We got some lovely news about Poppy Brite’s Second Line: it was selected for the ALA’s Over the Rainbow committee’s inaugural list of LGBTIQ books for adults—along with Sandra McDonald, a Batwoman comic, James Magruder’s Sugarless, Queering the Text, Locas II (still haven’t got this, want!), and titles from the good folks at Midsummer Night’s Press, Chizine, Blind Eye Books. Overall the committee selected 108 titles, which should make for a good reading list (hope my local library adds them all!), and if you want even more reading, here are all the nominated titles.
On Weightless we just added After the Rain: After the Floods edited by Tehani Wessely, which is a fundraiser for the Queensland Flood Relief Appeal—100% of the proceeds go to the Flood Appeal. Queensland has been hit brutally hard and this is a great way to pitch in. Buy one for everyone you know! Anything you can do to help spread the word would be appreciated.
This week we have some of our writers back after the holidays and posting again—the good news is that some will continue throughout winter into spring. Enjoy!
Karen Joy Fowler is back walking the dog after:
Christmas came to town much like the circus, complete with parties, guests, dreadful influenzas, and deadlines. It was either the circus or else the four horseman of the apocalypse. Those are hard to tell apart.
Karen Lord on machines, ghosts, dependence, and what a writer needs:
I suffered (and I do not use the word lightly) two serious computer crashes in the weeks before Christmas. The first one was vexing, but ultimately I was complacent about my files due to my habit of backing up data at various levels and to various degrees in about five different places. The second crash, which killed my main and largest backup drive, destroyed my complacency at last.
Vincent McCaffrey reveals the secret of why writers write:
Having ‘something to say’ is just as silly a reason to write. Why should anyone care what you have to say? Are you rich? Are you famous? Are you wise? No. Well then. Case closed.
I have frequently encountered the ruse ‘I hate to write. I don’t know why I do it.’ Or some such unlikely statement. This is the equivalent of what Br’er Rabbit told Br’er Fox. “Please don’t throw me in that briar patch.”
And Edward Gauvin introduces two more writers from the Belgian school of the strange:
1) There once was a lawyer named Gérald Bertot, who worked all his life in the management of the same flour-milling factory. He held a doctorate in criminology, and a side career in art criticism under the pseudonym Stéphane Rey. Spared service in World War II, he turned to writing mysteries for money, with the encouragement of Stanislas-André Steeman, a celebrated craftsman of Belgian noir. In Tonight at Eight (1941), he introduced the police commissioner Thomas Owen—a character whose name he liked so much he later took it as his own when he embarked on what he has called his true calling, his career as a fantasist.
2) No survey of Belgian fiction can fail to mention Jean Ray, born Raymundus Joannes Maria de Kremer—but where to begin? . . . Ray had a particular fondness for nautical skullduggery, and actively encouraged the proliferation of rumors surrounding his person and past