January 19th, 2009

marilyn

Home, and safe, and overcome with goodness.

Well, I'm home from a day spent in Fremont (for those of you who aren't Californians, read 'an hour's train ride away from my small-town home, and a much more urban place than I normally spend my afternoons') stitching chapbooks with Beckett, who is quite possibly the most elegantly artistic person I know. She makes art happen the way I make song lyrics -- with an incredible amount of diligence, practice, and carefully-earned skill that looks entirely effortless from the outside.

In 2005, Beckett graciously helped me make a chapbook, Leaves From the Babylon Wood, for that year's Ohio Valley Filk Festival, at which I was the Toastmistress. This year, she agreed to help me make a followup chapbook, titled Paths Through the Babylon Wood, for Conflikt, where I'm going to be the Guest of Honor.

(Someone asked what it's going to take for me to make a third chapbook, I think because they forgot that it's never a good idea to ask about a new project when the wounds from the current one are still bleeding. I replied that it would almost certainly need to involve a convention with the word 'World' somewhere in the name. Because man.)

When Beckett does chapbooks, she doesn't screw around. Hand-printed, hand-stitched -- these ones have a gorgeous photographic cover, in full color, as well as roughly seventy-five pages of poetry. (And surprisingly few printing errors -- a comment not on Beckett's skill at layout, but on my skill as a proofreader. Seriously, the woman's a goddess.) I spent the day happily folding sections, collating piles, and just talking to her. I love spending time with Beckett. It makes things better. (And it's deeply reassuring to talk to someone who understands what I mean about the quality meter breaking on the sixth, or seventh, or twenty-first revision of the same thing.)

I am home. I am safe. I am overcome by the wonder that is my friends. And I am ecstatic over these chapbooks, because they're gorgeous.

Life is good.