The proper way to do a reading
I have friends in New York City, and I’ve spent a bit of time there off and on over the years. Enough to know it’s a very different place. I grew up in the South, after all. It’s a place unto itself, for sure, not so much a part of America as in spite of it. And so, quintessentially American. But it ain’t Kansas, Dorothy.
A friend on the west coast, a fellow writer and small boat sailor, contacted me about a new project the other day. We met through a mutual love for writing over 20 years ago, and he went on to publish one of the first online literary journals for the web, The Blue Moon Review. It’s been dark for some time now (kids, life, etc.) but he’s been writing again, and got the bug, so has decided to fire it up again as The Blue Penny Quarterly.
We think a lot alike, and I’ve offered to design and produce the digital downloadable version of it. Should be fun, with lots of experimentation and pushing the limits on things. There’s so much you can do with this medium that you can’t do with print alone. Some will fail, no doubt, and some will hopefully work in wondrous ways. It’s all part of the process.
The video above is part of the promotion for a gallery show of Letterpress Art Show opening in NYC called New York Writes Itself. (I have other friends who are practitioners of this arcane, impractical, outdated craft, and this is right up their alley.) I like the untraditional twist on the author’s reading. Hope they do more like it.
If you’re a writer with a literary bent, the submissions line is open. If you know someone who might be interested, pass it on.
Here’s a little project that’s been put off for awhile: making the old shed into a boat shed. This shed has already been enlarged once. Originally it was built for a Model T and not much else. Then extended. Then sort of sealed and insulated by someone for some reason, which failed miserably. It was also wired to make an excellent electrical fire hazard, which I quickly removed. It’s falling down already – the floor collapsing, the foundation crumbling. It does have a newish roof. Perfect for a boat shed, right?
There’s a place nearby where the Rockfish River winds through a ripple of hills. The hills are small, just a faint echo of the mountain ridge to the west. The river is, too; never more than a stream really. In most places you can wade across without getting your knees wet. A good sized tree falling over will span the banks. But It cut itself a narrow cliff-lined canyon through these hills. The steep stone walls, old and grey, seal it off from the outside world. Indirect light filters in softly most of the day through a clerestory of trees along the rim.
Caught thinking. Frame grab from the video.
By request, here’s an extended version of the time lapse video of the building process. I made the short one first, knowing it would be easier to hold everyone’s attention for five minutes, but it does move too fast to see very much.
Albemarle County, Virginia ~ October 28, 2009
More accurately, Deer Lichen. A northern variety grows on the tundra, called Reindeer or Caribou Moss. Things with antlers like to eat it. It’s rich in carbs – more than potatoes – but too tough and acidic for humans to eat directly. When the Inuit killed a caribou they could eat the partially digested contents of the stomach, which was mostly moss and lichen, and this was the only vegetable in the Inuit diet. In Scandinavian countries they make a distilled spirit with it called Akavit. The Gaelic term for the same elixir became whisky.
Schooner Liberte at Thomas Point Lighthouse
Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race
Got the whole gallery of images from the Schooner Race uploaded – all 394 of them. You can find it here: