Two New Reviews for Field Guide, Elgin Award news for The Robot Scientist’s Daughter, and September Falling into Melancholy
Welcome to Fall! Said goodbye to my parents this morning as they flew back to Ohio and as I am nearly all the way recovered now from the pneumonia – just a little tiredness and cough remains – I’m ready to face the new fall weather, start reading and writing more, work a little harder on the book’s promotion. (Several friends mentioned to me this week – did you have a book come out?)
So, in that vein, two new reviews of Field Guide to the End of the World:
*This beautiful review by Kathleen Kirk at Escape into Life: http://www.escapeintolife.com/blog/field-guide-to-the-end-of-the-world/
*Kristin Berkey-Abbott’s thoughtful write-up on her blog here: http://kristinberkey-abbott.blogspot.com/2016/09/a-field-guide-to-end-times-and-our-times.html
I also got the news that The Robot Scientist’s Daughter won second place for the Elgin Award, the SFPA’s award for full-length poetry collections of a speculative nature. (More info about all the Elgin Award winners here.) Thank you to the SFPA members that voted for it! Sadly, it was not a finalist for the Washington State Book Awards, which curiously chose three out of five poetry finalists from states other than Washington State for this past year’s candidates. Susan Rich wrote a very interesting essay about this here: http://www.seattlereviewofbooks.com/notes/2016/09/19/why-does-carl-phillips-need-the-washington-state-book-award/
As I’m getting better from the acute (pneumonia and pleurisy) I’m able to think again about the cancer problem – getting second opinions, contemplating tests and treatment options. Thinking about mortality – how much time is left? What am I doing with my time? It’s funny how struggling to breathe for a week or two can tear your focus from near distance (this year or next year) to the immediate – how am I going to get through this night, how am I going to be able to breathe/talk/laugh/walk today. Also, note to self: do not get pneumonia the month of your book launch, and definitely not within two weeks of it.
Was talking to my friend Kelli how the beginning of fall always signals that it’s time to focus, to write and send out work, to spend time curled up with books instead of chasing that elusive and short-lived summer sunshine. I’ve been eating lots of apples as the grocery stores run out of in-season peaches, blueberries (apple and sheep cheese omelets? baked apples with honey? apples in chicken salad with grapes?) and listening to Lord Huron’s “Ends of the Earth”. This year the urgency to write and send out is more pronounced; if not now, then when, I ask myself?
You try to grab at time – the time I spent laughing and playing cards with my folks, the time I spend walking holding hands with my husband through Woodinville’s many gardens, the time I spent with the dear friends that showed up to the winery to the book reading and party – but nothing lasts long enough, and it’s hard to press those things indelibly into memory. Like a fire, like the end of September you have to keep feeding your own life to keep it lit – every bit of brightness over in an instant.
It’s time for the migration of snow geese and trumpeter swans. We usually don’t get them in Woodinville, they travel farther north through La Connor, but here is a snow goose who decided to move in with a pack of Canadian Geese and eat some grapes at Chateau Saint Michelle! Check out the black tipped wings and tail, which become much more striking in flight. This is as close as I’ve ever gotten to one, though I’ve seen masses of them move through the sky before:
Book Launch Reading and Party Pics, Two New Reviews of Field Guide to the End of the World, and an Interview about the book on JMWW!
As I’m writing this part of the post right after my reading, I just watched a golden-tinged-almost-full moon rise listening to the tail end of the Tears for Fears concert down the street from my back deck, feeling pretty happy with all the day’s events. Lots of things could have gone wrong – I just barely had gotten my voice back after a bout of pneumonia, storms had been forecast (for an outdoor reading venue,) etc. But the weather turned sunny and cool just as the reading started, I kept my voice for the majority of the reading, and I didn’t get stressed or hive-y or break down into coughing fits or anything. I got to listen to one of my good friend’s poetry (Kathleen Flenniken, who read several “end of the world” poems) and see people I don’t normally get to see and we had unexpected guests, too, which was fun. Having my little brother and parents there was an extra bonus, too (my mom even sold books for me!). Above are some pics!
Anyway, this morning (pouring rain – we really did dodge the bad weather!) there are two new reviews of Field Guide to the End of the World up:
One by Lori Holuta: http://www.ceejaywriter.com/review-field-guide-to-the-end-of-the-world/
And another At Necromancy Never Pays: https://necromancyneverpays.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/field-guide-to-the-end-of-the-world/
And I have an interview up with Curtis Smith about the new book (among other things) at JMWW.
