Sunday, June 29, 2008

Book(let) Launch, Tomorrow Night!!!

(click on image for a fancy invite with lots of information about my book(let) launch for TeaTime tomorrow night.

If you do not want to click on the above, I understand. We all have our foibles. Below are the details:

Festivities are at the Embassy in Kensington from 8pm on.
If you google "Embassy" and "Kensington" you will find easy-to-comprehend directions, thanks to the internet.
There will be music and excellent company and drinks and books for sale when you get there.
Friends, strangers, and those appreciative of oddities are all welcome.

Should you desire it, there is more information, both useful and otherwise, at my website, which is

My apologies if you have received my invite twice, or via facebook, or at an inconvenient moment in your lives.
My intentions are blameless, and my cartwheels anticipatory.

(My apologies also for signing off "s to the tef". I'm obviously off my nut.)

worth pondering.

I had two separate conversations today about signposts, that is, the rituals we choose to go through to signify our own progress for ourselves, development as people, etc etc. If one chooses the route of marriage, children, houses, religion, career, etc, it's all very clear. But what are those rituals when the above are not the ready choices for any given person?
Self-created ones, to be sure. But the fact that we all need rituals and signposts, wherever they come from, is a fact to me. That is, one can get away from the pre-conceived rituals, but I don't know if one can get away, peaceably, without ritual itself. And I don't know that I would ever want to.
Ho Hum.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


My most gracious host, (with whom I couchsurfed!) this last week in Montreal.
(not to mention the assurance that I still have a modicum of drawing-from-life skills)

the varied nature of questions, (with regards to life, work, and intimacy [both small and capital i)

Where shall I begin.
Hm. The OED, methinks, where I always begin.

Says the OED about questions:
Interrogative statement of some point to be investigated or discussed; problem; ; subject for discussion in meeting etc...; the~, the precise matter receiving or requiring discussion or deliberation; beg the ~, under consideration; it is a ~ of , what is required or involved is;... out of the ~, foreign to the subject; not to be considered or thought of.

of "questionable" there is this:
Doubtfully true; not clearly consistent with honesty, honour, or wisdom.

Asking questions.
When I used to be in university (wow, i used to be in university) I was that person that always asked too many questions. It was a good self-check (I feel/felt at the time); when I was asking questions it was because i was interested, and sometimes when they reached the "excessive" point, i was just checking in that I was still engaged with what was going on, a part of the dialogue.
Which, although annoying to others, was well intentioned, I assure you. To this day I have trouble understanding how the silent sorts can feel (capital I)Involved sitting on the outskirts of a conversation, questioning nothing, not clarifying details for themselves, not positioning themselves inside the continuum of what's going on.
When I stopped asking questions in class, it was a matter of not even a month or so before I stopped doing work, lost interest in academia, and traded in my year-two-course registration for a plane ticket to Sweden.

As one does.

In contrast though, with work these days, questions take on a different colour. At one of my jobs I ask the same questions repeatedly, 'coz i'm there so rarely that I can't get up the confidence to assure myself that I really have a firm hold of the job, of what I'm supposed to do.
BUT. It's also a way for me to manufacture engagement, since I find the environment deeply depersonalized and I feel like an ant there. If i'm still asking things, at least I still feel present. And being answered also helps with that; creates some sort of bond, however tenuous. Which, for whatever reason, is a big deal to me.

Moving right along.

The OED (1980 edition) defines "intimate" thusly:
adj Close in acquaintance, familiar; essential, intrinsic; closely personal intimately adv intimacy n State of being intimate; intimate act; (euphem.) sexual intercourse. intimate n Intimate friend.

For the sake of my ponderings I'm going to take the sex part out of it.
(Which is perhaps telling in and of itself?)

What of questions and their relationship to intimacy? This is what I'm pondering.
Discussions I have with intimate friends are a back and forth, a dialogue, much in the form of question/answers/re-questions, with happy digressions and meandering reactions to what one or the other has to say. I LOVE this. I can tell almost immediately when I'm not loving a discussion (or when i've retreated into self-absorbed tedium) when nothing other people say makes me react or question.

