I love these things, the details of him: how my husband’s beard presses to a point against his pillow, my husband whose seeming ethnicity seems to shift wherever we travel. He is German-Italian, but manages to look Hispanic, Turkish, Moorish, any number of things. His skin has changed over the years we’ve been together, a beautiful smooth leather, creasing slowly where he smiles, where he frowns.
You know the expressions you habitually make carve tiny marks against your skull? That’s how they do those facial reconstructions, they can tell your favorite expressions from marks in the bone.
I imagine the marks like worm tracks under the skin…
Five years ago, when we were in Ukraine everyone thought I was from there. Odessa. They’d speak to me quickly, conspiratorially; I couldn’t respond, and then they saw my flash of American teeth.
Once a man came out of a crowd and poked at my stomach, yelling at me. The same sentence over and over again. He was angry he couldn’t make me understand. Some transgression I’d made- or maybe he thought I was someone else- I wonder about it still.
Five years ago.
Interesting the theory of Eternalism, that all moments in time- all those days, each one a burrow, a tiny worm’s track- are equally real. Each one, future and past.
We are alive so briefly, think of it, sure, all our days might as well be simultaneous.
I close my eyes to remember, really remember that day in the market. I can almost go back.
Then I open them. 6 am. Coffee and pages before another long, vanishing day at the warehouse.
The bright colors of the market gone five years, that man is perhaps dead, Maria & Yevgeny are divorced and the pomegranates are all eaten.
"The past is never dead. It's not even past." -William Faulkner
P.S. It is funny, in writing this to you- ‘novel’s release day’; that seems somehow a little like ‘novel’s birthday,’ doesn’t it? I’d never thought of this before, but I suppose it’s true. No matter how long you work on a project, it is never truly born until it's published.
Happy birthday, Evening’s Land.
You're not mine anymore. Off you go.
The dark elegance of Anne Rice’s THE WITCHING HOUR meets the lush parallel worlds of Neil Gaiman’s SANDMAN series.
Reeling after her best friend’s suicide, Ada Walker falls under the spell of the collective subconscious, the EVENING’S LAND, searching for Faye’s soul with a rakishly hypnotic ghost named Christopher.
Richly preternatural and spine-tinglingly erotic, EVENING’S LAND is an exploration of love, loss and loyalty that will haunt you long after the last page is turned.
Available February 20th, 2017. Buy it here now :)
December 3rd, 2016. From a letter-
Somehow the days have quite dissolved, and we’ve been married a week. The time has run through our hands like water: how bittersweet that happiness is the fleetest experience of all- and our wedding day was the quickest, most transcendent experience I have ever had. It was heavenly. Setting sail on our very own moon river. And off we go.
Right now, at this moment, this apex: counting our blessings feels like counting the stars.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
All our love,
Paula and Andrew
From the bad old days to our happy, wild, perfectly-imperfect apex, man, who'da thought. Then again... some people saw us coming :)
Andrew is one of my younger brother's dearest friends, and has been for most of their lives.
This is a younger brother who, as Andrew always tells it, prefers to keep his peas and carrots separate. So fourteen years ago, when Andrew started talking about seeing me on a porch at a party, talking about 'anti-establishment-tarianism, or whatever', Robert was pissed. I guess they knew it before I did, that the attraction between us would be instant and irrepressible, once I only started looking back.
My Andrew is wild-hearted, deep-spirited, with a wolfish soul to match my own, but he is loyal as the rising sun. Our alliance is the one I've always dreamt of, "like the sun and moon, free to go far from one another, yet crossing every night— each forever circling the other. That is a real marriage— a marriage made of eternity. Not a metal band simply wrapped around fingermeat.”
The times when I think he understands me least are the times he knows me best of all: he is strong enough to give me the room to fuck up and figure it out, so that each of us is growing up all the time.
He's the cleverest, craziest being I've ever met, my very own trickster King, and anyone who thinks he's just out for a lark always ends up loses their shirt- but grinning anyway.
Because Andrew is that rarest, lovelist creature of all. The irrepressible Coyote-King you end up admiring even when he's just bested you. For his sheer, shameless joy in just being alive, feeling good- and always closing.
He lives his whole life as a work of art. I fell in love with him over the dinner table, that very first date. Sure enough, our second or third (you know, blurry) was looking for our first apartment. And crazy-love or not, now here we are, with blessings.
Andrew put it best. As we stood up in front of our friends and family (and that's my dear, beloved, beloved father up above, marrying us, right after my wonderful brother David walked me up to Audrey Hepburn's reindition of Moon River):
"I can't promise this will be easy, but.... there's a poem I'd like to read to you, from Pablo Neruda:
'I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.'"
I love you so, my sweet beem beem.
As I said to you then, I'll say it again here- you are my sun and moon, the stars in my sky. I can't wait to spend the rest of my life making yours a heaven on earth.
And nah, it won't be easy- but you know that already- oh well! We'll hold each other tight.
And yes, Ry Calhoun from Candlemoth is based on Andrew! Go buy it already!
Boop. Book Three’s out. Provocative in all the best ways.
It’s about a smoking hot relationship- but also about an empowered woman navigating a sometimes close-minded society. When I scheduled the release a while back, I thought we'd surely be celebrating this week. But I guess we still need fairytales.
Buy it now in print and for Kindle... and if you haven't read the first one yet, its on sale for 99 cents the next five days. Yay.
Hugs, my dears. Be the change.
"Because stings of the same magnitude don’t necessarily feel the same, Schmidt has written haiku-like descriptions for each of the 83 sting entries:
Anthophorid bee, Pain Level 1, “Almost pleasant, a lover just bit your earlobe a little too hard.”
Maricopa harvester ant, Level 3, “After eight unrelenting hours of drilling into that ingrown toenail, you find the drill wedged into the toe.”
Termite-raiding ant, Level 2, “The debilitating pain of a migraine contained in the tip of your finger.”
Club-horned wasp, Level 0.5, “Disappointing. A paper clip falls on your bare foot.”
~Avi Steinberg, in his fascinating article about entomologist Justin Schmidt from New York Times magazine. This is one of those pieces that cracks open the way you see the world to let the light in. So good.
"Pain helps a predator learn. Schmidt’s book is, in a sense, a memoir of one predator’s education..."
"Meeting a wild tarantula hawk, which is as visually pleasing as it is mysterious, I could understand why Schmidt talks about stings in the language of aesthetics, like a connoisseur. It isn’t about masochism, or machismo, but about the desire to grasp each and every molecule of a thing, even the sharp ones, which is, in that way, a bit like love. Seeing this flamboyant solitary wasp, whose venom helped keep it alive on earth many millions of years before humans first appeared, the beauty of the sting was self-evident: not for the pain it causes, but for the life it sustains."
This is a wild soul-book