Monday, June 10, 2013

Too Much Food, Great Conversation, Shawn(ta)'s Gift and so much more at Raw Fiction's Goodbye Brunch

It's over.


This past Saturday, June 8, 2013 Raw Fiction (season 1 or season only) had its goodbye brunch a week before the website is due to air its first set of publications.

We met at historic Spain Restaurant with its historic bar tender and I ordered far too much for everyone. We feasted on Paella Marinera, Chicken and Rice, Shrimp in Oil, Paella Vegitariana(?), Fried Calamari, Meatballs and complimentary dishes of the best mussels I've ever put to my mouth. There were the youth participants, the mentors, a participant's mother and a director's friend.

My dear friend, Shawn(ta), your lesbian separatist librarian, who came was coming direct from her Lesbian Herstory Archives table at Brooklyn Pride and had a gift for me (this is in front of my youth that she does this). She sifts through her bag with a grin on her face. I get to choose which gift I take. She extracts a very used book of short stories by Becky Birtha and puts it in my hands. I can either have the book or . . . and then she reveals a small silver paper bag . . . I can have what's in the Babeland bag. Of course I turn bright red (remember three of my 18-year-olds are sitting right in front of me) and choose the book. Thanks, Shawn! But seriously, that's what (one of the many things) I love about her. Her confidence and freedom in her own sexuality and sex positivity. Young people NEED to witness that.

The table was divided with youth on one side and adults on the other. Conversation, likewise, was divided. However, at one point in the discussion Darwin asks "Do we even need to know history?" I grab the pass and toss it to the youth. The table becomes a discussion of ideas. From Wide Sargasso Sea to (re)writing history with perspectives and agendas to professional goals.

Pictures were taken outside of Spain Restaurant, hugs and goodbyes but not forever, I hope, and good luck on finalizing the publication, kiddies! Raw Fiction dot org will premier participant writings and some pieces from the general public on Saturday, June 15.

Below is a copy of my goodbye words to my team:

I have spent the week thinking about appropriate parting words and have come up with profound ideas and important messages [on the importance of literature and the meaning of inclusive citizenship]. I have written nothing down.

Always carry a pen and paper with you. Or a technological equivalent - a tape recorder, videocamera or your phone. Document yourselves so you don't have to scramble for words on a wild 3 train before a closing ceremony.

Raw Fiction was born out of a lot of ideas simmering in me with little to no outlet. I was in grad school and I didn't want to be. I was in Brooklyn and I didn't want to be. I was in a rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn that was selling its working-class, black, Jewish and immigrant soul to huge developers. People and businesses were being pushed out under the lie of economic growth for everyone. I saw a future of corporate menial labor jobs with little growth opportunity for youth forced into uniforms that reflect not only a sameness of image but a uniformity of thought.

Raw Fiction was born as an idea to help me juggle my emotions against change and as a way to investigate creating an arts project for teens that incorporates real world skills. A project to empower youth in their identities, provide an outlet for their creativity and challenge them to think and do for themselves.

I couldn't have done it alone. The adults sitting around this table represent a portion of all of the individuals I reached out to, who gave technical support, positive feedback and lots of encouragement. Thank you [and I went around the table and thanked Darwin, Charity, Tanisha, Shawn, Olivia, Barbara and Will for all they did and are doing to help me with Raw Fiction]. . . .

Raw Fiction was also a very simple convergence of my two most compelling career options - literature and youth. Raw Fiction would be nothing without the youth participants who have given it life, shape and definition.
Thank you [Cha-Lisa, Nisha, Ruth, Karen and Amber and then I gifted them each a book that I had pulled from my shelves that morning] . . . .


The End [of chapter 1?]

Monday, May 6, 2013

Inspiration dead. Inspire.

I kicked off the PEN World Voices Festival by going to see a play at the CUNY Grad Center called Smartphones. It was part of a series of New Plays from Spain. Smartphones is a farce with heavy intertextuality recalling Beckett's Waiting For Godot, Sartre's No Exit and a Bunuel film called The Exterminating Angel. It is about four people (two heterosexual couples, kind of, there's a lesbian twist) waiting in their friend Fede's apartment. They keep waiting but Fede doesn't come and they can't get in touch with him because his mobile provider gives "spotty coverage." Any clues as to Fede's whereabouts or ETA via twitter or Facebook, or broken connections through telephone calls were always that he was on his way. Smartphones, by Emilio Williams, was translated into English by the playwright who rewrote his own piece to fit the American culture. The play made me laugh a lot and it was well-written and well performed, however, it didn't challenge me.

