Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lowcountry Women Authors Holiday Signing

If you live within a few hours of Charleston, I hope you'll consider coming out to this weekend's event, the Women Authors Holiday Signing. 15% of book proceeds go to fund programs at The Center for Women, and while there are many great causes in town, I have to say, The Center for Women is one of the best of them. They provide educational programs on emotional, physical and financial health, life transitions, discrimination of all types, multiculturalism, and career and business for women from all walks of life, and I've been nothing but impressed with every interaction I've had with them.

Women Authors Holiday Book Signing & Tea
Saturday, December 4
2 - 5 p.m.
South Carolina Thrift & Resale
1670 Hwy 17 N, Mt Pleasant (next to new CVS)
$10 at the door
Free giftwrapping, Readings, Tea & refreshments
Center for Women
With Barnes & Noble (use your Barnes & Noble discount card)
Special Thanks to Kaminsky's

2010 Authors Michelle Adams * Sarah Boone * Ida Becker * Sharon Becker * Cleo Brown * Nina Bruhns * Jan DiRuzzo * MaryAnn Dunham * Nathalie Dupree * Peg Eastman * Dixie Fanning * Linda Annas Ferguson * Jayne Jaudon Ferrer * Mary Edna Fraser * Rebecca Godwin * Pattie Welek Hall * The Hat Ladies * Holly Herrick * Maggie Hoybach & Joan Brown * Trish Hutchinson * Ann Ipock * Marcie Jacobs * Charlotte Jenkins * Kate Boehm Jerome * Kieran Kramer * Ann Kulze * CJ Lyons * Susan Laughter Meyers * Dianne Miley * Sheila Mills * Mary Alice Monroe * Signe Pike * Margot Theis Raven * Maryann Reid * Lisa D. Robinson & Lori Robinson * Terry Ward Tucker * Lily Herndon Weaks * Marjory Wentworth

2:00 p.m. -- Signe Pike
2:30 p.m. -- Mary Ann Reid
3:00 p.m. -- Mary Alice Monroe
3:30 p.m. -- Charlottte Jenkins
4:00 p.m. -- Ann Ipock
4:30 p.m. -- CJ Lyons

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving: For my Father

Losing my father sneaks up on me
Like this grey day and the sidewalks of New York
Where my father spent his prom night on the starlight roof of the Waldorf Astoria
Jones Beach to watch the sunrise
Back home before breakfast, bacon and eggs,
Or how he took the ferry from Kyle of Lochalsh to Portree on Skye
just to taste a drop of pure single malt whiskey, just to fall from his chair,
Because Scotland was a search for the Loch Ness monster, the epic hero and his quest for a trophy, a bite on the nose, or how my sister and I walked those same streets fourty-five years later,
Hoping to trip over
Just one footprint.

There’s the photograph artlessly tacked to the wall of the dead man and the dead dog
two ghosts peering wildly up that steep stone staircase.
I dreamt he was swinging on a net, hanging over the fastest running gorge and he told me to jump
I dreamt I heard his deep clear voice, calling in the early morning hours for the dog
I dreamt we opened his refrigerator and it was brand new, stainless steel and empty
I dreamt I was in a car, pulling away and he was holding my hand until he couldn’t, anymore.

In springtime the ice will melt from the pathway of Upper Treeman
like it always does
the urn is always waiting, anyway
we ask ourselves what this means
to keep him, so long after he’s gone
so long after he’s puzzled over poems, scarring them with a green pen,
so long after he’s delivered the last omlet on a Sunday morning with ham, peppers, onions and Olde English just how we like?

Thanksgiving this time we would go walking in the woods, naming things,
or we’d drink our hazelnut coffee, eat too much and head out the front door to find the Grandfather tree. There would be the looping of our fingers as we stretched our way around the trunk in the quiet forest with the leaves turning brown and drifting all around us, drifting into the glassy, bass-filled water of the pond across the street.
The picture window of the kitchen steamy with the heat of a thousand delicious dinner smells,
the radio blasting Prarie Home Companion, the little man dancing around on the dull terracotta tiles, smiling, teaching me how to fox trot. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NPR's All Things Considered: Three Books Segment

This was a blast -- check out my recommended "Three Books to Help Grown-Ups Believe Again!"


Faerie Con 2010

It was a whizzing blur of feathers, cloaks, costumes and wings this past weekend at the Hunt Valley Marriott Hotel in Maryland for this year's event, where faerie fans from across the country gather to "Celebrate the Magical Life."

This being my first "Con," I was utterly wowed from the moment we arrived at the hotel. As far as the eye could see, there were faeries everywhere. If only I'd known -- I could've saved myself three months research and a big fat airline ticket. All kidding aside, it was an eye-popping experience. Vendors manned their tables filled with ornately carved masks, delicate gold and silversmith work, books, corsets, dresses, wings (of course! And how many to pick from... if you're willing to carry them onto an airplane...) dolls, dragons, music, the list goes on.... and on...

