Things Is Changin' (to quote the title of an older Fred Eaglesmith CD
I've decided to revamp this "What's New?" page. Rather than add to it (however sporadically) as I have in the past (when I had some news, or I was shamed into updating it from readers wondering why there hadn't been anything new here for a few months), I'm now simply going to "reprint" my newsletter here. The newsletter will be sent out to the subscribers first and then reprinted here a couple of weeks later. You can sign up for the newsletter here.
The only other thing you need to know is that most of the book and CD titles cited below are linked to Amazon.com. Naturally I expect you to support your favourite local-to-you book and CD stores, but if you're going to order on-line anyway, then why not do so with one of these links? When you buy a book or CD through one of these links, a portion of the money will go to the Endicott Studio (Terri Windling's website, though it's also much more), who in turn will donate all the money collected to Redfeather, a organization dedicated to preserving and teaching cultural traditions to Tohono O'odham children, and Casa de los Niños, which provides shelter, health care, and support for homeless and abused children of all races, ages, and backgrounds in Tucson, AZ. Check out Terri's website for more information on both organizations.
It'll take you no longer to order the material you're looking for, but you'll be helping these kids by doing so, which is a good thing, right?
I keep hoping to find the time to put together a decent-sized newsletter, but the time's simply not there. So here's a brief update instead on some upcoming publications and the like.
Hope you're all enjoying the late spring/early summer.
A little business to get out of the way first: whenever these mailings go out, I always get a handful back because in-boxes are full, or email addresses have changed. Due to time constraints, I can't resend those. If you think you've missed a newsletter, you can check the archives on my site.
And as I've noted before, while I enjoy reading your comments on the newsletter, there simply isn't the time to respond to them. Hope you understand.
Of course the big news is that Forests of the Heart (Tor Books) is finally out. Readers have been sending kind emails, which are much appreciated, and MaryAnn's been collecting reviews which are now posted here.
Also out is My Favorite Fantasy Story edited by Martin Greenberg which gave me a chance to introduce a Barbara Kingsolver story to readers of genre fiction. "Homeland" has everything I love about her writing in it. I was also delighted that Tanya Huff chose my own "Ghosts of Wind and Shadow" for the same anthology as it's probably the first and last time I'll be in the same anthology as Kingsolver, who remains one of my all-time favourite writers.
Choosing a favourite story was difficult, of course. The other two that really stand out for me over the years are "Distances" (from Sherman Alexie's collection The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven ) and "Blue" (from Girl Goddess #9 by Fransesca Lia Block).
Mind you, I was thinking of out-of-genre stories when I was approached to contribute. I can't even begin to list the in-genre ones, though stories by Roger Zelazny, James Blaylock and Harlan Ellison would be close to the top of the list. The one at the top (though strictly speaking, it's a novella) would be "The Color of Angels" by Terri Windling (it appeared in the now out-of-print The Horns of Elfland) or her "Red Rock" which is currently available in the latest issue of Century (a lovely little magazine out of New York City edited by Robert Killheffer and Jenna Felice).
Life is good. The new Steve Earle CD (Transcendental Blues ) is finally out and in constant rotation in the Harris/de Lint household, we finally opened up our cottage (though all we managed to do was sweep it out, hang up the curtains and mow the lawn), and except for some pretty much local events (Ottawa, Toronto, Montréal) that are coming up, we can now buckle down to get some real work done: MaryAnn will be drawing and painting all summer, working on interior illustrations for Triskell Talesand preparing for a September show that will run simultaneously on the Endicott Studio website and at Rasputin's, a local restaurant/folk club, while I'll be concentrating on The Onion Girl, getting more written over the next few months than the few lines a day I've been managing over these past weeks.
Besides the Steve Earle CD, I've been listening to the new Terri Hendrix (Places in Between ), Slaid Cleaves (Broke Down ) and Under Feet Like Ours, a CD by a duo billing themselves as Tegan and Sara (they're twins and based in Toronto), though Fred Eaglesmith's CDs are never long out of the player. MaryAnn has been particularly taken with CDs by a couple of local acts: Starling (Sustainer) and Jim Bryson (Jim Bryson & the Occasionals).
