We''re all misfits here, he says, almost proudly. That's why I started this squat, after all. ? For people like us, who don't fit in anywhere else. ? Halfies and homos and hopeless romantics, the outcast and outrageous and terminally weird. ? That's where art comes from, Jimmy, my friend. ? From our weirdnesses and our differences, from our manic fixations, our obsessions, our passions. ? From all those wild and wacky things that make each of us unique.
I love so many books and authors that it's hard to name just a few, but I'm always particularly excited when new books by and come out. (And, of course, books by , and , and the rest of the Bordertown crew!) I'm impatiently looking forward to 's next book too.Aside from writing and reading, my favorite things to do are paint, walk in the countryside with my dog, and listen to music -- especially when it's live and it's played by friends. Fortunately there's a lot of live music where I live.
Although I've written a few (a few) poems over the years, I am not a natural poet...and I remain in awe of people who are. The ability to evoke deep emotion, reveal a new facet of the world, or condense an entire story into the limited space and form of a poem (or likewise, of a good song lyric, or the text for a children's picture book) seems like pure magic to me.
Oh, don't get me started! I love fantasy, I read it for pleasure, even after all these years. Pat McKillip, Ursula Le Guin and John Crowley are probably my favorite writers in the field, in addition to all the writers in the Endicott Studio group - but there are many others I also admire. In children's fantasy, I'm particularly keen on Philip Pullman, Donna Jo Napoli, David Almond and Jane Yolen - though my favorite novels recently were Midori Snyder's , Holly Black's , and Neil Gaiman's .I read a lot of mainstream fiction as well - I particularly love Alice Hoffman, A.S. Byatt, Sara Maitland, Sarah Waters, Sebastian Faulks, and Elizabeth Knox. There's also a great deal of magical fiction by Native American authors being published these days - Louise Erdrich's , Alfredo Vea Jr.'s , Linda Hogan's , and Susan Power's are a few recent favorites.I'm a big fan of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, and Anthony Trollope - I re-read Jane Austen's novels in particular every year.Other fantasists say they read Tolkien every year, but for me it's Austen. I adore biographies, particularly biographies of artists and writers (and particularly those written by Michael Holroyd). And I love books that explore the philosophical side of art, such as Lewis Hyde's , Carolyn Heilbrun's , or David Abram's .(from a 2002 interview)
Border crossing' is a recurrent theme in all aspects of my work -- editing, writing, and painting. I'm interested in the various ways artists not only cross borders but also subvert them. In mythology, the old Trickster figure Coyote is a champion border crosser, mischievously dashing from the land of the living to the land of the dead, from the wilderness world of magic to the human world. He tears things down so they can be made anew. He's a rascal, but also a culture hero, dancing on borders, ignoring the rules, as many of our most innovative artists do. I'm particularly drawn to art that crosses the borders critics have erected between 'high art' and 'popular culture,' between 'mainstream' and 'genre,' or between one genre and another -- I love that moment of passage between the two; that place on the border where two worlds meet and energize each other, where Coyote enters and shakes things up. But I still have a great love for traditional fantasy, for Imaginary World, center-of-the-genre stories. I'm still excited by series books and trilogies if they're well written and use mythic tropes in interesting ways.
It's my birthday, by the way, and as of 2:05 this morning (the time of my birth in the middle of a snow storm on the Fort Dix army base in New Jersey) I'm 52 years old. I decided to say that because there's such in our culture for women...well, for everybody...to stay perpetually young. And that's never going to change if we (women especially) don't embrace, enjoy, and take pride in each and every age that we pass through. I'm not young, I'm half a century old, and grateful to have made it this far. And I have this to say to the young women coming on behind me: 52 feels pretty damn good!
Why are so many of us enspelled by myths and folk stories in this modern age? Why do we continue to tell the same old tales, over and over again? I think it's because these stories are not just fantasy. They're about real life. We've all encountered wicked wolves, found fairy godmothers, and faced trial by fire. We've all set off into unknown woods at one point in life or another. We've all had to learn to tell friend from foe and to be kind to crones by the side of the road. . . .
Though now we think of fairy tales as stories intended for very young children, this is a relatively modern idea. In the oral tradition, magical stories were enjoyed by listeners young and old alike, while literary fairy tales (including most of the tales that are best known today) were published primarily for adult readers until the 19th century.
Once upon a time, they say, there was a girl...there was a boy...there was a person who was in trouble. And this is what she did...and what he did...and how they learned to survive it. This is what they did...and why one failed...and why another triumphed in the end. And I know that it's true, because I danced at their wedding and drank their very best wine.