I think that the lack of socio-political challenge was my underlying frustration with this year's festival. And perhaps that's why it is a festival and not a conference. We're celebrating! However, I wonder who it is we're celebrating. This year there was no discussion that I encountered that acknowledged those writers who were not able to be present due to political situations in their countries or visa oppressions in ours.

A panel on Guantanamo Prison took for granted that the United States has 'values' that ought to be upheld. Where . . . what . . .  who has values? A panel for Haitian writers featured two married writers, one of whom is the President of PEN Haiti and the situation in Haiti was contextualized by a white American journalist while the moderator didn't even speak French, never mind Kreyol, and seemed to know very little about the situation or the panelists. A panel on South African literature failed to feature a woman writer from South Africa.

Perhaps it is my own thought process that has advanced beyond the organization that I have idolized and been inspired by for so many years. Yet, simultaneous with my disappointment is inspiration to remain in a state of constant intellectual stimulation - because the small dose I've had this past week has knocked me off kilter and put the chemistry of my brain into a bit of a frenzy.

I feel like sprinting across the country shouting nonsense in a mishmash of endangered languages - that was a good panel. The Endangered Languages panel provided not only insight into a situation, gave breadth of perspective but also left the individual audience member with a sense of power to make a difference by learning a language and supporting policy that preserves indigenous languages, philosophies and cultures. Language is the pathway to the soul.

As I stated a few blog posts ago, I have every intention of continuing the project. In what context I have still to figure out. I'm leaning toward the absurd and collaborating with adults of all backgrounds - cultural, artistic and sexual. I am not searching a post-racial or post-conscious voice, I'm looking for harmony in plurality. Or a lack of harmony, or total failure in my absurd vision of full inclusion.

Idealism dead. Ideal.

In regards to the youth I've been working with I think the PEN events were a phenomenal opportunity to think about writers and writing and the writer's role in the community. The solitary intellectual will always be an outsider no matter where she comes from or how vast is her ability to think. Yet literature is also the doorway to get inside a culture, especially your own.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Germophobe, Not Homophobe

"Germophobe, not homophobe," said the old man with the cane to the old man with the walker.

They passed us as I smoked cigarettes on the steps of K & D's place. "He won't go bowling. He won't put his feet in shoes that other people wear."

"I would never put my feet in shoes that just anyone can wear," the other one said as they hobbled by, shouting.

D was ready to follow them with a recorder. K had missed the germophobe, not homophobe comment and didn't get why we were laughing so hard.

I was there to rage and smoke D's cigarettes. I was furious about a literary event at the Brooklyn Public Library and had heard a dialogue I wasn't expecting to hear. Two women. One young and in awe, her hair all over her face so that no one could see her. The other old with stark white hair pulled off of her face, a hot older writer. Ruddy complexion and solid build.

The conversation went something like:

"Why do you write?" "Where do you write?" "Your life has been hard."

It sucked and I wanted to leave. I got my excuse to book it very early on.

Moderator with hair all over her face: "Blah, blah, blah are you a feminist?"'

Novelist woman who lives in exile from her native country but refuses to identify as an exile because the people are too nice: "I am not a feminist, I am a humanist. I do not think women should be involved in all spheres of participatory life, it is the men who should be involved with politics. A woman's real role is motherhood."

I didn't wait for her definition of motherhood and bounced.

The lesbian who walked out of the limited and narrow atmosphere into a chilly spring night.

It was the second night in a row that my bubble was infiltrated by my rotting idealistic crutch (see "Confronting a Limited Idealism," April 29 blog); like I'm just walking along and the crutch falls apart and I slip and something dirty gets inside my bubble.

Yesterday was imperialistic status quos.
Today was women going back to the home.

Maybe it strikes me so hard to get inside and filibuster my sanctum because I do just want a bourgeois life in a safe country on a nice block telling children stories. Let the men, whoever they may be, play at politics.

I am not a man. I am a woman who wants to be in the kitchen.

There is this woman I met a few months ago who startled me so deeply I cannot shake her, however much I'd like to. She entered my home, the most sacred of my landscapes, called me a fat boy and left.

