Previous month:
November 2011
Next month:
January 2012

December 2011

Paper dreams


Tuesday's post ("A Mystery") reminded me of  the enchanting paper-cut art created by Peter Callesen in Denmark, which deserves a mention during this festive time of the year.

"A large part of my work is made from A4 sheets of paper," says the artist. "It is probably the most common and consumed media used for carrying information today. This is why we rarely notice the actual materiality of the A4 paper. By taking away all the information and starting from scratch using the blank white A4 paper sheet for my creations, I feel I have found a material that we are all able to relate to, and at the same time the A4 paper sheet is neutral and open to fill with different meaning. The thin white paper gives the paper sculptures a frailty that underlines the tragic and romantic theme of my works.

Impenetrable Castle by Peter Callesen

"Some of the paper works are coloured and framed. Others are larger installations such as one to one copies of stairs and ladders made out of thin white paper....These works exist in the gap between the recognizable everyday object and the fragile and spherical condition and material in which they appear. The whiteness, the ideal pure copy of something real as well as the vertical direction coherent in most of my paper works, could also indicate the aspect of something platonic or religious.


"Another returning theme in my work is the reinterpretation of classical fairytales associated with a more general interest in memory in connection to childhood. [They] are examples of playful performances that exist in the lost land of childhood - between dream and reality. It is in this meeting or confrontation of these two conditions, in a kind of utopian embodiment, that these works become alive, often in a tragicomic way."


Please visit Peter Callesen's website to see more of his paper-cut art, as well as installations in other media, photographs, and performances.


For more works in paper, check out Yuken Teruya (especially his luminous "Forest Series"), Helen Musselwhite, and, of course, the great Su Blackwell. In a slightly different vein, have a look at Andrea Dezsö's book and paper art, and the book art of Brian Dettmer.

On another subject entirely: The new issue of Stone Telling magazine is up, and it's wonderful.

Reflections on editing

Office corner

"There were creative writing teachers long before there were creative writing courses, and they were called  At the deskand continue to be called editors."  - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

"Editing should be, especially in the case of old writers, a counseling rather than a collaborating task. The tendency of the writer-editor to collaborate is natural, but he should say to himself, How can I help this writer to say it better in his own style? and avoid How can I show him how I would write it, if it were my piece?"  - James Thurber

"Editors are craftsmen, ghosts, psychiatrists, bullies, sparring partners, experts, enablers, ignoramuses, translators, writers, goalies, friends, foremen, wimps, ditch diggers, mind readers, coaches, bomb throwers, muses and spittoons — sometimes all while working on the same piece."  - Gary Kimaya

"Will you tell me my fault, frankly as to yourself, for I had rather wince, than die. Men do not call the surgeon to commend the bone, but to set it, Sir."  - Emily Dickinson

"You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke."   - Arthur Plotnik (The Elements of Editing)

Editing desk

 A few editing-related links:

* My anthology-editing partner, Ellen Datlow, is having an end-of-the-year book sale, selling off out-of-print and hard-to-find anthologies (including volumes we edited together) at discounted prices. This is for U.S. buyers only (due to postage costs), but if you're in the States go have a browse.

* I was very sorry to hear that Karen Meisner is stepping down from her editorial role at Strange Horizons, where she will certainly be missed -- but I also know that when it's time to move on, you've got to take the jump. I wish her all the very best in whatever comes next.

* Howard and Rex reflect on the process of being editing over on John Barleycorn.

* Did I remember to mention that I did an interview on the French ActuSF website, discussing editing fantasy and other things? The English-language version is here. Also, I posted a longer piece about editing on this blog in February. If you missed it, you'll find it here.

A Mystery...


Mysterious Tree


I adore this little story about mysterious works of art that have shown up in libraries and other literary sites in Scotland. Go here to learn more, on the NPR website (via Erin Underwood at the Interstitial Arts Foundation). It will make your day, as it made mine.


By Leaves We Live

Coffin sculpture


 And three more quick recommendations: The art of Jean Bradbury (via Jackie Morris); wonderful "sustainable styling" made by a talented young artist in our village, Agharad Barlow; and a tip on the perfect holiday present for the writer in your life (via Kris Waldherr).

Tunes for a Monday Morning

This week: two wonderful tunes written by Dar Williams. Above: "The Christians and the Pagans," performed by the adorable Bridget and Allie Doyle of Doyle Squared, in Wellfleet, Massachusetts -- sent out as a Christmas card to all my Christian friends & colleagues from this dyed-in-the-wool pagan.*

Below: Dar herself, singing her very poignant song "When I Was a Boy" at radio station WNRN in Charlottesville, Virginia.

* "I believe in God, only I spell it Nature." - Frank Lloyd Wright