I've been with people before who seem to have very little intimacy (small i OR capital I) in their lives, but manage to fake this very well by asking questions. Creating a sense of interest by trying to get in on the people around them, how they do things, what makes them tick. Astoundingly, the "fake it 'til you make it" tactic can be very efficient in this way.* I have had times in my life where I've been disinterested in things until Precisely the moments I begin to investigate them, and suddenly find myself swept up. And the thing is, you can't fake the asking of a question. You ask a question, or you don't ask it. If you ask a question without interest, that much is very obvious from the get-go. If you don't ask, the same applies.

(* This tactic is also a very good one for getting laid. Who doesn't find someone attractive in some capacity, when they are being asked at length about their own navel-gazing self?)

There is, of course, a time and place for questions, I admit. There are moments where Intimacy is beyond questions.
Looking at artwork: beyond questions.
Reading: beyond questions.
Sex: you get my drift.

BUT, very frequently, it is AFTER all the questions, that the above examples are born.
I mean, what books, art, or half decent sex worth having didn't start with the question of how to procure themselves, make themselves better, arrive in a timely fashion, etc.

(an aside: I think fast food and one-night stands and the like have their place of importance in the world. That is a different importance from what I am talking about here. That sort of place demands the building up of a tolerance, a thick skin, a surly constitution; once you've accustomed your body to fast food (or fast anything) the habit is so strong your innards would revolt at the sight of anything else. ... Perhaps the same holds true of intimacy?)

This wonderful quote was at the bottom of an email i once got: The Dalai Lama always likes to say... that when you give birth in your mind to the idea of compassion, it's because you realize that you yourself and your pains and pleasures are finally too small a theater for your intelligence; it's really too boring. ~ Bob Thurman ~

I once received

a telegram from a cycling postman, but that was a long time ago now, and then a day or so ago i was led to a series of photos of said postman, on his daily errands and such.
And they are MAGIC.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

XERIC the third.

I promise, this will be my last Xeric-centric posting. Really, I promise.
BUT I was thinking about it today and suddenly remembered that Xeric is the very foundation that sponsored the publishing of "The Ballad of the Two-Headed Boy" by Abel Brekhus (aka Anders Nilsen).

XERIC the second.

I would like to add that since the year pretty much started as ASS as a year can start, this gives whole new credence to the fact that there is nowhere to go but up.
I'm selling books at Big on Bloor festival (in Toronto) today, if anyone is interested.

Friday, June 20, 2008


I wanted to write some huge cartwheel-worthy exposition on my discovery that I've been awarded a Xeric grant two nights ago (for TeaTime 1 and 2), but I can't even keep my thoughts straight on it. I've been giddy for two days! So there it is. I will now always hold a special affection for letters that begin "Dear Mr. Lenk"
(ironically my acceptance letter to Angoulême started in the same way. It took three emails to convince them of my gender. Oh impermeable comic-book world)

in reference to the keeping calm of horses.

Coco asked the other day where I got the reference "not to frighten the horses"...

s: Well *I* got it from the Nerve Guide to Sex Etiquette (ergo: you are not stupid) But a quick googling revealed this little beauty (which is likely the origin of the former quote) courtesy of British (!) actress Beatrice Stella Tanner Campbell: "My dear, I don't care what they do, so long as they don't do it in the street and frighten the horses."

C: Who knew. Thank you for that. You are giving me such a good edjumacation. Think how smart I'll be when I've known you another three years. Tell me, can I earn a PhD with you? But I guess instead of Doctorate of Philosophy that would be a Doctorate of Stefanie, which would result in the unfortunate earning of an StD.

(She has asked me to qualify this posting with the acknowledgement that this is not her cleverest moment, but I don't see the need, really)

How I Love

People who've known me forever. Not that the following links are much of a stretch, but I might have remained ignorant of them had they not been sent along...

Click here for the lower-case scarf

And here for a fully functioning grandfather clock made out of bike parts.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


i have decided i am extremely fond of the word "nonetheless".
I'm not sure why today in particular, and perhaps tomorrow i will gaze upon it with lassitude, indifference or even animosity, but for today, I like it.
Having used it once already, I think a couple more for good measure is in order.

