Category Archives: So You Think You Can Dance

An anniversary for Dunces

My latest 225 piece, about the 30th anniversary of A Confederacy of Dunces, up on the website. I enjoyed this piece, especially, because it gave me the “excuse” to read Confederacy that I’ve been waiting for for years! I absolutely loved this book. Guffaws and snorts abounded while I was reading. Hope you enjoy the piece!

I just posted an interview I did with Eric Ronick, the lead singer of Black Gold, last night. I was representing PureSYTYCD and I had a lot of fun. It was easy to be kind of silly with Eric, as demonstrated by my endless giggles during this interview. Check it out.

And that, in a nutshell, is what I have been up to. Plus, work on the movie(s) still. Wrap parties. Oh! and my 10 year high school reunion. Hi, Courtney!

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Filed under freelance work, music, New Orleans, pop culture, So You Think You Can Dance, t.v., weirdness, what I'm reading

Hey Dancing Heart

The title of the post is the title of a personal ad I happened to see. I love it, so I’m kinda playing around with it to see what it fits. Because I just have to use it. 🙂

Life’s been kinda chaotic. My temp job came to an end and the very same day (after my going-away party, awwww), I drove up to Baton Rouge for the Louisiana Book Festival. Many of my friends were on panels and Jamey was kind enough to invite me to share her gorgeous hotel room. That first night, we were driven in style to the Author’s Party at the State Library – which was good, because I hadn’t packed for the cold and that’s a bit of a walk from the hotel! We met some really amazing people, caught up with old friends and ate wonderful food from Mansur’s in the stacks of the State Library. There is nothing like witnessing your friends being celebrated, so it was a good night. Jamey and Barb met up with the folks from the Oxford American who’ve published them this year, as well as other writers-including Alex Cook, who not only writes for Oxford American, but 225 Magazine and Country Roads as well. And it turns out we have a decade-past M’s Fine and Mellow Cafe connection, so that was cool. Louis and his wife Elly were there and I got to see my mentor David Madden as well. After we were put into the last cars back to the hotel, some of us decided to go out on the town a bit, though we had to be up early, and that was a blast as well.

The whole time we were at that end of downtown, near the LSU Museum of Art and the hotel, close to the river, I was having fits of nostalgia, some really powerful flashbacks. Nearly ten years ago, the hotel was a ruin and the museum wasn’t there. Downtown was a ghost town after 6 p.m. when all the government workers would flee the encroaching darkness. M’s Fine and Mellow and Tabby’s Blues Box were pretty much the only things open and the year that I became a regular at M’s (every Tuesday, open mic night) was a year of my personal blossoming. I met many of my friends then and there, I forced myself to come out of my shell more. And it really felt like the place was ours, empty and dangerous as it may have been. Now the mural that used to be on the side of M’s is gone, replaced by a painted sign for The Roux House, which occupies the same space. The parking lot I used to park in is the cradle of the gorgeous museum, whose rooftop offers a breathtaking view of the river. Tabby’s is gone and in its place, a club my friend Daniel Lee plays at sometimes, I think. I met Daniel that very first Tuesday I went to M’s, grabbed his hand as he passed by my table and told him how much I liked his music. He thanked me and sat down to talk. These days, downtown Baton Rouge is full of life and it’s great to see. It’s not the same, but it’s still a beautiful thing.

The day of the Book Festival was glorious and overwhelming. I don’t know what voodoo the organizers of the Book Festival do, but there always seems to be gorgeous weather for the festival. Sometimes it’s hot, but as far as I can remember, it’s always been clear. This year, it was chilly with such a crystalline blue sky, you felt like you were walking around in an advertisement.

I had to pop in and out of panels to see everybody, but I feel satisfied with my glimpses and experiences. Barb in the enormous Senate Chamber with Rick Bragg et al for just a few minutes. Then, Louie’s book reading where I ran into a friend who is coincidentally a fan of his and was gratified to hear another reader say, “I picked up your book because of the piece I read in 225…” Then, a thrilling ride in a golf cart with Elly and Louis to the signing tent – Elly and I crying, “Wheeeee!” and urging the driver to go faster on the sidewalks around the Capitol building and Louie trying to act like he didn’t know either of us.

