Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Lost in the Letters, Elf Power, & a User's Guide to Unreformed

I read for Atlanta’s Lost in the Letters this weekend. Listened to some fab writers (Jamie Iredell is hilarious!). Really enjoyed meeting LIL curator Scott Daughtridge. Am looking forward to future collaborations- he's doing much to build the regional lit scene, like this festival in November (to be linked soon) which features some of my heroes- Roxane Gay, Jericho Brown, Mary Miller, and more. Stoked!

I read two Unreformed excerpts*- Certificate of Affection (you had to have a commitment ceremony to have a relationship at Escuela Caribe- which was then horrifying but now is funny- provided you yourself didn't experience it) and First Gulf War, which delves into some of the apocalyptic dogma.  My husband, who is a musician (fave album- Ham 1: The Captain’s Table), helped me prep. When I came to the part where I referenced this verse in First Gulf War, he stopped me. “Wait, so that’s why you make jokes about riding the beast (when referring to difficult situations/people)?" “Totes, babe!”

Saturday night we walked down to the World Famous for Elf Power- a band we LOVE to see live, especially in this current iteration.** Former collaborators Bryan Poole and Jamie Huggins have reunited with Andrew Rieger and Laura Carter, and Peter Alvanos (who plays in our off/on project, High Ranker) is on drums. They closed with one of their oldest songs, Down to the Drugstore, which is about being all messed up in high school. Adored!

And after the show Andrew and I were talking about how much I enjoyed their set. When I watch them play they remind me of how my life could have been- had the adults in our town not shipped so many of us off to teen mistreatment facilities (and my parents not been religious control freaks) but instead helped us find some sort of creative outlet. But that's why I love how my Athens' friends were raised in Greenwood, SC, Ruston, LA, Charleston, Orlando, etc., because they have helped me discover how to be. And even better, that's how the kids in my town (especially my son) are being raised now.

One last thing- a reader (<3) emailed and asked for excerpts from Unreformed. Danzas Con Lobos en Santiago was published in Marco Polo. This Rumpus interview with Craig Zobel begins with a scene from Escuela Caribe. My Guernica interview with Julia Scheeres is essentially a comparison and contrast between Escuela Caribe and Jonestown. And the following posts from this blog include research or explore various topics pertaining to Escuela Caribe/ Caribe Vista/ Caribbean Mountain Academy. Enjoy!

*My buddy Scott M. and I were both super stoked that Eno's Needle in the Camel's Eye was my entry music to walk onstage, a song which (ZOMG- coincidence!) Elf Power also covers.
**Not that we haven't loved the other combos- Eric Harris and Derek Almstead from the In a Cave era- wow!

Friday, September 13, 2013

September- So Much!

This past month has whirled by...because this lady has been busy.

I returned to my job as a school librarian. I love it, though it keeps me from writing all day.  I still wrote almost every day. So close!

LITL12I re-read Jeff Jackson's Mira Corpora.  We are currently collaborating on an interview. Fun!

I am prepping to read for Atlanta's Lost in the Letters on Sunday, September 22.  Stoked!

I helped curate and promote the September edition of the New Town Revue at Athens' Avid Bookshop.  Thibault Raoult, Ari Lieberman, and Kara Kildare performed. Was a blast!

My husband spoke at Rabbit Box about our friend, Vic Chesnutt. <3...

On Labor Day I drove out to the near country for my friend's birthday. We set off fire balloons, flaming red beacons that drifted across the night sky.  It's a memory that will stick forever, but I love Ray Bradbury's description best.