I went on a juice fast for two weeks - kind of, I've never been good with either discipline or not eating but I did lose winter with an iron deficiency pounds pretty quickly. I suffered from this plaguing identity crisis. I, who have never done labels, have allowed myself to become boi-ed by the "community." I am not a boy and I am not a boi. I am a woman.

I sent her an angry text.

She called me.

Put me on speaker phone to a room full of parrots without my knowing.

 She called the writer a gypsy and wondered why I cared so much. I spoke about my bubble. She thought I was PMS. I told her I'd just spent the past few days bleeding everywhere.

I am a lunatic who lives in a bubble so I can go out and play with anyone I like. It is when my safe spaces are desecrated that I become intolerant.

I am outraged, I said to everyone who would listen.

Drinking a beer in a bar with this writer speaking her truth that I do not want to believe, I would kiss her ancient mouth, that has seen more than my Brooklyn bubbled ass getting tighter by the day will ever see, that keeps her secrets hers.

It is my own escapist tactics that failed and I was angry. I was angry yesterday when free speech was dismissed by the male upper echelons of this fantastic humanitarian organization as I was angry today when free speech was allowed through the voice of a controversial woman novelist from somewhere else.

I took my dog and went to K & D's to demand a conversation. They are serious people and they take me and my serious seriousness quite seriously, which I find funny.

We ranted on the steps and two old men passed by. Germophobe, not homophobe, the one with the cane said to the one with the walker.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Confronting A Limited Idealism; Or, How PEN American Center Enters the Mainstream and Champions Conformity

When I use the term "limited idealism" in my title I am referring to myself. One must face one's own shortcomings and continue to grow and not simply reject the source of those limits for they are the simultaneously the primary source of growth.

Last week I sent an email to a number of friends and acquaintances announcing that my favorite week of the year was coming up: The PEN World Voices Festival. In the email I listed the events I was planning on attending, suggested friends purchase their own tickets and commented on the fact that there were no queer events, however, I am not as up on my queer writer names as I ought to be so I cannot say there is not representation. But I knew well enough that of course there was a gay writer in the lot and perhaps there was only one.

I have never been able to attend every single PEN festival event. Sometimes they are at the same time sometimes I have to work. But I do recall always having to make that hard choice. Some events I remember being amazing were just two years ago. There was a panel that I showed up quite late for that was about the prison systems in the United States and Ireland and other places (I was late). Michelle Alexander was there. Another event that year included a small panel in a small room in an independent music school on a small street on the imperial crackdown on Hungarian arts funding. There was the opening event at the 92nd Street Y with writers reading in their mother tongues and Patti Smith sang a ballad to the empty chair who represented those unable to attend because they were in prison or because they were not allowed to enter the US.

The first PEN World Voices Festival event I ever went to was a tribute to the poet Czeslaw Milosz. Ryszard Kapuscinski was there reading a Milosz poem in Polish. It was at Hunter College.

Now events are being held at Cooper Union and Joe's Pub. NYU and the New School. I am not upset about the idea of going to a literary event turned cabaret of translated Japanese texts while sipping a fine cocktail in the casual glamorous atmosphere of the Public Theater's fancy bar. However, who can afford the ticket price and Joe's minimum food/drink purchase? Not everyone. Not a whole lot of people.

I remember two years ago I was thinking critically about PEN and accessibility in regards to a panel about the gentrification of New York and the weird little stipulation of purchasing tickets online only - not at the door in cash. That was weird. Who are they trying to keep out? So, I suppose, my thoughts tonight are thoughts that have been happening.

But I've always trusted PEN.

Something changed in January. They brought in a new Executive Director, Suzanne Nossel. When I received the member email announcing her appointment I did my research and I was horribly confused. She is an imperialist. It's weird because she was coming from Amnesty International - how did she get in there? But there was a lot of controversy surrounding her appointment at Amnesty - none at PEN. Yet even more confusing.

How can an organization state a mission based on Freedom of Expression and be led by a pro-NATO interventionist? It's flabbergasting. And then I kind of just blocked it all out - because I guess that's kind of what everyone else was doing.

And then I got the PEN World Voices Festival calendar of events in the mail. On Bravery. Yet. The panels are more consumer-friendly than political or critical as they had been in the past. There is a panel on gender that is completely exclusionary of transgender. There is a panel about publishing headlining the most conservative looking man I have ever seen at a literary event -- Ah, and here we have our gay man: The rich, married, Ivy Leaguer with a dog. The closing ceremony on Freedom is to be given by Sonia Sotomayor. Two years ago it was Wole Soyinka at the New York Public Library. It was amazing.