After chatting with Louie and Elly for a few minutes, I wandered around some of the vendor tents, stopping to talk to the great folks who publish me occasionally at 225 Magazine. It was really nice to put a face to the e-mail conversations. I’ve known my editor, Jeff Roedel, since our days in the Cinema Club together at college, but I hadn’t met Tom Guarisco, 225‘s editor, though we’d communicated. One of the downfalls of freelancing, though it’s so great when you get to have a face-to-face. I’d never spoken with Rachael Upton, the online news editor, but I was very pleased to meet with her there at the festival. She does really great work with the website and she just happens to be really nice.

And then it was back into the Capitol building for a whirlwind of panels. A few minutes in the “Humor in Welty” panel that some professors of mine from LSU were on, and then across the hall to Barb’s very intimate reading from her book, More of This World or Maybe Another. She read from the story “Killer Heart,” and there was this one particular line (won’t say which, not out of context) where I felt like she’d reached over and punched me in the stomach. I made an audible sound, a sort of agonized, “Oh,” and that’s probably one of the best compliments I can give a writer. Especially a short story writer because, as I confessed to Barb later that night, I struggle to read and write short stories. There’s something about them that is harder for me than novels. They’re very different beasts. More on Barb and her book in a few paragraphs.

I had to leave Barb’s panel to get to Jamey’s “Work-in-Progress” panel with our teacher Moira Crone and another writer named Maggie Collins. It was really great to hear Moira read her piece. Jamey’s was material I had heard about, but never read (or heard). She prefaced hers by saying that it truly was a work in progress as she’d been working on it that morning at breakfast. I can attest to the truth of that. 🙂

Again, I had to duck out early from the “Works-in-Progress” panel to get to Toni’s panel about the Bobbie Faye books. She was entertaining her crowd with behind the scenes stories about the repackaging of the series and they asked a lot of questions about whether there’d be a fourth Bobbie Faye book (yet to be determined), one reader even going so far as to passionately say, “I think you owe us that story.”

The rest of the day was conversations, drinks and then a long, wonderful dinner. And then a long, not-so-wonderful drive back to New Orleans, getting back late at night/early in the morning, whichever way you look at it. Sunday was a recovery and packing day, catching up two friends for lunch and dinner respectively, before driving to Georgia on Monday.

Tuesday, I attended a press session with some of the Top 10 dancers from Season 5 of So You Think You Can Dance. It’s interesting covering an event as press when you are also a fan of whatever you’re covering. It was hard to be cool and professional when talking to Evan, for instance.  At one point, he was playing lacrosse with one of the tour folks and the ball rolled up a hill to land at my feet. I got to toss it to him and I was giggling girlishly (in my head, oh, I hope it was just in my head) as I tossed it back to him. Hold onto that journalistic integrity with all your strength. You’ve got to, as there’s still something of a prejudice against bloggers (I was there representing Pure SYTYCD, not my personal blog). I think the dancers definitely appreciate the bloggers from the fan sites cause they know their names and stuff about the show – also, as “my boys” (Phillip, Jason and Evan) pointed out, one of the recent fan site bloggers knew a lot of stuff that was going on with the tour that only the dancers knew!

Also, an advantage of blogging? Immediacy. A disadvantage at times, maybe. But, that day, total advantage. I was able to go to a nearby Kroger with a Starbucks (and wifi) and upload the pictures I’d just taken for our readers. Check out the post I did that afternoon here. I’ve been struggling on a book for years that relatively few people have seen, so it’s nice to have something in my life that I can write and have thousands of people see immediately. It’s helpful to have some instant gratification in my life and career.

