Tag Archives: Dave Golden

Brag is the word

I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a little while. On the 28th, you’ll be able to catch Dave’s work on the National Geographic channel. He did the music for After the Spill: The Last Catch, a documentary about the aftermath of the oil spill and small fishing communities in South Louisiana.

After the Spill: The Last Catch Tuesday, September 28, 9 PM ET/PT

Produced & Directed by Jonathan Stack and Saralena Weinfeld
Edited by Brock Labrenz
Music by Dave Golden

So proud of Dave!

Tomorrow, September 2  6th, Readers and Writers is kicking off its new season with Allen Wier and Panthea Reid celebrating Best of LSU Fiction at 5 p.m. at the LSU School of Music Recital Hall.

This has been long overdue, as well, but several members of Peauxdunque, as well as friends of mine from LSU, have been recognized in the Wisdom-Faulkner Competition. As I did last year, I’m going to congratulate them here.

Shane Noecker, Susan Kirby-Smith and Peauxdunquers Tad Bartlett/J. Ed. Marston (on the short list of finalists for the novel category); Peauxdunquer Sabrina Canfield and Mark Spitzer (short list of finalists for novella); Jenn Nunes (short list of finalists for novel-in-progress); Susan Kirby-Smith again (semi-finalist for novel-in-progress);  Peauxdunquers Maurice Carlos Ruffin (finalist AND on the short list of finalists for two different short stories) and Terri Stoor (short list of finalists for short story); Tad Bartlett again (finalist for essay).

I may have more names to add soon as the finalists are all still anonymous until winners are named today.

And since others have been bragging on me, I have to step up and do it myself. I was recently promoted to assistant editor at Narrative Magazine, which is super exciting and makes me feel continually plugged in to the community of writers. Which is essential because I’ve been spending most of my time on the satellite planet of Harawood–the local film industry–lately. Much as I love my job–maybe because I love my job–it’s been so good to spend my free time reading critically. It brings me back to an important place and helps ground me.

Speaking of Harawood and my lovely job — Maurice just told me there’s a write-up on WWE Nola in today’s Times-Picayune. Luckily, somebody had left behind a copy of the paper and it was conveniently at my very own table at Cheers. WWE has been a blast to work for and I’m so proud to be a part of the movies they’ve made in New Orleans. Now I get to brag on them, as well. They’ve recently gotten a few write-ups in USA Today, as well.

I’ll leave you with a photo taken by Rachel Chotin at the Prelude Launch Party, of Maurice, me and a gentleman named Jason.

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Filed under book news, bragging on, freelance work, Friends, literature, New Orleans

Get your brag on

Good news abounds!!

Bill Loehfelm recently signed a two-book deal with Farrar, Straus & Giroux, set for release in 2011 and 2012. The first, his third book, is called The Devil She Knows, and will be out spring 2011. His second, Bloodroot, is out in paperback this year on Sept 7th.

Nick finished the third draft of his novel April 30th.

Dave is a music editor on Treme! Jamey, Maurice and I have a standing date to watch Treme together every Sunday and Dave joined us for the third episode (his first credited work on the show), “Right Place, Wrong Time” after we’d spent the day at Jazz Fest (and I got a minor sunburn).

And. Well. This bragging on post will include a self-brag. I wasn’t sure if I could talk about this piece of good news in my life, since I signed a confidentiality agreement, but I recently saw my name on the Narrative Magazine masthead. Yes, I can confirm, I am an intern for Narrative Magazine. I had to apply because I’m uber superstitious and not only did I see the “seeking interns” newsletter myself, but at least two people I respect urged me to apply. On the same day. While this may be the last I write about my internship (confidentiality agreement and all), I can also confirm that I am super excited because I admire this literary magazine tremendously. And, as Jamey just said a minute ago, “It’s kinda a big deal.”

My horoscope said to invite friends to dinner tonight. So, that’s just what I’m gonna do.

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Fess Up Friday – the way too long edition

So far, 2010 has involved a lot of being sick and already several doctor’s visits (surgery next week). Lots of time back and forth to Baton Rouge interviewing folks for my latest 225 piece about The Dictionary of Louisiana French – will have to do a post soon on the behind-the-scenes story of this latest piece, because it’s been fascinating.

My goal was to do a NaNoWriMo-like pace in January, trying to finish any new writing that might be necessary for the 3rd draft. I set my goal word count kind of arbitrarily at 30,000. I achieved just over 11,000 new words in actuality. Half of those words would probably never have been written, if it weren’t for Ronlyn.

As I reported last month, Jamey “fixed” my novel. But I wasn’t fixed–my process wasn’t. I’ve had a thousand little revelations (and maybe a dozen giant ones) in the years I’ve been working on this book. The fact that I’m still surprised to learn something about the book or my characters or my process or myself still surprises me, but I suspect the learning (and the surprise) will never go away.

