March 2nd, 2009

secret no longer....

Because we were afraid that the place might turn into a madhouse, of well-wishers and autograph hounds, it was Top Secret that Tiptree award winning novelist Cathrynne M. Valente and singer songwriter S. J. Tucker (seen here being beamed into her awaiting airship by extra-terrestrials) stayed at Casa Del Milla this weekend. (Cathrynne blogs as catvalente much as Batman blogs as Bruce Wayne, to conceal her identity, but I'm exposing that secret now.)

Cathrynne is on a book tour that seems almost irrelevant as she found out last week that her new book, The Palimpsest was likely going to sell out it's entire run within the first seven days and she'd be left promoting I.O.U.'s and air.

(Cathrynne also had a bizillion dollar custom made wardrobe just for the book tour and I had her lay on the ground in it. This included a $500 corset from Mayfaire Moon which you can see here, pre mud and snow stains. Sorry Ysobelle.)

(Palimpsest itself is a very interesting (though perhaps not entirely practical) word, I learned that it is a piece of parchment when, when the writing is washed off of it, reveals that another document was previously written on the same parchment. In this case, a map. How many times do you get to use THAT word?)

Cathrynne arrived with an entourage that would have made P. Diddy proud. They took over the downstairs and there was much juggling, lute playing, stilt walking, and various other wonderful things that you would expect from such people.

She had two packed signings on Saturday, one at noon and another at 7:30 at Delaware's Between Books that involved, I am told, a burlesque show.

After that reading an even larger entourage returned (including Marianne Porter and Michael Swanwick) and they chatted eruditely into the wee hours about books and maps and the Japanese language, there was much praise for Swanwick's book The Iron Dragon's Daughter which I now must read. I went to bed early and the party went on without me.

They all signed one another's stuff

S.J. Tucker, (who blogs as s00j) wrote an entire albums worth of songs about Cathrynne's last book, the two volume Orphan's Tales (In the Night Garden and In the Cities of Coin and Spice) called For the Girl in the Garden and she's doing it again this time for the Palampest. On Sunday morning I photographed S.J. for a magazine which you will hear more about later. Here's something that's not going to be in a magazine.

We had one of those magical moments on Sunday when S. J. Performed a private concert for trillian_stars and I while everyone packed up and I felt that really I was doing something very right in my life and everything is as it should be. When they left, the house was spotless, as though no humans had been here this weekend: only elves.

I hope y'all had a wonderful time.
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