Tag Archives: NOLAFemmes

Anniversary August and my GoFundMe campaign

August is ridiculous with birthdays (soooo many people I love!) and anniversaries–marriage anniversaries (my parents, my sister and her husband) as well as two of my personal milestone anniversaries.

Seven years ago (7!) I moved to New Orleans. I’ve now been in Nola as long as I lived in Baton Rouge. Maybe I suffer from the seven year itch, because I was desperate to leave BR in 2007 and with all of the shakeups in my life recently, I’ve been wondering if I need to be elsewhere for a little while. More on that in a minute.

Three years ago, I went to my first tango class and started my journey as a tango dancer. Because the community of tango dancers worldwide is fairly small and they tend to travel a lot, tango has actually increased my desire to travel to new and favorite places. To dance with new communities and return to those I enjoy: Chicago, Atlanta and now D.C.

Which brings me to my GoFundMe campaign, which I launched about a week ago. I’ve been offered a place at Soaring Gardens, an artists’ residency in rural Pennsylvania. I get to live and write in this house for a month and I’m raising money to fund the trip. I’ll be working on new chapters of my memoir, Tango Face, named after the essay I wrote about the cabaceo, which won the 2012 Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing Awards in the essay category. The memoir is about what learning tango has been teaching me about myself and my relationships. The way people have been responding to what I’ve written so far has been very gratifying and has pushed me to continue.

Every year, I make my best attempt at 50,000 words during the month of November for NaNoWriMo, so I know I can write lots of new material in a month, especially since I’ll be removed from the distractions of my everyday life. Including my tango community, which is bittersweet. While I’ll miss dancing with them, it’s been really cool how supportive and encouraging they’ve been.

In fact, all of my communities have been extremely supportive through this process. I’m very grateful and inspired by all of you!

Be on the lookout for a NolaFemmes post soon about New Orleans-specific places and things I’ll miss while I’m gone.

On Sunday the 17th, at the 2-week mark of the GoFundMe campaign, I’m having a goodbye party and fundraiser celebration. It will be at Pelican Bay on Elysian Fields, starting at 2 p.m.

And the GoFundMe campaign will officially wrap up on Wednesday the 20th, one week from today. So, if you have $5 or $10 to donate, please do. Every single contributor will be named in the acknowledgements of the memoir when it’s published *and* I have secret lagniappe gifts to thank everybody. Plus, I’m planning a special Bragging On post just for contributors to share how talented and wonderful all of you are.

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Filed under bragging on, freelance work, Friends, musing, New Orleans, tango, travel, writing updates

Everybody Brag Now

This bragging on post might be my most overdue yet! Many folks have had multiple successes since I last bragged, so as always, this is always just a tiny sampling. I can’t keep up with these exciting movers and shakers. Still, I try…

As 2014 started and the Oscar nominations were announced, many films shot in New Orleans were included. Robin Mathews (makeup) and Adruitha Lee (hair) won for their work on Dallas Buyers Club. Not only did Twelve Years a Slave win best picture (!), but the amazing production design/set decoration teams and stellar costume department were recognized with nominations. It was so exciting to see the effect Lupita Nyong’o had even before she won the best supporting actress category. It was a great start to the year.

Lavender Ink and Nancy Dixon published N.O. Lit: 200 Years of New Orleans Literature, which includes work by folks like Moira Crone, Andrei Codrescu and John Biguenet, alongside Faulkner, Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams.

After a year of amazing interviews for Hothouse, Karin C. Davidson has compiled an Anniversary Album, putting together more questions and answers from her interview subjects, as well as a playlist of music they’ve each picked. Karin’s “Something for Nothing” was a finalist in Bayou Magazine‘s fiction contest, judged by Lucy Bledsoe.

Studio delle Sorelle’s first art opening at Bev Coates’ Guest House featured a painting by Judy Kahn.

Judy Kahn's painting

Suparno Banerjee has published a paper, “Melodrama, mimicry and menace: Revinenting Hollywood in Indian science fiction films” in Volume 12, issue 1 of South Asian Popular Culture.

Near Valentine’s Day, Danielle Gilyot wrote a love letter to her younger self.