It was another long day as Mamma Mia! met me at the Arena for the show that evening and the show itself was several (wonderful) hours. And then, being the total dorks and enormous fans that we are, we stayed afterwards (hours in the cold) for the meet and greet with the dancers. All of the dancers I’d met that afternoon remembered me when we met late that night. Unfortunately, most of my pictures didn’t turn out all that well, but I had some good conversations I will always remember and I did get a picture of Evan’s and my almost-matching wrist tattoos. It was both a freelance opportunity and a great bonding experience with Mamma Mia! Lyndsey Parker (Reality Rocks) set a great precedent when she took her mom to the American Idol finale. Take your mom to work, payback for all those “take your daughter to work” days growing up. 🙂

And then, of course, we got to watch the Top 20 announcement episode together the next night. Had dinner with high school friends and their daughter my last night in town and then rocketed back to New Orleans on Friday – especially for a book party for Barb.

Let me say one more time – it’s a wonderful thing to see your friends celebrated and no one deserves it more than Barb. Hosted at a gorgeous Midcity home right off the bayou, the event was simply breathtaking, what each and every one of us can aspire to one day. Reward for finishing and publishing our books. Earlier in the day, I’d been reading More of This World or Maybe Another at Cheers and Barb’s story “If the Holy Spirit Comes For You” made me cry in public. If you can make me laugh out loud on buses or cry in my local coffeeshop, you have completely moved me, sucked me into your world and, as I said earlier, that is the highest compliment I can pay a writer. I was so mad at the characters in that story and so mad at Barb for pulling all these emotions through my skin (painfully) and out of my body with her words. But apparently, it’s great advertisement for her brilliance because my neighbor S. saw how upset I was and when I told her why I’d been crying, she said, “I can’t wait to read that book!”

And that pretty much brings us up to date, to now. I’ve fallen out of the habit of being at Cheers everyday [:(] and today, just now, I noticed that they painted over the bathroom graffiti. It was really disorienting and kinda sad. But then, I just told myself – it’s a blank slate, a clean canvas. Like my book. What was there was great, but what will be there will be better. And I can’t wait to see what it will be.

Two people at the festival told me, “it’s your turn soon, to sit over there and sign books.” I have to take their faith in me and make it my own. And do the freaking work.

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Filed under bragging on, family, freelance work, Friends, So You Think You Can Dance, writing updates

Bragging on some friend redux

This is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay overdue. No posts so far for all of September! Here’s why – new job, new season of volleyball, taking on more writing for PureSYTYCD, always with the freelance and some Novel meltdowns. Oh and you know, the social life thing. Cue manic laughter.

However, in the midst of all of that, I drove up to Baton Rouge with Jamey because she was asked to read in the EGSA Alumni Reading and I was asked to introduce another of the readers, Mary McMyne (who I’ve written about for 225 and here, as well). Honestly, even if Mary hadn’t asked that I introduce her, I would’ve totally have been there because the lineup was the literary equivalent to something like three of my favorite bands all headlining together. The third reader was the lovely and calm and talented Ronlyn Domingue, whose book The Mercy of Thin Air made quite a splash. So Mary did me a favor and gave me a great excuse to go to an event I would’ve paid really good (and really precious, right now) money for. These ladies are rock stars, though they generally blush when I say that.

And as I knew it would be, it was a fantastic evening. It reminded me, vividly, that I am a writer and what I want from my writing life. I want more evenings with writers like these, ladies I admire and adore. See picture for full definition the terms “writers,” “admire” and “adore”:

Emilie, Nolde Alexious, Mary McMyne, Ronlyn Domingue, Susan Kirby-Smith, Jamey Hatley

Emilie, Nolde Alexious, Mary McMyne, Ronlyn Domingue, Susan Kirby-Smith, Jamey Hatley

Haven’t talked about Ronlyn lately because she’s in the depths and the bowels of Book #2. But she’s going to be posting essays monthly on a site called The Nervous Breakdown. She read a phenomenal essay at the event that will be next month’s contribution. Check out the current essay now, called Fowl Freak-Out: A Vegetarian’s Tale. [9.14.09 I should say, Mary also writes for The Nervous Breakdown. Check out her first (hysterical and gross) piece here. Ronlyn’s newest is a must. ]

And this reminds me. I said that I would tell y’all when the 225 piece I wrote about Rheta and Poor Man’s Provence was available and it’s up now on the magazine’s website, here.

