments such things become very important and fascinating.

So I looked up Michael, and found about 5000 photos like this one:

It turns out that he is now a street preacher who goes all around the country, and abroad, preaching against homosexuality (and sexuality in general).

Sometimes it is very sad to see how people have done turned out!