Monday, June 16, 2008

of comments.

I have very cleverly just figured out why i wasn't getting comments from this blog before. And i have tinkered and fixed it all. Oh bloggy cyberworld.

And so it begins: some NYC observations.

So. Have just come back from a LOVELY eight days in New York and Fire Island. A longer trip than was at first anticipated, thanks to my beloved cousin KJ, who invited me to extend the sojourn and accompany her to Fire Island, where I have never been before. And for a very white person who barely leaves her house, much less loiters in the sunshine on a beach for two days, well, it was BLISS.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

And next: the bus from Chinatown, Philadelphia, dead things, and so on.

So then there was Monday. Where, after six years of wanting to go here, I got on a bus at 6am to Philadelphia for the day, to visit the infamous Mutter Museum, a home for medical specimens and oddities from all walks of life.

The trip there was an excellent series of smooth and timely procedures. I procured a ticket on the internet for a dodgy bus from Chinatown, so decided getting there early would be advisable. Showed up at 5.56am, felt very clever, and was directed to the bus in question, thinking I had an hour and four minutes, so no problem. Well, the bus was full and actually took off four minutes later, I inadvertently had taken the 7am bus. The guy who took my ticket didn't bother to tell me, and i have to say, in this case, I didn't particularly care. En route back, I arrived 40 minutes early to find out my bus had been cancelled. Stranded in Pennsylvania! I thought, ever dramatically. Then i coerced the woman behind the counter to give me my money back ( "I'm Canadian, I can't possibly wait for the next bus, I will be lost in New York upon my return!"), and walked about 20 feet to another dodgy bus company. Asked for a ticket to NY, and they threw me right on a bus that left not four minutes later.

This strange citizen I discovered (and became suitably concerned by) on my walk across town to the museum site:

This sign upon my arrival, signalling the terminus of my long-awaited pilgrimage:

And then the museum.
It was SO cool. I am working on a little side project called "The Ailments" which involves a great deal of drawings of dead things, and was thrilled and grateful to be able to garner permission in advance to photograph the specimens there for reference material. Among the most fascinating things was a wall of skulls, consisting of mostly thieves, gypsys, sailors, and suicides, some with explanations of their grisly exits from the world (Timothy Castriotis; Corfu, Greece, Supercargo (?), died of a dagger thrust in Scutari) I of course now want to do a book of skulls, surmising the lives of these people whose (now empty) heads leer out at Pennsylvania's tourists.
Just like this fact that the Oxford English Dictionary was written predominantly by a madman, I'm fascinated that we are using the skulls and organs of thieves and gypsies to educate ourselves on the workings of our own bodies. Note how it's never a Bay Street (or Wall Street, in this case) investment banker that has anything to tell us about ourselves, or not anything lasting, anyhow. When you die, the money moves onwards, changes hands, becomes irrelevant to the person it was owned by.

Also interesting was a talk I had with one of the museum staff, who told me that despite the fact that the specimens are all dead, they are still incarnate, inasmuch as they are capable of disintegration if not taken care of/preserved properly. That is, it is the things surrounding them that determine whether they are alive or dead, so to speak.
He pointed out that formaldehyde wasn't always used to preserve specimens, for ages it was alcohol. In fact, a soldier from the (a) civil war (so said he) had to have his leg amputated and wanted to keep it, so stuck it in a barrel of whisky and put it on a cargo ship (ship? something like that) to send it home. The sailors didn't realize, and cracked open the barrel to drink from it. No joke.

MoCCA; the books; a quick summation

So yes. The festival was Amazing. The biggest thrill was having people, both strangers and friends come up to me and say "where's the next one, then?".

Highlights of books acquired:
Edison Steelhead's Lost Portfolio: Exploratory Studies of Girls and Rabbits by Renée French (Awesome Awesome Awesome)

W the Whore (the first installment, which i didn't even know existed!): by Anke Feuchtenbergerowa and Katrin Devries

You'll Never Get Away with This by Eve Englezos and Josh Moutray, who do small run self-published books of Exemplary class and wit. (I'm particularly fond of "Their Condolences", which I picked up last year, about a man named Abram, recently deceased, whose "near and dear express what sympathy they can muster". Outstanding.

