November 15, 2013

See Laura Peterson simulcast from the Kennedy Center tonight

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Hatchfund campaign to send Laura Peterson Choreography to the Kennedy Center. We raised over $6,700 toward this worthy goal.

I'm writing this from a bus heading south to DC from New York City. Laura Chavoen and I are on our way to see Laura Peterson and company perform "Forever" at the Kennedy Center tonight. If you won't be able to be there for this free public performance (in the Atrium Space at 6:00 pm), you can still watch the performance online:

http://www.kennedy-center.org/explorer/live/

Tune in at 6:00 pm Eastern! It's going to be awesome.

(Btw, you can still donate to Laura Peterson Choreography as they shoot for a stretch goal of $9,000. Contributions are being accepted through November 23rd.)

dance | donate | events | laura peterson

November 6, 2013

Fiction wants to be free

What is the sound of one hand clapping?
What is the sound of a tree falling in a forest?
What is the sound of a story without a reader?
What is the sound of tears on my typewriter keys?

poems | publishing | writing

November 5, 2013

Just resting

Dead squirrel lies prone,
Chin resting on its two paws.
Looks like it's sleeping.

animals | haiku | poems | squirrels

October 9, 2013

Flat Stanley in Chicago

Back in May as we were preparing to move back to New York, I realized that I had a visitor sitting on my desk. My nephew Mark in Utah had sent Flat Stanley my way, and for months I'd done nothing with him. The school year was soon to end, so Stanley and I headed out for a Chicago adventure. Here's the letter Stanley wrote to accompany him on his trip back home to Utah.


Dear Mark & everybody--

It's nice to see you again. How have you been?

I've had a good old time in Chicago. Thanks for sending me there! I'm sorry I was gone for so long, but I was having such a good time I almost didn't want to come back!

Flat Stanley and I wait for the el train You should see all the amazing things they have in Chicago (which by the way is the biggest city in the state of Illinois, and the third biggest city in the whole United States!).

The second tallest building in the United States is here. It used to be called the Sears Towers, but they recently changed the name to the Willis Tower. I went all the way to the 103rd floor. There's an enclosed balcony on the side of the building that you can stand in, where the floor is glass and you can look alllllll the way down to the street 1,353 feet below. Scary! Fun!

Flat Stanley goes to Wrigley Field Another cool landmark that I saw in Chicago is a big sculpture in Millennium Park. Its real name is Cloud Gate, but everyone calls it "The Bean" because it looks like a giant metal bean that's been polished into a mirror. People like to walk up to it and underneath it and try to find their reflections in it. It's harder than it sounds because the curved surface distorts all the reflections. I put a postcard with a picture of it here in the envelope.

Chicago has TWO baseball teams, the White Sox and the Cubs. Your uncle Bill took me on the elevated train to see the Cubs. The "el" train runs on tracks way up high above the street. In my first picture we're waiting for the train to come. We took the train to Wrigley Field, which is the ballpark where the Cubs play. You can see us out in front of Wrigley in the second picture. Too bad the Cubs lost that day!

Flat Stanley and the demolished building After the game, Bill took me to get a Chicago-style hot dog. On the way to the hot dog stand, though, we saw a big apartment building that was being torn down by a giant crane! You can see me near the building in my third picture.

Flat Stanley's about to become Fat Stanley People in Chicago really love hot dogs. There are hot dog stands EVERYWHERE! People like to pile really weird stuff on the hot dogs in Chicago. In my fourth picture, you can see me with my Chicago dog. It's a hot dog with tomato slices, relish, celery salt, diced onions, hot peppers, melted cheese, and a pickle spear! Can you believe all that crazy stuff? It's hard to eat without things falling out and making a mess. But it's so good!

By the way, they don't like ketchup on hot dogs in Chicago. If you put ketchup on your hot dog, people will give you dirty looks.

It probably won't arrive for another day or two, but I sent some special Chicago popcorn for everyone in your class to enjoy. A place in Chicago called Garrett Popcorn makes a mixture of caramel corn and cheese corn. I hope you like it!

Love,
Stanley

baseball | chicago | children | travel

October 4, 2013

Laura Peterson Choreography still needs your support!

My dear and generous friends, I want you to meet our good friend Laura Peterson again. I've told you many times before about her amazing dance company, Laura Peterson Choreography. Now Laura and her company have been invited to perform their piece "Forever" at the Kennedy Center on November 15th ... but they need your help to get there.

They're looking to raise $6,000 by October 24th to fund their trip to Washington, to construct and transport a custom stage, and so forth. They're doing this in partnership with the arts organization Hatchfund (formerly USA Projects), which will provide some matching funds. But first there must be funds to match.