Something has gone awry.

Tonight a lone man was protesting Nossel. A PEN member. A paying attendee of the event. The only voice challenging these changes. An older white man, of course. Still in the 60s THANK GOD.

PEN leadership refused to respond to him at the beginning of the event. His concerns are legitimate and should have been addressed to appease everyone in the audience. Rushdie simply cursed him out. Right on, Salmon, your charm is commendable.

Bravery is the theme of this year's PEN literary festival and it is a farce.

Where are the transgender voices? Where are the queers and the lesbians? Why isn't PEN taking advantage of their clout to speak out against the US government? How can Salmon Rushdie get up and stand in front of us and say that we are living in a different America than we were 9 years ago when the festival started?

Today we are still in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today Guantanamo is still open and over 100 prisoners are on hunger strike and the US is force-feeding a number of them.

And what about this immediate city? What about stop-and-frisk? The prison system is only getting worse. What about the homeless people and the offensive city-wide subway campaigns that are astoundingly offensive to young mothers? Why is PEN silencing the controversial topics by not giving them platform?

If I noted any shortcomings in this organization I have idolized since I first heard of it nine years ago then I was naive not to know what I could see coming.

And I'm not saying there aren't powerful, thought provoking events this year with amazing writers and important minds but I am saying there's an obvious conservatization that is forcefully happening under the guise of freedom of expression.

I'm saying, I'm confronting my own limited idealism and I choose not to be on the side of exclusionary politics that maintain the status quo of power politics. I stand in solidarity with the most radical and dissident voices in the name of peace and freedom for all humans.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Grand Army Plaza Epiphanies

Inspiration comes from a book passed between colleagues across departments from different generations that makes their lives seem so potentially similar.

The gesture is what most effects me and hours later. After the unreal explosions at the Boston Marathon, after the exhausted train ride home, after lecturing my insolent dog who had once again dispersed the contents of my trash all over the floor, after life's evening activities and outside with the dog near the arch in plaza, on the grass by the fountain that is still seasonally dry. The epiphany comes in the form of a rough draft.

It's been coming, really. For weeks now. However, I've been saying I'm not going to go out and recruit youth this time, I'll just see if they contact me. What's egging me on to continue is that which remains undone: an incomplete feeling like an invisible stone in a hiking boot that reminds me that what I set out to do is not done. An event organized by youth. A print publication.

The team that currently comprises Raw Fiction has established a concept, created a slogan, set a tone, called for submissions, designed a logo and website and read and written and are reading and writing. Bickety-bam. They've done this pretty much from scratch with the support of mentors. That's impressive, I could call this project a day and feel really good about what's been accomplished.

However, I also think about the imperfections in this first template and the revisions I could implement the next time. I think about how to make Raw Fiction bigger and better. I'm procrastinating on the formation of evaluations and how to perfect the mentor trainings and I can see that I am capable of improving upon the initial concept, I can see clearly many possible repairs. And that's where I get overwhelmed and want to run away. Because I can't do all that unless I can give myself a salary. And I can't get a salary unless I apply for a grant. And I think about all the work I'd have to do and I want to vanish up a tree like a lunatic or a baron. What it finally comes down to is the most important question on the evaluation: Are you glad you participated in this project? I know the answers.

And what would my answer be?

I love creating space that brings people together. At my last event all of the readers exchanged information and became Facebook friends. The space was filled with love. The energy was fantastic. I love meeting with my youth and giving them literary works that they don't really like right now but will impact them later. I love sitting back and watching them collaborate. I don't like writing grants all that much, I don't hate it but I don't like the language.

There is no sublime meaning in a mission statement. I take no pleasure in getting to a point quickly.

So, what I've decided is that I want to continue but next time I'll do less. How about that, Society. I'm going to aim to recruit young writers who want to build upon what the current group has established to either coordinate an event or create a print publication or do both. I want to coordinate a regular meeting space to allow for intellectual growth and proactive collaboration. That's what I enjoy doing and I don't have to give it up because I am done with fundraising. I think it was important to do the first round of Raw Fiction "legitimately." Perhaps, I had something to prove to myself. Receiving fiscal sponsorship and a grant has made me feel like my idea was legitimate. To receive generous donations from family, friends and strangers is really reaffirming but I want to go to grad school and I want to write another novel, not another grant. I don't want to be an ED I just want to be me, hehehe.