Then: (seen at MoCCA, but NOT bought due to baggage limitations on "international" flights and my dodgy left knee under heavy backpacks) (and then, of course, shamelessly purchased today on the Bloody Internet. I have NO restraint. CHRIST.)

M by Jon J Muth (mostly a kids' book illustrator, but christ can this man draw and paint. This is a graphic narration of the Fritz Lang film)

The Number by Thomas Ott. I am not linking his name to anything, 'coz i'm frustrated by this man's web presence. He's a bloody brilliant storyteller, but his works seem to have been written off as campy horror stories (it's true, they are horrific, i'll give you that), but he does these silent short narratives in scratchboard that are absolute Genius in storytelling.

This is the problem, of course, with practically everything graphica-inclined. It's written off as proverbial sausage-fest toybox reading, along with the T and A superheroes and the basement-addled teenage boys who wouldn't know a quality read if it hit them on the head (and Gods know we wish it would, sometimes.)

Audrey Niefenegger might be one of our only hopes in getting graphic novels to be more associated with literature, (see "The Adventuress" and "The Three Incestuous Sisters" but what a drag to have to rely on the big names to make the link. We sure as hell can't rely on all those pimply sorts with manga fetishes and rapidograph obsessions.


ALSO procured at St. Mark's Bookshop ('coz you get to the point where you think, "Why Stop now?!

Riceboy Sleeps- (a book of original artwork by Jon Thor Birgisson) (an Icelandic post-rock band front man, i have just discovered. Thank you Google.) Small and indescribably beautiful.

Foyle's Philavery- Wherein the proprietor of Foyle's bookshop of London (be still my Beating Heart, despite the fact that they owe us money for some errant Bricks we sent there some years ago at their request)...where was I? Oh yes, proprietor of Foyles, it seems, has been collecting unusual words, and herein is the treasury of said words, published in hardcover. A quick dip inside reveals such gems as nullibiety: The state of condition of being nowhere; absence; divagate: to stray, wander, digress, and iatrogenic; (of patient's disease or symptom) caused unintentionally by the medical treatment or the actions or comments of the physician.

And lastly: Books still covetted (and to be purchased upon financial recovery from the above):

"The Blot": by Tom Heeley, another silent graphic novel, 'bout a nameless man being followed by a mysterious black splotch.

So. That was MoCCA. So help my creaking floorboards and perilous bookshelves.


Oh yes, and though I did not purchase this, i had to chuckle when it was on the "staff picks" shelf at Barnes and Noble: Penis Pokey (being a board book with a largish round hole right in the centre, consisting of illustrations within of a monkey holding a banana (where the hole replaces the fruit), a guy holding an empty hot-dog bun (hole), and a cowboy riding the empty space (you get the picture)
And this warning on the outside back cover: "Warning; caution; disclaimer: This book is intended for novelty purposes only. Do not put your penis through the holes in this book or any other unknown holes. Death, severe injury, or papercut may occur. Once purchased, this book may not be returned to the retailer or the publisher"

Never trust the large print.

Spent eight days in four different places, rivalling those days of my early twenties when i hopped from city to city in ignorant backpacking bliss.
I have been known to be rather indifferent to my accomodations during my travels, (quite the opposite from my OCD-excessive tidiness at my cozy little home) HOWEVER. I feel like, as I am in my thirties now, a bit of research is in order when a hostel is necessary. With the time-honored internet, there is much information and forewarnings at my disposal, and I thought I had been quite responsible in choosing a place, a bit more expensive than your usual pennies-n-bread joint, but close to the MoCCA festival, near St. Marks Place, etc.
And then, Sunday morning, I arrived there to this pasted on the window (click on image for full size):

Being a skeptical but cautious sort, I went in and asked the man behind the counter if i was going to die if i stayed there overnight. He was quite kind and sincere, but poo-pooed the notion. Deciding I had better things to do than trek around the city on a Sunday morning looking for a better place, I left my bag there, went festivalling, and came back that night. I climbed the stairs, i admit, with some trepidation. Crazily, this is what I found:

These photos may not be the clearest indicators, but the place was SPOTLESS. Like, really. I didn't stay long enough to take a pic of the dorm (got there at midnight or something, left at six the next morning for Philadelphia) The rooms were small with plenty of beds like any hostel, but there were polished hardwood floors, and bathrooms that were better looking than mine will ever be, and locks on the door, etc etc. It seems the sign was regarding the cramped living arrangements (fair enough) but, come on, guests weren't lying on top of each other, and "perilous to life"? Yeah. God Bless America.

the notion of "sleep debt", and solutions therein.

Coco and i were discussing this, just before my departure, and that there isn't much stock to be taken in it. That is, the idea that one can accrue a debt by losing sleep that literally needs to be paid back before one can return to optimal health. So that all-nighter you pulled in grade 11 might still be weighing heavily on your immune system or psychological well-being.
But imagine. Imagine if this were true.

stef: "Come out with us, tonight, Coco, we are going to have some wine!"
Coco: "I'm afraid I can't, I'm very very busy."
stef: "What about later in the week, then?"
Coco: "No No, I'm sorry. I've got a great deal of sleep to catch up on; i'll be sleeping around the clock for the next five days."

Friday, June 6, 2008

and these words from Coco, in the wake of an evening celebrating Griffins, poetry, and, well, ourselves. day wine and I will have a talk and the conclusion of that talk will be very firm. I will say, Now listen to me, Wine. And Wine will say, Yes, I'm listening. And I will say, There will be no more of these shenanigans. You will go your way and I will go mine. And Wine will say, You are clearly very serious and A Deeply Sophisticated Person. Henceforth (Wine is always saying things like "henceforth") I will no longer darken your door/dresses/lead you to collapse into the orchestra pit while attempting to request Friday I'm in Love from the DJ....

Oh Please Please, Dearest Coco, won't you move back here and never Never Leave?!?!

10 hours.

And I will be in NEW YORK CITY!!! WOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Giant Vulva Bicycle taxi hits the streets of Finland.

And you thought i was kidding. This link sent to me by someone who knows my love of bicycles and my love of...erm...myself.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

quintessential canadian

some days i step back and watch myself, apologizing like there's no tomorrow for situations I find myself in through no fault of my own, but somehow have to unravel.
And suddenly my patriotism, whatever there might be of it, goes right out the window.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Griffins shortlist, Madonna, and a few pilfered poetic tidbits.

I got into a discussion about Madonna (!) today, her age, specifically, and it was most astutely pointed out to me that the world is making some huge broo-ha-ha (sp?) that she's turning 50 this year, while when Bowie and Jagger reached this age, people barely raised an eyebrow.
It's a gender-particular thing, this obsession with aging. It's real in so many contexts: I see more girls around me freaking about their age than guys, and it's some genetic necessity I think that prompts it. Which reminds me...someone pointed out to me recently that even the term "girls" and "guys" has some age-preference disposition to it; "girls" being more commonly used for young females, while "guys" remain age-anonymous.
Quite frankly, it's all kind of ass.


I then went to the Griffins shortlist readings, and tried not to notice that of the 13 nominees/translators on stage, only 4 were women. I'm usually quite good at remaining oblivious to these sorts of ratios, and I don't usually dwell on them, but today i cast my ballot that, should reincarnation exist, I would most definitely like NOT to be born female in my next life. For so many reasons, but the above are today's.


Stepping off my little soapbox, I enjoyed the readings significantly more than i did two years ago when I went. I'm blogging a few beautiful snippits that etched themselves in here:

...not everything buried is dead. - David Harsent

SIX MILLION CELLS and i'm supposed to be in charge?! - Ko Un

Monday, June 2, 2008

on a DIY day that started glumly, and progressively improved.

If accounting makes me feel like a fat man going uphill on a children's bicycle, then DIY distribution,inventory and books-on-consignment make me feel like a fat man with no legs running a 200-metre dash, rife with hurdles and a full bladder.