So although ready for more rest, I am feeling lucky and thankful. Thank you to everyone who came out, bought books and generally made the day brighter with your company!
Tomorrow is our book launch reading and party for Field Guide to the End of the World, at Matthews Winery in Woodinville! 3 PM. Followed by a little wine-cheese-cookie-cupcake reception! Kathleen Flenniken, Poet Laureate of Washington State emeritus and author of the stunning Plume, will be the opening reader, so don’t be late. My mom (Pictured above with my book cover poster and at Matthews Winery) will be selling books – isn’t she adorable?
All the reasons you should come:
- End of the world!
- Hanging out with awesome poets!
I’m hoping to see you there! It’s my first reading for the new book. I’m so excited! And here are some random pictures of hot air balloons rising in my backyard!
Lighter Side of the End of the World on Tahoma Review, Nice Things about Field Guide, and upcoming readings!
A few quick announcements today:
- I wrote a piece for Tahoma Review on “The Lighter Side of the End of the World” about why I wrote Field Guide to the End of the World and why I strove to find the humor in destruction.
- Here’s Jan Priddy’s lovely write up of Field Guide to the End of the World on her blog. Thank you, Jan!
- A big thank you to everyone who wrote reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. They have been lovely so far! It’s been so nice to see them popping up. Speaking of Goodreads, there are only two more days to sign up for the Goodreads giveaway to win a copy of Field Guide to the End of the World for yourself.
- I think I’ve FINALLY turned a corner on this pneumonia thing, after an entire week of antibiotics, bed-rest, and various inhalers. Doctor checked me out yesterday – main problem now is the asthma, not the pneumonia, so the antibiotics and bed-rest have worked! Now on to trying to get my voice back for the big reading on Sunday Sunday Sunday! I have already started picking out poems and vainly flipping through things in the closet to see which exude “celebratory apocalypse/winery” for the Wine, Poetry, and the End of the World event at Matthews Winery in Woodinville. I’m so excited to see everyone this weekend, especially if our beautiful summery-fall weather holds up AND I’m feeling better! There is nowhere prettier on earth than Woodinville in the fall when the sun is out, I’m convinced. I love our little corner of the earth.
Out of Commission – Pneumonia Attacks! Holiday Weekends, Thwarted Plans, and Other Ways to Live Through This
Where have I been? Well, I had a very pleasant holiday weekend seeing family and friends, even taking a day trip up to Skagit Valley – and I hope you did too – until I was struck by a sudden non-ability to breathe. We went to the ER, had a chest x-ray and some blood work, and sure enough, it was pneumonia – and the next few days were a blur of no-sleep and lots of coughing, headache, fevers, chills, antibiotics and nebulizers. This was two days before my parents arrived and exactly 11 days before my book launch and party on Sept. 18.
This is the first day – four days later – that I’ve had the mental power to write even a blog post or a cogent e-mail (though somehow I did end up writing “ax attack” today for “when you get a chance” from a phone e-mail – how is that possibly an autocorrect anyone would want??) I did watch an eerie, moody British apocalypse survival-from-a-teen-girl-perspective film called “How I Live Now” which I highly recommend, just for the soundtrack and the amazing combination of gorgeous rural English scenery and horrifying post-nuclear-and-more-war imagery. (One of the more disturbing images involved foxes eating decaying human bodies. Just so you know if you’re up for that.) It also goes surprisingly well with my new book! The lead, Saoirse Una Ronan, whom I already loved for her work in Hanna, was terrific in this. I don’t know, when you’re struggling to breathe and walk/talk without choking, it’s nice to watch people surviving things.
Here are some cheerful pics with writers Lana Ayers who is living us for Oregon, Natasha Moni, and Glenn and I goofing around in tulip country up in La Connor, WA right before I was felled with the nasty germs.
Anyway, this is how author’s get ZERO book promotion stuff done nine days before their book launch party – life interferes with even the best laid plans – but if you want to do me a favor and review Field Guide to the End of the World, or talk about it on your blog, or leave a little Amazon review (hint hint), please let me know and I will try to get you whatever you need!