In the mailroom, Kevin gave me a copy of the journal he edited in another lifetime, his words, it is called "murmur." It's a wonderful collection with J.M.G. Le Clezio, Danzy Senna, Eileen Myles and Mark Jay Mirsky, among others. The concept is "a journal devoted to convening conversations between new and established writers of fiction and poetry, and each issue will feature a series of these dialogues. The themes and topics will be determined by those involved, but at some point, the talks will address the question of who and what influences their writing. Following the discussion, work by both authors will appear side by side, as if to continue the conversation in the practice of their art." - Kevin P.Q. Phelan, Editor.

The gift was Kevin's second journal. The first was called "whatever" because it was themeless. Having worked with my current group of youth I think the themeless is essential to creative development. Youth don't really know what they want; they want experience and opportunities. I thanked my colleague for his awesome journal and he explained it stopped because money ran out. It was those words that really got me thinking about Raw Fiction. Yes, there's no way I can afford to keep it going, it's not what I want. But what if I do it without money, or much less money. Cut the stipends, cut the mentors, cut the field trips to things with ticket prices.

So, thank you, Kevin for sharing the past of another you with the present I'm chiseling out for myself. I will go on until time and money run out, and that is yet to happen.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Surviving Raw Fiction at The Brooklyn Museum

I have barely been surviving Raw Fiction. I feel there is a wealth of creativity ready to burst forth. I've been a dry well filling up with thought, laughter, tears, anger, revelation and peace for the past few years. In many ways Raw Fiction was inspired in order to survive life and I created this blog with a humorous but pertinent title. For a fiction writer to coordinate an administrative intensive project such as Raw Fiction, on top of my job, my dog, my Spanish lessons, all of which are necessary to the maintenance of my jubilant spirit, she chooses to leave no space for elongated creative time.

This blog was my consolation prize: required written expression - which has gradually become less creative since the project start.

The youth I am working with are amazing but I could certainly challenge them more, make things more fun, go more in-depth. Potential is ever-expansive.

I've also been working more hours at work than expected. I'm pretty sensitive to boredom and I'm usually pretty good at side-stepping it but it's taken hold. I'm distracted and unfocused. I have two events coming up and I can't really wrap my head around them.

However, even though I feel this lethargic slump, I know it's just my body's way of telling me to slow down and go in search of inspiration.

I found a collection of short stories by Colette, who is not at all on my curriculum, and have been  relishing in a short novella about a heterosexual couple posing as lesbians who run a sex vacation resort for the aristocracy because they are apparently hiding from the law. I have been away from the demands of lesson planning. I have been reading for my own pleasure. And today was the first I have left work on time (a luxurious 2pm) this week, I came home feeling no more pressure of responsibility than that which drives me to walk my unsocialized dog since Raw Fiction has a field trip on Saturday and then it's Spring Break.

I showered well and long. I dressed up and I went to get cash at the museum ATM. I got called inside. There was a banner on the outside of the museum featuring a hand and the word "hi." It was presumably the only exhibit I hadn't yet seen. Entering the museum was splendid. An open to-go coffee cup sat on the guard's empty desk. The man at the membership desk didn't give me the third degree about the purpose of my visit like the overeager buzz-killer did on my last visit.

I entered unmolested like it was still the year 2000. I dashed up the relatively discrete Stairway D and exited on the 3rd Floor. Egyptian art. I walked past the paintings in the large gallery where First Saturday's dance parties were formerly held. And I walked up a flight in search of the exhibit whose advertisement had greeted me. On the wall in the elevator bank I saw I name I cherish and hadn't known was visiting: Kathe Kollwitz. I made a beeline toward the Stackler Center greeting my reassuring staples, Mikalene Thomas, Kara Walker, and Nick Cave, en route. I opened the door to the gallery of feminist art and was overwhelmed by a magnificent display of quilts. Women's history. Women's art. Women's expression. It was amazing but too overwhelming to thoroughly absorb knowing that there were Kollwitz works on display very near by.


