It has been, as is not uncommon, a while.
Made it to the finals of the Literary Death Match, wore impressive shoes, but was bested by a poet in the final round. I would argue that he had several unfair advantages, but we needn't discuss that now. Jane Smiley gave me the thumbs up, so that's pretty cool.
Had heart broken yet again. Several sad months. Blah, blah, blah.
Spent New Year's Eve on sofa with fever instead of drinking champagne in a fancy frock. Was displeased.
But, I'm back, people. I'm back.
I have recently received a request (by which I mean insistent begging) for the address of this blog from a new acquaintance. I felt it would be shameful to not write something new before pointing him this direction, so here I am: writing.
There is something about being identified as a writer by someone who doesn't actually know you. Something about having a veritable stranger say, essentially, "You're clearly a writer. What are you writing? You should be writing." that is helpful in a way that hearing that from, well, everyone else you know (especially your mom) is not. So, thanks, mister.
Also, at a recent concert by the slyly hilarious and excessively talented Miss Katy Stephan (whose new CD you should purchase at once. Buy the real one, not the online one. The real one has how-to guides for charming crafts. It will make you happy), she brought something up that I have been pondering ever since. She said that before her CD release concert she had been fretting--It is so much work. What if no one comes? Is it worth it?--and composer/musician Darren Johnston told her that no matter what happened, making live music for people in one's community is a form of activism.
I have never before identified with the word activism. It evokes for me images of big crowds, petitions, and yelling, all of which are things from which I habitually shy away. However, art as activism is an idea that resonates though me like a gong. Not art that is "activist art" by definition. Not art that is trying to be political. Art that is its own true self and that for that reason brings people together into a two-hour community called an audience. Art that simply affirms the experience of being alive, together, in person, right now. Having recently seen a kick-ass play at Shotgun Players that similarly made me reflect that theatre when it's done well is as powerful and and visceral and profoundly human as it ever has been, the importance of art, particularly performance, has been zinging around my brain for weeks.
So yes. If people can go through the rigorous labor to make and send out into the world something as complicated and beautiful and fleeting as a song or a play, I can, at least, update my silly blog. Writing for me is a practice of starting over. Again. And again. And again.
2011. Ready? Go.