I'm Five books into this self-publishing miasma now, and today I concluded that if i don't figure out some consistent method for recording what books are where and how much and whatnot, well, it'll be a whole lot of wasted effort even making them, as they are not much more than dust-bunny gatherers here at my humble home.

So today was about stef-ministratory prowess in packaging and distributing my wares, then recording it all properly for "profit" and posterity. Dear reader(s), since you have paid my blog a little visit, you get to hear about it.

For those of you who may not realize, the process of self-publishing is a tedious and involved one.
After you've spent 200 hours or so (if you are OCD about it, like i am) conceiving, drawing, scanning, color-correcting, and pre-press approval'ing your book, you bring said little paper-babies in to purveyors of like-minded goods to sell them.

You try to act nonchalant, like you're totally cool with the fact that they will be tucked into a milk-crate on a back shelf somewhere, and one may get sold to some customer who found them by accident, 'coz s/he thought s/he had found a cheap score in a carefully hidden smut section.

But really you feel Glum. And perhaps a bit cheated, in that amorphous way that fantasy always evolves when it's actualized.

Charging 8$ seems brilliant (and certainly beats the $6 i was charging for the first book of this series), until you realize that the print-run of 350 has cost you $1200, making each book $3.42, and the average consignment fee is 40% of the purchase price (another $3.20), so your "profit" from the whole venture will be a resounding $1.38 per book.

And YES, you are not doing it for profit, ladies and gentlemen, yes yes, but a little bit of pay-back equilibrium would warm up those cold nights where you burn bills by the candlelight and hope the collection agencies have lost your number.
At book fairs you get to keep your consignment fee, but this at the price of malevolent glares by bargain hunters who can't fathom why you would charge $8 for what could be construed as a rather elaborate looking brochure.

And then, four books in, for some wonderful inexplicable reason, they actually start disappearing off the shelves and you need to check in and replenish. Printing them has become easier, and the people at the printing house pity you and run off an extra couple of hundred copies, should you ever feel the temptation to carpet-bomb the city with them. They have contests in the office to see which one of them can figure out what your storybook is about. And they are SO SO nice about deadlines, little changes, and ensuring your colour-correction sees its way to press-perfection.

Then strangers approach you and ask if you would be interested in submitting work to their websites, magazines, etc. People write a column (!) on the project. People let you hang art in their windows. Proprietors stop greeting you with a kind, apologetic tolerance, knowing that you are flogging a dead horse, and start greeting you cheerily and being super-accomodating, letting you leave more than the token 5 copies, as they will actually not be gathering too much dust (hopefully) before someone claims them at the cash register.

It took me about three hours to unravel a list of numbers and dates and venues and book-names from the past two years, but finally i think i have a grasp of the inevitable pattern of consignment-book selling, in one highly-neurotic OCD-rampant spreadsheet. Another hour and a half later I had bagged a pile of TeaTimes with enclosed labelled postcards advertising the sequel, then, having given up on finding my previous pile of consignment receipts, set out on my dear trusty bicycle.

I approached each shop with my ever-familiar sense of sheepish dread, which i was kindly asked to check at the door as almost (almost) every proprietor or consignment person most gloriously greeted me, carefully took my books, complimented me on them, and assured me that they were selling. That ever-niggling concern that my work is odd and inscrutable was replaced by the assurance that few people taking it to sell really worry too much; "different strokes for different folks" seems to be the modus operandi in this trade.

Dear readers and aspiring DIY bookmakers, today I left 51 books at 9 assorted venues around the city. And for the very first time since starting this whole process almost two years ago, I actually felt Good about it.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

CS inauguration

I would just like to say I hosted my inaugural couchsurfer this weekend, and it is remarkable to me what one can learn about oneself in the presence of complete strangers. Especially when they are staying at your house.


Holy Christ. Who were the geniuses (genii?) that wrote Sesame Street?!?! I mean, Words To Live By, would that we all lived in a capital I !!!

the yoga poll, brain-in-situ, and ideas worth spreading.

