Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Just turned in Appoggiatura to John Klima for the Bantam spelling bee anthology. One of the best writing experiences of my life. I went ahead and did a piece that used all of the words the other writers had used, creating mini-stories that tie together loosely, which allowed me to use a variety of styles and approaches.


Last night....

Jeff: So I have a story called "Appoggiatura" for the spelling bee anthology and then the novel "The Appoggiatura of John Finch."

Ann: And you have Secret Life, Secret Life Select Fire Remix, and Secret LiveS. From a future bibliographer: "Fuck you, Jeff VanderMeer."

At the Anadolubank in Istanbul, Hazine Tarosian has handled them all. Crinkled and smooth, crisp and softly old. To her, new bills smell like ink and presses moving at high speed. There’s a hint of friction in the paper, of burning smoke, that gives motion to the images, living contrast to inert cold coins. A burst of sunflower, bee in orbit around pollen, for the Netherlands. Ireland’s beefy headshot of James Joyce, with Ulysses on the other side. The sibilance of Egypt’s Arabic letters against a backdrop of Caliph-era battlements, in the distance a verdigris dome, last link to fabled Smaragdine. The careful detail of Thai King Bhumanibol calm upon his throne, sword across his lap, a flaming mandala at his back. Or even Portugal’s massed galleons listing, sails taut against the whorled wind, sun a complex compass.


At 9:08 AM, Blogger Matthew Cheney said...

This reminds me of the time during the Crimean War when we had a break from the fighting and sat around talking about the things we loved. Do you remember? You said, "Diapason," and I said, "Gesundheit," and then the fighting started again. Just before we fled to the local coffee shop, you cried out, "Remember me to my bibliographers!" and I promised I would.

Ahhh, the days of our youth...

At 1:42 PM, Blogger Keith said...

I understand how the writing process works and a story is never finished, just abandoned and all that but seriously, as a librarian who is also a fan, maybe you should finish a story before you have it published. In various formats. With similar titles. Because I'd like to know which one to order for our library to carry.

At 6:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They're completely different stories with different but similar titles.

I'm not sure I understand about "finish a story before you have it published".


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