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Art Story (and a Thanks!)

Dear Kazamir Malevich,

I SUPER love the way you play with perspective—Cow and Fiddle? RIGHT ON. Englishman in Moscow? You have so brought on the sexy there. This self portrait? Yes, PLEASE, I’ll take two. But later on in your life, right about the time you started doing all this Red Square: Painterly Realism of a Peasant Woman in Two Dimensions thing, you kinda lost me. I am sure this grieves you deeply.

Love, Philistiney McPhilistine

It’s because of narrative. My unholy love of narrative. Hard to see the story in cubes, no matter how big and red they may be, no matter what their flat big redness may or may not be saying about peasant women.

I LOVE visual arts, but I am drawn in by scenes of living things and places, people and architecture and animals and bones, and of course religious art and art that is a response to mythology or folk tales.

I tend to look at still life and say, Why yes, that IS fruit. Maybe it is fruit by Cezanne, an artist who can take my breath away, but the man liked fruit an inordinate amount.

Look, I get that Cezanne’s fruit is more than FRUIT. It says all kinds of things, mostly about geometry and planes and angles and their relationship with LIGHT. The Fruit sits on all these folds of draped sheet and curves of bowl and light relates all over it.

I like to look at Cezanne’s fruit. I intellectually appreciate it. Briefly, because I need time to linger on his portraiture, his dancers, his villages, his skulls, his card players. I don’t get het up over fruit and light. Call me when Light drinks poison in a tomb, and Fruit wakes up and stabs itself in agony over Light’s passing.

I especially like it when art relates to an existing narrative. Best Beloveds who have been around have seen this in all my Fic-Facts. Remember, I hired my brother to sculpt the Fox Doll from BETWEEN, GEORGIA? I hired Pamela the Amazing Art Quilter to make the Bride Quilt from THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING? I like it both when art is pulled from narrative, AND when narrative inspires art. Anytime Visual Art and Narrative are in conversation, I want to be eavesdropping.

In Someone Else’s Love Story, birds matter. Real birds matter, cardinals in particular, but also Origami Cranes. Early on, a paper bird saves about half a dozen lives. Yes, in this book, destiny can hinge on something as flimsy and whimsical as a flappy bit of foldy paper.

At an art fest we visited 2 years ago, when I was writing SOMEONE ELSE’S LOVE STORY., we met Helen
Rule of 2 Rules Fine Art, who had made some Origami Crane earrings. Scott had the BEST idea. He sent Helen paper made out of the SOMEONE ELSE’S LOVE STORY’s cover and commissioned these:

Yep, you guessed it, these are some of the prizes for THE VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR (click this link if you have no idea what the virtual book tour is).

You order your signed, first edition, first printing SOMEONE ELSE’S LOVE STORY from The Alabama Booksmith. I will sign them the DAY the book releases, November 19th, so they will be among the very first copies signed. As a bonus—as a THANK YOU—your name goes in the drawing to win a pair of these one of a kind earrings. (Well, there are three pairs. Three of a kind earrings.)

Beloveds, I think you will like this book. I love the story, and the book itself is a beautiful object with an amazing cover on this rich satiny paper with a dekkel edge. I think you would be proud to give it as a gift.

And this right here — buying the book from an Indie in the first week of release—is a huge deal. Ask any novelist. The first weeks MATTER. Yes, any time you buy a book of mine, it’s amazing, and you are my favorite, the end. But the first two weeks of sales—a single copy in that key time matters more than ten a couple months from now.

If my books and blog have been meaningful to you and you want your support for my career to have the gtreatest possible positive impact… Well. This is how.

And these birds? They are the first of several small ways I am finding to say Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank You, Thank You to the Beloved Bests of you who have already pushed that button.

19 comments to Art Story (and a Thanks!)

  • Tracey Woznak

    What a fabulous idea!!! I still treasure my pewter “fox girl”. She is proudly displayed in my curio cabinet. Perhaps I can add these…to be proudly displayed on my ears!

  • Martha

    I hope that pre-ordering your book from Barnes and Noble helps because that is what I did.

  • Martha — ABSOFREAKING LOOTLY. You are great THANK YOU. It’s just not possible for me to track that and offer a thank you. I wish it WAS, I do the virtual tour so I have an avenue of knowing who you are an offering these small, inadequate thankings. 🙂

  • Tanya Thompson Brown

    DOES pre-ordering from Amazon or other booksellers count for those first week sales? Does ordering a Kindle copy count? Inquiring minds want to know (because the actual body might be busy and forget).

  • All and any pre orders are good Good GOOD things..

    The Virtual Book Tour just allows me a chance to THANK some of the people who support me this way with interesting stuffs like these earrings.