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Filed under bragging on, freelance work, Friends, So You Think You Can Dance, writing updates

A new gig

A quick post to tell y’all some news. Perhaps you will see less SYTYCD comments here, because I’ve been asked (okay, after significant campaigning, I’ve been allowed…) to write occasionally for Pure So You Think You Can Dance, one of my favorite blogs period. I’ve linked to it a lot on this blog and especially love it because John, the host, goes to significant trouble to track down the extraordinary music that appears on SYTYCD.

Look for my intro post soon. Don’t worry, I’ll let you know.

The best part? I now have a bona fide “excuse” to never miss an episode. Dude, it’s my gig! 🙂

[6.25.09: My first post is up! Check it out!]

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Filed under freelance work, pop culture, So You Think You Can Dance, t.v.

SYTYCD judges answer some questions

As part of a piece I’m working on for 225, I was able to pop by the SYTYCD auditions in New Orleans today and speak for a few minutes with the judges. Two of them anyway. Mary Murphy, Adam Shankman and Lil C were there, though Lil C went back into the auditions before I could speak with him. You’re going to have to forgive me if I seem needlessly mysterious. Because these auditions are for Season 6, which won’t air for a few months, information about the progress of individual contestants is protected until particular episodes air. However, it’s my understanding that everything not related to the progress of contestants that was said to the press (that would be me, as well as reporters from The Times-Picayune and offBeat), or in front of us, is fair game.

Adam spoke about how the SYTYCD judges tend to give lots of (positive) feedback to the dancers, even the ones they know won’t go forward or even appear on the show, because every single one of the judges has been in the contestant’s shoes, trying to begin careers as professional dancers. He also commented on his tendency to encourage contestants to continue dancing even if they might not necessarily be the best, if it’s clear that dance brings them joy.

Something I enjoyed finding out about was that the judges now often watch monitors (on the show) so they can give feedback on what the audience sees after a performance. A while back, Adam mentioned, he gave feedback that he got lots of flak for and he realized later it was because what he’d mentioned hadn’t even been shown on the televised show. They are live shows – so the camera doesn’t always catch details the judges see.

He said that the bar’s been set higher than ever for the contestants currently trying out for Season 6 because not only are they having to follow memorable dancers from every previous season, but they’re essentially competing with the current Top 20 for the judges’ attention. They have to stand out not only in their own cities, but also against the tough competition of Season 5’s Top 20. That being said, I’m happy he was so impressed by a contestant in New Orleans, saying in one of his latest Tweets, “Just saw a kid audition that I swear will be top 20. Unreal.”

It’s no secret that Adam Twitters, but I was not expecting him to Twitter while he was answering our questions. Presumably, from what I gathered at the time and since, someone sent Adam a direct Tweet, telling him to keep his eyes open for a particular contestant. Can’t name names, and this is all hearsay (I was standing next to him at the time) of course, but I have good reason to believe that the contestant Adam was Tweeted about may be the same contestant he mentions in his Tweet. 🙂 For the record, Adam and the other judges had already seen the contestant in question by the time Adam received the Tweet. Whew! Technology!

[3.31.10: Can’t believe I never added this after the fact. For the record, the contestant all this hubbub was about is Jakob Karr, who not only made Top 20, but also Top 10 and Top 4 and eventually came in 2nd place to Russell Ferguson. And he auditioned in New Orleans. I got to see his audition, in fact, though I didn’t know it was him at the time.]

What really gets me is this picture Adam Tweeted – I didn’t know Cat Deely was there! Why didn’t I get to interview her?

One of the reporters asked Mary how well the judges are able to keep track of former contestants after each season and she amazed me by reeling off (without any notes or hesitation) many contestants’ names and their current projects. You definitely get the idea from watching the show that it’s a pretty tight community, that the judges remember and look out for the contestants, so I suppose I shouldn’t have been so surprised she was able to name around a dozen contestants and what they’re doing now. I didn’t know, for instance, that Neil had been injured and probably won’t be able to perform for a year.

While the other reporters interviewed the other two judges, (the reason I missed Lil C!) I stayed behind to ask Mary more questions.