Jeff Roedel has directed the music video for England in 1819’s song “Sirens.”

jewel bush, Justin Torres and Mat Johnson all have stories in Dismantle, the VONA Anthology (with an introduction by Junot Diaz).

Contemplative Man by Brock Guthrie was published in March. Here’s a great review.

Joseph Boyden‘s The Orenda is the 2014 winner of Canada Reads. The Orenda will be published in the U.S. in May.

Jamie Amos has been busy, with new stories at Cold Mountain Review (“Defensive Wounds”) and at storySouth (“Spit”).

M.O. Walsh‘s book My Sunshine Away (due out next January) was announced as one of five Buzz Books and will be showcased at the BEA Conference in May.

Kaledioscope, a magazine for LSU’s Humanities and Social Sciences Departments, features quite a bit of great news in its Fall 2013 issue, including a feature on service learning courses on page 11, a feature on filmmaker Zack Godshall on page 13, a story about Associate Dean Malcolm Richardson on page 16, and a feature on the Creative Writing Department (plus two books I mention later in this brag) on page 18.

Montana Miller reports “After three marathon days of training in Eloy with the USPA Chief Judges, my brain is leaking out my ears and my eyes falling from their sockets, but my heart is leaping with joy and gratitude: I am a newly-rated National Judge for formation skydiving!”

Tad Bartlett‘s story “Hung Over” was published by Rappahannock Review.

Judge Claire Messud selected Summer Wood‘s story “Boomerang” for the 2013 Indiana Review Fiction Prize. Mary McMyne‘s story “Camille” was also a finalist.

Speaking of Mary McMyne, her story “Reading His Own Obituary” was published by Narrative Northeast in January. Faerie Magazine will publish Mary’s poem “Rapunzel Tucks the Twins into Bed,” in the next issue. Her poem “Irene Joliot-Curie” published in Painted Bride Quarterly No. 86 was nominated for a Rhysling.

Penelope Dane reviewed This Assignment Is So Gay, an anthology edited by Megan Volpert, in the March issue of Bitch Magazine.

Cara Jones has written an essay called “Taking the Woman Out of Women’s Health,” published at Nursing Clio.

First, the cover and title page of the Long Hidden anthology were revealed. Then, there was a wonderful review that specifically mentions Jamey Hatley‘s story:

“…“Collected Likenesses” is thought-provoking, with fascinating magic and heart-rendingly real characters.”

And most recently, Jamey’s interview with Roxane Gay was published at Press Street’s Room 220. Roxane has just announced she’ll be joining the MFA Program at Purdue University in the fall, as an associate professor.

Here’s a great review of James Claffey‘s Blood a Cold Blue. James is also editing the Ireland and the Irish themed issue of Literary Orphans, due out at Easter.

Literary Orphans

Maurice Ruffin has been very busy, as always. “Catch What You Can” will be published in Redivider Journal‘s issue 11.2 in May. “Heathen” will appear in issue 2 of  The Knicknackery. “Motion Picture Making” will appear in issue 2 of Writing Tomorrow in June.  “Heroes and Villains,” will be published in an upcoming issue of 94 Creations. To top it all off, he’s been accepted to Tin House’s Writers Workshop.

Cara Blue Adams interviewed David James Poissant for Tin House.

Melinda Palacio‘s book of poetry How Fire Is a Story, Waiting was a finalist in the 2013 Paterson Poetry Prize. She just traveled to New York for the awards reading.

June Pulliam‘s Encyclopedia of the Zombie will be available in June.

Andrew Lam‘s Birds of Paradise Lost is a finalist for the California Book Awards. The results will be announced in June.

Rachel Hebert performed “Just What I Need” for the Birmingham Sessions.

Helen Krieger has also had a busy couple of months. She was accepted to study at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and Least Favorite Love Songs, the webseries she made with her husband and band of Nola cohorts, is nominated for a Webby. To celebrate the nomination, a special episode from the series will premiere this Sunday at 10 p.m. at the new theater Indywood.

The second book in Ronlyn Domingue‘s Keeper of the Tales trilogy, The Chronicle of Secret Riven, will be published next month. Here’s an interview with her.

