Busy Holiday Weekend

What a weekend it has already been! Beginning with my Friday roundtable at Redbird-Redoak. All nine writers were present and accounted for! I love a full house. Unique voices were shared through their writing, and insights were powerful. After work, we dropped into Cafe FIXX in St. Francis for treats on Robair. Chats about writing ensued, and a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling set the tone perfectly.

Dinner Friday evening was at Cempazuchi Comida Brava, my favorite Mexican restaurant on Brady Street. We met friends, Matt and Carrie, and caught up on their busy lives. Met again at Hollander Cafe where there is an awesome list of beers to continue our laughter and stories. If you haven’t already had those cone fries, by all means, what are you waiting for?

Saturday morning arrived a little too quickly. Up early for our novel meeting at Carol’s pad. I sped through coffee, shower and purchased the promised berries, cantelope and pineapple at Sendik’s, then attempted to make copies of my pages at Kinko’s- wrong! Not open until 10 a.m. Oh well. At Carol’s, we discussed my book, Good Wives River first. We’ve met twice already- the first time was to hammer out details about how the group might work. In November, we shared the first 50 pages of our books. Mine is in its second draft. The feedback I received from Pam, Laurel and Carol was fantastic! These writers all catch numerous details that I would never even see. Whether it seems “negative” or “positive” doesn’t matter to me, and there is a balance of both. More importantly, there’s a great opportunity for me to make additions, deletions, and tighten the book even further. After Good Wives River, we chatted about Pilgrim’s Progress (Laurel), then Carol’s short story collection, then Pam’s Katya’s Song. Once we finished the work, Sheila joined us for some chat about the holidays, parents, college room-mates, and more.

I blasted home to get ready to see Avatar, the new 3D movie by James Cameron, director of Titanic. We jammed up to Mequon to North Shore Cinemas to see this adventure sci-fi film. I try not to get too hyped prior to seeing a movie, but as it had been ten years since James Cameron’s last movie, my curiosity was just a little more than stilted. The movie delivered on some levels. Surely, the 3D element made me feel like I was on the alien planet, Pandora, and one of the Na’Vi (a little close to native, no?). I felt saturated by the sensory details, and for someone like me, a rather touchy feely guy, it was right up my alley. I was able to overlook the awkward, somewhat banal dialogue, and the typically themed American palate (Romeo and Juliet or good versus evil) in favor of the special effects which were phenomenal, and the action which, though violent, was supercharged, infused with new technology. I liked the way that the Na’vi moved their ears. Go see it and wear those 3D glasses yourself.

Last night another classic was on TV: Wizard of Oz. It struck me while watching this movie for the umpteenth time, it stands up remarkably for turning 70 years old in 2009. Even its ending, sappy and mellow-dramatically delivered by Dorothy: “There’s Noplace like Home!” seems apropos at this holiday time.

Today, I got one of my holiday gifts: a new 20 inch MAC desk top.

I never left the house.

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About Robert Vaughan

Originally from NY, writer, editor, and workshop leader, his poems and fiction are widely published in print and online magazines, such as Necessary Fiction, BlazeVOX, Connotation Press, Metazen, Thrice, Literary Orphans and Housefire. He is Senior Flash editor at JMWW and Lost in Thought magazines and leads round- tables for Redoak Writing. He is a six times Pushcart Prize Nominee and his fiction and poetry have won awards, including a Micro-Fiction runner-up (2012) and twice a finalist in the Gertrude Stein Fiction Award (2013-14). His collections are: Microtones (Cervena Barva Press); Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps): Addicts & Basements (Civil Coping Mechanisms) and RIFT, co-authored with Kathy Fish (Unknown Press).
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