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.