Incanting Incantations

All y’all regular Wetmachine readers please note Incantations, the new blog of my dear friend Helen Michaud, added to the masthead above. Helen’s inaugural Incantation will follow soon in which she’ll tell you what-all she expects to write about here.

Helen’s a geekoid technical writer with a very interesting background in the NYC and Boston publishing biz.

She is a kick-ass writer. She tends to specialize in the Nicholson Baker idiom of the precisely observed intimate conversation, but her range is vast. (See for example, her backwards-written twitter novel.) Moreover, like Wetmechanic Harold Feld, Helen has an undergraduate degree from Princeton University, where all the smart people go to school, so you can rest assured that she is ipso-facto smart. (But unlike Harold, Helen was eligible for membership in the Princeton Asian Students Association as chronicled in Harold and Kumar go to White Castle Top that, Harold! . . . I digress. . .(by the way, were you guys (classmates???))

I met Helen nearly a decade ago on an open-diary site which has since fallen on trollish hard times, but which once rocked, big-time. I was a fan of her writing long before I knew her whereabouts on Earth. I just loved her stories– which were and are mainly micro-stories of overheard conversations, absurd encounters in public spaces, misunderstood marital exchanges, and similar. I was pleasantly surprised to find out, a while later, that she & I both resided near Boston, USA. Eventualy we met in meat-space. We became friends, and among other things, Helen went on to edit my book The Pains— not for any $$, mind you, but because she wanted to help me out. Whatever you may think of The Pains as a book, please take it from me that that book would have been a much, much less interesting effort absent her editorial ministrations.

Recently Helen has embarked upon a challenging, commendable, and daunting project — she’s editorial director of AE, an SF magazine a-borning; it’s devoted to Canadian Science Fiction. She’s raising funds for it on Kickstarter: please check it out and support her.

As a long-winded blabbermouth myself, I admire and envy those mininaturists who are masters of the apercu,
n 1.
A first view or glance, or the perception or estimation so obtained; an immediate apprehension or insight, appreciative rather than analytic.
The main object being to develop the several aperçus or insights which furnish the method of such psychology.
– W. T. Harris.
A series of partial and more or less disparate aperçus or outlooks; each for itself a center of experience.
– James Ward.
2.
Hence, a brief or detached view; conspectus; sketch.

I myself have four favorite miniaturists: Emily Dickinson, Beatrix Potter, Joseph Cornell and Helen. I would be hard-pressed to say which of these is my #1 favorite.

I try to keep my Wetmachine entries limited to a shorter first paragraph than this, but I’m indulging myself here, because I am delighted to announce Helen’s decision to join us here on Wetmachine. Now go check out AE, and pledge money.

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