Mamma Mia! wanted me to ask her how the hot tamale train got started. When I did, confessing that my mom wanted to know and that we watch the show while texting each other after every routine, she laughed her trademark laugh and told me that she’s called dancers hot tamales throughout her career. She happened to put one of those hot tamales, Anya from Season 3, on the “hot tamale train” and the catchphrase was born.

If you read my blog, you know I go on sometimes about SYTYCD and that I was recently upset about Natalie Reid getting cut without being asked to dance for her life. The circumstances of that seemed odd to me (and others in the blogosphere, from what I can tell). So, I asked Mary what happened with Natalie. She seemed genuinely sad when she said that Natalie hadn’t been standing out throughout Vegas week, hadn’t been living up to the expectations of the judges, who remembered her (of course) from last season. Many dancers, she said, are able to stand out in their cities and sometimes don’t carry through in Vegas, when the best of the best are together. She said that by the time Natalie was cut, there weren’t any more opportunities to dance for your life. In the episode, other contestants dance for their lives after Natalie was cut, but it looks like the editing of the episode may have a lot to do with our confusion. In the clip, Natalie even mentions, “They just kept saying ‘you’re not living up to our expectations,'” which you don’t really see them say in the episode. I just keep coming back to Sonya using Natalie and Brandon as the example of her choreography, Sonya jumping up and hugging Natalie after she got cut (Nigel did, as well, I should say).

Both Mary and Adam seemed genuinely warm and demonstrated that they’re very passionate about discovering new dancers and mentoring them. SYTYCD has always seemed like “kinder, gentler reality show” (as reality goes) from my viewpoint as a fan on the couch and that’s only been strengthened by meeting two of its judges. And before our interview ended, Mary asked me to tell my mom “hi,” which Mamma Mia! loved, of course.

When Season 6 airs in the fall, I’ll confirm whether the Mystery Contestant Adam’s excited about now does indeed progress to the Top 20. And of course, when it prints, I’ll link to the 225 piece that started it all…

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Filed under freelance work, New Orleans, So You Think You Can Dance, t.v.

Some updates

The Book: One reader has gotten back to me – finishing the book in a day and a half! Which is good news itself. She had some really good feedback and I did break down after 9 days and begin a bit (very little) work on the book. The things that need to be fixed are relatively minor and just a matter of layering in a bit more, fleshing some things out. Which is what I was hoping for. Now, it’s been two and a half weeks and except for that bit of work, I’ve been focusing on other things. But the cool thing is that my brain is still processing the book, coming up with the things that I need right before I lay down to sleep or in my sleep, etc.

The Next Major Project: I already have what I believe will be my next book in mind. It will be drastically different from TCB/TWC, very genre. Me said that it sounded like the kind of thing I used to write when I was younger, before grad school, more like the books we read growing up (Dean Koontz). I won’t divulge here, but it will have a kick-ass female protagonist who will literally kick ass. For now, I may do some plotting and research occasionally, but probably won’t get to working on this in a major way till NaNoWriMo in November.

SYTYCD: Very upset that Paris and Tony got booted last week. I really liked them both and enjoyed their hop-hop. Honestly, I think Tony experienced some reverse-favoritism because of his looks, his lack of experience and his height. I suspect Paris got sent home primarily because none of the other boys in danger were tall enough to partner her. She clearly danced better than the other two girls in the “dance for your life” aspect. I really hope Asuka leaves soon cause she annoys me and she seems really one-dimensional as a dancer. Of course I’m watching tonight.

[6.18.09: I claimed that no one was tall enough to partner Paris and watching last night, I realized that Ade probably is (of the guys in the bottom three last week). But I tend to forget about him. He’s a great dancer when he’s right in front of my face, but I never remember him. After watching last night, I’m agreeing more and more with this post by Lyndsey Parker where she discussed the potential for the judges to be giving opposite feedback. Something is off with the judges this season – they claim to be wowed by routines that leave me cold and needlessly pick on routines that I love. For instance: they loved Asuka and Vitolio’s waltz (Mary cried, which I don’t buy) and I was so bored and disinterested. I can’t connect to either of those performers and luckily, it seems like people (other than the judges) agree with me. Whereas I love Randi and Evan, adored their performance last night and the judges seemed to be looking for negatives to pick at. I tend to agree with this break down of the couples and last nights’ performances. We’ll see how it goes tonight. What I really love is that Mamma Mia! and I text each other throughout the show.]

