Big City of Dreams

“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. ReichAlison 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:

Moving to Los Angeles – Pure Slush

THE DAY MY LIFE CHANGED « Danse Macabre du Jour

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.2A, New York, NY

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 TuiteDanny GoodmanChristine 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 http://www.connotationpress.com

In It to Win It

Bacon & Eggs, 1977 at elimae

Temporary at The Brooklyner Web and Literary

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

Royal Flush at In Between Altered States

Laguna Love, So Many Clowns, So Little Time and Give Me Moor at Nailpolish Stories on 9/13.

Bacon & Eggs, 1977 at elimae

“Stone Wall” by Robert Vaughan → Fictionaut

“Bombs Keep Falling” by Robert Vaughan → Fictionaut

“Spin-the-bottle” by Robert Vaughan → Fictionaut

“Turkey Town” by Robert Vaughan → Fictionaut

“Wrestling with Genetics” by Robert Vaughan → Fictionaut

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.


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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22 Responses to Big City of Dreams

  1. Andrea says:

    You are sorely missed!

  2. Theo says:

    You were brilliant both evenings, Robert. Such flair when you read, I had no idea. And I agree with Andrea- please come back soon!

  3. Cynthia says:

    Sounds like you were the bomb in the Big Apple, Robert! No surprises there. Sorry I live too far away to be there. Any other plans for readings coming up?

  4. Steven says:

    Melancholy Manhattan memories, indeed.

  5. Wallace says:

    I saw Spaulding perform a number of times at Lincoln Center, and always loved his work, even if he seemed off a certain night. I’m sure you rocked it, in his honor. I loved the KGB Bar when I used to live in New York, and I think I attended a birthday party for a co-worker at 2A. Feels like I was there by reading your blog, so thanks for that.

  6. Christopher says:

    My Lord, you’ve been busy. Wow.

  7. Beverly Coats says:

    Do you ever sleep? My goodness! It was great to get your latest news, I was wondering if you fell off the planet. Now I see what you’ve been up to. Congratulations on all of your latest successes- readings in NYC? Mister fancypants! You deserve it.

  8. Carrie says:

    It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest some advice. Perhaps you can write more articles referring to this blog. I wish to read even more details about it!

  9. Dez says:

    What a great trip it sounds like you had, Robert. I wish I could have heard you read at these NYC venues, seen the throngs of people who support you as I do. Any closer to that collection? It would seem you are heading in that direction.

  10. Drew says:

    Great blog! I like your style.

  11. Amy says:

    Sounds like you are in hot demand, and I can see why. Keep up the great pace and congrats on all of your writing successes of late.

  12. CraigWriteman says:

    Nice info at least I think so. Thank u for sharing these stories.

  13. Debbie says:

    Hearing you read your work is simply amazing. Those poems you read for the 9/11 memorial had me in tears. Thanks so much for sharing your gifts.

  14. So sorry I was unable to get to NYC for this. The distance was out of reach. really like the descriptive quality of this post, especially since I missed it. You really captured the vibe of the experience and the weekend. Maybe next time!

  15. JR Price says:

    You always do a wonderful job of making me feel like I was there. I really wish I didn’t miss out on your great readings in NYC. I hope I can see you one day with your book for sale!

  16. Holly McKnight says:

    Robert, you keep up this pace and you will be the next Stephen King!

  17. Yasmine says:

    I wish I knew you were in NYC! I would have tried to get to the KGB Bar to see you. Let me know next time if you remember!

  18. Craig Torson says:

    That is exactly what I wanted to find. Thanks a lot for the details. As for me, other pages are a lot less interesting, the writing less compelling. I don’t want to offend any one, simply try to keep reading quality work like yours.

    Craig Torson

  19. James says:

    Excellent!

  20. Morris Potts says:

    Are you using http://seopressorplugin.biz"? Your content is great although if you were using that plugin you'd be noticing a great deal more traffic.

  21. José MOURA-SANTOS says:

    Seems you had a good time in NY. Thanks for make me receive this newsletter again. Don’t know why it stopped suddenly.
    Hugs

  22. Nigel says:

    Love this site! Keep it up, please!

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