Charlotte Hemrick is interviewing local female poets at NolaFemmes for Poetry Month. First up was Kelly Harris and most recently is Cassie Pruyn. There will be a new interview posted on Friday.

Also happening on Friday at 7 p.m. at Cafe Istanbul is the second installment of Yeah, You Write, which will feature Cassie and myself. Kelly read at the first installment of Yeah, You Write. This year’s lineup is simply incredible John BarryJoseph Boyden, jewel bush, Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin, Benjamin Percy, Cassie and myself, with DJ Sep, images by L. Kasimu Harris and the whole shebang will be MC’d by Nick Fox. All for a $5 cover – you can’t beat that. Here’s the poster for the details:

Yeah, You Write 2014

I hope you enjoyed this attempt of mine to keep up with this phenoms. Moreso, I hope that you check out the links and come by Yeah, You Write on Friday. I can’t promise that I’ll be better at keeping up with these folks, but I can guarantee that they’ll be doing amazing things in the coming months.

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Tango X is the place to be

This post was originally written for and hosted at NolaFemmes.

The first installment of Tango X, an Argentine-tango influenced dance party, is happening this Wednesday the 17th at L’entrepôt, (527 Julia St.). A beginner-level tango class will start the evening at 7 p.m. (no partner or experience necessary) and the dancing will continue from 8 until 11 p.m. The cover is $10. During the event, Carmo is offering a special menu and there will be a bar with specialty cocktails.

Tango X is being hosted by myself and two friends of mine, all members of the local tango community. We’d love to see new faces who are curious about tango. So, if you’ve ever wanted to learn how to tango, or if you’d like to watch the dancing and enjoy a nice meal out, this is the event for you.

Tango X

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Be the brag

This post is shamefully overdue. Not only is this merely my third post of 2012, I haven’t bragged on anybody (in any sort of official way) since December. My friends haven’t stopped being bragworthy, not in the least. If anything, they’ve made it impossible to keep up – which is my clumsy way of apologizing if I’ve left anything out between ‘Tis the Bragging Season and this, my latest brag post.

What reminded me of all the bragging that needed to be done was a delightful event on Thursday – the folks from The Oxford American were in town to commemorate their new issue, announce the Louisiana Music Issue and to celebrate L. Kasimu Harris and his fashion blog Parish Chic. In addition to being a friend to me, Kasimu is a phenomenal photographer and writer – and he happens to be pretty fashionable. An event like the Parish Chic party is like Christmas for a bragger like me because I got to see so many astoundingly talented people (old friends and new friends alike) coming together to brag on Kasimu. Plus, the Parish Chic cocktails were pretty tasty and it was nice to soak in all the style.

Maurice‘s streak of being bragged on in all of these posts continues – his story “Winter Lion” was named a Finalist in the Tennessee Williams Festival’s Fiction Contest, judged by Amy Hempel and since my last post, several of his stories have been selected for publication. Tad Bartlett, who has himself been accepted into UNO’s Master of Fine Arts program (whoo hooo!) has plagiarized my bragging-on concept by announcing the plethora of Peauxdunque achievements. But, I gotta hand it to him, he broke the news about Joselyn Takacs‘s story “Flares of Little Warning” being Narrative’s Story of the Week, so I guess I’ll let him get away with it.

Max Segal, who I met working on Now You See Me, has co-directed In the Shadow of the Mountain, a film about the mountain climbing mentality.

Charlotte Hamrick of NolaFemmes has a few poems at Metazen and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature.

James Claffey has been giving Maurice a serious run for his money in the publication race the last few months. That gent publishes something just about every day. He has work at Thrice Fiction and an audio story at The Drum Literary Magazine. These are just two of many, many recent publications and you can keep up with him at The Wrong Corner of the Sky.  In addition to being prolific, he’s had some extremely brag-worthy personal news since my last brag post, which I won’t divulge here, but I will congratulate him on. 🙂 The LSU English News and Notes pages does a pretty good job of keeping track of James’ publications as well, not to mention lots of other talented people.

