Welcome to where I am, where my kitchen's always messy, a pot's (or a poet) always about to boil over, a dog is always begging to be fed. Drafts of poems on the counter. Windows filled with leaves. Wind. Clouds moving over the mountains. If you like poetry, books, and music--especially dog howls when a siren unwinds down the hill-- you'll like it here.


MY NEW AUTHOR'S SITE, KATHRYNSTRIPLINGBYER.COM, THAT I MYSELF SET UP THROUGH WEEBLY.COM, IS NOW UP. I HAD FUN CREATING THIS SITE AND WOULD RECOMMEND WEEBLY.COM TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN SETTING UP A WEBSITE. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT MY NEW SITE TO KEEP UP WITH EVENTS RELATED TO MY NEW BOOK.


MY NC POET LAUREATE BLOG, MY LAUREATE'S LASSO, WILL REMAIN UP AS AN ARCHIVE OF NC POETS, GRADES K-INFINITY! I INVITE YOU TO VISIT WHEN YOU FEEL THE NEED TO READ SOME GOOD POEMS.

VISIT MY NEW BLOG, MOUNTAIN WOMAN, WHERE YOU WILL FIND UPDATES ON WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY KITCHEN, IN THE ENVIRONMENT, IN MY IMAGINATION, IN MY GARDEN, AND AMONG MY MOUNTAIN WOMEN FRIENDS.




Tuesday, January 6, 2009

SOME POETS AND SOME SHOES

THE LITERARY LUSH LIFE

Well, according to the New York Times, it's on the wane. As Amanda ("Binky") Urban, agent for such mega-stars as Cormac McCarthy points out, some of the more lavish practices in the book world cannot be sustained by a slow-growth, low-margin industry that can’t charge luxury prices. “Books can only support a certain retail price,” she said. “It’s not like you have books that can be Manolo Blahniks and books that can be Cole Haan. Books are books. A book by James Patterson costs the same as a book by some poet.”

My response to this comment by "Binky"? "Who the heck is James Patterson?" My novelist friend Vicki Lane gave me a hint--"think quantity, not quality."

If you are "some poet," then you are, metaphorically speaking, a Cole Haan. What the heck's a Cole Haan? So I googled. Here are a couple.



Now, this baby runs around 600 bucks. I love boots, but I don't think these are worth that much, despite their glam leopard-skin, and I don't think Cullowhee is ready for them yet, either, not to mention myself.

Here's another Cole Haan--Sweet Little Mary Jane. Her price tag? Four hundred bucks.



Ok, we all know what Manolos are if we've watched SEX AND THE CITY. Carrie would risk her life and any friendship for a pair.

Like these, that would set you back 900 bucks.



Or these. A mere $600.



So, my dear Ms. Urban, what does your shoe metaphor mean? That being "some poet," my book would be worth only a couple hundred dollars less than a Manolo, though still ridiculously over-priced, while James Patterson's is metaphorically worth 900 dollar strappy Manolo sandals?

I grew up among folks who always thought people from NYC lived on another planet. After my schooling, I considered that a pretty provincial attitude. Now, I've got to wonder. Maybe they were right all along, especially about the NYC literati.

By the way, here's "Binky,"



As Cormac McCarthy's agent, she's due some homage, I suppose, since McCarthy is one of our greatest living writers. I'm just glad I don't have to sit down with her over a desk to discuss a book contract. She might spear me with a Manolo spike heel if I questioned anything.

I'll take Aerosoles anyday--my shoe of choice. I'm wearing a pair now, Ms. Urban, and they feel really, really good on my second-rate poet's feet. The price? You won't believe it. I called a store in New Jersey and got two pair for thirty bucks! And the woman I talked with was actually nice to me. Though she did definitely sound like she wasn't from south Georgia.

Yours from the hills and hollers, woodpiles and clotheslines!



9 comments:

Vicki Lane said...

Tee hee! Love the post, Kay!

I suspect Ms. Urban's not even aware of Shoe Carnival shoes -- her 'low range' still makes me gasp.

But you might want to consider those leopard spikes.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

I might need those leopard spikes for self-defense someday, it's true.
Shoe Carnival---no, I don't think Binky Urban knows what that is. Reminds me of Sharyn McCrumb's story @ her NY editors not knowing what a double-wide is.
Actually, I once had a pair of thigh high faux suede boots that I found at the discount place in Sylva. They killed my feet, but I did wear them around campus a few times just to show that I could. I did not clog in them, though, a la Emmy Lou, even though I was only in my 20's. How sad!

Nancy Simpson said...

Kay you are funny today? Did it quit raining there, the sun out or something? You made me laugh.

My feet are trained to heels for one hour only. I'm saving up. I told you once I might get Botox for my book tour but instead,i've decided if my book is ever published, I'll go for the $$$$$ heels.

Glenda said...

You tell it like it is, Kay.
I'm afraid Binky lives in a completely different world from ours. I'd love to have seen you in those thigh high boots. Reminds me of a photo of me in in my twenties in hot pants and boots. Lord! How did I not get arrested in that get-up.
I love you humor today and I need it.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Thanks, Glenda and Nancy. I needed some humor today, too. Too much gloom. Bring on the boots! but not the Manolos.

James Hogan said...

My reading of your post corresponded with a brief, three minute interlude of sunshine this morning. Coincidence? I think not.

My wardrobe this morning is all "mall" labels, I guess--J. Crew, Gap, Clarks shoes, etc.--but my mother taught me well. I only buy if it's 50% off or more!

Jane said...

I'm thinking you could sport those leopard spikes. After teaching for thirty years, my heel tolerance is most nearly gone. I never quit wearing birks after college. They last forever and occasionally come back into style. "Some poet," indeed. New Yorkers can be very provincial.

Maria said...

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