Aug 6, 2009

So I'm back in Pennsylvania now after a couple quick visits to NYC and a long lovely week in Oregon, where I met up with my friend Barb and stayed first with the wondrous Lee and Annaliese Moyer, who took photos of us in mermaid tanks and showed us many many waterfalls and plied us with Voodoo Doughnuts, and then with the astonishing Lana Guerra and Jesse Reno, who took us to fantastical Portland places with blueberry lime margaritas and rose lemonade and artwork everywhere everywhere and helped us prepare for FAERIEWORLDS, which was last weekend on a big grassy field in Eugene, Oregon. I will write about that later but my blog post for Powell's about the festival is here. In Portland we also spent a day with Roger aka Circle23, who took photos of us in a botanical garden and then took us to meet his girlfriend Carolee, a gorgeous librarian who magically repairs ancient, crumbling books in a mysterious library workshop. Wednesday night was my reading at Powell's and drinks after at GILT where all the above were present as well as, among others, the charming Renee Bosler, whom I finally got to meet after years of admiring her gorgeous artwork, and the byoooteous Kimberly Warner-Cohen, whom I saw read from her book Sex, Blood and Rock 'n' Roll in NYC, and her very funny husband. Also, I got to drink a fancy cocktail called GLITTER PANTS and afterwards meet a satanist with horns in his head.

Anyway, we had many adventures and it is rather overwhelming to have been surrounded by such talented people, at least when attempting to write BLOG POSTS about it, so here is some GLAMOROUS HIGHLIGHTS:

1. So Annaliese Moyer is this fantastic photographer who has acquired an amazing old magician's tank that sits outside of her and Lee's magical Portland house and that she occasionally fills with water in order to take mermaid photos extraordinaire. OF COURSE I was very happy to participate and slathered on a ton of makeup and shimmied into one of her mermaid tails and spent at least an hour or two mastering the art of holding still and keeping my eyes open underwater while she elegantly glided about dressed like a jewel thief and taking photos. Here is one result and there are more on their way, which I can't wait to see! Barb got in the tank too for a bit and there are several shots of us together, as well as a few of me and Annaliese, who jumped in at the end. By which time my eyes were bright bright red and stinging but one must always suffer a bit for beauty, ain't it the truth. Look! And look at the stunning horse photos she does as well.

Ain't that something?

And here are Barb and me pre immersion:

2. So Roger/Circle23, who is an experimental phoptographer responsible for, among many other things, this photo of Lana that I love love love

(isn't it so beautiful and disturbing? doesn't she look so peaceful?) and many other beautiful photos involving suspension and wire corsets and the like (he also has this set of photos printed on canvas that he showed us where these women seem to be struggling out of nylon and out of the canvas itself... totally strange and beautiful and frightening..) took Barb and me to a botanical garden on Wednesday and took a ton of sweet photos like these

and it was very fun despite the GHASTLY HEAT and treacherous pathways that he gallantly and sweetly un-spiderwebbed for us with his tripod lance before we stepped through like delicate flowers.

Oh and here is a picture of Lana, Jesse, me and Roger hanging out at the Pied Cow:

3. Oh I have to mention how at Powell's the lovely 11-year-old Zoe, daughter of the henna genius Ms. Wendy Rover, whom I would meet at Faerieworlds, and her huge-hearted husband Vargas, whom Zoe dragged to Powell's, presented me with two drawings she had done of Mary Finn and Tessa Riley of my first book Rain Village. Now how sweet is this:

I MEAN REALLY. Plus Zoe is currently writing HER FIRST BOOK.

Speaking of brilliant girls, Barb and I spent Thursday with Lee as well as his houseguest Mike and his visiting niece (actually I think she is Annaliese's niece) Alys, who is 16 and funny and smart as a whip, I mean smart smart smart... At one point I caught Alys reading Godmother whilst also eating a Captain Crunch Voodoo Doughnut outside of one of the waterfalls Lee took us to. I wish all people could read my book in such rarefied circustances. Look:

And here by the way is our tour guide Lee looking especially messianic whilst returning from one of the falls, which is thundering and glowing to his left, out of the photo:

And Lee with Barb, I think at Crown Point:

Oh and me with Barb waiting for Mike, Lee and Alys to return from an especially treacherous path to some stunning fall that we were too lazy to see. I know. But thank goodness for digital cameras.

4. ALSO, I just have to say that being in Lee and Annaliese's house, where you're surrounded by art, including these gorgeous huge paintings that Lee made for Annaliese when he was wooing her (hey no one's ever painted me squat!), and then Jesse and Lana's house, which is like an explosion, I mean Jesse's amazing paintings everywhere everywhere, hung up and stacked up and spread across the floor, and Lana's dolls and clothes and wigs bursting from every corner, in every every color... It is some amazing.

But I have been writing this for too long now so more later and I leave you with this fearsome photo of Lana's cat BOO BERRY

The end.