Coming full circle, while catching up with friends at Kasimu’s celebration Thursday,  DaVida Chanel told me that she is appearing in Dillard University Theater’s performance of “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.” The last performance is tomorrow (almost today) at 3 p.m., so check it out.

I will do my best to be both more prolific in my posts and more diligent in my bragging, cause these folks are not slowing down any time soon. Thank goodness!

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Filed under bragging on, Friends, literature, movies, New Orleans, New Orleans Film Industry, poetry, pop culture

Proud to be a NolaFemme

I’ve been meaning to post for a while, y’all. Sorry I’ve been MIA. While you’re waiting for the next bragging on post, please head over to NOLAFemmes and read Amy’s post about her daughter’s excitement for Muses, the awful experience they had during the parade and the wonderful community support they’ve received afterwards. This is an example of both the best and worst of Mardi Gras, and it’s such a sweet reminder to all of us about what Carnival is all about – family, neighbors, community.

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Bragging on the river

Rolling on the River was one of my favorite songs growing up. They played it every Friday on the radio station that Mamma Mia! and I listened to when she drove me to school. So, I couldn’t resist the pun. Please forgive me! 🙂

This bragging on post is packed with events everybody can attend, so get out your calendars.

First, as I hinted at in my last bragging post, Peauxdunque is hosting a huge, spectacular event. Yeah, You Write is a series of biannual literary concerts that the PWA will host. The first event takes place at Tipitina’s Thursday, October 13th. That’s a week from tomorrow. Our lineup is incredible: Amanda Boyden, Bill Loehfelm, Gian Smith, Kelly Harris-Deberry, Mat Johnson and Terri Stoor. Check out the flyer for the event:

In related news, Peauxdunque member Maurice Carlos Ruffin‘s essay “Cheating the Muse,” will be published in Apalachee Review next year.

Kelly Kathleen Ferguson‘s memoir/travelogue/social commentary My Life as Laura has been published by Press 53. The subtitle says it all: “How I Searched for Laura Ingalls Wilder and Found Myself.”

Engine Books will be publishing Echolocation by Myfanwy Collins, Consulting Editor for Narrative Magazine, in March 2012.

Charlotte Hamrick of NOLAFemmes and Traveling Mermaid has had her poem “Milk for Free” published in Mad Swirl.  Three of her poems will be published in the Feb. issue of The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature.

Don’t forget to nab tickets for the New Orleans premiere of Flood Streets at the New Orleans Film Festival and featuring Harry Shearer, who will be at the premiere to answer questions afterwards with Helen Krieger and Joseph Meissner. I’ve had a chance to see an earlier incarnation of the film, so I know you’ll enjoy it.

I have two stories in the October issue of 225 Magazine. One of them is about the return of the Louisiana Book Festival, which is itself an enormously brag-worthy event. Not only is it back, it’s bigger and better than ever this year, featuring many of the writers I’ve bragged on and reviewed for 225. The Festival takes place on October 29th and it’s a free event where you can hear many of your favorite authors read, buy their books and get them signed. It’s one of the highlights of my year every year and I am so glad it’s just in a few weeks. Check out the site for information about the WordShops and the Author Party, which take place the day before the Festival. It’s basically the best weekend to be in Baton Rouge all year long. Guaranteed. I’ll see you all there.

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Filed under Baton Rouge, book news, bragging on, Friends, movies, New Orleans

Brag your heart out

The Words and Music Faulkner-Wisdom Award finalist and semi-finalist lists are up! There are some awesome Peauxdunque placements and many friends have been recognized. There may be additions to this later as those still in the running are listed only by title at the moment.

Novel category finalists (short and long list) include:

Helen Krieger‘s Don’t Cry Little Monster

Sabrina Canfield‘s Birds of Paradise

Tad Bartlett & J.Ed Marston‘s Kites, Quite Tall

Mark Spitzer‘s Monstropocalypse

Novel-in-Progress finalists include:

Missy Wilkinson‘s Life During the Plague Years

James Claffey‘s Motion of Souls

Sabrina Canfield‘s To The Place Where They Go

Susan Kirby-Smith‘s Desert Humidity

Short story finalists include:

Helen Krieger‘s Okay, So You Talk

Jennifer Nunes‘s Buy One, Get One

J.Ed Marston‘s No Accidental Fall

Tad Bartlett‘s The Non-Artists

*Maurice Ruffin‘s Ten Stories and Terri Stoor‘s A Bellyful of Sorrow are both still in the running.

