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Author Updates

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Several weeks of depressing news: Suicide of talented and droll former student, death of a relative’s beloved pet, word of lots and lots of cancer. Schizophrenic weather and spectacle of unrepentant liars from “Justice” Department dissembling and denying under oath. Dinner over weekend with 55-year-old friend with Alzheimer’s. More or less knew who I was, but perhaps not in an especially specific way. Hard to know for sure. Oddly enough, not depressing at all. He seemed quite cheerful, has become an accomplished painter, and deals with lapses with humor. Sadness of seeing his losses mitigated somehow by exceptional care lavished on him by his partner. The next stages more and more difficult, but for now, the redemptive power of companionship, compassion. Love?

Reading of our (Anita’s and my) play on Sunday for audience of potential backers. Anxiety mounting. Good cast assembled, but with comedy, you know immediately if audience is going along for the ride. Great if so. Ha ha ha. If not, 90 minutes of torturous silence ensues. Have had this experience at bookstores. If listeners don’t respond to first laugh line, all is lost. Usually begin sweating copiously and improvising injudicious cuts to get the whole thing over with more quickly, thus adding to general lack of merriment and coherence. Nothing less amusing than tense reader with sweat stains bleeding through shirt. Must remember to wear jacket on Sunday.

Posted by Stephen @ 11:12 PM EST

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Did not win Ferro-Grumley Prize. Was enough just to be mentioned. Well, not really, but never mind. Especially happy therefore to have stayed at super inexpensive Hotel 17. On this matter: Former SRO converted to semi-hip (no private bathrooms) hotel. Dark hallways and slight bordello feel to whole thing. Plenty of businessmen in suits and English tourists, but Amanda Lepore ("World's #1 Transexual" according to her website--kind of makes you wonder who #2 is) in residence, lending welcome air of seedy glamour. Bumped into her in lobby. Science fiction body and face that live on that borderline between beauty and horror movie. Amazing by any standards. Elevator broken thus making room 8th-floor walk-up. Mattress wrapped in plastic. Possibly a good thing (mention of bed bugs on expedia.com) but made turning over in bed a noisy affair. Couple next door talking loudly in Chinese late into the night over blaring TV, sirens somewhere in the summer-like warmth of the city. Put in earbuds and went to sleep listening to Federico Aubele's Granhotelbuenosaries. Woke up longing to board plane to southern hemisphere. Drove back to Boston instead.

Posted by Stephen @ 10:20 PM EST

Sunday, May 6, 2007

End of teaching semester, graduation of seniors I've been working with for two years, suddenly spring-like weather, flowering trees in clear light of late afternoon, obsession with Jane Birkin--all producing thick fog of pleasant melancholy and sinus headaches. Cool mornings melting into warm afternoons and breezy evenings. Or maybe it's just having to face writing again fulltime without excuse of teaching and school.

Showing of Sam Karmann's movie of True Enough last Thursday in Paris for audience of 60--cast, distributors, theater reps. Reportedly went very well. Calls from Antonio and etc to say that movie has spirit of the book despite big changes. Now searching through disorganized desk drawers for contract to see if producers are obliged to bring me over for September premier. Or should I spring for ticket myself? Realize that much of fun related to this is mere anticipation, and hearing news of showing is slight letdown, a bit like book publication--it's all finished and now time to move to next thing.

To NY tomorrow for Ferro-Grumley Award/Publishing Triangle cocktail party. Have booked room at $108 per night hotel room, which seems appropriate given low expectations for winning. Excellent deals if no private bath required. Creepy wallpaper and bedspreads in photos part of lurid appeal. Squalor excellent cure for fog of melancholy.

Posted by Stephen @ 09:29 AM EST

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