I didn't mention Steve Earle playing with the Del McCoury Band the last time out. The Mountain is acoustic, bluegress, but it's still Steve and it's a terrific album. Of course, I have a huge bias towards anything he records. What can I say? He and Fred could easily be my desert island choices--they're already in the CD player often enough.
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I haven't been reading nearly as much as I'd like to, what with travelling and all, so I don't really have any new recommendations along those lines this time out. But since I still get regularly asked what are some of my favourite books, I'll take the time here to list a few. Long time favourite authors (running the gambit in mood) are Barbara Kingsolver, Alice Hoffman, Andrew Vachss, Robert Crais, Thomas King…well, this could go on forever.
In the genre (so to speak) there are two books that have really stuck with me over the past few years: Terri Windling's The Wood Wife (Tor) and Godmother Night by Rachel Pollack (St. Martin's Press). Also Jane Lindskold's two Athanor novels, Changer and Legends Walking , are well worth your attention. They're a Zelazny-esque take on the immortals living among us; serious and seriously fun.
Outside the genre, one of my all-time favourite books is La Maravilla by Alfredo Véa, Jr. (Plume Fiction), set in the Southwest. And I'd also like to recommend Zak Mucha's The Beggar's Shore (Red 71 Press), a harrowing story of a kid trying to make a life for himself on the streets of Chicago after escaping from the religious cult in which he was raised.
More next time.
UTAH AND BEYOND
CONduit in Salt Lake City was easily one of the best conventions that MaryAnn and I have attended to date. To be honest, we were kind of expecting it to be, since the con committee's organization and kindness became obvious long before we actually arrived at the hotel and met them in person.
But it was more than simply the con committee. Everybody we met was friendly and enthusiastic, generous with their good humour and time. The panels were all well-attended and the concert we gave on the Saturday was particularly enjoyable. When we arrived for it, we saw they were opening up two rooms and we mentioned that perhaps they should leave it to just one room so as to keep it more intimate. We were picturing this large room with a few people scattered throughout, but they assured us that we'd need both rooms.
Turns out they were right. The double room was filled almost to capacity and it was a fun hour. From conversations afterwards, there was more than one person that left as a new fan of Fred Eaglesmith. The same thing happened at the public library where we performed a short set before I did a reading and signing. It was also well-attended, and I liked the fact that people who couldn't make it to the con still had a chance to say hello.
It was also great to hang out with Rick and Becky LeMon (Rick's the Iron-Fisted Dictator of the Tamson House list, Becky's the voice of reason) who also happened to be in Salt Lake City at the same time. We went to a great Mexican place called the Red Iguana (first introduced to us a couple of days earlier by Scott Rich--thanks, Scott) where the wall near our table was signed by various members of Los Lobos.
But if the con was fun, the southern Utah trek that we signed up for after the con was purely amazing. We opted for hiking in the scenic Bryce Canyon area, rather than go looking at dinosaur tracks and fossils, and what a time we had. It was also great to get to know some of the con committee better on the hikes.
You can find some photos here.
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Next up was Wiscon in Madison, WI. It had to a lot to live up to, considering how well we were treated in Salt Lake City but our friends Kathi and Kim Nash (the con's co-chairs) were well up to the task. And like CONduit we met lots of wonderful readers as well as connected with a bunch of old friends like Terri Windling, Charles Vess and Karen Schaffer, and our musician pal Dave Clement who took the bus all the way down from Winnipeg to be there with us. We ended up having a great song-swapping evening with him, Erin McKee and a couple of other musicians on Saturday night.
Wiscon's a different convention from most we go to. Like the World Fantasy Convention, there are a lot of professional writers, editors and the like in attendance, but here they seem to gather to discuss books and social issues as much to do business which makes for invigorating and lively discussions that carry on from the panels out into the halls and elsewhere.
