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Author Updates

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Alternatives now out in paperback, with new paperback edition of Object of My Affection to follow. ATS nominated for two prizes, Lambda Literary Award and Ferro-Grumley Prize. Honored by recognition, despite minimal hopes of winning either. At least former has, I believe, a free dinner attached, no matter what.

Start working on play again next week. With A. Final revisions before alleged rehearsals begin in late summer. Collaboration makes whole process appealing. Half the work, discipline enforced, less responsibility for overall quality.

Would like to add amusing annecdote, but stewing in low-grade depression brought on by alleged arrival of spring and ridiculous turning ahead of clocks business. Hate the sprouting mud and the surfeit of light, the unbearably long afternoons and the promise of intensifying heat, bearing down like an approaching storm. The expectation of renewal and sunny dispositions. Much more a December kind of person. Love the snow squalls and 3:30pm twilight, gloves and mufflers. But mustn't grumble about it since no one is sympathetic to this reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder. Oddball winter this year anyway with heatwaves in January and little snow. There was, however, one splendid cold spell. Lakes froze over solid in period of one week, making for perfect skating conditions. Spent one afternoon skating for hours across nearby lake, circling islands in the middle, listening to boom of ice and awaiting sunset. Will have to hold on to memory of that for 10 months.

Posted by Stephen @ 12:22 PM EST

Monday, March 19, 2007

In New York over weekend for opening of Chris Tanner's art show (http://www.pavelzoubok.com/exhibits.html) and pleasantly nasty winter storm. New York at its coziest under blanket of snow and sleet and fierce winds. Tourists huddled at the base of Empire State Building clinging to inside out umbrellas and their shopping bags. Everyone in a good mood. Spent Friday morning in front of roaring fireplace in lobby of Ian Schrager's dazzling update of the Gramercy Park Hotel--eight blocks and a far cry from the dump where I was actually staying. As to that place, didn't mind lack of private bathrooms or minimal heat or frightening elevator. More troubled by built-in air fresheners giving whole place, from top to bottom, suffocating smell of baby powder. Also dismayed by deeply depressing crowd gathered in the basement "cafe" for the free breakfast. Signs plastered everywhere about only one refill on the coffee. A scene out of a Terrance Rattigan play--Separate Tables--but of course without the charming pathos. Heard at least two loud discussions of medications and digestive problems. The latter no surprise given quality of coffee.

Heard from Sam Karmann that first showings of La Verite ou Presque (True Enough) have been received enthusiastically. Trying to decide at which film festival to open it. Received a call later in the day from Antonio Interlandi, currently performing in Naples. Said film looks beautiful and musical numbers are great. Explained (without disappointment or bitterness) that many scenes, including of his, had been trimmed to reduce length of film. Am all for shorter movies and leaving the audience wanting more. On the other hand, obsessing over the possibility that my six frames had been cut.

Met M--the only heterosexual male I know, happily married husband and father--for drinks a few days ago, after his weekly yoga class. After half an hour of conversation, asked about class. Eventual confession that it is Naked Men's Yoga. Another fallen idol. "But I really do go for the exercise. And it's all kinds of guys, gay, straight, married." No doubt, although common bond seems to be fondess for exercising naked in small heated room with other men. Downdog, anyone? Promised me he'd pay for my first class. Trying to put together outfit.

Posted by Stephen @ 09:44 PM EST

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Was informed yesterday by one of my students, during office hours, that her favorite writer is X, the person hired instead of me for my current position. “Oh, yes,” I said, frozen grin in place. “She’s a wonderful writer.” (This, alas, is true.) “I heard they might be hiring her here,” said student. “Yes,” said I. “I heard that, too. Well, in fact, I heard a rumor that they ARE hiring her.” Student expressed enthusiasm at possibility of working with X. “I’m sure you will love it,” I said. "She's just wonderful. Really wonderful." Face aching from strain of maintaining insipid grin, changed subject abruptly. Good cheer at not getting the job beginning to fray, mostly because I’m enjoying this semester so much. Will have to cultivate boredom and exasperation for remainder of employment next year. Always best to end relationships on a sour/bitter note.

Trying to figure out the fan base for Ann Coulter. Guessing it’s youngish, low-level Wall Street types (exclusively male) who are pissed off about pay scale and difficulty getting laid. Drawn to bleached dominatrix with seductively contemptuous gaze. After multiple viewings of “faggot” video, intrigued by AC accent (marbles in mouth kind of deal) and ever-so-slight hesitation before uttering The Word. Entire sentence so nicely phrased, with “faggot” coming at the end for maximum shock value, couldn’t help but wonder if it had been written by a…well…faggot. As for the outrageous accusation itself…wouldn’t that be nice. Do so like his hair.

Posted by Stephen @ 04:45 PM EST

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Received an email from D, an acquaintance I hadn't heard from in several years. A few updates on career and health, followed by a reference to what I assumed was a third person he and his partner had incorporated into their relationship. In show of nonjudgmental solidarity, wrote back gushy email ignoring health and career news and congratulating him on originality and effectiveness of new arrangement. In hopes of being given more lurid details, shared specifics of ill advised menage-a-quatre I was involved in for a couple of years. Mystifying silence ensued for two weeks. Learned today from mutual friend that what I assumed was a third person in original email was in fact a reference to a recently adopted dog. Oooops.

Increasingly baffled by Colette's Cheri. Sandrine, teacher of French class, identifies with Cheri and sees him as a victim of Lea's exploitation, undoubtedly because she (like Cheri himself) is young and extraordinarily beautiful. I, on the other hand (for obvious reasons) see Lea as being under the spell of what she knows will be the last great love of her life. Wanting to be done with it, but incapable of letting go. Suspended between the wild passions of youth and what, in her case, promises to be the extended eating binge of late middle age. (Am developing ability to form impressions of emotional arc of characters based on comprehension of maybe 68% of the text.)

In light of all this, was struck by dignity of adopted dog option, and emailed, without comment, several photos of now-ancient dog to D. Mystifying silence continues.

Posted by Stephen @ 11:00 PM EST

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