Upcoming Spring 2016 Events

Hey Friends, I have three (3!) upcoming live lit events in the next couple months. I hope to see you out at one or more. That would may me way happy. It’ll all be really very. (No not a hint as to what movie I’ll be talking about at Flick Lit…)

Is This a Thing Logo

Is This a Thing? – Are You There God, It’s Me..? @ O’Shaughnessy’s, Ravenswood, Chicago. Monday April 11, 2016 @ 7:00. More on Facebook and the Facebook Event Page.

I’m revisiting an old story friend for this one.

 

Essay Fiesta New

Essay Fiesta @ The Book Cellar, Lincoln Square, Chicago. Monday April 18, 2016 @ 7:00. More on the Essay Fiesta website , Facebook, and the Facebook Event Page.

My triumphant return after a six year hiatus!

 

Flick Lit Logo

Flick Lit: Reel-to-Real Storytelling for Movie Lovers – Bad Movies @ The Logan Theatre. Logan Square, Chicago. Wednesday May 11, 2016 @ 7:30. More on Facebook.

A newer show on the block I’m way excited about.

 

Happy writing, reading, listening, living, Everyone! 🙂

Works In Progress

Happy site make over! It’s been on my post-graduation to-do list for a while now. I still feel like I’m in post-graduation (DePaul) mode really. I think I’m allowed to feel that way for at least one full school year after, right? When I still know folks in the program and I’m still feeling the momentum and the wind of my freshly minted degree still on my back (unless that’s really the Arctic wind this winter’s brought upon us.)

In addition to Mortified, I was a part of Defining Moments, Broken Road Theatre’s storytelling benefit for their first show. Thanks again, Dennis! While I did an encore of sorts of my Mortified piece, I am working on some new material to submit or have on hand for future invitations. I’ve also been trying to make it out to shows I haven’t been to. Finally made it to Story Sessions! And in the past few weeks, I’ve “officially” met folks around Live Lit Land I’ve only before known of either through seeing them at an event or around the Facebook groups. Always good to have some real connection. You probably know who you are. 🙂

A couple nonfiction things in the works hopefully soonishly coming to a show and/or publication near you:

Drama 101 – Morning radio improv game, high school, automotive knowledge or lack thereof…

Stolen – Of a childhood home break-in and other loss.

I have some nonfiction work from school that needs some love as well for publication and/or performance (some of it works better for performance than others.) I’ve thought about posting here the piece I wrote about the passing of my friend Cookie Crumbles, though with some editing it may work for live events. So we’ll see… There’s the story of my volunteer work at the Lakeview Pantry last year (The Pantry) There’s also my piece on going home to Detroit to learn more about Rouge River conversation efforts (On the Rouge), which in some ways is less about the river itself and more about Home and connection with my Dad. So hopefully I’ll have news on those stories in the near future…

I need to start entering more contests. There are some deadlines coming up this month. I gotta get on that for real…

I have some fiction work going on as well. This week (and this weekend…) I’ve gotten back into edits of my “Todd & Wendell” story, a story of a grandson and a grandfather I’ve been working on since the summer before school started. I workshopped it in my first writing class at DePaul, and worked on it some more in a literary editing class. And with some much appreciated feedback from my classmate Raul Palma, I’m going full-ish steam ahead on round, um, I really don’t know what round I’m on at this point. I also have The Red Car, an Indiana story, which I included as a work sample for my DePaul application. That draft is long buried, but it’s good to know it was still good enough at the time. There’s also my Triptosis, the story of a couple best friends as told through an unexpected point of view written for Rebecca Johns-Trissler’s Speculative Fiction class (a program highlight for me–take it!) Hopefully you’ll hear good news about these stories as well.

And of course there’s all those other drafts and half-started ideas and first sentences waiting for me to focus my “writerly A.D.D.” back onto them. We all have those!

I suppose this public declaration can act as a motivator. I better follow through for you!

I’ll keep you posted.

Cheers.

Photo: Charlotte Built my Hotrod, 2007.  A favorite from my South Bend, Indiana days. See it on Flickr.

