Friday, June 17, 2005

off to AMC

I apologize for the infrequency and boringness of this blog. But, on the bright side, I promise to not make any more remarks about people not leaving comments. (Unless this was a popular blog and lots of people left comments, then suddenly, hardly anyone did. Then I'd say something.)

After 5 years, I'm finally getting to go to the Allied Media Conference in Bowling Green, Ohio. (It used to be called the Underground Publishing [or Press?] Conference.) I've very much wanted to go, but never seemed to be in touch with anyone going, or couldn't make it for whatever reason. And there's always lots of Chicagoans going; there are always Chicagoans doing workshops, so theoretically, I've always had a chance at a ride. One year some people I knew promised to take a big box of flyers and a sign-up sheet I had (related to my previous political work) and I packaged it all beautifully and then they forgot to come by and pick it up. That was 2 or 3 years ago, and I don't think I ever said anything.

The people who've said they've seen this blog are probably going to the conference anyway, so it's not like I need to post this urgently.

So I'll be missing: an art auction/party-type thing someone I knew from school is having; events at Quimby's Fri. and Sat. (a book on Chicago dive bars--get it, it's entertaining!; a tribute to mix tapes); a chance to be a movie extra; the Puerto Rican parade in Humboldt Park (and the downtown one); the Finger open mike at Early to Bed (always great). But I'll finally be at AMC, and with my own little table for my zines and stickers.

What I want to write about: a sad story involving a former firefighter and author of books on Chicago fires, who's been accused of arson; the sudden closing (Mon. 6/20) of maybe my favorite Chicago coffeeshop, Cafe Boost; controversy over the artist who did a photo shoot jumping off the Museum of Contemporary Art; books I've read and will be reading...
And there's the other 10 or so blog entries I've been planning for weeks now... (I never even wrote Version Fest Part II!)

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Corrections and announcements

I'm off to the Printers Row Book Fair for all day today and tomorrow. Last year, it was a week after my graduation, and the first place I was presenting my new zine and other writing/artwork outside of school, and I was a lot more nervous than I should have been, and a lot dorkier than I should have been...Hopefully all the success, such as it is, in the intervening year should make this year a little better.

Should I use a cliche and blame all the following on the heat? I've NEVER seen this many calendar mistakes in one week of local reading:

Chicago Journal (weekly South Loop paper) put the date on their cover as "Thursday, June 8."

Announcements from the Buddy space (I'll be at the robot party tonight!) said Thurs. 10, Fri. 11, Sat. 12.

A bookstore event was listed in the Reader as Sun. 11, while in the same section the store's ad said Sat. 11.

Time Out, in a little feature on the World Naked Bike Ride (I went last year and it was one of the most fun things I've EVER done in Chicago. But this year I 1) need the tube fixed on my bike 2) would feel too self-conscious even wearing a slip like I did last year; I want to lose 20 pounds. Which goes against the whole body-acceptance theme of the ride, I know. 3) am paranoid about getting arrested and missing the last day of the book fair.), listed it twice as Fri. 11, then listed it in Sports as Sat. 11.

But the best mistake of the week, in a little sidebar in New City about "What I'm Reading This Summer":

Nick Hornby : "I'm reading a book called 'A Short History of Tractors' [in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka]--it's a novel. It's a real title, I swear!"

Okay, it would have worked better if New City got the title right. It's "A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian." See, he's not READING it in Ukrainian...

Well, I'm easily amused.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Minor fame part II

(Warning: even more self-absorbed than usual.)

One of my admittedly easy goals on the “minor fame” post from weeks ago was to get my name in Time Out Chicago, and this week I did, though I’m not sure if it counts: it’s a listing for an event I’m reading at, and I did the publicity for the event. (Which includes listings in Time Out, the Reader, Gapers Block, and flyers a few places.)

It’s a zine reading this Sat., June 4, at MoJoe’s CafĂ© Lounge at Roscoe and Oakley, 7:30 p.m. I should be finishing up writing the piece I’m reading there (something new, not more disturbing zine excerpts), but I felt like adding a few things I forgot when I wrote that “minor fame” post:

(Of COURSE writing and publishing [and self-publishing] aren’t supposed to be about fame [or minor fame] or therapy or self-esteem or making friends, but about creating art that speaks to people, tells the truth, makes people think, etc., and I want to do all that, but I can’t deny that I’m also trying to compensate for a lot of bleak lonely years in my life, and getting my writing out there has helped things be a little less bleak and lonely.)

*I’d like to be mentioned in other peoples’ blogs, either for my blog or for my other writing
*I’d love for a writer (or musician or artist, etc.) to name me as someone they’re “reading right now” or “someone to watch” or whatever
*I really want to be a cover story in New City and/or the Reader someday. For what, I’m not quite sure. (I got nearly a whole page in Section One of the Reader in Nov. 2000, but that wasn’t for my writing or art.)
*I’d love to turn up as a character, however minor, in someone’s else’s writing
*And, of course, let’s not forget the ultimate dream, inclusion in the someday inevitable “Girls of Self-Publishing” feature in Playboy.

(You know I’m kidding there, I hope. I mean, I’d have to lose a lot of weight first…)

I forgot to include, in my plans, the idea of writing for Web sites (other than this blog and the other sites I’m planning)--getting pieces on Web magazines, literary sites. So I’ll add that to the very long list of goals…

And since I wrote that first list, I’ve been hit with the urge I thought I’d never have…to write fiction. Maybe for now fiction that’s the thinnest of thinly veiled nonfiction ever, but still. It’s a startling new feeling.