Last night: I experienced a phenomenal show last night, The Devil Makes Three at Hi-Ho Lounge. I hesitate to say much about it here, for the moment, because I’m hoping to review the concert. We’ll see. However, it was perhaps the best live show I’ve seen in a good long while. I’ve already listened to the new c.d., Do Wrong Right, twice since I bought it at 1:30 this morning. The show was opened by a (local? it’s hard to tell, I can’t find them online) band called Death By Arrow that was pretty interesting, especially once they hit the mid-point of their set.

Some quick links:

An SLS teacher of mine, Tom Swick is in the latest issue of Oxford American.

I’m writing about the latest One Book One Community read, Poor Man’s Provence, for 225.

Dave Eggers writes non-fiction about Katrina.

AP Style gets with it re: Twitter.

Toad and Frog, some of my favorite characters, have new adventures.

This piece about race in a community magazine has a bit of a Rorschach test in its title.

Christian group wants to burn Francesca Lia Block books as part of an effort toward “Safe Libraries” and I’m thinking they’ve never read Fahrenheit 451. Which would make sense. This makes me very angry and there’s a lot more flip and funny and mean things I could say, but I won’t. Read the piece, read all the press and I’m sure those flip, funny and mean things will come to you naturally.

Ending on a good note, Flashlight Worthy Books is on Twitter. And everywhere else, too. 🙂

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Filed under freelance work, literature, musing, politics, pop culture, random rant, So You Think You Can Dance, t.v., writing updates

One week later

So I finished my “quick edit” on the book a week ago, after finishing it and not looking at it for 24 hours. I’m making myself not read it for a least two weeks so that I can do another read-through and edit relatively fresh-minded. And you know what? It’s actually pretty hard. I haven’t so much wanted to tinker with it as read it. I want to read my own book! I hope that’s not another indication of delusion. 🙂

In the vein of not thinking about it, I have been reading a lot, watching SYTYCD, having dinner with my Papa Bear and friends and spending way too much time on Facebook. I haven’t worked any on the essay that I wanted to go back to, not yet. So basically, I’ve been giving my creative juices a big ol’ break.

Speaking of SYTYCD, I’ve been enjoying it immensely (and will even more next week, when the Top 20 are paired up), but I’m very, very angry about one thing. Why did Natalie get cut without even a chance to dance for her life? She’d done everything right up till that point, had even been asked to demonstrate (with Brandon) the dance she got cut on. What’s with that? I smell some sort of conspiracy or cover up, but haven’t been able to find anything online, just other people really upset and angry over it. Did she get offered a contract at the last minute and rather than explain that she had, they cut her? I don’t understand. Were they being accused of favoritism because she’s Katee’s former roommate? They’ve been really hard on favorites who tried out and almost made it in other seasons, but why cut her? She didn’t dance the routine that badly, and even if she had, it was her first mistake (televised anyway). I guess that’s enough rumination there.

Some great stuff:

Video of Toni Morrison talking about post-Obama writing.

Awesome journal, One Story.

I’m like the last person to discover Texts from Last Night. Kinda painful. And glorious.

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Filed under family, funny, literature, musing, pop culture, So You Think You Can Dance, t.v., writing updates

Fess Up Friday (the so glad to be done edition)

Let it be known that around 7:35 p.m. today, I finished my book and my first act upon said completion was to launch myself across Cheers, throw myself into Jamey’s arms and sob for about three minutes. And then she took me to Juan’s for some melted cheese and margaritas where I occasionally sighed with relief and randomly grinned and was generally goofy.

Just prior to this launching and sobbing and celebrating, B. came by and knocked on the window and made silly faces at me, to which I very meanly held up a finger and mouthed “ONE PAGE” and then made a rude gesture for him to leave me alone. But he’s forgiven me, so that’s okay. This is what happens when one finishes one’s masterpiece at a public venue.

