Tag Archives: Treme

Brag, baby, brag

Bragging on my friends and colleagues is my favorite thing to do! The awesome people in my life give me no shortage of opportunity to brag on them, either. Check it out!

I was so excited to hear that my friend (and former professor) Mari Kornhauser was tapped by Treme – the first female writer hired for the show. As good as the show is, man do they need her! My favorite quote from the article linked to above is this, which just exemplifies Mari:

“At the end of the meal, Overmyer asked Kornhauser, who has professional experience in feature filmmaking, what she thought about writing for television.

“I asked him, ‘Do you mean for your show?'” Kornhauser said. “When he said yes, I responded ‘Hell yeah. Who wouldn’t?'”

What she will add to the show goes far above and beyond the previously missing feminine touch. She’s a phenomenal writer and teacher and Treme is lucky and smart to have her on their team. I was already excited for the second season of Treme since it was an amazing experience to watch season one with friends at local bars and because Dave does some work for them. But now, I’m doubly – no, triply – invested in the show.

My friend Susan Broussard wrote a piece for the September/October issue of Belle Armoire about a purse that she and a friend made. Susan calls the purse a “sister” to one she made me. It looks almost identical, except for the beading. Check out these pictures I took of the article inside the magazine.

Maurice is going to be in a play on Sunday! He’s been rehearsing for it and I just got the invitation. Here are the deets:

You are invited to a reading of a new play by Robert Landy at Audubon Zoo’s Dominion Learning Center Auditorium  Sunday, October 17 at 2 p.m.
“Letters from Sing Sing” is about an extraordinary relationship between Michael, an incarcerated felon, an African-American man from the Jim Crow south of the 1950’s and Julia, a Caucasian woman, 30 years his elder, a volunteer teacher at Sing Sing, a philanthropist and prison re form advocate. Inspired by actual letters exchanged over a seven year period, the play delves deeply into the realities of crime and punishment and the redemptive qualities of relationship and love. Robert J. Landy, playwright, is a Professor of Educational Theatre and Applied Psychology, as well as the director of the Drama Therapy Program, at New York University. “Letters from Sing Sing” originated in his work in the prisons. Co-directed by Linda Cook, local arts educator/actress/drama therapist in CT and RI prisons, and Dr. Donald Brady, award-winning playwright/actor/director/social activist and Professor Emeritus from Loyola University, the play features Linda Cook as Julia and Maurice Ruffin, an award-winning writer and local attorney active in social justice causes, as Michael. This is a work-in-progress and constructive, critical feedback is invited. Following the reading, there will be an audience discussion with the playwright and a reception. Admission is free.

Speaking of Maurice, this is a two-fer on the brag front because I just got word that his story The Pie Man was the first runner up in the Faulkner-Wisdom short story category. The news hasn’t been added to the winners/finalists page yet, but will likely be updated soon. Congratulations, Maurice and everyone who was recognized in the course of the contest.

And in Nick Fox news, he has finally taken advantage of the newest technology in news/information/opinion dissemination and started a blog. So all of you stalkers-of-the-Fox can bookmark this link for your fix. I’m sure I’ll still brag on him on occasion. 🙂

My newest 225 piece is up on the website, a review of the book Treasures of LSU, which catalogues a grand multi-location celebration of LSU’s 150 anniversary by highlighting its treasures and history. This one made me really nostalgic for my time at LSU and I made a lot of incredible discoveries. One thing I realized was that I’d never actually seen the inside of the Old State Capitol Building and, as a result, I checked it out yesterday with some friends while I was in Baton Rouge. It’s a great book, so check it out.

I think that’s it, for the moment. But, knowing the incredible people in my life, it won’t be long till there’s more to brag on, so never fear. 🙂

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Filed under bragging on, freelance work, Friends, New Orleans, pop culture, t.v.

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

What I’ve been thinking about lately…

Everyday, I read dozens of little news items about the whole gamut of human experience. Literary and movie news, scientific discoveries, music, random celebrity-ness (yes, I admit) and current events. My co-workers do as well, and from time to time, one of them will announce some odd or interesting factoid or this-just-in and the rest of us will listen.

My first week at my new job, one of my co-workers said into the large, silent office we all share: “So, what’s going on in the world?” One of my other co-workers said, “A woman says Steven Seagal made her his sex slave and Treme got picked up for a second season.”

Random. But then, we’re news and information junkies.

Throughout each day, I have an ocean of factoids and images in my head, each swimming around in there like strange aquatic life. One day, I read the Wikipedia page on the Donner party and had those horrific deets bouncing around, and then read a review of Exit Through the Gift Shop and did my budget. That’s just modern life.

So, here are some links to randomness that I’ve been thinking about the last few weeks.

-A man rescued a woman being attacked, got stabbed and died on a NYC sidewalk as bystanders avoided and ignored him. So horrified by this one, I read a second article later the same day.

-Lane Bryant plus-sized lingerie commercial censored. This pieces mentions a Victoria Secret ad that I saw about 20 minutes before (and an hour after) reading this.

Women make less money when they get married and take their husband’s last name?

-Even though I worked on The Final Destination, apparently there will be a 5th in the franchise. Not so final, after all. Are any of us surprised? I remember reading the script and thinking, “Last one, huh? Yeah, right…”

-A book of Marilyn Monroe writings! I’ll certainly read that book. Feel free to send me an advance copy for review, Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Seriously.

-An utterly hypnotic YouTube video of 500 years of female art subjects morphing into each other. Check it out!

-Kelly Osbourne gets flak for claiming that she looked healthier and skinnier after she started wearing self-tanner on Dancing with the Stars.

-Author Kathryn Stockett has a Google Maps application on her site with her readers’ names and locations. This kinda just scares me. Especially since my mom’s book club is reading The Help next month.

