Not quite back.
The third and largest shipment of our previous household has not yet arrived and although theoretically two thirds moved in, we are actually reunited with only two fifths of our household. Everyone knows how difficult it is to move and the hundreds of things that must be purchased and contracted and measured and changed and organised and discarded and built (and remembered - after six years in storage) so I won’t even address the 7 am to midnight household set up that is going on – in conjunction with other duties. However this respite (such as it is) has been and continues to be fruitful despite the slightly unfinished symphony of our current lives.Since I posted last, these are the main (though by no means all) events that have occurred:
I have created (with a great deal of help from my son, Christopher, CEO of MINE, a San Francisco Design Firm www.minesf.com) a little website for my book, Felicity and Barbara Pym, which comes out tomorrow!! It can be found at: http://felicityandbarbarapym.wordpress.com/ This is the first website I have ever created – and while Christopher could have and would have designed a spectacular one for me, as this is one of his firm’s areas of expertise, I wanted to do it myself. I think it reflects the literary and deceptively simple nature of the book.
Carpe Articulum arrived on the stands yesterday - in which my story, Mater Amabilis, is featured. The designers and editors did a spectacular job with the illustrations for my story – just majestic. (It’s pretty hard to beat Michaelangelo!)
Felicity and Barbara Pym has had amazing reviews so far – Huntington has kindly posted one of them on my page. Selections from the others are on my new website.
I am in the middle of author interviews. The latest published one is here: http://americymru.blogspot.com/2010/06/interview-with-harrison-solow.html
Inpress, the distributor of my book has created an author page (about which I have done absolutely nothing yet): http://www.inpressbooks.co.uk/harrison_solow_f05061.aspx
I have written an entire (long) chapter of my dissertation.
Alice Shapiro and I have worked together – Well she did all the work – all I did was record ( http://www.aliceshapiro.com/harrisonsolow.html ) on her great project, The Change Interviews, in which the question was put to Pushcart Prize winners (and nominees): What changed after your Award or Nomination?”
Alice is planning an event that she would probably like to announce on her own page, so I won’t be specific here.
Just recently, I was contracted as the consultant on a production of Under Milk Wood in Los Angeles (North Hollywood) which I am enjoying greatly. The director is a dream to work with.
I have also agreed to be on the panel of judges at the Left Coast Eisteddfod in October in Portland. The Eisteddfod, pronounced “eye – steth vod”, is a Welsh literary and musical festival, entirely in the Welsh language, which held in Wales every year – its origins go back to the 12th century. This is an American version, in mostly English. I will also be doing readings of Bendithion (http://www.bu.edu/agni/essays/print/2007/66-solow.html ) there and Felicity and Barbara Pym at Wordstock the same week.
On another note, I have had great pleasure in following Elizabeth Eslami’s book tour for Bone Worship, which I have just bought and can't wait to read, listening to her interviews and getting to know this superb woman as an author and as a person, a little better. Elizabeth has been a great enthusiast regarding my professional life.
Not long ago, I popped into The Red Room to read Farzana’s beautiful post, Surviving Miracles, and sent a little note to her with this observation: “how sensitive and terrible (in the original sense of powerfully frightening) your observations are - and how like you to draw all this power and beauty and feeling into - and from - an apple. Beautiful picture. Beautiful thoughts.”
The incomparable duo, Ryoma & Gina and I have been getting better acquainted on Facebook and by private correspondence – and I read Ryoma’s heartbreaking post Run Run Runaway. A little excerpt of our correspondence on that (from me to him): "You, trying to leave home. Me trying to leave the planet. I am so deeply interested in your story, your thoughts…So often…one is born into the wrong tribe, in a land or a place or a time that seems foreign from birth.”
Ryoma has been a tireless poster of “Harrison’s news” on Facebook and Twitter and I am grateful to him for his kind and very enthusiastic championing of my work.
Gina’s food blog has been a “runaway” success (congratulations) and although I am a pretty decent cook and my husband is an extraordinary one, with our own roster of favourite (both exquisite and homey) recipes, we have purloined a couple of Gina’s!!
I’ve had such pleasure in Sue Glasgo whose “Sue-ness” I don’t have to explain to anyone to convey that special something she brings into people’s lives.
Orna Paz, who has also written a book on Barbara Pym, (an excellent reading experience!) has come into my life as have several others.
Apart from that, I am pleased to say that there are few pleasures in the world so sublime as sleeping in one’s own bed, with one’s own linen, for the first time in six years.
I am still not quite back into Redroom cycle, but I have recruited at least two people in the last three weeks ( and I think one more is coming) and I hope they make up for what will have to be my continued, albeit intermittent absence. But I look forward to catching up with Mary and Rebbeca and others whose posts sit in my computer, fresh and new – awaiting a little leisure.
Message to Eve: I have unearthed only four children’s books so far, which were packed by mistake in a box of office files. They are Susan’s Safe Harbor, The Pink Maple House, Here I Stay and Tea with Milk. More on the CB report in the coming weeks.
Thank you, everyone, who left such kind messages on my departure post. Really appreciated.
And thank you as always, Huntington, for all your help and Happy Birthday!
Causes Harrison Solow Supports
Lupus Foundation of America
Museum of Tolerance