Saturday, November 28, 2009


I just posted to the Monkey blog about all the arts and crafts we took on for the Loyola Park show.

I'm particularly proud of my gingerbread cookie puppets for Diamond J.'s "Gingerbread Diary" story.

What's even cooler about this story is that the author is my neighbor. I ran into her and one of her brothers while taking a walk the other day. Another time she saw me outside of the park and told me "nice shoes." We were both wearing Birkenstocks.

I took the leftover gingerbread cookies to my Monkey neighbors' house for Thanksgiving dinner.

I almost can't handle so much community goodness! Love, love, love!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It was the radiator

I don't know what that's a metaphor for, but it's fixed.

While I waited for it to be done, I wandered around the library picking up anything that caught my interest, and I left with a whole stack.

I could go into why each book attracted me, but maybe a list is more fun . . . draw your own conclusions.

Bagavad Gita

Edgar Cayce's Mysteries of Reincarnation: Intimates Through Time

Bohemia: The Protoculture Then and Now

Stella Adler: The Technique of Acting

Acquainted with the Night: A Parent's Quest to Understand Depression and Bipolar Disorder in His Children

Tracks in the Psychic Wilderness: An Exploration of ESP, Remote Viewing, Precognitive Dreaming and Synchronicity
It's about the government studying these things as a way to gather intelligence.

Kids in the Syndrome Mix of ADHD, LD, Asperger's, Tourette's, Bipolar, and More!

Love that exclamation point.

So after I picked up this stack of books, I decided to wander back to the mechanic's because I had no cell signal and thought I might have missed his call. When I walked in, he said, "you may have long life," because he had just turned around to call me. My precognitive powers slash good timing really freaked him out.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I got rid of the spoiled milk yesterday.

And the recycling.

I kept the insides of the pumpkin I carved and the seeds because I still have hope I might actually do something with them.

My car overheated, but here's hoping a dose of the proper fluids will bring it back to life.

I don't like the burn scar on the engine -- it isn't new, but after yesterday it might be worse.

There's always my bike. The seat's falling apart, but it's comfortable. Can't decide whether the bad feng shui of it crumbling or the comfort trade-off of buying a cheap new one is worse.

Sure I could save up for a nice new one, but it would probably get stolen. That's happened before.

All these things are true. And metaphors for bigger things. Funny how that works.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Blood on my hands

A lot of my recent work on my novel has had to do with sorting out secondary characters and figuring out if and how their stories serve the main plot.

I did a lot of work to revise one of these characters, to try to help her fit, but it turns out she's still getting the axe. It should simplify things. I can always add her back in if I need her, but my instinct is that she's done. She always felt a little tacked on anyway, and she brings up some issues that distract from the main plotline.

I started the bloody work of extracting her from the manuscript on Tuesday, and she's been shrieking a little. It isn't pretty. But ever since I heard Rita Williams-Garcia give a lecture on revision called "There Will Be Blood," I take some pride in allowing this part of the process to be as violent and gory as it feels.

It's kind of like how even though I only eat veggies and seafood, I unleash my inner carnivore whenever I order udon noodle soup with baby squid. You have to crunch down on their whole little bodies to eat them, tough tentacles, rubbery little heads . . . It's satisfying.

So goodbye, child of my brain . . . Crunch, crunch, crunch.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I know. I've been doing my life, and it's been a little bit nutty.

Things have slowed down though. I'm back.

I've been doing some nifty things:

I performed in a staged reading of a musical in which I got to be an assassin/tracker/performance artist. Preparing for it included watching lots of youtube videos of deer being born. Don't ask.

I finished a residency at the Avondale School and started a new one at Kohn.

I've been rehearsing for the Avondale show, in which I'll be part of a four-person ukulele chorus.

I taught children from all over Chicago and performed for them at Hallowed Halls at the Chicago Cultural Center on Halloween.

I buried myself and did lots of other strange things for art in Fear at the Neo.

(Pic by Johnny Knight.)

(Pic by Aimee McKay)

This is also how I went out on Halloween night -- I thought of it as the ultimate anti-slutty Halloween costume.

Then I painted some giant graffitied walls back to normal during a five-hour strike.

And I had a birthday! October 30th. I took it easy, playing a spooky board game with people I love.

Ironically, I had no time to write the entire first week of NaNoWriMo. I did give myself a goal, a modest one, to work at least 6 hours a week. I have some catching up to do, but so far I've been able to work a lot this week, so no worries there.

I would love to have a new draft by the end of this month. I think it's possible.