Mortified in Photos

Thanks to everyone who came out to Mortified Chicago to “share the shame” with me as I presented a collection of high school poetry and song lyrics affectionately titled Angry Young Man. As I navigated through the music-inspired personas I put forth, I shared such titles as “Downhill,” “Get Off My Foot,” and “My Bleeding Soul.” I had a blast and can’t wait to to do it all over again.

Photos by my fabulous cast mate Jill Howe who shared with us her take on The Crucible by way of Alanis Morrisette.

UPDATE: Listen to the audio at Soundcloud.com!

Image

My inner Robert Smith and I.

Mortified 2

Giving the Censor Board a piece of my mind, yo.

My air guitar and I "sing" about a love that's gone "Downhill."

My air guitar and I “sing” about a love that’s gone “Downhill” from 8th grade.

Mom's "moody one."

Mom’s “moody one.”

That’s All She Wrote

Hey Friends! I’m helping launch a brand new Chicago live lit series called That’s All She Wrote.

I’ll be premiering a brand new story called “Blaming Richard Marx.” I know you want to find out what that’s all about.

Details:

Sunday, October 14th at 8:00 pm at Swim Cafe in the West Town/Noble Square neighborhood — 1357 W. Chicago Avenue. Food is available for purchase and the show is BYOB (Lush Wine & Spirits is just up the street!)

Line up includes Jessica Palmer, Angela Benander, Keith Ecker, and Tom Wolferman.

Can’t wait to see you there! 🙂

Radio DePaul Reading & Interview

Hey friends, it’s finally this site’s official Radio DePaul post!  On January 20, 2012, I joined hosts Colin & Marcy and my classmate Bethany for this term’s second edition of DePaul Student Writers Series.

I read two of my personal essays, Dance of the Ring and More Than Words. Following the reading, we discussed the pieces and the writing process.  Definitely a cool way to spend a wintery Friday morning.

Listen via the show’s new site Welcome post, or go directly to the site’s embedded audio.  Please Note: the first couple minutes featuring announcements got clipped, but the main event is all there.  Also, I’m second guest in the line up.

It’s been a busy quarter, and I should be studying for my Language & Style test right now.  But I still have time.  I’m also involved in a really cool project for my Art of the Interview class.  More on that to come!

Be well, and enjoy the show.  Cheers.

Mortified, Memoirs, and More

This is not me. But you’ll be able to see and hear Mortifying things about me December 10 at Schubas.

Firstly, MichaelVanKerckhove.wordpress.com is now MichaelVanKerckhove.com.  Yeah, I went ahead and bought myself my own domain name, snatching it up from the two other guys on earth I know of with my name–they live in Belgium.  All things still point to WordPress.  Thought I’d take a moment to celebrate.  Take your own moment if inspired.

Secondly, I have a show coming up!  I’ll be returning to MORTIFIED on December 10, 2011.  I’m way excited!  This time around, we’ll be at Schubas.  I’ve seen concerts there, and now I get to do my own thing on that stage. Awesome.  I’ll be reliving the piece I did in March–hear me share excerpts from my 9th grade journals.  GET YOUR TICKETS as it will sell out.  Can’t wait to see you there.

Memoirsofaguncle.wordpress.com

Thirdly, my first quarter at DePaul University is officially over.  I am currently enrolled in the MA Writing & Publishing program.  My grad school re-boot is in full effect and going well.  My fiction workshop–Time & Place in Fiction–got my fiction brain back in gear.  I had the opportunity to workshop two first drafts.  One newish and one really new.  (More on the stories themselves to come, perhaps.) We read inspiring and relevant published stories, and got to know my classmates through their work.  My Digital Publishing class has pushed me to  get this site a good dusting.  I also launched a new site as part of my class work: Memoirs of a Guncle-adventures in gay unclehood.  The site is inspired by mine and Ernie’s new(ish) unclehood and my essay on my evolving attitude toward kids and fatherhood, An Ernie Yes or No.  I also want to add more Chicago focused posts on cool things to do with the young ones in our lives.  Please check it out and follow on the Twitter and Facebook and all that good stuff.  I want to get a new post up soon and keep it going beyond just the class. Wish me luck.  And to all my classmates and profs: Have an awesome break and see you soon!