A woodland faerie and a Betty Paige lookalike attend the Good Faeries Ball
Author Carolyn Turgeon and I shared a room and once we got settled we got gussied up to attend the Good Faeries Ball, where we entered a dark ballroom filled with throngs of costume clad merrymakers and a foot thumping array of musical entertainment. My mask securely in place, I danced without a care... it was so freeing, you know, to be anonymous, and wild, and to be able to dance with abandon.

From top to bottom: The Faeries of Sproutwood Farms, some faerie mischief, and me getting some mermaid hair
Saturday was filled with three panels -- I spoke about "Faerie Tales in Modern Times," with Jane Yolen, Tiffany Trent, Melissa Marr and Maggie Stiefvater, in which we explored the current and historical fascination with faeries and fairy tales in human culture, and after lunch did a reading from the book for "A Writer's Life," which was a total blast. (The Glastonbury section, if anyone is curious... )

But the highlight of the weekend by far -- aside from getting to hang, workout, and wine with the sassy and fabulous world traveler and ridiculously talented writer Carolyn T. -- was re-uniting with Brian and Wendy Froud for the panel entitled "Seeking Faerie: the Search for Enchantment." Though we were without a moderator (et-hmmmm, FaerieCon organizers, that was not fun) I flung myself into that role and it was the perfect dynamic actually, for the Froud's to share their wit, whimsy, experience, and deep running wisdom regarding all things fae. It was a wonderful success and I was approached afterwards by many a conference goer who found something inspirational, fun, or educational about the 45 minute session. It was super rewarding.

By Sunday my throat was raspy from projecting (I was supposed to only moderate two panels, and ended up speaking on/moderating FOUR...) but with the opportunity to just hang out and enjoy the festivities, energy was still running high.

Sunday by five the vendors began packing up -- it was sad to watch faerie land crumble.

But invigorating to think (or hope, in my case) that we'll all be back to do it again next year.
Oh yes.

And I got a tattoo.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Ladies Lotto: Books, Booze and Burlesque! Oh My! Faery Tale Book...

Ladies Lotto: Books, Booze and Burlesque! Oh My! Faery Tale Book...: "On Thursday, November 11th, join author Signe Pike, for an evening of cocktails, conversation and a little mystical misbehaving. Hear a read..."

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Foggy Morning...

Faery Tale received a glowing review for the Reading List on Harper's Bazaar.com this morning:

Here in Charleston it's cool and foggy -- the mist hugs the shrubs and bushes of our very suburban neighborhood and I can't help but think how much the air out there feels like Scotland.
Which I miss.
So much.

I remember standing, my feet on the edge of the beach on Isle of Skye, mourning the fact that I had to leave, and again on the sand at the Moray Firth, Findhorn Bay. Looking out at the gray-green water I promised myself I'd remember: this is the same ocean that touches our eastern shores. One particle, one small particle of air, of moisture, of water, will somehow carry its way over, and find me, standing on the sand on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina.

I try to remember this on mornings like today, when I want to be walking the gently tumbling line of Fairy Pools up into the Cullin mountains. When I wish I were sitting in a spongy soft sweater, reading in a cafe in Edinburgh. When I am longing to explore again the mysterious hills of Fairy Glen, with their moss covered trees and brightly colored foxglove.

And so I am out, now, to take a walk in the mist. 

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

A Book is Born

Last night I couldn't sleep.
It wasn't an anxious, horrible sort of feeling, nor was it a smacking my head on the ceiling in excitement kind of feeling. It was a sort of calm alertness that kept me awake -- a certain settled sense of relief, I finally figured out.

As I lay there gazing at the ceiling, I wondered, Is this how women feel, the night before they give birth? Excited to see the baby in person, but good and ready to... (forgive me) have it out of them? Because more than anything, I felt relief.

The waiting is over, and so is the indecision, because now that my story has been born, she will embark on a life of her own. She'll meet people who will want to befriend her, people who will ridicule her (I know this much not just from being an editor, but from life!) people who will see things in her that they want to see, people who will not see anything in her at all. But it doesn't rest on me anymore.

Now I all can do is tend to her. Everything is out of my control, and it feels so incredibly freeing, in a way. Of course I want nothing more than to protect her -- after all, she is such a huge part of me. But the peace comes in having had the opportunity to bring her into this world at all. The peace comes in the sheer joy of being able to share her.

The peace comes in hearing the stories from women who were inspired to make a change because of the change I made myself.
Like the girl who booked a week in Ireland, spent sitting in pubs feeling the trad sessions thrumming, resonating within the old wooden walls. Or the girl who flew to Isle of Man, where she looked for a faery tale of her own.
Or the woman who is going to tend to her backyard garden in an even more connective way, and in spring time, a new partnership will be born.

My great friend Liz Butler called and left me a message today -- she said it would make her day to hear the excitement in my voice. Funnily, it made my day to hear the excitement in hers. These are the moments I relish since rediscovering enchantment in its many forms -- the day by day, "normal" sorts of things that most of us don't recognize before it's too late.
The incredible power and warmth of a friend, calling, with such high hopes, with such enthusiasm, for someone, anyone... you. This is what makes living beautiful. This is what I want to share.
All of these things are gifts that Faery Tale has given me.

And so I've done my part.
Now it's up to her.