The concert here was well-attended as well and I got to play my new favourite song "Good Dog" (written by Fred E., who else) for Karen who likes dogs as much as I do. MaryAnn and I have cats, of course (the prerequisite for being involved in the F&SF field it seems), but dogs can be good friends, too, if a little higher maintenance.
Madison's a pretty cool city, if you haven't been there before. The con's held in a hotel right downtown near State Street which is a few long blocks with great restaurants and funky shops. I did a reading and signing in one of them--A Room of One's Own--before the con and again, it was nice that I got to meet some of the college students who couldn't attend the con itself.
I gave a speech at Wiscon and you can read it here, if that sort of thing interests you.
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Our last stop for this little jaunt was Austin, TX, for a signing at Adventures in Crime and Space, and boy was it hot and muggy--like Ottawa in July. We liked Austin a lot--it being one of the NA Meccas for good music, but alas, while I got to fill a few holes in my CD collection at Waterloo Music (thanks for the recommendation, Charles), we didn't get to take in any live music as we'd hoped. We got in too late on the Monday night and we were too tired after the event at the bookstore to go out and look for some on the Tuesday.
It was great meeting all the readers at the signing and a special treat for me was the opportunity to see my old correspondent Mike Ambrose, chat a bit with Jayme Blashke, meet my cyber pal Rob Blake (he of the Tamson House Library fame), and finally say hello to William Browning Spencer, the author of such great books as Zod Wallop and Irrational Fears . I didn't even know he lived in Austin; if I had, I'd have brought one of his books for him to sign to me. Do yourself (and him) a favour and go out and buy (or at least request) his books from your local book store. Bill's one of the better writers we have in the field and deserves our support.
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Our trip ended with a night spent on a cot in O'Hare airport since weather delayed our flight to Chicago and made us miss our connection to Ottawa. Though perhaps "night" is a misnomer since they woke us up to take back the cots at 4:30am.
But now we're back home, playing catch-up. I've a book to write, MaryAnn has painting to do for her upcoming show, my mother's dog is visiting for a couple of weeks, and our cats are put out because of that and because we had the nerve to go away and leave them with MaryAnn's parents while we were gone. Though I don't know why they're complaining--they get spoiled rotten there.
Until again, stay strong and dream true.
Thanks for signing up to my newsletter list--as I finish up writing this today there are now 350 of you--and thanks as well for your patience, as all you've gotten after signing up (some of you many, many weeks ago) has been this great silence. The good thing, I suppose, is that any fears you might had about how much mail this list would generate have undoubtedly been alleviated.
This will remain an irregular mailing, made up of occasional bits of news or even more occasional newsletters such as this one. I'll send you news of upcoming books and sales, recent publications, and public appearances, with some commentary on what I'm reading and listening to these days. And when time warrants it, little bits of whatever else I think you might find interesting.
My plan is to send this out to you folks on the list first, then put it up on the website a couple of weeks after, so you'll get the scoop. I don't know about you, but I always love getting the scoop.
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A quick note here about the books and recordings that will be discussed further on in this newsletter. When I put this newsletter up on my site, the titles will all have links attached to them and that's for a reason. Naturally I expect you to support your favourite local-to-you book and CD stores, but if you're going to order on-line anyway, then why not do so with one of these links. They'll take you to Amazon.com and a percentage of the money you pay them will be kicked back to the Endicott Studio (Terri Windling's website, though it's also much more, check it out at www.endicott-studio.com). They, in turn, will donate all money collected to Children First, a small organization (badly in need of funds) which helps Native American children in family crisis situations.
It'll take you no longer to order the material you're looking for, but you'll be helping these kids by doing so, which is a good thing, right?
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One more thing. When people are looking for rare or out-of-print editions of my books, I tend to recommend that they try Booklynx, run by my friend Kathi Nash, as she usually has a lot in stock and her prices appear to be fair. Her email has recently changed. It's now: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course the big news is that Forests of the Heart is coming out in mid-May--the release date's been moved up to have the book out for some events that will take place around that time (see below for more details). A few sample chapters and more information is on the website.
