Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Losing my mind and literary gossip

There are days when I feel I am losing my mind and this happens most often when I lose some specific thing. Today it is my cell phone that is lost; unfortunately I turned the damn thing off before I lost it so I can't even call the number and follow the ring. It is also small, shiny and silver, so there is the possibility that one of the magpies absconded with it; perhaps Thomas the Tank Engine is towing the phone around his track as I write this. The positive side of losing it is that while tearing the house apart looking for the phone, I found an audio tape that I lost the week before....which begs the question, what will I have to lose next in order to re-locate the cell phone while searching for the next lost thing? Now does it make sense that I'm tearing my hair out?

On a more positive subject, I was thrilled to recieve a little literary gossip from friend, Annie. She told me that one of my favorite authors, Rosina Lippi, whose book Homestead is on my top 10 list, also writes under the pen name Sara Donati and has a book called Into the Wilderness that I need to read. And then she mentioned that Lippi lived here in Ann Arbor for over 5 years (she has since absconded to the Pacific Northwest) and had an office in the MLB! Why does it give me such a thrill to hear that she once lived here when I hadn't read anything of hers at the time? Don't quite know, but it does.

Writer Valerie Laken was at the decadent dinner at Ami and John's house the other day and she has sold her first novel--quite a thrill to meet someone in the process of becoming a literary presence! If you want to read one of her short stories, the one called Family Planning is available on-line here. It was published in the Volume XXVII of the Missouri Review where it won a prize. That issue happens to also feature a terrific story Why People Say Two Thousand by my friend Mary Jean Babic and is where I discovered my favorite poet, Jude Nutter. Here is a link to Nutter's poem "Paramedics" and another link to "The Last Supper."

Anyway, the point of this literary rambling is not just to shove in front of people the stuff I like to read, though, of course, it would please me if everyone did read the authors I like. Valerie mentioned that one of the tiresome things about folks hearing that you sold your novel is that they are always starting conversations with "Is the novel done?" and it makes her want to gnash her teeth. Trying to explain why it isn't finished isn't simple. I can sort of relate to this on a literary level, having sidelined the novel I started writing (loosely based on dancer/actress Valeska Gert) until both kids are in school. I can relate even more on the home construction front. We are going on year 4 with our rebuild of our entryway and office at the front of the house. I just finished the drywall and mudding last weekend, but it makes me feel pretty crazy when people ask me when it will be done, especially people who are used to hiring people to do work for them and don't seem to get that I have maybe 3-4 hours a week when I can be free of kid-crises and go into construction mode. At that rate it takes a damn long time to rebuild anything.

I sound pretty grouchy today so I'll stop this rant and go read to Ian about cells. He is really into human anatomy right now. The only way I can get him to color is if I trace a picture of a liver and then he is willing to color it in....

1 comment:

Rosina Lippi said...

Actually, I was on the faculty at UM/Ann Arbor for ten years, but for the last two years my office was in the linguistics department across the street, in the Frieze Building.

Glad you liked Homestead; hope you like Into the Wilderness.