Finally, I wrapped up my Marketing & Events internship at Open Books, the brilliant Chicago literacy non-profit.  All our work on Revelry 2011 paid off.  With this opportunity, I was able to get a cool look at the inner workings of a non-profit, broadened my awareness of the city (even from my desk), and picked up some experience points in event planning.  I also had the chance to experience an amazing Chicago event space–the Catalyst Ranch.   Check out the site!  In the weeks ahead, I’m going to re-post some of the more personal writings I contributed to the Open Books blog.  Now, I get time back to work with the kids–I’ll be doing another field trip on the 30th.  Looking forward to it!

More to come.  Cheers.

“An Ernie Yes or No” @ The Everyday Gay

Currently living in the six hours between my dad heading back home to Michigan and going to work.  In post-SOLO HOMO 9 mode, but also must get things together for more visitors and Pride.  Thanks to all who came out to the show this week–you rock!  Hope you had a good time.

So my Solo Homo 9 piece, An Ernie Yes or No, was recently published by my writerly pal Byron and the rest of the fabulous folks over at The Everyday Gay.  The publication happened a bit “fast” even if the piece has been in the works for a few years now.  Byron and I had been emailing about contributing–and then I noticed EG was doing a Father’s Day week celebration, so I struck.  Byron loved it, and wrote a touching introduction, which I am so thankful for.

The piece covers my evolving attitude about the possibility of being a Dad, incorporating family history, pop culture, my relationship with Ernie, and various other introspection.  Read it by CLICKING HERE.

The piece started in winter 2008 as a class assignment in my friend Kelcey’s Creative Non-Fiction class at  IUSB, where I did a year of graduate work. Over the last three years, I’ve been working at it here and there, and by the time this year’s Solo Homo came about, I knew I wanted to use the opportunity to finish it.  I think  of all the pieces I’ve done, this was the easiest to memorize, because so much of it, especially the final thoughts, have been bubbling in my brain for so long, that I’ve known it for a while.

In thinking about my family, it’s actually a comfort to realize that all parents have their doubts, fears, and demons to deal with when it comes to being parents.  Our parents are people too!  Who knew?  In the 24-hour period before my dad came to visit and see the show, I had a bit of panic and a case of writer’s remorse.  This piece gets raw and real–about my family and myself–moreso than any work.  And it freaked me out a bit.  Especially with my dad hearing it.  But Dad is well aware of his personal goings-through in being a young parent, and talking about it definitely calmed me down.  We’re good. 🙂

As per one of my final thoughts in the piece, about attempting to help raise any child of mine to not be an asshole, my Strawdog Theatre friend, Hank (who also bar tended Monday night)  pointed me to this article from Details Magazine: Are You Raising a Douchebag? It’s funny at first, but also gets real.  It’s no fluff piece.  While no kid of mine will ride around in a $2000 stroller, one of the more accessible things that the article touches on is the parenting trend of over protecting.  One of my mantras these days is Kids are so coddled!  Let them live and discover and take risks.  Falling off a bike will make them stronger.  As I approach 40, I hear myself saying “Back in my day….” more than I’d perhaps like….  The article cites a forthcoming book called Let them Run With Scissors…. which I’ll have to pick up “if we get there.”  I also like some of the user comments following the piece (a rare thing these days of so much general negativity in comments sections everywhere).  One in particular is by a mom of 19-year-old twins who was a single mom since the boys were 3.  Go her!

I hope you enjoy the essay.  Feel free to leave non-douchebag comments here and/or at the EG site. 🙂

Happy Pride!

UPDATE: October 2011 ~ Follow my new blog project, Memoirs of a Guncle: adventures in gay unclehood, to follow up on the themes (and more!) touched on in this essay. Cheers!

UPDATE: October 2017 – The EG site is now down. I’ve also taken down the Memoirs site but am looking to re-post entries here.

Solo Homo 9: June 20 & 21, 2011!

I’ve Facebooked and Tweeted and done all sorts of PR.  Well, here’s the official WordPress post!  Check out my latest show with NewTown Writers, the 9th installment of Solo Homo. I’ll be debuting a new pieced called An Ernie Yes or No.

For more info, visit Newtownwriters.org

To RSVP at the Facebook Event Page, go HERE.

To snatch up online tickets, visit Brown Paper Tickets. (Or pay cash @ the door!)

We can’t wait to see you there.  Cheers!