I spent time with these live works. I originally found Kollwitz at the Strand Bookstore before it was renovated to feel so, so . . . clean? is that the word I'm looking for? Orderly? Before it was renovated and when the art books were on the ground floor. I absorbed her and filled myself with the beauty and healing she was able to produce from her evident pain. Her realist depictions of the German human experience in the 1920s are far more hopeful and, perhaps, thus radical than her expressionist contemporaries.

I walked away from the Kollwitz exhibit and rested for a bit near my nourishing staples and looked out over the vast gallery. A guard appeared at another terrace, I kept feeling like they were watching me, those women in unbecoming grey uniforms. I decided to visit El Anatsui again, since I was so close. I headed up to the fifth floor and breezed through American Art to special exhibits.

Even though I'd already seen this exhibit twice it was my first time without too many people. The experience was less urgent and I felt the freedom to revisit that which moved me most. His wood. His work, tapestries and sculpture fits into his concept of the Nonfixed Form, this means that each piece has an inconstant composition that can reinvented by the curator and the space in which the work is displayed. I'll let his work speak for itself.

I took a spin through the art of the Americas and was drawn to the small Native American section. The Dakota war club below caught my attention for a first time. There was even video footage that dated back to before the invention of the moving image. I stopped to watch but a tourist felt comfortable sharing my space. I moved on and responded with a smile to his dismay and informed him that I come every few weeks so I don't need a shared perspective.

 Next I was drawn to a portrait I know well. Luigi Lucioni's Portrait of Paul Cadmus. 1928. Gay artists. I'm sure I've read the description before but this was the first time it registered. These beautiful and brave young artists.

I left the museum before the Thursday night extravaganza took off. I was going to have a coffee or wine at the new cafe looking out into the courtyard but I wouldn't endure the sterile atmosphere and the women in cafeteria uniforms. A singer and a flutist warmed up on the stage of the grand lobby. The grey outside welcomed me and I left to buy suitable clothing for the burial of Harry Tarzian that will be held in Greenwood Cemetery tomorrow. He is the man who provided my mum with the job that enabled her to raise me and my sisters very nicely with above average vacation time and the radical flexibility to be a mother. May you rest in peace Harry, Hardware store owner and passionate photography hobbyist.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Audre Lorde is an Idealist and Zahra made us Meditate

Audre Lorde is too idealistic, one of my young writers sighed with dispassion this past Saturday. The assignment had been to read poetry and essay. They like neither form, generally. However, Ferlinghetti's anti-war excerpt from 'Americus I' went over better than the obscure poetics taken from Lorde's 'New York Headshop and Museum.' And agreement was universal that Lorde's 1979 essay, The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House, is still relevant today, 34 or 44 (depending on which youth is doing the math) years later, however, and perhaps because of this immortal relevance of needing to cherish our differences and women needing to support other women, the youth of today were less inspired than I was when the essay was merely 22 years old. And perhaps, the youth see me as too idealistic, too.

Our Saturday sessions are generally broken up into two segments. First we write and discuss the readings - the literary and critical thinking part of the day. Second there is a project meeting. In between the theory and practical there is always a brief break. Meditation and yoga is something I have wanted to incorporate into the project since its inception, however, real world situations don't necessarily permit our ideas to be perfect from the start. So this week I dove on in. I sent the team an email informing them of their meditative and silent break and when it came up they were down. No objections, no giggles. Just open minds.

Because I was unprepared and didn't know how to set the timer on my phone I had to open my eyes to glance at the clock a couple of times during the five minute meditation session. They were all sitting silent and upright and all sets of eyes were closed. Upon time I told them not to speak for another five minutes, to gather their thoughts and think about the meeting, or think about nothing, or go to the bathroom, just don't speak. When I suggested we start one of them objected and said, It hasn't been five minutes, yet. Gosh darn, I love it when they speak up and I love it when they're making choices toward the betterment of their souls. Hehe, yeah, I totally talk about the artist's soul as something that needs to be nurtured.

And after that I asked their permission to bounce. My best friend is in town for her boyfriend's birthday and I need to get home and change and feed and walk my dog before running off to play. And they were fine with it. And they emailed me their meeting notes and their website looks fabulous and the call for submissions is final and in their voice and image and oh I'm just so thrilled.

Plus I got to bounce on the meeting and have dinner in Bay Ridge at a Moroccan restaurant called Casablanca and then saw Isabelle Adjani in a Luc Besson film from 1985 that was about people living in the Paris Metro and it made me want to live underground off the grid dirty and free.

The End. For Now.