Art is Everywhere! (the writers I know and love edition, #1)

My daughter has some weird psychic comedy link to Lucille Ball. Really.

I've been continuing in a state of artistic funk. Now that I do this blarg regularly, I could go back and trace the artistic funk pattern. Data, data, data. I am trying to persevere and trust that I will get back to place where I have a clear sense of purpose and productivity. In the meantime, rather than contemplate my own funky navel and bemoan my slow, slow artistic process, I thought I would try a different move to cut through fog. I will turn my attention outward and celebrate the many successes and accomplishments of my friends and associates:

My nearest and dearest friend and associate, Mr. David, has a show opening this coming Tuesday at the historic Alcazar Hotel in Cleveland Heights. Double Heart (The Courtship of Beatrice and Benedick) will then tour Northeast Ohio until March 6. (Follow the link for show times and locations.) This is an imagined prequel to Much Ado About Nothing, and it is written in iambic pentameter. I will be at the Alcazar on Tuesday. Perhaps you would like to join me?

This same gentleman also has a show in Cleveland Public Theater's Big Box. These are the Times is in performance March 7 - 9. This is a big, exciting, ambitious play about theater and Cleveland and creativity and politics and artistic integrity. I am so looking forward to finally seeing it with legs.  (And be sure to follow the link and check out the other Big Box offerings too!)

I have many, many friends from my MFA program at Goddard who are having successful book years:

The inimitable Elizabeth Frankie Rollins, a woman who has taught me so much about joyful creativity and being true one's self in so little actual contact time, just published The Sin Eater and Other Stories, her first collection. It makes me want to jump up and down and squeal!

My dear, dear doppelganger's pen-name persona Zoe More has recently published a collection of dark erotica called Hunger

Kristen Ringman will read from her novel Makara (which I believe was her Goddard thesis) at AWP in Boston next month.

Poet Theresa Senato Edwards new chapbook is Music of Hands.

Charles Rice Gonzalez's first novel Chulito just won a Stonewall Book Awards – Barbara Gittings Literature Award from the ALA. Charles is also the ED of BAAD (Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance), and when we were both just starting at Goddard, Z would sit next to him on the couch in the Clocktower, claiming him as her own - this tiny white girl in a fairy dress gazing up adoringly at this big, bald black man. It was a beautiful picture.

Donelle McGee's first book is Shine. Donelle's graduation reading at Goddard still sticks in my mind, my heart, and my gut, and I think of him as a teacher in my quest to find and create beauty in and from darkness and pain.

Anthony Ilacqua, who once gave me a priceless gift in the form of his road trip diary to use as research/inspiration/material for my ToT and who is one of the publisher/editor of Umbrella Factory Magazine, also has a boozy cigaretty novel out, called Dysphoric Notions.

And, even though I started at Goddard just as he was leaving, I do feel a certain fellow alumn pride for Matthew Quick and the success of Silver Linings Playbook! (And for all you struggling writers, know that he sent this book out to literally scores of agents, who rejected it, before he landed a great agent at a great agency.)

More locally:

Stephen Ramey, fellow Cajun Sushi Hamster and great fellow-writer-bucker-up, has a new collection of fiction, speculative and non, called Glass Animals

And there are several of my people who are published in the exciting local enterprises Rust Belt Chic and The Great Lakes Cultural Review.

Check them all out! And these are just my writerly friends. I also have musicians and visual artists and dancers whom I love and admire here and all over the world. Art is happening everywhere, even if it is slow and sometimes painful at my own desk, and this is a good, glad thing.

I have no doubt left some people out. If I have left you out, don't feel slighted. Add a comment or message me and I will correct the omission.

Reading: feh

Writing: yeah

Dinner: mac and cheese, extra cheesy, and broccoli, and cookies, and wine, and whisky, and family in front of TV, see below.

Soundtrack: My dear, dear doppel-g reminded me about Nick Cave in a tweet as I was looking up the link to her book. So for today's love song, here he is in a tender, solo incarnation. Press play. It's worth it.

Random thing: We decided to celebrate a rare evening of David at home with family movie night ... the pre-feature shorts were episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show, because the kids love Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins and this show is awesome, and  I Love Lucy, because Z is quite a comedienne and I have been thinking for a while that she needs an education in the great American female comics (and then there is Vivian Vance who played Ethel, and is awesome too and really one of the unsung heroines of comedy).

And the feature was ... Star Wars: A New Hope (you know, the original one, episode 4, from 1977). IT WAS THE FIRST TIME Z&O HAVE SEEN IT!!! I haven't watched it myself since 1999. And boy, is that a movie that has a great sense of humor about itself, unlike some others of the series. I felt the need to explain that it was made before the era of modern electronics.