At this point, my computer has threatened to die several times, my hands and wrists hate me and I am incredibly sleep deprived, but I never once had to consume an energy drink and I’ve slept at least four or six hours each night. I think we can surmise that my coffee habit is so much more pervasive and deeply rooted than the last time I pushed to finish a book (ha, also this one, but in a different version) that I had no need for energy drinks (Rockstar didn’t come through anyway).

But let’s rewind to where I left off with the last FUF. N. came into town and we assembled a motley crew for a bit of drinking and dinner at the local and the next morning, we recuperated with some yummy at Slim’s. Then, we hit Magazine and the Quarter for some fun shopping and indulged in the best candy in the city. And then, like a good girl, I stayed in to write while N. went out. Though, we did hit the local after that, so it’s a toss up how good I actually was. And then we recuperated again the next day with Slice and some Borders browsing before she went home. I spent the rest of Sunday doing some last minute hurricane research, which was pretty traumatic, but helpful. I watched a short movie (41 minutes) about the affects of storms on Louisiana’s coastal wetlands called Hurricane on the Bayou that’s pretty remarkable and I highly recommend it. It features some awesome local musicians and there’s a pretty amazing story behind it, but that’s for another time.

I finished a wonderful book called Cures for Heartbreak by a writer I adore, Margo Rabb. I managed to keep my (few) appointments and I did watch SYTYCD both Wednesday and Thursday, though I almost forgot about Wednesday and missed the very beginning. But largely, people knew to ignore me and I felt qualified to ignore them.

And so, some final word counts for you:
5/23: 68
5/24: 1,074
5/25: 4,118 (yeah, I know)
5/26: no new words, but lots of editing
5/27: 2,205
5/28: 1,688
5/29: 4,619 (whew)

The days got kinda strange there. For several days in a row, I was up till 3 and then 4 and then 5 a.m. I’d get a few hours’ sleep, address bills and emails (the least amount I could get away with), talk to Jamey and drink coffee, putter around a bit, then go home and eat. Around 7 or 8 p.m., I’d begin writing again. This morning, I was up till 7 a.m. and almost finished the book. I had ONE chapter left and had to stop because I was exhausted and had an appointment in the afternoon. Even after I forced myself to shut down the computer and go to bed, I was jotting down notes in a frenzy. So after the appointment and puttering around, I got back to work about 5 p.m. and by 7:35, I’d finished. Which brings us back to the beginning of this post.

Thank you to everyone for your support.

In parting, some links to things I’ve found interesting this week:

This person gives me hope for the youth of America (and also makes me sad about that status of education in America).

This is mostly a test to see if W. reads my blog. 🙂 Horror novels on toilet paper. What next?

Men love Twilight, too.

Yay for Louiethis is fun.

To bed, go I. My blog is a year old, my book is finished and I get to see my Papa Bear tomorrow. Life is good.

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Filed under bragging on, family, Fess Up Friday, Friends, musing, New Orleans, pop culture, So You Think You Can Dance, what I'm reading, writing updates

Fess Up Friday (Just Tell the Story edition)

I’ve been writing throughout the week and socializing like a fiend on the weekend. Big sigh. But how do you say no to drinking at new bars with visiting friends, 12-hour adventures with D. (a seasonal treat) that involve the recording studio, Elizabeth’s, Apple Barrel and the casino and then matching R. and B. drink for drink at the local after said 12-hour adventure (never, never, NEVER again)? Why are y’all colluding to make me have fun? Stop the conspiracy! 🙂 I need better willpower.

I wish I could say it’ll be better this weekend. But with N. in town and J.‘s birthday…that might not be likely. At least there will be less drinking…right?

And of course, with the t.v. I watched AI, yes, I did, and saw Kris win (very glad because though I love me some Glambert, I think Kris needed the positive reinforcement and we all know Adam needs nobody’s approval to be hisself). It was a great finale, with a lot of fun performances. Could’ve done with less Gokey and more Alexis and Megan, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Allison singing with Cyndi Lauper – AWESOME! And loved Megan and Michael with Steve Martin on “Pretty Flowers.” I agree that “No Boundaries” is The Worst Song Ever, but Kris did an admirable second go of it (I prefer his to Adam’s, and with a singer like Adam, that’s probably no accident) and it was really good to see him embrace his wife right as the show signed off.

