Eva was kind enough to interview me about Siren Song, Tawni Waters, and book publishing. She also raises important questions about the size of my head (which has never been successfully measured by science). Take a look!
Archives for January 2015
Something else wonderful, as well as The Hands On Festival, happened in New Orleans over New Year’s Eve.
Jeni and I had eloped, alone, over Thanksgiving, into the snowy mountains of North Carolina. But we wanted to have a ceremony for the people closest to us, and so, once the festival was over, we had a small (smallish) ceremony and party in New Orleans.
We called it our “second ceremony.”
All photographs are taken by the brilliant New Jersey and Philadelphia based photographer, Shawn Colborn.
Nancy Dixon and Amanda Boyden, authors, cooks, and hostesses extraordinaire offered us the huge wedding present of serving up a wedding brunch for all our guests, preparing quiche, salad, grits, crayfish monica for fifty people.
Here they are, helping Jeni complete the journey up the stairs.
The ceremony was lovely.
People gave speeches, there was talking late into the night, and a healthy amount of eating and drinking. I could not have asked for better.
Last year, I edited and designed a book: Siren Song, by Tawni Waters. It’s a collection of poems about love, divinity, rock and roll, and Arizona. It’s about Persephone and Isis and Mary Magdalene.
Then, at the end of last year, my wife and I published that book and released it during The Hands On Literary Festival. We’re very excited to be able to publish work by Tawni Waters, whose first book, the novel Beauty of the Broken (also released in 2014), is doing all kinds of exploding things and becoming rather extremely successful. Tawni is a remarkably talented, prolific author who not only works very hard at her craft, but who is also rich in spirit, generosity, and warmth.
You can hear Tawni read from the book during her recent NPR interview (she discusses Siren Song at around the 20 minute mark).
I know I’ve talked about Siren Song before, but now I can actually sell you a physical copy. We now have our online shop set up to take orders, and to celebrate, we’re offering the book at almost Amazon-low prices, in a special introductory sale. It’s like inviting your credit card to the launch party 🙂
The book is also available at Amazon, and will almost certainly arrive more quickly if you order it from them, although my wife’s press will make a bit less from the sale of the book that way.
So — if you’re interested, please buy a copy. It’s the first book I’ve ever designed, and I’m very proud of it.
Chimero, writing about technology, apps, and distraction, announces:
I made an agreement with myself in January: no new apps on my phone or computer. Don’t do new stuff. Just do your work.
Text editor, spreadsheet, email, pencil, paper, Photoshop. OK. That’s enough.
Increasingly, I feel like a lot of my tools are dressing-up as tools, because they don’t offer any savings in time or effort, just slightly different methods to mindlessly shift information from one bucket to the next. And if one bucket has a hole in it, you get another, smaller bucket to catch anything coming out of the hole in the first bucket. This goes on and on with more holes and buckets, and before you know it, you have an intricate network of buckets whose reason for existence is to catch the information you can’t manage in the first place. You are stuck in bucket recursion, adding tools to patch the shortcomings of other tools. Those patches are how you know you have dress-up tools.
I met John Vanderslice, author of Island Fog and professor at UCA, at the Hands On Literary Festival (which just took place in New Orleans).
It was his first time at the festival, and he has since written up his impressions, both of the festival itself and the panel on research that Lania Knight, GM Palmer, and myself presented.
His take on the festival made me very happy, as it described exactly the kind of atmosphere we try to create, one where writers and readers feel encouraged and supported. Where it’s easy to make new friends and share ideas; where, after the four days are over, you feel like you’ve known your fellow attendees for ages.
I’ve discovered a new conference! And it’s in a great city: New Orleans. I traveled down there shortly after Christmas for what, I found out, was only the second running of the Hands On Literary Festival and Masquerade Ball. It could not have been a more pleasant, more friendly, more genial event–aptly organized and warmly administered by New Orleans native Jennifer Stewart-Wallace–and I found it unusually nourishing. First of all, because the conference is only in its second year, it’s still a very manageable size. Only two sessions to choose from for each time section, one being a craft talk and the other a reading, with plenty of time allowed, and occasions provided, for socializing and interacting with new colleagues. And not so many of them that you run into them only once and hurriedly in the hallway of some enormous conference center, or that you can’t remember their names. No, no. The Hands On Festival is a much cozier affair.
You can read John’s full description of the festival here.