is, calendrically speaking, still a week away, but today I felt it: the weather cold enough to demand a hoodie, to rebuke me for wearing sandals, to encourage me to think about keeping scarves at the door again. Crows are cawing against a grey sky of swift-moving clouds, casting their shapes against it in a kind of scripture of what's to come.
Lately Stu laughs at me whenever I mention autumn, claims I've been saying it's autumn since May. I haven't, I protest: there's a difference, a very necessary sequence of differences, between scenting an imminence on the air, observing the slanting loss of daylight, gasping at clumps of colour hidden in green leaves, and saying, finally, "today it feels like autumn". All the difference between the herald of the arrival, and the arrival itself; the Silver Surfer isn't Galactus.
Autumn isn't Galactus either, I hasten to say, for all that we're leaving the seasons that feed us and tilting into the seasons that devour us. But I find myself yearning and bracing in equal measure: yearning for the colour of leaves, the welcome hug of heavy clothes, the migrations of birds, and bracing against whatever the dark will do to me.
I'm hopeful, though. About a lot of things. About this autumn being different. About writing. About spinning the darkness into thread and weaving something with it, something warm and good.
- Speaking of threads! I'm headed to Charlottetown, PEI tomorrow, to participate in part of The Wild Threads Literary Festival; storms willing, My very dear friend Caitlyn Paxson and I will be in conversation at the Beaconsfield Carriage House on Sunday, September 17. The festival's been tracking Hurricane Lee's progress and so far the event hasn't been cancelled, but we're playing it by ear. Tickets are free for this event so you lose nothing by reserving a spot! I hope all goes well and that I get to meet folks!
- Sloane Leong and Cassie Hart are kickstarting the second volume in their illustrated horror anthology series, Death in the Mouth, and it's got about 12 hours left to go with a fair amount of ground still to cover. I've been in awe of Sloane Leong's art since I read A Map to the Sun, and deeply moved by her editorial vision and insight as expressed in posts like this, so I'd really love to see this project succeed; the authors who've committed to participate include Jeeyon Shim and Sascha Stronach, whose work I've also deeply enjoyed in the past. I hope you'll take a look!
- I really loved reading my darling CSE Cooney talk about using gaming to figure out how to write combat scenes.
- This New Yorker piece by Jill Lepore is, as I think Helen Rosner put it, a bloodbath, and I very much enjoyed reading it. Ostensibly a review of Walter Isaacson's biography of Elon Musk, it's much, much more than that, and I appreciate the precision of its knife-work tremendously.
- Speaking of Helen Rosner, I loved her recent article about Cecchi's, where she talks about ghosts, Hollywood, and parties with a kind of gauzy ambivalence I adore. The piece also gave me the gift of "pigeon martini" as a conversational Mondegreen that I want to use somewhere.
- I happened to be in Montreal for the day yesterday and wandered over to Argo Bookshop to sign stock! I'm always really moved to find a copy of The Honey Month on a shelf – written when I was 23 and published by Erzebet YellowBoy's Papaveria Press in 2009, it's a deeply cherished juvenilia that I'm so glad is still finding its way into people's hands.
I also signed more stock at Perfect Books, the beloved local indie where I used to work. This included shiny new copies of From a Certain Point of View: Return of the Jedi – just lately listed as a USA Today best-seller!
That's it for now! Wishing you all safety from storms,