The Kennedy Center invitation is an amazing honor. Please help make it a reality. Make a tax-deductible donation now, and help fund a breathtaking evening of dance in the nation's capital. My wife and I have already donated as much as we possibly could, but Laura Peterson needs a lot more help. She's 35% of the way there, with less than three weeks to go. Donate, please. Any amount will help, and will be augmented by Hatchfund.

My wife is also helping out by organizing a fundraising performance and party on October 19th in New York City. If you'd like more information about that, please drop me a line.

Finally, if you're still on the fence, check out this video performance of "Forever." And then check out lots more performances from Laura Peterson Choreography.

And then donate! And thanks!

crowdfunding | dance | donate | fundraising | laura peterson

October 1, 2013

"We"

"We got our asses kicked yesterday."

Monday morning at a diner in the suburbs,
the words spiral over from the next table.
The men have been talking about work,
and at first I think they mean on the job site.

But of course by "we" they mean the Bears,
and the ass-kickers are Detroit, I realize,
as the sentence stutter-steps around the offense,
drops through an alternate parsing route, and scores.

This "we" that makes such strange linguistic sense,
I still can't wrap my hands around it and tuck it under my arm.
I'm not a part of this "we," this synecdoche,
the "we" meaning "they" meaning "us all."

My ass suffered no kicking on that gridiron,
nor did the asses of my two neighbors,
and Chicago's still intact, as far as I can tell,
her buildings straight, her storefronts unsacked.

This allegiance, this adhesion, it's all Greek to me,
an apostate, an infidel to the geography of devotion.
Betrayed by congregations of "we," cast out,
I stand apart. No border could make "we" of "they" and "me."

Until this morning's news intrudes. Dateline: The Capitol.

We got our asses kicked yesterday.

chicago | news | poems | politics | sports

September 25, 2013

Help Laura Peterson Choreography get to the Kennedy Center!

My dear and generous friends, I want you to meet our good friend Laura Peterson. I've told you many times before about her amazing dance company, Laura Peterson Choreography. Now Laura and her company have been invited to perform their piece "Forever" at the Kennedy Center on November 15th ... but they need your help to get there.

They're looking to raise $6,000 in the next four weeks to fund their trip to Washington, to construct and transport a custom stage, and so forth. They're doing this in partnership with USA Projects, which will provide some matching funds. But first there must be funds to match.

The Kennedy Center invitation is an amazing honor. Please help make it a reality. Make a tax-deductible donation now, and help fund a breathtaking evening of dance in the nation's capital. My wife and I have already donated as much as we possibly could, but Laura Peterson needs a lot more help. She's 28% of the way there, with four weeks to go. Donate, please. Any amount will help, and will be augmented by USA Projects.

Support Laura Peterson Choreography

My wife is also helping out by organizing a fundraising performance and party on October 19th in New York City. If you'd like more information about that, please drop me a line.

Finally, if you're still on the fence, check out this video performance of "Forever." And then check out lots more performances from Laura Peterson Choreography.

And then donate! And thanks!

crowdfunding | dance | donate | fundraising | laura peterson

September 24, 2013

4 across

senior citizens
holding hands like preschoolers
blocking the sidewalk

haiku | new york city | pedestrians | people | poems

September 23, 2013

September's CD mix of the month

Back in the New York Groove It's been a long time since I posted a CD mix of the month, but that's because I've been in Chicago and haven't been able to attend the (increasingly irregular) meetings of the CD Mix of the Month Club for several years. But this past Saturday night the club convened once again, so I created a mix.

It was a ton of fun seeing everybody again, and my contribution to September's shindig was this little number entitled Back in the New York Groove. I'm sure the theme is completely undetectable.

The cool thing nowadays is, with Spotify I can actually share the mix with you without violating a bajillion and a half copyright laws—and, amazingly, all twenty-one tracks were available to stream. Check it out below.

(The story so far.)

cdmom | music | spotify

September 6, 2013

Because you probably didn't hear me on WBAI

When I showed up to attend the KGB Fantastic Fiction reading on August 21st, the last thing I expected was to end the night in front of a radio mike. But that's what happened.

Rather than greeting me in a traditional fashion when I wandered up to say hello, Jim Freund said to me, "You're on the air at one-thirty."

"Tonight?" I said. "One-thirty A.M.?"

It seems he'd had a guest for his long-running WBAI program "Hour of the Wolf" drop out on him, and he needed a substitute. Well, fair enough. I'd done the show at least five times before, and I'd enjoyed it, so what the hell.

That's how I found myself in Harlem in the wee hours of Thursday morning, smack-dab in the middle of the beautiful City College of New York campus. Thanks to its highly publicized financial problems, WBAI is sharing studio space with WHCR until it either moves into a new space in Brooklyn or collapses altogether.

Jim and I discussed my recent move back to New York, Tuesday Funk, Orson Scott Card, and what I've been working on lately. I also read a couple of chapters from my recently completed novel Root. Here's what it all sounded like:

appearances | media | new york city | radio | science fiction | writing

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