But probably the worst news for my book – So You Think You Can Dance started again Thursday. I love that show. Like seriously love it. Cat Deely is The Best Host Ever – case in point, she went to congratulate a contestant and being profusely sweaty after his audition, he was wary of messing up her couture jacket. She grabbed him in a hug, crowing, “Dry cleaning!” Hysterical.

Finished The Song Is You and while the plot got a little weird for me, the writing was always incredible and, most impressive of all, Arthur Phillips managed to consistently convey those indescribable things that music makes you feel. Utterly personal things and yet somehow universal at the same time. I’m reading some new books now (I can never read just one), so look to your right for that.

I took a quiz on Facebook called “Are You a True Bengali?” The questions were in Bengali (I assume, I don’t know Bengali) and I used deductive reasoning and picked whichever answers sounded the best when I tried to read them out loud. Turns out I’m 100% Bengali. I thought perhaps the quiz was rigged, but one of my non-Bengali friends (lol) took the quiz and her result was of the “why, dude, why – why did you even bother to take this quiz?” variety. I feel like I have achieved something here.

Enough with that, my deadline is ticking ever closer, so the fun may have to be quarantined. Hands off Sunday! I have nine days left and I’m going to crush this sucker – just watch.

New words –
5.15: 183
5.17: 601
5.18: 1,714
5.19: 526
5.20: 637
5.21: 248
5.22: 710 (so far today, one monstrously difficult scene).

In a weird sort of reverse logic, it’s a good thing to see fewer words because that means I have less new writing to do (don’t worry, there’ll be some whopping numbers coming up next week). I’m making some real strides in understanding a few things that eluded me previously. But I made the mistake of going to read the rules for a contest I want to enter soon and that stymied me for about a day and a half. Bad idea – I need every day and a half I can get. And I have a few of these hard scenes coming up, so I’ve been floundering a little bit.

But, as the card I wrote and put on my desk says: JUST TELL THE STORY!

It’s a bit early, but on the 26th, I will have been writing this blog for a year. You won’t hear from me again till the 29th with the last Fess Up Friday this month, so I thought I’d say something now.

In parting, some links:

D. worked on one of these top Sundance films.

Longest running fictional character.

Green Day takes on Wal-Mart. Finally.

JUST TELL THE STORY, EMILIE.

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Via Gawker

A portrait of Tom Lefroy, potentially the love of Jane Austen’s life, one of only two known images of him, was found at an antiques fair. I liked Becoming Jane, which dealt with Austen’s perhaps love affair with Lefroy and it’s the moment I started liking James McAvoy (I’d been on the fence before). I absolutely fell in love with Pride and Prejudice and Lefroy is supposed to have been the basis for (swoon) Darcy himself. Yes, I know, stereotypical, but it is Darcy, for pete’s sake. I love that Colin Firth is so indelibly linked with Darcy that he played the character twice (Pride and Prejudice BBC and Bridget Jones’s Diary).

In other McAvoy news, his movie Wanted looks awesome. And, also via Gawker, there’s a clip of a man going beserk in an office that turns out to be a viral marketing video for Wanted? Eh? It’s a fake and I’d like to think that I would’ve known it was a fake, but… who am I to say? I already knew it was a fake when I saw it. LOL. It’s kinda ingenious, I expect. Someone says, “Hey, did you see that clip of the guy going nuts in his office?” (or links to it on a blog…) and then everyone goes to look and sees, WHAM, a big ad for Wanted on the right of the video clip. Also, I think McAvoy’s character is an office worker before he discovers he’s a super duper assassin man. I don’t care if their advertising is slick and sick, I still want to see this movie.

Also, via Gawker (they have some good stuff up today), Britney Spears has chosen her burial plot. Oh Gawker, you sick funny deviants:

“We like to imagine that the service, before she is entombed in Hollywood Forever, will consist of mournful piano renditions of her hit songs like “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” and “Lucky,” while her two sons, wearing sailor costumes, slowly waltz.”

No calls or visits tonight, friends, SYTYCD is on. You know what this means. Or you should, by now, if you love me at all.

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