The Stare
Tunes for a Monday Morning

Recommended Reading:

Window view

Some very quick recommendations for you this week, while I'm still in deadline mode...

Austin Kleon demonstrates How to Steal Like an Artist (And 9 Other Things Nobody Ever Told Me)  on his art & writing blog. If you read nothing else this week, read this. It's absolutely dead on.

Midori Snyder discusses Folklore and Three Generations of War in her review of Tea Obreht's The Tiger's Wife, over on In the Labyrinth. The Tiger's Wife is a book I also highly recommend.

Charles Simic reflects on a Country Without Libraries in The New York Review of Books. Readers at The Dish respond.

Holly Black discusses aspirational thinking, and "customizing" ones writing life, on her LJ page. I'd be curious to know what other people have to say about this topic. (Another "Movable Feast" in the making...?)

Theodora Goss discusses reading protocals in relation to a Thurber story and Macbeth. Hilarious.

Rex survives another solo week over on John Barleycorn (although he's sounding a little frayed around the edges).

Carrie Osborne (in Somerset, England) shows lovely work inspired by the Book of Kells on her Windsongs and Wordhoards blog. Ruthie Reddon (in Scotland) has been inspired by Bristol's Gothic splendor on the 5 Precious Things blog.

Do you know the Faery Folklorist page, out of Northumberland? It's a charming blog dedicated to tracking down faery sites and lore. You also find faery lore and literature on Katherine Langrish's Seven Miles of Steel Thistles, as well as a good post on water lore. (Want more on water folklore? An old article of mine on the subject is here.)

On the Bordertown front: I especially loved Tim Pratt's article on Border Crossings ( and Ellen Kushner's reminiscences about our early Bordertown days (Whatever), which made me a little teary-eyed . . . but there have been lots of other Bordertown items of interest, including poetry and other good things on Cabinet des Fées. The Bordertown blog has all the links and is regularly updated.

Video recommendations:

Check out Hasta La Muerte, a visually-rich little film inspired by Day of the Dead imagery, which was made by the niece of my friend Peter Brough (a harp-maker here in our village).

And for a real treat, go here to listen to Mary Oliver read her gorgeous poem "Mornings at Blackwater." Of all living poets, Oliver is my hands-down favorite, and a constant source of inspiration.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Updated to add a bit of sad news: The great surrealist painter/writer Leonora Carrington has died, at age 94. She led an incredible (and far from easy) life, created an absolutely astonishing body of work, and was BFF with one of my other all-time-favorite painters, Remedios Varo (who was the inspiration behind the character Anna Navarro in my novel The Wood Wife). I always hoped I would meet Carrington some day...if only so that I could tell her how much her work has meant to me. I know she did well in making it to 94 (and painting right up to the end), but I'm feeling her loss keenly all the same. She rocked my world.


Leonora Carrington Self-portait 1938                      Leonora, 1938


Carrington2_1621381c                                     Leonora, 2010