* Christina Cairns, in western Australia, has started a new Moveable Feast rolling with a thoughtful post called "Meditations on Home," which you'll find over at A Mermaid in the Attic. "As a descendent of immigrants from another, very different land, she writes, "I’ve always felt as if I had a foot in two worlds and belonged to neither. This country is the only home I’ve ever known, I know its rhythms, its seasons, its beauty and its frustrations. But culturally, spiritually...this land remains a cipher, a mystery that I cannot take part in beyond a superficial level...." Don't miss this beautiful meditation. (If the Feast travels anywhere else, please let me know in the Comments section of this post. Past Moveable feasts can be found here [on blogging] and here [on magic].)
* Katherine Langrish discusses myths and folklore about apples on Seven Miles of Steel Thistles. (And when you've finished reading that, if you're, er, hungry for more, try: "The Lore of Simple Things: Milk, Honey, and Bread" by Ari Berk, and "In Praise of the Cook" by Midori Snyder.)
* A great blog that I've just discovered (via Ellen Kushner) is Daniel Rabuzzi's Lobster and Canary, dedicated to "speculative, fantastical and surreal fiction, poetry, and visual arts, fairy tales, oral epic, & children's literature." Oh, my! It's based in (but not confine to) New York City, and it's terrific.
* Rex goes it alone on the John Barleycorn blog...and manages to pull off his first solo post with aplomb.
* Theodora Goss offers some very wise advice to aspiring writers in a blog post titled "Finding the Joy."
* Also for new writers: Nick Mamatas has an interesting new book out (with a fabulous cover): Starve Better: Surviving the Endless Horror of the Writing Life. I've read a couple of pieces from the book online (you'll find links to them on Jeff Vandermeer's Ecstatic Days), and they're wonderfully blunt, clear-eyed, and provocative. Like Jeff says: "You may disagree with some of it, but that’s part of defining yourself as a writer, too."
* Richard Curtis discusses the state of the publishing industry in "The Real Kindle Killer," over on the Clarion blog. It's one of the best short pieces on the subject I've read: informative and succinct.
* Cliff McNish lists his top ten most frightening books for teenagers, on The Guardian's site. And they are not necessarily the ones you'd think they'd be.
* The finalists for the 2011 Mythopoeic Award have been announced. Congratulations to everyone on the list. (Very fine books all.)
* Midori Snyder has a couple of posts reflecting on "writers and their hair" (scroll down the page to find them both) on her blog, The Labyrinth, which in turn were inspired by a post on Favorwire. Also check out the fabulous video Midori posted yesterday: Behind the Seams. It's wild!
* Janni Lee Simner has organized a big "Bordertown Lives!" Sweepstakes to help spread the news about Welcome to Bordertown, with all kinds of great prizes for three lucky winners. All the info is on the Bordertown blog, along with other B-town news, reviews, contests, etc., as the May 24th pub date quickly approaches. It's been fun, and moving, to see so much enthusiasm out there for the revival of the series. And lordy, how I love the Bordertown-bound kids in the new book trailer video.
* This week's folklore recommendation: check out The Company of Green Men, a blog from a group that "gathers, archives and makes freely available information, images and folklore about the green man and the traditional Jack-in-the-Green."
* This week's art recommendations: you'll find some very beautiful collages over on Lynn Hardaker's Beneath the Bracken; and are you familiar with the art of Julianna Swaney? I've been watching her work evolve over the last few years, and her website and blog are well worth a visit.
* This week's video recommendation: Ben Okri (author of The Famished Road, Starbook, etc.) discusses his approach to writing. "A story, " he says, "is an interval in the enchantment of living." Beautiful words, beautiful man.
Have a good weekend.
(And if I owe you email, my apologies for the delay and thank you for your patience. It's been a complicated week for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is having a new book with Ellen Datlow due in to its publisher on June Ist. )