Bookish Art by Clay Carmichael
I sent my newest young adult novel Brother, Brother out into the world today, or rather my publisher did. I delivered the manuscript nearly a year ago and uncorrected review copies have been circulating for months, but like the robin fledging that left its nest outside my studio over a week ago, my book’s truly soloing today, completely on its own.
Delivered is the verb publishers use for the successful hand off of finished manuscripts from author to editor, as for the birth of a baby. Book gestation takes time (think elephant gestation in my case), but the similarities mostly end there. When I’m writing or illustrating a book, my real work—the multitude of changes, the sleepless nights, the awkward phases—takes place well before the book is, as publishers so unmaternally say, launched. (Mix those metaphors in your mind.)
So really, Brother, Brother’s long delivered, fledged, gone. Except for email confabs with Birgitt Kollmann, who’s translating Brother into German, I haven’t looked at the complete text in months. I’ve been flirting with a new book and characters and creating new art for my November open studio. And yet. But still. The new art, below, speaks volumes.
Like the robin fledging that flitted back through the yard yesterday, both my new book and the one yet to be delivered are clearly much on my mind.
Clay Carmichael is a Writer & Illustrator who lives in Carrboro, NC. To find out more about Clay, see her website.
Lynn Wartski Writes about How the Literary and Visual Arts Entwine
Finding inspiration in one’s own back yard is quite often employed in the art world. In the current show “It’s All About The Story” the artists of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts are taking that both literally and literarily.
Michael Malone is among a number of well known authors who call the historic town of Hillsborough their home. The Hillsborough Gallery’s artists have used the southern women in his short story collection “Red Clay, Blue Cadillac” to provide color for their own palates – as inspiration for the work in the show.
“At first glance, ‘Femme’ is a painting of a silhouette of a woman standing before a window,” says painter Michelle Yellin. “Upon closer inspection, one sees that the figure, as well as the background, are made up of layers of texture and color. Like each of the 12 women for whom one of the stories in Red Clay, Blue Cadillac, is named, ‘Femme’ is much more than she appears to be.
Pam Isner’s “Freedom of the Road” is taken from Michael Malone’s short story entitled “Marie: Blue Cadillac.” The sculptural piece has five layers of glass with images laminated between them. A blue Cadillac, purported to be a gift from Elvis, is the central image.
Potter Garry Childs applied local red clay to surface of his terra cotta vessels. The impurities in the local clay became elements of texture, and bits of blue (violet) glaze recall Stella’s eyes from the story “Stella: Red Clay.”
Eric Saunders looked at Malone’s stories in a more general way, ” I think my image speaks of empowerment of women, or women looking for identity in their social context.” His piece, titled “Three Women,” shows them before a booth at the state fair.
“It’s All About The Story” runs through Sunday, March 24th at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts. The show will close with a reading with Michael Malone on the 24th from 2 – 4pm. Come see these, and many more intriguing pieces, and hear the some of words that inspired the art.
Nora Esthimer Explains How The Line Forms Here
A writer sits alone and writes a novel. A writer sits in the middle of Grand Central Station at rush hour and writes a novel. Sooner or later, a writer wants a reader for her novel. And a second reader. A thousandth reader. A millionth.
A writer finds it odd that the readers haven’t been waiting for her, standing on line, lattes in hand, for as long it takes. Perhaps getting impatient and chanting, “we want stories, we want stories.”
Since the readers don’t queue themselves up, eventually a writer must put out a sign, “line forms here.” In other words, she must publish.
I am such a writer and a year ago I made the decision to form my own publishing company, Lystra Books & Literary Services, to publish myself and a few friends. Let’s agree that Lystra Books & Literary Services can compete for the title of world’s smallest publisher.
My friend, Jenny, is also in print. With Random House. The world’s largest publisher. Jenny and I had an opportunity to speak in public about our different paths to publication and while her “line forms here” sign is about 1,000 times larger than mine, we have much more in common than not. We each want to tell a good story and tell it well. We each want readers, one at a time, to love what we do and to tell someone.
Poets have slams. Artists have galleries. Musicians have clubs. Writers like Jenny and me, we have our “line forms here” signs. If you love books and reading, please keep in mind that books are sold one at a time. No matter who the writer is. Please read, love, and tell. Read again, and remind the people you tell to tell someone else.
Nora Gaskin is author of Until Proven: A Mystery in 2 Parts and Time of Death. Read more about the content of these books at Lystra Books and Literary Services.
Her friend, Jenny Milchman, is the author of Cover of Snow. All good reads!