For those of you who have been trying to track down a copy of Svaha, the reason it's been unavailable for awhile is that Tor is repackaging it for their Orb imprint. I've just proofed the galleys for the new edition and it should be out this year, probably in late summer/early autumn.
Coming out in October this year from Subterranean Press is Triskell Tales: Twenty-Two Years of Chapbooks which, as the title says, reprints all the Christmas chapbooks from the past twenty-two years as well as some other goodies. Again, more info and a link to Subterranean Press's website can be found on my own website.
Lastly, I've long been a fan of the Private Eye novel and back in the mid-eighties, I tried my hand at one. My agent at the time wasn't that keen on it (mind you, he also wasn't all that keen on Trader either) and nothing much came of marketing it, so it's been sitting in my files for awhile. Recently, while talking to Bill Schaffer at Subterranean Press about the above-mentioned collection, we got to talking about this book and the upshot is it'll be published under his imprint sometime next year. When I have more details, I'll send them to you through this list.
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I haven't been writing as much short fiction this year as I'm trying to concentrate on finishing The Onion Girl and actually delivering the manuscript on time for a change. But here are a few recent sales:
"Pixel Pixies," which was this year's Christmas chapbook, will appear in both this summer's edition of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror (edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling), and in October as part of Triskell Tales.
"Trading Hearts at the Half Kaffe Café" was commissioned by Martin Greenberg for Single White Vampire Seeks Same. I don't know if they'll keep that title, but I hope they do.
"Making a Noise in This World" was commissioned by John Helfers for a DAW anthology called Warriors. The title of my story was taken from a song on Robbie Robertson's last CD, Contact from the Underworld of Redboy.
UPCOMING PUBLIC APPEARANCES
Salt Lake City, Utah; May 18-21
where I'll be Guest of Honour at CONduit 10 (May 19-21)
I'm also appearing (with MaryAnn) at the Salt Lake Public Library on Thursday, May 18, at 7:00 p.m. MaryAnn and I will perform a short concert of music, followed by a reading and book signing. The event is free and open to the public. The library is located at 209 East 500 South, Salt Lake City.
Madison, Wisconsin; May 25-29
where I'll be Guest of Honour at WisCon 24 (May 26-29)
I'm also appearing a bookstore in Madison called "Room of One's Own" on Thursday, May 25, from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m., where I'll do a reading and book signing.
Austin, Texas; May 30
where I'll be doing a reading/book signing at Adventures in Crime & Space Books and possibly a concert with MaryAnn.
Toronto, Ontario; June 20
where I'll be doing a reading/book signing sponsored by the U of T Bookstore at Hart House
Montréal, Québec; June 30
where I'll be doing an hour concert with MaryAnn, a reading, Q&A, and signing at Indigo
You can get more details on my website for all of the above. There are also other events coming up over the summer and I'll let you know about them when they're confirmed.
I wish I had more time to read, simply for pleasure, but between research and reading for my F&SF column, there never seems to be enough time. Since you can readily read what I've got to say in my F&SF column, either as the magazine comes out or on-line (www.sfsite.com/fsf/), I'm not going to repeat the titles mentioned in it here. And in fact, if I want to get this out at all, I'm going to keep this very brief. But I will update it when I can.
Anyway, at the moment I've got a few books on the go and I'm thoroughly enjoying all of them:
Gardens in the Dunes by Leslie Marmon Silko
The Memory of Fire by George Foy
The Books in My Life by Colin Wilson
1632 by Eric Flint
Which Lie Did I Tell? by William Goldman
A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert edited by Steven J. Phillips & Patricia Wentworth Comus
Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris
And yes, I still read comic books, though as far as I'm concerned, the only ones that really matter are Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore (even if you think you don't like comics, you'll like this), David Mack's Kabuki (Mack is a seriously brilliant artist), Matt Wagner's Mage (which, alas, has finished its current storyline; hope we don't have to wait as many years for the next installment as we did for this one), and anything by Charles Vess.