New Mark Twain manuscript has surfaced, in memory of his favorite daughter, who died.

-Cadillac driver stops a purse snatching! With the car!

-Molly Ringwald’s therapist told her to stop dating writers and be a writer.

Darth Vader-narrated GPS! Hysterical video. 🙂

Daughter of serial killer writes book.

How the pill liberated women – the author’s mother counts it as the most important invention of her lifetime.

-“Sea Waif” tragedy survivor breaks 50-year silence.

CW is resurrecting Moonlight! Well, just reairing episodes along with The Vampire Diaries. But still cool. Alex O’Loughlin is wonderful. See The Back-Up Plan for evidence. I did, last week, in a double feature with Date Night.

-The breeder of the labradoodle regrets the designer dog trend.

-The story behind the Carrie Underwood song “Play On.” And her fellow AI alum, Kelly Clarkson, has a new song I can’t wait to hear (it’s been pulled anywhere you might be able to hear it online) – “Wash, Rinse, Repeat,” apparently lambasting the music industry in general and “Already Gone”/”Halo” co-writer Ryan Tedder in particular.  And while we’re on AI, 5 potential replacements for Simon Cowell – I’d love any of them.

The Art of ConfessionCurtis Sittenfeld interviews Meghan Daum and Emily Gould! Wonderful piece – I wish it were five times longer. You might remember that in my very first blog post (almost 2 years ago!), I described my attraction/repulsion to blogging thusly:

So that’s my way of saying I’m ambivalent about blogging. Primarily because of delicious little trainwrecks like this: Emily Gould Blogs All

-This lovely photo project, Dear New Orleans, came to my attention because of the wonderful Scene Magazine‘s most recent issue.

-Somebody recently told me that Mr. Rogers was formerly a sniper in the army and I repeated this to a co-worker, who got me hooked on Snopes.com by using it to REFUTE THIS RUMOR!

-And now, we come full-circle to my horror at the NYC left-for-dead-on-the-sidewalk circle with a much more positive story about a group of individual female students rushing a man who was attacking another woman. They pinned him to the ground till the authorities arrived – and probably, as all parties acknowledge, saved her life. A round of applause to those woman, and my admiration.

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Random Treme Post

I’ve managed to see every episode of Treme so far, remarkable since I don’t have HBO. Episode one was at a friend’s house and the last two weeks have been with friends at a local bar. It seems most everybody in this city has some connection to the show.

My connections? My former teacher, writer Rodger Kamenetz, had a cameo in the second episode, “checking into hotel with Steve Zahn about ten secs.” And another friend is working on the show.

Was recently reading Back of Town and saw this great making of video. Near the end, there’s a great quote from David Simon: “This city really does matter to America, even if America doesn’t get it.”

Check it out:

Here’s an interesting article about how uncomfortable filming can be in neighborhoods.

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Lie to tell the truth – Treme

As a fiction writer, I’ve had the “lie to tell the truth” conversation many times with other artists. Sometimes, it is the lie, the fiction, the thing that never happened, or just didn’t happen when you say it did, that speaks the greatest truth. That’s the luxury of a fiction writer – we get to play with the facts and make things up. We are telling the truth of the heart, not pretending to tell you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, as seen objectively (is there an objective truth?).

Since Treme started production in New Orleans, and especially as it’s gotten closer to premiering, several people have asked me, “So, what do you think. Will it be good? Will it tell the truth?”

I don’t know, is my truth.

I’m fascinated by the “translation” between books and movies and I’ve often said that a movie adaptation of your favorite book cannot be the same. It can’t. It has to change because of the basic, irrefutable, physical fact that a movie is not a book. Successful adaptations, to me, are the ones that keep the feeling, philosophy and heart of the original work, not just try to re-create written scenes as action.

The same could be said for history, for facts, I imagine. In order to tell the story of people who didn’t exist–but probably could have–in the aftermath of Katrina (or any historical period), you’ll likely have to tweak the facts a little in order to tell the thematic truth.

Hey, I watched K*Ville, even though I cringed when the title was announced, even though one of the first episodes make it look like the airport was off of Tchoupitoulas Street. Mostly, I was enamored with the possibilities. And Cole Hauser. I always had more confidence in Treme than K*Ville, mostly because of the good work done on The Wire, and really the titles of the two New Orleans-based t.v. shows do speak volumes. And at least it’s not The Big Easy, eh, especially as a diabolical reference to post-Katrina New Orleans.

So, tonight, I’m watching Treme. And I’m doing it with more assurance having read David Simon’s open letter in today’s Times-Picayune, which makes the argument about lying to tell the truth very well.

Your sensibilities matter to us because we have tried to be honest with that extraordinary time — not journalistically true,  but thematically so. We have depicted certain things that happened,  and others that didn’t happen,  and then still others that didn’t happen but truly should have happened.

This is a nice way of saying we have lied.

Why? Why not depict a precise truth,  down to the very Hubig’s?

Well,  Pablo Picasso famously said that art is the lie that shows us the truth. Such might be the case of a celebrated artist claiming more for himself and his work than he ought,  or perhaps,  this Picasso fella was on to something.

That’s just a sample from the middle. Check out the whole thing at the link above. Enjoy. Hope it makes you want to get a Hubig’s pie and watch Treme.

And here’s another great example of lying to tell the truth. Students of a popular show choir talk about the differences between their reality and Glee. I’m not sure who thought Glee was realistic, but as one student says, there’s one thing Glee gets right, “People from different backgrounds can come together and make some cool music,” he says. “The Classics has athletes, speech club people, drama club people, and if we didn’t have show choir, we probably wouldn’t make eye contact in the hallways. But because of show choir, we hang out and we’re actually friends.” That kinda sounds like the point, the truth in all the flash.

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