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Ron Drummond
23 September 2012 @ 06:21 pm
I am  
I am a writer. I've been a writer since the moment I first took flight in my mother's womb and I will be a writer for as long as my hair, fingernails, and toenails continue to unfurl in my grave, and not a moment longer.
Ron Drummond
05 September 2012 @ 09:51 pm
Ten years ago this morning I woke up and found a monumental building inside my imagination. I spent the next nine months doing everything in my power to get that building out of my head and as deep into the world as I could. Though I know it will never be built, I continue to believe that the world would be a better place if it were -- though at this late date it would have to be built Somewhere Else. Would that it were so...
Ron Drummond
04 September 2012 @ 12:24 pm
Last night I dreamt in photographs. One of them was of the wide tall picture window in the living room, looking out over the Hudson River: just inside, under the window's upper frame, facing one another in mid-air, wings ablur, silhouetted against bright day beyond, two hummingbirds hovered, poised as if about to drink nectar each from the other's nectar-seeking beak, as if from impossibly long, narrow, delicate bifurcated flowers....
Ron Drummond
26 August 2012 @ 02:29 am
On July 20, 1969 I was in my childhood home in Bellevue Washington, a block above Lake Sammamish. In TV Guide that week, all the columns for all the TV stations were blank for several days running, because every channel was showing the same thing: 24-hour-a-day coverage of Apollo 11. I was 9; I remember, halfway through the moon walk, going outside and riding around my neighborhood on my bike, and congregating in the middle of the street with several other boys from the neighborhood, who were also out riding their bikes. We talked in hushed tones and looked up at the blue sky, searching for the moon. Even though we couldn't see it, the sky was an utterly different sky than it had been a few hours before. And then we all headed back to our separate homes, to watch the second half of the moonwalk. But there was a hush there among us, for a few moments; we couldn't take our eyes off the empty sky.
Ron Drummond
10 August 2012 @ 07:29 pm
"This temporal, intergenerational logic may be understood structurally. The Winter's Tale perhaps represents the paradigmatic case. Although in Shakespeare's career comedy precedes tragedy, in this play it is the other way around. The first three acts revive Othello, the fourth As You Like It. A generation passes between these two movements of the plot. In other words, courtly tragedy is ultimately set in the past, so that its crimes and errors can be redeemed by pastoral comedy, peopled with the rural lower classes, located in the present. The rebirth, recognition, and reconciliation of Act 5 are made possible by the preceding sequence. One kind of variation on this pattern appears in both Cymbeline and The Tempest. The represented action is confined to the present, but part of what happens in Cymbeline and all of what happens in The Tempest depend on events as remote as those of the opening acts of The Winter's Tale. In all three instances, the potentially tragic moment is located at the birth or during the very early childhood of the youths who, now on the verge of adulthood, will prove crucial to the transcendence of tragedy."
-- Walter Cohen, "Shakespearean Romance"
Ron Drummond
30 July 2012 @ 11:50 am
When I first awoke, what I remembered was movie footage of an airplane coming in for a crash landing: the pilot gripping the wheel, then the toy-like old-style white passenger jet passing over the upper branches of a forest, banking, heading out over water, a lake with a very futuristic mall-like building filling an entire island in the middle, and the plane splashing down, barely causing a ripple, which made me laugh. A movie with bad special effects, or old ones anyway.

Then more of the dream came back to me. The movie theater briefly empty, and me starting up a stereo mounted on a little platform against the theater’s left wall, starting a long mix-tape-like selection of tunes from my own collection, and then turning to walk away, up the aisle to leave the theater, even as the first people were coming in for the next showing, looking in puzzlement at the source of the music.

Earlier, sitting in a right aisle seat on the leftmost column of seats watching the movie, and then for reasons unclear, some obstruction blocking the screen, I moved across the aisle and back, to a left aisle seat in the middle column. In the darkness it looked like the seat in front of me was filled with plants with stringy branches, and I patted the top of a mass of them and it turned out to be the tangled hair on someone’s head.