Okay, I might as well get it out of the way right at the start: Fred Eaglesmith rules. For a long time, MaryAnn and I were unfamiliar with his music, if not the name, and for some reason had never taken in a show or heard one of his CDs. Well, a few years ago we finally went to one of those shows and it was game over. Now we see him every chance we get, have all the recorded music we can find, and even have a running joke about him at our own gigs ("Okay, folks. For those of you counting, this is Fred song #3 of the evening…"). We invariably do one or two (or three of four) of his pieces at the Thursday night gigs.
The best introduction to his music is Drive-In Movie, full of all these wonderful story songs played out against a mostly acoustic, somewhat countryish backdrop. The follow-up CD, Lipstick Lies & Gasoline, adds a bit more of electric punch to the brew, while 50-Odd Dollars, the most recent, cranks that up another notch still. The earlier albums are all wonderful as well--pretty acoustic, and often recorded live.
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It might seem that I've lost much of my interest in Celtic music of late, but that isn't the case at all. The trouble is most of what seems to come out nowadays are these hybrid recordings--electric instruments with R&R arrangements, dub versions of classic tracks, Celtic music mixed with other World musics or club/dance/industrial backings, endless New Age permutations or Celtic compilations with the word "Celtic" in the title--and while some of them are fun to listen to, most of them simply don't have the staying power for me.
Celtic music is gorgeous as it is--plaintive airs, driving dance music--and a lot of these performers seem to lose sight of the simply beauty of the music in its purer form. So mostly I find myself listening to my old Bothy Band and Silly Wizard CDs, or some of the newer groups like Solas, Déanta, and the like. Last year saw only a few really outstanding discs get (and still getting) multiple plays on my CD machine. A couple of these are Lúnasa's OtherWorld and Lost in the Loop by Liz Carroll. These are artists who understand the music's inherent worth and work with that, rather than gimmicks.
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These days, especially when I'm writing, I'm listening to a lot of Bill Evans (the jazz pianist), not the Verve recordings that I usually turn to, but the earlier Riverside recordings, especially Moon Beams, How My Heart Sings! and the classic Everybody Digs Bill Evans. There are apparently enhanced versions of these CDs either just out, or coming out, but I see no reason to buy them since the original recordings are so outstanding just as they are. I was also delighted with the recent Columbia compilation of all the Miles Davis/John Coltrane collaborations: The Complete Columbia Recordings, 1955-1961.
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I'm not a huge guitar fan, though lately I have been enjoying a lot of that Nuevo Flamenco by the likes of Ottmar Leibert, Robert Michaels and the like, but Bill Frisell's acoustic/roots-based recordings of the past few years has me reconsidering the instrument beyond that Latin-style of playing. I'm particularly fond of Good Dog, Happy Man. His version of "Shenandoah" (one of my favourite songs) is worth the price of admission alone, though the CD on a whole is a wonder from start to finish.
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Recently MaryAnn and I caught Lila Downs playing in the auditorium of the National Art Gallery and were completely blown away by her show. It would take too long to describe here, so just let me say, if you see she's playing a show near you, don't miss it. Her music ranges from original compositions and traditional Mexican folksongs to material drawn from the Mixtec and Zapotec traditions and her delivery reminds me a little of Lhasa (whose La Ilorona CD is an utter delight). Downs has two CDs that I know of: Yutu tata Arbol de la Vida and La Sandunga.
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But the big excitement in the de Lint/Harris household these days centers around a couple of CDs that will be coming out this summer: Steve Earle's Transcendental Blues (supposedly along the lines of El Corazón and coming in June) and his sister Stacey Earle's Dancin' with Them That Brung Me (due in July, when she'll also be playing a local-to-us club, The Black Sheep Inn, in Wakefield, Quebec). Early copies of Stacey's CD can be ordered from her website (www.staceyearle.com), but I guess we'll all just have to wait for her brother's CD, except for those of you lucky enough to be on reviewer's lists for E-Squared releases, which we, alas, are not. Though you can, as I did, listen to an MP3 sample of the title cut at www.myplay.com.