Essay finalists:

Sabrina Canfield‘s Spring Sparks Sure Shot

Nefertiti Austin‘s Barack Obama Made a Liar Out of Me

*Terri Stoor‘s Bird Dog is still in the running.

Poetry finalists include:

Claire Dixon‘s The Deep End

Jenn Marie Nunes‘s Only Daughter

*Tad Bartlet‘s new century/old century, three acts and J.Ed Marston‘s Voyage of the Limit Perfected Fish are both still in the running.

Please let me know if I’ve forgotten or missed anyone!

Congrats to everybody and good luck to those still in the running!

In other news, Ronlyn Domingue has finished the first of two books that developed from one epic novel that she’s been writing. They are “independent but wholly interconnected,” Ronlyn says. She continues writing the second.

I have three pieces in this month’s 225 Magazine. One is a profile of Jeanne Leiby and her book of short stories. One is a review of the Baton Rouge One Book One Community selection CRAZY. And one is a review of Chris Tusa’s Dirty Little Angels. Also, I reviewed Hollywood Car Wash over at NOLAFemmes.

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Filed under book news, bragging on, freelance work, Friends

New Orleans street art

For all of my posts about street art and all my photos of graffiti from around New Orleans, I’ve never actually dedicated a post just to New Orleans images. But I always take pictures, compulsively. Most people know by now that if you’re walking with me, I’m likely to stop and start taking pictures. Even Papa Bear knows that after a visit to Elizabeth’s (and the area near Dr. Bob’s) and a walk we took to Juan’s. He was very patient with me while I fell back and snapped pictures of all the amazing street art I saw.

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I loved reading about the Swoon exhibit through NOMA over at NOLAFemmes, which is going on through September. Good news for those of us who haven’t caught it yet.

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Let’s hear it for the readers

This is a different sort of bragging on post. Today, I’m bragging on you, people who I have “met” because of my blog, because of your support and encouragement. Each of you have a wonderful blog of your own, which I not only enjoy, but learn from. It’s Reader Appreciation Day.  With no further ado, let me  introduce you to everybody and everybody to you.

Charlotte of Traveling Mermaid and NOLAFemmes, who is a lovely commenter and who graciously asked me to write for NOLAFemmes. I found myself in good company with Charlotte and the Femmes.

Chellee of Notes from the Intern, who has apparently decided to take a break from blogging for a little while. You should catch up on her blog, which covers the last six dramatic months of her life.

Kate of What I Saw Riding My Bike Around Today, who posts a photo and the story behind it most days. Brilliant idea for a blog and I’m amazed at Kate’s attention to the tiniest details.

Arthur of Calliope Street, with his phenomenal photos and insights about New Orleans and more.

I hope everybody checks these blogs out because they’re really interesting and special. Enjoy!

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Filed under bragging on, Friends, New Orleans, pop culture, review, technology, what I'm reading

Now look here…

If you were reading my blog sometime in the middle of the night (and I flatter myself that you were), you might’ve felt like you were caught in a real-life version of that last bit Cinderella. You know, where the fairy godmothers keep changing the color of the dress while she dances on clouds with the Prince? I was experimenting with a new look for my blog and it changed styles and colors many times in just a few minutes.

And now that you’re reading my blog in the full light of day (and I flatter myself that you are), you’ll notice that the look’s drastically different. What do you think? Give me some feedback, please.

So, while I’m here and you’re here (still flattering myself that you are…), I might as well take a moment to brag. I have a new piece up at 225 Magazine, a review of Sarah Inman’s The Least Resistance. I’ve started writing for NOLAFemmes, so start tuning in there as well. According to Moll (not to be confused with sister Aimee), writing for them makes me famous, so I’m in stellar company. One movie job has ended (ish) and another might soon begin. We’ll see. It’s all so new and exciting… 🙂

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Filed under bragging on, coolness, family, freelance work, Friends, musing, technology, weirdness