Memorial Day Weekend Report
This weekend went by soooo quickly...too quickly. I was planning on doing absolutely nothing but reading and watching movies most of the weekend, but wound up doing tons of poetry and writing stuff instead.
Let's rewind to Thursday night. I had dinner with my former flame, Billy (he's got a number of poems dedicated to him in my books), who was back in town for a visit. I'm happy to report I no longer want to jump his bones, and that after 16 years of knowing each other, I consider him just a good friend. Whew. Glad that's over. We caught up on life over drinks at 97 Estoria, this great little bar and restaurant in Cabbagetown. Billy is still creative as hell and pursuing his painting and art. I'm really proud of him.
On Friday, it was a short day at work and then I went and met fellow poet Cleo Creech for dinner at the Silver Grill. We also had much catching up to do. He's busy writing and has met a lovely man. Then I came home and submitted my novel, Conquering Venus, to a publishing house that has an open reading period. As part of my ending the contest cycle of abuse, I've got a list of open readings for fiction that I'm slowly working my way through. I haven't given up on the novel yet. I still have many options and I'm fully exploring them.
On Saturday, I finally got around to watching Michael Clayton on DVD. Oh my god! One of the best films I've ever seen. George Clooney is so good in this and Tilda Swinton definitely deserved that Oscar. It was so good that I ordered it from Amazon to have as part of my permanent collection. I also finished up a manuscript critique for a poet whose work I admire so much. It was a pleasure to read and my list of notes for her is very short.
Sunday was the big poetry day. We had a two-hour Atlanta Queer Literary Festival meeting and I'm happy to say things are rapidly taking shape. A call for artists is on the website and we're finalizing our PayPal account so we can accept donations. A letter is also going out seeking corporate sponsorships. The dates are Oct. 15-19 and there will be poetry and fiction readings, theatre, workshops, book signings and more.
After the meeting I dashed over to Cabbagetown Park for the Mondo Homo reading. If you saw the previous post about this reading, you'll know there was some general displeasure about the lack of publicity for the event. Some poets dropped out, some didn't even bother to show up. I don't blame them. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the number of people gathered in the park and those who spread out blankets and plopped down to listen to us. I'm sure that was partly due to the mass email blasts we all did and the sunny weather we've enjoyed all weekend. Theresa Davis, Tim'm West, Yolo, Meek, Karen G. and the other readers did a superb job.
After the reading, we all went to Java Monkey Speaks for the "emergency" slam to find a replacement for a team member who had to drop out. As expected, the patio was packed. Ten poets competed for that one spot to go with the team to the National Slam in Wisconsin and everyone brought their A-game. In the end, it was Adam Henzbo, who had come down from Bowling Green, KY, who won the spot. His work was passionate and articulate and he'll be a formidable challenger, especially with a team that also includes Gypsee-Yo, Bryan Pattillo and Chas.
Today, I started a project that's going to take weeks to complete: After 10 years of having email@example.com as my email address, I'm getting ready to switch to gmail. This was prompted by hotmail's continuing decline in customer service and the fact that many of my emails are not being delivered and folks trying to email me are getting bounce backs. That's just unacceptable. So, I've started cleaning out my stored emails -- there's more than a thousand I'm sure -- and deleting, forwarding or printing them up. I'll send a notice out to all my contacts when the switch happens in a couple of months, plus post the info here. If you want to go ahead and add firstname.lastname@example.org to your address books, feel free.