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I find it hard to stop talking about music; there are just so many great albums around. So let me just end with recommending a few more artists that get played around our house a lot: Kim Richey (a big favourite of MaryAnn's, her latest is Glimmer), Greg Trooper (especially Popular Demons), anything by Buddy and Julie Miller (their most recent solo albums are, Cruel Moon and Broken Things, respectively), Bab Kennedy's Domestic Blues (an Irishman gets the Twangtrust production), Cry Cry Cry (made up of Dar Williams, Lucy Kaplansky and Richard Shindell), Rock Art and the X-Ray Style by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, and…
Oh, it's just endless, isn't it? So let me finish up with a couple that were brought to my attention by readers that I'd like to pass on: Fists of Flood by Jennifer Daniels and Too Much Plenty by Beki Hemingway (think of a punchier Dar Williams as a touchstone for the latter), and last but not least, Terri Hendrix. I just love her Wilory Farm and she has a new CD due out any time now.
As often as we can, MaryAnn and I like to get down to the Sonoran Desert outside of Tucson, Arizona. We love this area, as you might have noticed from the way it creeps into some of my books and stories, and the fact that we have some wonderful friends there only makes it all that more attractive. There's something about this particular desert that just fills our spirits, recharging our batteries in a way that the eastern woodlands don't. (Mind you, these eastern woodlands charge up a different battery, so it's not like we're suffering here.)
This year we stayed at a B&B in the Avra Valley (which we first stayed in a couple of years ago on our last visit) and spent most of our time hiking and painting in the Tucson Mountains. Here's a link to some photos from the trip if you're interested in that sort of thing:
We also took the time to participate in the first Faery Festival at a Tucson toyshop called Mrs. Tiggy Winkles, which is odd for us, because here in Ottawa, there's a small local chain with the same name, but they're no relation to the one based in Tucson. I did a couple of readings and signings along with Terri Windling and Ellen Steiber, and MaryAnn and I played a short set of music. It was all good fun, and especially nice to meet some of my local readers--and some not so local who drove distances of a couple of hours or more to be there. Thanks to all of you for coming down.
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And that's it for this time. I make no promises as to when I'll manage to get another newsletter like this out, but now that the ice has been broken, so to speak, I'll try to send out little updates at least every month or so.
Thanks again for all your interest and support, and dream true.
That's it for the newsletters. Now here are the archives of the old "What's New?" pages:
February 22, 2000
I've decided to try a newsletter/mailing list. Those of you who regularly visit this "What's New" page are probably already laughing, considering how well I keep it up to date, but perhaps this will work better. We can only see. But to start with, you'll have to subscribe.
In regards to my cameo in an independent film that I mentioned a month or so ago, the director's name is Josh Stafford, and apparently the film will be finished in April.
And just for a laugh, here's the cover of the current issue of Ottawa City Magazine.
Doing the three-hour photo shoot for the cover and interior photos gave me a whole new respect for people who have their picture taken for a living. The crow came from the Museum of Natural History here in Ottawa. The poor stuffed beastie is a hundred years old and, according to the photographer, the museum wouldn't let him take it outside so he had to build a little forest in his studio for the shoot.
But the funniest part of all of this so far was when someone stopped me in a store, saying "Don't I know you?" After going through a couple of possibilities (at a gig, or from back in the days when I worked in retail), I realized it was from the magazine cover. "Oh, right," the person said. "I didn't recognize you without your crow."
As promised, here is the information on a new collection, due this fall from Subterranean Press. Just click on the banner below.
January 31, 2000
Will wonders never cease? Not quite a month has gone by, and here's yet another update. First and foremost, there's finally some information and sample chapters from Forests of the Heart available right here.
And while I'm not sure where else it's shown, the episode of The Hunger based on my short story "The Sacred Fire" ran on The Movie Network here in Canada a few times during the past month. They did an all-round fine job of it, and I particularly liked the way they brought The Tombs and Crowsea areas of Newford onto the screen. I knew they could do Crowsea because it was filmed in Montréal, and the old parts of the city are just right for it, but I never knew they had sections that could pass for the Tombs.
Lastly, I should have some news in a week or so about a new short story collection that will be available before the end of this year in a limited-edition run from a specialty publisher. As soon as everything's confirmed, I'll post a notice here.