All of this was taking place in a gigantic science fiction convention. I remember walking fast all over this vast open space, huge runways on many different levels, vast meeting rooms, endless staircases with tiny tiny steps that I became expert at rushing down quickly, so much so that others commented on my alacrity. I ran into Delia Sherman, and then Ellen Kushner. I needed to find Joe Haldeman, because I had his head and needed to give it back to him, or maybe he already had his head and I needed to deliver some important information to him about it, or most likely of all I had to take delivery of his head from him in order to deliver it to someone else. Ellen, bless her, told me where to find Joe. She lead me at first, to make sure I took the right route, and we climbed up and down stairs with their tiny steps, until finally on an upper level she waved goodbye to me as I set out along some endless zig-zagging corridor in search of Joe Haldeman, with his head under my arm, or maybe it was just a carrying-case for his head.
Ron Drummond
Working on finalizing Little, Big on Summer Solstice Eve, I had occasion to double-check a textual reference in "Pictured Heavens", the final scene of 3.1, which took me back to the original typescript of the novel, the version first submitted to Bantam Books in 1979 or '80. A handwritten emendation elsewhere on the page I consulted caught my eye, and I quickly discovered what turned out to be two previously unknown passages totaling 221 words, further elaborations of the description of Ariel Hawksquill's orrery, beautifully written and full of meaty astrological and artisanal detail. For unknown reasons, these splendid words had Somehow been cut from the first edition and since lost to history. I quickly typed up the two passages and sent them to John Crowley, who responded with the greatest interest. He had no idea how the passages came to be cut, and suspected it was a pair of adjacent typesetting errors that no one ever caught. Then, on Solstice afternoon, I received from Magister Crowley a freshly rewritten version of the material, which only served to improve the already-wonderful originals. I am happy to say we will indeed be adding the passages to the text of "Pictured Heavens", deepening and enriching it thereby. This sort of thing has happened before, but never with passages so extensive -- and that it happened at more or less the last possible moment before that chapter was to be locked down once and for all makes it especially sweet, a small miracle, a bit of the flotsam of fortuitous inadvertency.
Ron Drummond
28 March 2012 @ 05:47 pm
Today I sold a revised version of my 8,000-word essay, "The First Woman on Mars," to White Fungus, a beautifully-produced English-language Art Journal published in Taiwan. Because of the strong visual-arts orientation of the journal, my essay is likely to be accompanied by several original works of art, photographic and otherwise; I'll be working with the editor on developing those aspects, and the lead time is sufficiently long to encourage and accommodate a nuanced approach and possibly the contributions of multiple artists. Really, almost anything could happen. Spell delight!
Ron Drummond
12 February 2012 @ 10:54 pm
In the mid-1970s I read an essay about humanity's future and the future of life in the universe written by the eminent physicist Freeman J. Dyson. It was called "The World, the Flesh, and the Devil", and it was among the most astonishing reading experiences of my life. One section of the essay in particular, "Big Trees", completely blew me away. In it Dyson speculated about how one day we could use genetic engineering to teach trees how to grow on comets. Dyson's vision of enormous trees growing hundreds of miles tall, of trees flinging their seed-pods across space in search of other comets on which to take root (there are billions of suitable comets in our solar system alone), indeed of their eventually achieving the literal greening of the galaxy, has never left me.
Ron Drummond
09 January 2012 @ 03:55 pm
Dear Mr. President:

The Wall Street banks perpetrated the greatest fraud in the history of the human race; this is indisputable. The fact that much of that fraud was technically legal obviates nothing. 2012 may be your last year in which you can intervene positively and decisively in the course of human history: failure on your part to do everything in your power to stop the big banks and big corporations from effectively taking over the world will have catastrophic long-term consequences on the health and well-being of the human race and of all life on Earth. Please, sir: do the right thing. Use your power to stop the banks from completing their takeover. If history remembers you for anything, it will be for the moral courage, or lack thereof, in your response to the evil of plutocratic tyranny.

Respectfully Yours,

Ron Drummond