I wrote Ronlyn an email asking her for advice and something in my email triggered an awareness in her that I needed something other than (in addition to) what I was asking for, so she suggested we talk on the phone. I wrote her back and said I was going to Baton Rouge and why not get coffee. We met at a coffeeshop I wrote a lot of my thesis at, which is a lot more active in the middle of the day than it used to be, when I was there. Ronlyn came in with a bandage on her chin (she writes about that injury and another in her newest Nervous Breakdown piece). We chatted about her injury and the day I’d been having and then segued into The Issue(s).

Like a writing therapist, she listened. A lot. And then diagnosed The Issue. “Your process isn’t working.” In short, I had developed habits and rituals that didn’t work for me. Ever, or anymore, that was hard to tell. But they didn’t work. My body would hurt if I didn’t get up and go to Cheers everyday and try to get one of my favorite tables. Except, I would sit there all day and not write. I was there, butt in chair as they say, but I was restless, I was annoyed, I was undisciplined.

The other problem, as I then confessed to Ronlyn, was that I was afraid I’d lost my joy in writing. For good. “It’s almost never fun to write anymore. I remember when it used to be the thing I always wanted to do most.” I was paralyzed because I was afraid that my book sucked and it wasn’t satisfying or fun or pleasant to write to top it all off. But the worst part was that I was afraid writing would never be fun again, that it would always be arduous torture.

Ronlyn then said several things that consoled and comforted me, that woke me. She made some great suggestions, too. First, she reassured me that not all books are enjoyable to write. But, clearly, this book needs to be written because it won’t let me go. Writing can and will be fun and satisfying again, she convinced me.

Next, she suggested that I find new places and ways to write, as my habits and rituals are failing me. She urged me to go back to handwriting, which is how I wrote until I went to college. She gave me another piece of advice that I’ll have to keep private, but which is embodied by the picture below.

The above picture was taken in St. Andrews, Scotland. This is the place where I did my first writing in several months, after finishing my thesis draft of the book. I was weary and burnt out and in Scotland was lucky enough to sit in on my friend Rachel Marsh’s writing group. My first writing in months was an assignment for that group meeting, the Yellow House assignment.

I came home from that visit with Ronlyn in Baton Rouge and I vowed to handwrite in a notebook for an hour every day, before doing anything else. I’ve managed that most days. Sometimes, it’s regrettably at the end of the day and I have missed a few days, what with illness, doctor’s appointments and Saints games. But, I’ve written more days than I haven’t. And I was shocked at how relatively easy and yes, enjoyable, the process was. Several people have told me this over the years and handwriting used to be my primary method. I knew it was true that handwriting would probably be more fun and efficient in the long run for me, but I stubbornly clung to my broken rituals, trying to shove my creativity into the shape of my habits like a difficult puzzle piece.

And then, I was lucky enough to attend the Peauxdunque Writers’ Alliance retreat in Hopedale, Louisiana and I had an amazing, peaceful time. We prepared meals together, toasted J.D. Salinger and had shop talk in incredibly beautiful surroundings and it gave me just that extra bit of creative energy I needed. Below is a picture of the writers at the retreat. Though it’s highly overexposed (we’d set the timer on a camera and were standing on a dock in extremely cold weather), I really enjoy the expressions on our faces.

Bryan, Susan, Terri, Emilie, Tad and Maurice

Recently, someone asked me what the new timeline is for the book and I froze. I don’t know. I’d hoped, ambitiously, to have all the new writing done in January and then just breeze through a shellac/edit, sculpt those new pieces into place and then pop it into the EasyBake. That’s not going to happen. I still want to be done soon. I’m still restless. But I’m figuring it out. I’m that much closer.

One piece of good news is that every time I’ve been asked this year what I do for a living (at doctor’s offices, etc.), I have answered, “self-employed writer.” With hardly any hesitation, too!

But while I’m eliminating my hesitation and waiting for a reasonable timeline, I have much bragging on to do.

Jamey is in 225, talking about her recent and perennial reading. Also, she has finished and exceeded the 32 Day Challenge, which means she wrote every day of the first 32 days of the year. And she’s still going. Not one single day off.

Barb’s book More of This World or Maybe Another was just named a Barnes and Noble Discover Awards finalist.

Dave’s newest film project, Night Catches Us, premiered at Sundance.

Toni is appearing at Baton Rouge’s CitiPlace Barnes and Noble February 12th at 7 p.m.

The Saints are playing in the SuperBowl on Sunday. That’s certainly something to brag on, as well.

Check out this picture I found of some of my favorite people:

Classic. James Wilcox, Jamey Hatley, Ronlyn Domingue and Clarence Nero

And some presents to leave you with:

Pink performs an aerial routine similar to what my character would be doing at the end of my book.