December 4, 1999
Quick update here. Chris and Andrea Simmons (mentioned in the December 1st entry below) are now the proud parents of a baby boy named Luke. Congratulations, guys!
December 1, 1999
I have to laugh as I read back on some of the older entries on this page. It seems I'm constantly apologizing for not adding much new, that is when I'm not whining about a lack of spare time. It seems I need a kick in the rear just to buckle down and do some work on the site - or rather to find the time to do some. But a reader recently sent me an email saying:
"Nothing new since June???? Oh come on!! LOL!! Even my life is more exciting than that!!! and I'm a decidedly boring person!"
And shamed me into finding something to say, so here I am again. I've updated a few pages (bibliography, forthcoming books), tidied up a few others, and now I'm left with the final task of putting a few words down in this space.
Like the reader quoted above, I consider myself fairly boring as well. It's not that I'm bored - I like my life - but much of it entails my sitting at a keyboard, writing stories, and while that's entertaining for me (being the one doing it), I think it'd be very dull to watch. And even duller to write about. But racking my brain, I find there are a few things I can talk about.
First, the next novel, Forests of the Heart, has been turned in, edited by Terri Windling, I've done my final corrections, and now it's in production with a release date of June 2000. Those of you who might have seen me at a recent convention or signing, will already have a taste of the cover from the bookmarks I've been handing out. Unfortunately, until I get a cover proof from Tor, I won't be able to put that up on the site. But when I do, both it and a few sample chapters will be available for you to peruse.
MaryAnn and I went to conventions in Spokane, WA, and Providence, RI, in the past couple of months, the latter being the 25th World Fantasy Convention. We had a great time there, of course, cheering on our pal Charles Vess when he won an award for best artist, hanging with him and his wife Karen who's pretty mobile now, though she still walks with a cane and has some paralysis. (Thanks again to all of you who contributed to the Good Goddess Fund--it was a tremendous help to them.) Other high points were visiting with Terri Windling, Pat McKillip, Tim and Serena Powers, Walter Jon Williams, Nina Hoffman, Kathi and Kim Nash, and other friends too numerous to mention that we hadn't seen for ages; playing some songs with my other Tor editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden who's a fabulous guitarist (he's one of the few people I know who can jam on a Celtic tune and make it sound good); making a whole bunch of new friends; taking in the art show which, as might be expected, was of its usual high quality; and just generally having a good time.
InCon (the con in Spokane) was a quieter affair, but I like that since you get to spend more time with folks. One nice evening we visited with locals Chris and Andrea at their home. Also present was Donna, another of my readers from the east coast, and we had a great time, enjoying a home-cooked meal and getting a Steve Earle and Fred Eaglesmith fix from their CD player. Andrea was very pregnant at the time; by now she should have had her baby and I hope everything went well. The con committee in InCon was particularly friendly and we got to have a huge dinner with them on the last night of the con.
We were also in Montréal recently, playing some music at a Chapters store before I did a reading and signing with Terry Brooks. The evening before that, I hosted an event at the National Library of Canada here in Ottawa which included Terry as well as Toronto sf writer Rob Sawyer.
Oh, and if you're into independent films, some local film makers needed an author for the "at a book signing" scene in their film, so now I've had my few seconds of celluloid fame. Once it's done, I'll post the name of the film and the director (I only know his name is Josh) on this page. The day before that I spent three hours at a photographer's studio, being shot for the cover of an upcoming issue of Ottawa City, a local magazine. I shared the camera time with a hundred-year-old stuffed crow that had been borrowed from the local museum. Both experiences were instructive - there's so much more that goes into that sort of thing than the final product we normally get to see.
Lastly, for those of you who use a PalmPilot or have access to a Windows CE environment, I'm just finishing up negotiations with a company called peanutpress.com to publish a number of my books in those formats. Again, when I have more details, I'll post them here.
In case I don't get back to this page before the calendar rolls us over into the year 2000, here's wishing you all a wonderful holiday season, and thanks once more for all your interest and support.