  • Brigitte

    Already signed up for virtual book tour, and boy am I glad, ’cause thems some gorgeous earrings! And also because I love you. In an imaginary, inter-webs friends way, of course! 😉

  • Linda J

    I have every audio book you have recorded. I preorder them when I can or, buy them the day they are released. Now, as far as paperbacks go I do have every one of them. I feel that way I can support you, encourage you, and beg for more books from you. I feel the Thanks with all the wonderful posts about you and your life/family/thoughts/travels/joys. Then I hope to only offer support when you make those posts that are heart wrenching of loss and sorrow.

    Thank you for all the effort time and love you have put into each and every one of your characters.

  • Linda J

    ok on an off note, how can I have a photo instead of little blue square ugly monster?

  • Jill W.

    Done. Can’t wait to read it.

  • Thank you Bridgitte! And Linda! —- I think the PICS instead of monsters are peopel who are registered and have a pic on file with Moveable type. I am SO YOUNG in that pic HEEE!

    YAY Jill!

  • I am an ENABLER. I buy your books and audiobooks. SOMETIMES, I read and listen AT THE SAME TIME. Yes, indeedy. I also like giving your books/audio books as gifts. Christmas this year has been PIE what with SELS coming out RIGHT before. YAY!

  • Michelle-who-is-Shelley

    I will be seeing you on your actual tour, so I’m pre-ordering through my local indie (Schuler Books) so that I can read it before you come to MI. I am already the lucky owner of one of your FicFacts (the Fox Doll) and she sits proudly next to my computer, so I am happy to leave this one to others to win. *sound of angel choir* can you see my halo? 🙂

  • I think they are actually six of a kind earrings, but who’s counting?

    I want them. I want them so badly I’m thinking of buying another book even though I’ve already preordered the Kindle version and insisted that my book club read this for February.

    I am starting to believe that in addition to paper books and ebooks I also need the audio books. Am I crazy?

  • Yay — It will be nice to see you in Lansing, M who is S, and Jenny, that is my kind of lunacy. Remember, you can always order it as a GIFT signed to any human you love who has a birthday or is a great teacher or celebrates Christmas or just likes to be given books. 🙂

    THANK YOU for reccing it to your book club! That is AWESOME.

  • Jessica (the celt)

    I know three things that are truer than true:

    1. You are the only author in the world that we have and will always purchase your book via pre-release as soon as we possibly can. (We do for some other authors for releases here and there, but always for every one of yours.) I get so excited about the Virtual Book Tours that we order immediately, as soon as we see that it’s live.

    2. I got something in the mail the other day that made me SQUEE with delight: an ARC! Yep. I immediately put my Foxy Lady Whose Heart Was Laid Bear (which is what I call my Nonny fic-fac) next to William Ashe the Cardinal and took pictures of them. (They became fast friends, by the way.)

    3. Last year when I ordered the book immediately via pre-release, I also won a free copy on someone else’s blog, so I was able to give the free ones away to friends. This year I ordered the book the day I could via pre-release, and I also won the ARC on GoodReads. This means that not only do I get to read it early, but I also get to share it with a friend. Again. Whoo! I hardly win anything in this world, but I have discovered that you, Joshilyn Jackson, are the bestest luck charm in the world.

  • What great earrings! Scott, as always, is brilliant, and I love your take on art and narrative.

    I am sitting in a hotel room overlooking a beautiful beach, and I have the ARC of SOMEONE ELSE’S LOVE STORY sitting on my side of the bed, just waiting for me to enjoy ocean breezes and a grand story. Thank you for contributing to a perfect getaway!

  • Kim

    Ooooh…I know I won’t win, because I rarely win anything, but I want these earrings almost as much as I wanted a fox girl. Which I didn’t get. And I’m still annoyed with the RNG that hates me with a searing, white-hot hate.

    But I did pre-order through the VBT, and I will, always! support your work. You make me laugh and cry and THINK and have Really Big Feels and Really Big Thoughts, and so I consider you tied for my Very Favorite Author (with Stephen King, and thems some BIG shoes, m’lady!) so yay for you, and me, and all of us who get to read what you write.


  • Jill

    I plan to be at the Alabama Booksmith when you come to town! So excited!

  • Those are awesome, Joss. I have a tiny paper crane Haydn folded for me in church. I coated it in a clear sealant and wear it on a black cord. Maybe I will wear it when I see you in Oxford.

    Also, I am so with you on the red square. I realized recently that I even choose most of my TV addictions based on the writing. I fell hard for Orange is the New Black. The writing is superb. Give me a well-told story and I am putty in your hands.