Thursday, June 21, 2007

Quote: Ann Rinaldi

    "There are, as far as I can see, two kinds of lies in this world. There's the kind I tell Mama when she asks if I've been to see the hoodoo woman who lives on our plantation. And I say no. Though I have been. And now, like Sis Goose, I have a red flannel bag of my own that holds small animal bones, powdered snakeskin, horsehair, ashes, dried blood, and dirt from the graveyard. All to protect me from any evil I can imagine. And some that I can't.
    "Then there's the kind of lie you live with when you enter into a devil's agreement with yourself never to disclose a certain fact for fear of the results if you do.
    "There are planters in our neck of the woods who believe so much in the lie that the slaves are not free that they will shoot or hang anybody who says otherwise."

- Ann Rinaldi, Come Juneteenth

Juneteenth refers to June 19, 1865, and marks the day -- two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation took effect -- that Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, and officially announced that the slaves in Texas were free. Come Juneteenth is the story of a girl in Texas who has to live with the lie she has told her best friend -- legally a slave but raised as her sister -- that the rumors of freedom creeping across the land are not true.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Quote: William Butler Yeats

The following is from The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats. "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" is in the section entitled The Rose, 1893. I actually know a beautiful musical setting to this poem, composed by a group known as Kiltartan Road.

"I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows shall I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core."

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Teahouse Fire wins Lambda Literary Award!

Ellis Avery's new novel, The Teahouse Fire, won a Lambda Literary Award in the lesbian debut fiction category. Ellis was here earlier this year to do a Japanese tea ceremony and reading from her book. It was a lovely evening in honor of a lovely new book. Congratulations, Ellis!

You can see all of the Lambda Literary Award Winners at

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Quotes: Kelly Link and Laurie J. Marks

Nif and I are back from Madison! The following quotations are from the writings of the Guests of Honor at this year's WisCon.

From the story "The Hortlak" in Kelly Link's Magic for Beginners (Harcourt, 2005)...

"Batu had spent a lot of time reorganizing the candy aisle according to chewiness and meltiness. The week before, he had arranged it so that if you took the first letter of every candy, reading across from left to right, and then down, it had spelled out the first sentence of To Kill a Mockingbird, and then also a line of Turkish poetry. Something about the moon."

And from Laurie J. Marks' Fire Logic (Tor, 2002)...

"Part 2: Fire Night

Without courage, there would be no will to know.
Without the will to know, there would be no knowledge.
Without knowledge, there would be no language.
Without language, there would be no community.
--MACKAPEE'S Principles of Community

Who is seen to speak to the enemy must be silenced. Who sympathizes with the enemy must lose their heart. Who dreams of peace must dream no more. Those who ravaged the land will be eliminated: without compromise, without mercy.
--MABIN'S Warfare

When I first met my enemy, she was a glyph, and it was I who chose to read her as my friend. When my enemy first met me, I was a glyph, and it was she who chose to read me as her friend. So all people are glyphs, and every understanding comes from choice.
--MEDRIC'S History of My Father's People"