June 18, 1999
Just a quick note here about a new discussion group that has been set up at ONElist by Debbie Cottrell in Victoria, BC. The description at the site reads:
DeLint [English] [For People Over 13]
This list is for readers of fantasy author Charles de Lint
and those who appreciate urban faerietales,
Celtic music, folklore, and related topics.
To join go to: Books...Authors...DeLint.
April 9, 1999
Considering how often I actually update these pages, I should really call this one, "What's Old?", rather than "What's New?" But I've been making an effort these past few days to freshen things up and there's now a new article available, while the "Bibliography" and "Published Books" pages have both been updated.
On the writing front, I'm on the next-to-last draft of Forests of the Heart and hope to turn it in to Tor within the next couple of weeks. I'm just waiting for MaryAnn to finish her edit before I do the final draft. In the meantime, I have all this copious spare time (ha!) which I've been putting to good use updating these pages, sketching out scenes for the next book, and doing some more organizing from our move last summer. At one point, I simply stuffed books on the shelves and left many boxes unopened. So now I'm organizing those shelves. (So I can actually find a reference book when I leave the keyboard having to know something immediately, but the book's not to be found. Or only found when I no longer need it.)
Or course, the sad thing is that, as happens with every move, a number of those titles have simply vanished into limbo - run off on holiday with all those single socks that disappear from our dryers and key chains that go "missing." But we know better now, don't we? And please don't go blaming the pennymen.
I've also been catching up on my email and other correspondence. The amount I get has been increasing steadily, and while I still try to answer it all (at least the first letter someone sends me), my response time isn't always as quick as it once was. If you haven't heard back yet, please be patient. But if a month has gone by, then yours is one of the responses that were bounced back. I've given up resending them. So make sure that your return address is correct if you'd like a response.
December 7, 1998
Oh my god, another update already. But I just wanted to tell you about a new CD recently put out by a friend of mine. You can read all about it here. And for those of you interested in such things, MaryAnn plays mandolin and I play some guitar on one track.
December 2, 1998
Well, I do apologize for not adding much to these pages over the past year. (This is becoming a familiar litany, isn't it?) Between our recent move, working on the new novel, and simply trying to ground myself in this new environment, I just can't seem to find that spare time I misplaced a few years ago. So much falls by the way. Happily, most of this site remains timely; it's the news sections that suffer.
And there's still not much new. Moonlight and Vines is due in the stores any day, I'm still writing the new book (at a glacial speed, to steal Poppy Brite's recent comment on her own book when I was talking to her the other day), the Thursday night open sessions have moved to Patty's Pub and turned into more of a gig with MaryAnn, myself and a few invited musician friends. Our fiddler Don Fletcher is there most weeks.
On the chance that I won't be adding anything to this before the new year, here's wishing you all the best for the holiday season (however you may celebrate it) and a happy new year.
May 10, 1998
I wish I had more time to update these pages properly, but since it's often a case of getting some writing done, or updating, the writing usually wins out. I'm hoping that's the way you'd like it as well. Still, most of the pages have had minor revisions or additions in thte last couple of days.
There is little news except that I've turned in the third Newford collection to Tor--it's called Moonlight and Vines and it's scheduled for a January 1999 release.
I'm getting an awful lot of mail these days--which I do enjoy--but because of the volume, please be patient in regards to a reply.
Other than that, I'm working away on the new novel and looking forward to an uneventful summer so that I can get it done by the fall.
January 20, 1998
My new book Someplace to Be Flying will be available in February. For more information, click here.
November 29, 1997
Since many of my readers often express curiosity about MaryAnn's artwork, I just thought I'd let you know that I've finally convinced her to put some of it up on her own website. Drop by and say hello to her.
As you can see from the new welcome page, I've been doing some work on this site, changing the looks of things here and there, updating sections and just general maintenance. There've been too many little changes to mention them all, but I will note that there are now a few chapters of Someplace to Be Flying available for those of you who like to look at teasers of books that aren't published yet.
For the other changes, I'll leave them for you to discover as you go exploring through these pages on your own.