I am frequently tempted to do two things that are trite and overdone in blog-world on this blog: post weird silly things found on the internet, and/or advertise either my own paltry accomplishments or those of others.

As you can see, temptation and I are hard to keep apart.

My friend JP owns a yoga studio, that I have been going to since it opened, what, two years ago? They are Amazing, all three owners of Octopus Garden, and said studio also lacks much of shall we say..."fashion sense" of other studios. That is, one can practise in one's pajamas (ahem) with little fear of being ousted from the premises, or mocked in whispers from stroller moms across the change room.

This came out in their last newsletter which I received this weekend:
As you may have already heard, a recent poll published in the Toronto Star stated that 98% of Canadian men said "No way to yoga". We aim to change these statistics, one man at a time.
Along with a "30$ for yoga for the month of June" deal for guys.
Which, if you've ever practised yoga weekly, or, so help you, daily, is a VERY GOOD DEAL.


Also, although unrelated, I was sent a link this weekend to TED: Ideas Worth Spreading, which I had never heard of before, and it's really really cool. Particularly so, since it seems like a complete antidote to the daily news, which I feel in need of in the last while.
(Clicking on the site's title here will bring you to one of the particular samples I watched today, about a brain scientist who survived a stroke and gave a play-by-play of what happened as it was going down. For those of you with little interest in clicking forward, I shall pilfer bits here to tell to you. My favourite part is where she is having a stroke and says to herself "but I'm a busy woman! I don't have time for a stroke!". She explains that the left brain has a linear nature, sees it's owner's life in terms of past and future, in a linear fashion, and tries to put sensual experience into something cognitive, something expressible in language. And that this was the side of her brain that capsized during her stroke due to a blood clot, so she found herself, despite being caught in a medical emergency, relieved of this incessant need to analyse, categorize, and define. Bloody fascinating.

Rue Morgue, Issue 79, page 50

So quite a while back now i was approached by a columnist at Rue Morgue about possibly doing an interview/column on my graphic novel project. It was been held off and held off due to my own drawing/printing schedule, but, bless the columnist, was done in a 24 hour blitz about three weeks ago (deadlines, ever deadlines, for everyone!) to appear in the pages of the upcoming issue, on newstands Monday (i think).
I picked up an advance copy earlier this week, and I was all set to let my ego off it's not-always-efficient lead and post it and sit back proudly and feel clever and important, but i actually find myself having a rather odd reaction to this.
I've never had anyone interview me, and the most discussion I've ever had with strangers about my book project I've had in far-from-perfect french in Angouleme earlier this year.
(Funny how discussions in foreign languages are not-quite-real and therefore far-less-threatening. Just like books I suppose.)
The article is flattering, but I think what's strangely unsettling about it is that it seems like the columnist has been better able in many ways to describe my project than I am. It's also a whole lot of information, all on paper, in someone else's magazine, to be (possibly) read by people who don't know me.

I'm really bothered by the fact that I'm not able to just explain in simple terms stories that i would like to tell with pictures, and when I try to, the explanations sound cheesy and lame. Which, perhaps, they are. I'm not a writer by trade, of course. But the ability to put things into words is frequently my default method of attaching worth to them.
Which, of course, makes these books...yes.

Not to mention my ever-keen awareness that they are not "marketable", and therefore become a huge time/energy investment for...what? (beyond my own self-absorption)

Anyhow. I'm going to post the article here. Kind of 'coz I'm proud, and kind of 'coz it will be helpful for anyone who arrives at this blog via my visit to MoCCA next week, and might generate more interest in the books.
And for posterity. 'Coz i like posterity.

One thing that is quite important: Next to the title of the book it says "Coach House", implying the books were published there. Much as it would be lovely to have this affiliation, this was not my doing.
I thank Coach House in all my booklets 'coz i used to work there and I love them; but they print them; they aren't my publisher. I am very small fry.

Also, I SPELL MY NAME ALL LOWER CASE, DAMMIT. It is very overwhelming to have two capital letters on a name comprised of two four-letter words. And despite this being whimsical and stubborn, it is MY stubborn whim, and i feel this is one instance where I should be accomodated.

(click on image for full size)