The Legend of Jeremy Shockey – so funny I almost ran the car off the road while listening to it on the radio.

And five seasons of Lost reduced to under 10 minutes by the Reduced Shakespeare Company, below. My thoughts as I started watching it? Ohmygawd, I watched all 104 hours of Lost in December. But trust me, I’m going to enjoy watching the upcoming 16 hours of Season 6 just as much, if not more.

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Bragging on Dave and Dare

My friend Dave worked on the film Dare (music supervisor) and he just sent me the trailer. Really does a good job of whetting your appetite for the movie. Check it out.

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What a wonderful experiment… Redux

I had a bitty panic after announcing I’d essentially review the cds I bought blind from cdbaby.com. I’m in a place where I’d rather rave about the things I really like rather than spend time ranting about things I don’t (Crystal Skull is an important exception). So I thought, “What if I don’t like one of these cds, what am I going to do?” And purchasing four cds in a very random way seemed to pretty much guarantee I’d dislike at least one.

And I’m not exactly qualified to review cds in any way that pretends to be objective and technically informed (Dave tries, but I just like what I like, despite how great the production quality is). I mean, keep in mind that you’re about to read reviews by a person who tends to dislike one word song titles. Not necessarily the songs themselves. But one word song titles annoy me. They remind me of when I was writing poetry and when a title didn’t come naturally, I’d just slap one word on it that seemed evocative or, even worse, “Untitled.”

Luckily, I liked all of them (despite a plethora of one word titles). Some more than others, granted. But I don’t regret purchasing a single one. In the order I listed them before (i.e. alphabetical), drumroll please:

Aquaboy The World Still Turns Without You – I’m only just now, as I’m looking up links, realizing that Derek Buckner and Aquaboy are one and the same. I purchased TWSTWY because it was recommended if you like Beck, Wilco, Pavement and Air. And I do like all those folks. The title track is my favorite and also Mediocre Man. One customer likened them to the Beatles. Not really seeing that one, but I’ll vouch for the Wilco and Pavement.

Derek Buckner Symptoms – I saw Lucinda Williams in the recommended if you like and I was all in. This was an okay cd for me. Nothing, after repeated listens, has really stood out, but it was an excellent soundtrack for part of my recent road trip.

Sarah Burton Love Is For Pussies – This is recommended if you like Alanis Morissette, Sheryl Crow and Feist. While I like the first two ladies, I’m a big Feist fan so it was that and the title that struck me. Sarah Burton is probably a compulsive self-Googler (important for an indie musician, in my opinion) because she contacted me the same day I posted about the experiment. On the previously referenced road trip, I was writing the review for her cd in my head. I really like Sarah’s voice, but I’m left hungry by this c.d. It’s not a full meal, but rather an appetizer. In the best sense, it whets your appetite for more and I’ll definitely follow whatever she does next. I think she can ditch the first version of Barcelona because it felt a bit jerky and loose to me whereas the extended flamenco version settled those issues very nicely. Also liked I Hate You quite a lot. Every time I’ve listened to this EP, I’ve liked it more and more, heard something new each time.

Tiffany Randol Kiss Me Kiss Me – Recommended if you like The Cardigans, Regina Spektor and Feist. Then compared to June Carter and Kate Bush. The cover art is a tad reminiscent of my favorite Suzanne Vega cd, Nine Objects of Desire and I wouldn’t say it’s inappropriate to compare Randol to Vega. If I had to pick a favorite of the four, this would be it. Loved every second of this too-short EP. I would recommend it enthusiastically.

So cdbaby – let’s do this again. If you ever need someone to test whether your “recommended if you like”s work, please feel free to send me cds. Or if you’re dying for some really random, entirely subjective reviews…

Now, in other music thoughts.

So, I’ve been really struck by those great Liberty Mutual ads, especially the music. I took a sec to try to find out about the songs in the ads and I’m a bit embarrassed because all of the songs are already in my iTunes. They’re all the work of Hem, a band that Dave turned me onto a while back. Then, I found this really wonderful piece where Mary Chapin Carpenter talks about the ads and Hem for The Washington Times.

And it probably goes without saying that I’m pretty devastated that Alexis Grace got booted off. I have to say that I don’t think that her performances of Jolene proved that she should’ve been given the judges’ save. The entirety of what she’s done on the show does. Part of me keeps hoping that it’s not too late and they’ll change their minds and save her. Why not? This season’s been incredibly wacky anyway. Regardless, I look forward to seeing what she does next.

I felt like Randy Travis was rather wasted in that duet with Carrie Underwood, but I was in love with it anyway. Her voice when she belted out “I told you so.” Wow. It was incredibly cute the way Randy Travis kept looking at her adoringly while she sang. If you don’t believe me, watch this. Didn’t know this song existed before and now it’s in regular rotation – and I still get chills every time.

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