Feb 7, 2010 books
I’m reading a fantastic book of essays called Gay Shame at the moment, and just finished one by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick called “Shame, Theatricality and Queer Performativity” about Henry James.
The essay looks at the depression James went through after the New York edition of his collected works was met with a “total failure to sell and its apparently terminal failure to evoke any recognition from any readership”. Sedgwick compares the devastating melancholia James went through to the very earliest shame-responses seen in infants sometime between the third and seventh month of life — that’s the age when babies start responding with recognisable shame-postures and expressions to stimuli.
And what stimuli causes that reaction? It happens when the baby smiles at a caregiver, and the caregiver fails to return that smile.
It sounds like such a simple comparison, but it’s pretty revelatory to me. It explains so much about the tangled emotional mess of my relationship to my writing, and it does it so clearly and cleanly that it’s a little bit mind-blowing. Writing novels, submitting stories to anthologies, posting fanfic on lj — they’re all different manifestations of the same basic thing: I’m offering a smile at the reader, hoping for a smile in return. And when the smile doesn’t come, bam! I’m just like the babies. Shame response a-go-go.
I don’t know what this new self-knowledge will mean in terms of my relationships with future writings and readers, but it’ll be interesting to find out.
The other thing I wanted to quote from Sedgwick’s essay is about the introductions James put on the stories in the New York edition, because it is exactly, perfectly, how I feel about Ophelia’s Salvation, and about writing the foreword to the 10th anniversary edition of that book:
The speaking self of the preface does not attempt to merge with the potentially shaming or shamed figurations of its younger self, younger fictions, younger heroes; its attempt is to love them. That love is shown to occur both in spite of shame and, more remarkably, through it.
Sep 17, 2009 books
“Mary Borsellino’s The Wolf House introduces readers to a group of smart, hip, snarky young friends who like to eat pizza, gossip, watch horror movies and, oh yeah, hang out with vampires. Just your typical high school students.”
–Nancy A. Collins, author of The Vamps series
Jul 23, 2009 books
Things have been a little scarce on the ground here lately, which doesn’t actually matter yet on account of how this site isn’t actually officially launched yet and therefore not actually being read by anybody. Woo! I am like a house-sitter left to run amok in an otherwise uninhabited home, except that, er, it’s the house-sitter’s own house. Which I guess just makes it like living alone. That metaphor could have been more elegant, really.
ANYWAY. Here is the cover for book #4, which is still too far off to have an excerpts page or anything official like that up yet. Audrey Fox has once again managed to out-do her own stellar work and deliver an amazing image that puts stars in my eyes and ink in my pen. Wow, I really, really need to stop trying to write this entry, my misuse of unsuspecting words is becoming rather unbearable.
The extras page is updated with link buttons, if you wish to tell your friends, family, and associates about this website.
Jun 8, 2009 books
The Wolf House books’ most excellently excellent cover artist, Ms Audrey Fox, dropped these delightful sketches of Jay and Blake in my inbox today.
I have several other pictures of Audrey’s which I’ll add to the site in the near future, also — the vexing problem is that some of the things she’s drawn are spoilers. How long after each book’s publication is an appropriate wait before posting (appropriately marked, obviously) artwork? Because I know some people — including the otherwise mostly wonderful Audrey herself — have a tendency to seek out spoilers despite the fact that spoilers spoil the surprise! That’s why they’re called spoilers! Arrgh!
Oh well, it’s all moot until the books are out anyway, I suppose. For now, look! ARTS! YAY!
Update! Audrey offers the following statement in her defence:
: ( : ( I am so oppressed : ( Just because I live in a household where everyone demands you tell them the ending to a movie you may be watching otherwise they refuse to watch it : ( It’s one of those ’slow boiling a frog’ things : ( like stockholm syndrome but for really annoying people : (
Jun 1, 2009 books
Yet more content about books you can’t buy yet! Woo!
Um, by which I mean that the cover and excerpt for book three, Fair Game, are now to be found in the appropriate places.
And how amazing are Audrey Fox’s covers, seriously, I feel completely honoured to have my words and stories wrapped up in such glorious shiny packaging. Book three’s cover star is Timothy, a vampire with a talent for mesmerism and a love of riot grrrl and queercore music. He seems to have spilled something on his shirt.