“If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere, it’s up to you, New York, New York,” so crooned Sinatra’s iconic lyrics about the greatest city in the world. A city in which I just spent a magical week, or what was supposed to be a week. Anyhow…
The day before I traveled to New York, I had my Friday Roundtable Critique Group at RedBird-RedOak Writing, then jammed out to Avol’s Bookstore in Madison to hear the Fiction/Poetry Contest Reading at the 2011 Wisconsin Book Festival. Hosted by Jason A. Smith, the evening was a blast. Also, I have the honor of being the fiction judge for the 2012 Wisconsin People & Ideas Writing Contests.
Upon arriving home that evening, I discovered that the perfect book had arrived for my morning departure for New York: The Journals of Spalding Gray. I had pre-ordered this book and interpreted it’s timely arrival as a serendipitous sign.
The first weekend I was on Long Island, at my second home in Garden City. My pal David and I took in Jones Beach, the jewels of the north shore like Sunken Meadow State Park with views from Stamford to New Haven across the Long Island Sound, Huntington’s Book Revue, Cold Spring Harbor. We ate a fantastic meal at SriPraPhai Thai Restaurant. Visited the Patchogue Arts Biennial and were both astounded by the quality of artists represented from Manhattan to The Hamptons.
I had two days in Manhattan to ground myself, prepare for the big event at 2A. Hosted by svelte Christine Vines, this monthly event, Fiction Addition, had a theme: Hauntings and Horror Stories. Needless to say, I was more than a little daunted. The other readers were Jamie E. Reich, Alison Espach, and Darin Strauss. I had dinner prior with my best pal, Andrea at 7A Cafe, an old standard which has been there since our East Village stompin days when we’d hang at places like King Tut’s Wah-Wah Hut or Pyramid Club. The reading itself was great. Jamie opened, her story was wonderful, about the imagined passing of a loved one. I read next, four short bits, each of them published already:
Cadaver Chris at Girls with Insurance (site is under maintenance)
Borrowed Children at HOUSEFIRE | Robert Vaughan
Alison read from her hilarious, inventive novel, The Adults. Get it, NOW!
Darin read a great short story, and I highly recommend Half a Life: A Memoir.
The next day, I had lunch with an old Rochester friend, Valentin Ortolaza Jr.. It is so amazing to look across a wonderful meal at someone you’ve known longer at this point in our lives than how old we were when we met. What an honest and reliable friend Val is. And our lunch at Little Basil was fantastic.
Wednesday evening was the reading at legendary KGB Bar. I used to attend readings here when I lived in same neighborhood in the 1990s. FIZZ, hosted by incredible Susan Tepper is a literary Fictionaut event. The stellar readers for this evening were Meg Tuite, Danny Goodman, Christine Vines (her first reading ever!), and moi. I was more nervous for KGB Bar because I had invited everyone I knew, and some last minute waiters and drifters, too. When worlds collide, potentially great prospects occur. Needless to say, our audience was packed. Meg read two fantastic short pieces and an amazing excerpt from her novel, Domestic Apparition. Danny read a wonderful excerpt from his novella, Somehow There Was More Here. Christine Vines read a witty story about a self-professed genius that had us in stitches. And I read these four shorts:
The Cat’s Pajamas at
In It to Win It
Bacon & Eggs, 1977 at elimae
The remainder of my trip seemed like a blur. Went way too fast, and only slowed when a major snowstorm hit the metro area, the morning I was scheduled to depart. Not so fast, mother nature warns: Surprise snowfall hits Northeast. I spent a good portion of the day at the LaGuardia airport lounge, drowning travel sorrows in my Spaulding Gray novel and beer nuts. The snow added a layer of melancholy, making an already difficult departure even moreso.
Back to David’s in Garden City where I was to burrow for the next TWO DAYS. I am so fortunate to have “family” close by, willing to bail me out at last minute.
Lots has happened since I last blogged, way back in August! Here are the latest links where you can find my writing, and activities like Flash Fiction Friday:
Hydrogen is Number One at Tell me that old story again… « fiftytwo
And the Band Played On at Subliminal Interiors
Laguna Love, So Many Clowns, So Little Time and Give Me Moor at Nailpolish Stories on 9/13.
Bacon & Eggs, 1977 at elimae
To commemorate the 9/11 anniversary, WUWM’s Lake Effect weekend program aired three poems of mine. You can hear me read them: WUWM: Lake Effect – Three Poems Inspired by Sept. 11th.
In addition, September and October’s Flash Fiction Friday programs are archived, in case you missed them: WUWM: Lake Effect – Flash Fiction Friday: Displacement. September’s show includes local writer, Michael Seidel and national writer, Joani Reese whose piece, “The Lost Boys” is included in The Lost Children: A Charity Anthology.
WUWM: Lake Effect – Flash Fiction Friday: The Voyeur includes local author and friend, Maura Fitzgerald, and national revered author, ex-pat Christopher Allen who lives in Munich, Germany.
My last wish is that you check out our latest offering from Thunderclap! Magazine – Issue Seven by thunderclappress in Poetry!!! Boss Extra-ordinaire, Amanda Deo has done it again! And a great cover by our man, Ryan W. Bradley. This is a special music-inspired issue. Includes writers like Tepper, Tuite, Tomaloff, Tettleton and some others whose last names don’t start with T. Don’t wait, get one now!
I completed the Spaulding Gray novel. He’s one of my mentors.
And that, my friends, is a blog that took way too much time to write.