So, much going on in the past month. First off, Ernie and I finished our semesters at IUSB on May 7. My class presented their awesomely creative group projects–their productions of Oedipus Rex. We had one set at Woodstock, a sci-fi production set into the future, a production set in the world of LA gangs. And a Greek tragedy meets Dr. Seuss. The parallels are actually quite fascinating with that last one. 🙂 I had another solid group and I felt things went well even as my focus was split there for a while between packing and everything else. I received my last pay check from the university last Friday, so now it’s really over. The teaching, my coursework, the experience was an amazing (if sometimes bumpy) ride that I’m feeling will be better served in more private reflection. Whatever the ups and downs, I don’t regret our time in “the SB” one bit. I’m glad we did it, and I’m beyond glad we’re back. Sometimes I’ll be riding my bike home from work and think Wow, I live here again. And the last 3 years feel like a dream. Like that season on Dallas when Pam walked into the bathroom and Bobby was in the shower and he wasn’t dead after all–and the next season they had to pick up from the one before. Crazy! Like I almost have to pick up my Chicago life from 2006. And then there’s the finale of Newhart when Bob wakes up with this previous series’ wife. That whole Vermont thing was just a whacky dream. Yeah, I feel like that sometimes. But I know I contributed for real. For real.
Both Fiction and Creative Nonfiction/Solo Performance work inspired by my time has a Hoosier has already begun….
“Operation Chicago Re-Boot” is going well. I’m actually looking forward to what I’m referring to as “Operation 2nd Wave.” A friend is buying my futon which used to be in the guest bedroom at the Country House. It currently lives in our storage unit. Once she is able to take it to her new place, we’ll be able to tidy up around here–put some stuff downstairs. And do some cleaning. That’ll be good. I’ll feel more settled then.
I’m figuring out my post-South Bend masage. Grad school, teaching, both moves, etc. It’s all in my neck and shoulders and the rest of me can use a tune up too!
I’ve been focusing on two stories this past month. First, Playing Guns, a piece about childhood play, friends, family, war, stories, etc. I made a recent submission deadline. Yay! I won’t say who or what cos I’m supersticious like that. *Fingers crossed* just in case. I’m not really focusing on Is Jimmy Stackpool Singing Too? for Solo Homo 7. We open in just shy of 3 weeks! Click on the link for more, though I know I’ll be giving it its own post soon. I’m also co-producing/co-directing as well. That’s been a lot of good behind the scenes grunt work. Love that I have the opportunity to do it. It fits peachily into “Operation Chicago Re-Boot.” It’s been fun and we have an awesome group. Can’t wait to see the culmination of all our work!
Finally, I recently finished reading Kevin Wilson’s short story collection, Tunneling to the Center of the Earth. I got a copy in my Easter basket from the in-laws. I love it! I appreciate the quirkiness that to me does not slide into ridiculousness. Many of his characters have–unique–occupations and I love how he explores them and connects them to their lives. His fantastical elements are grounded in reality and sense, a balance I work to achieve as well. I wish I’d written some of them! One of his stories, “The Museum of Whatnot,” deals with similar themes to one of my works in progress–our relationship with objects–but they’re still, you know, different. 🙂 While all the stories are different, you can definitely sense Kevin’s sense of humor, his voice, etc. If I had to pick a favorite, I’d go with “Mortal Kombat,” which interestingly is one of the less “quirky” ones. It’s an honest and raw piece about two high school friends in the early ’90’s and their relationship and discoveries. A looked forward to event is the release of the home version the Mortal Kombat video game. What an amazing cultural phenominon to connect to their lives. That one got me reaching for some tissue. I look forward to reading more of his work down the road….
Other reading material this summer will include the 3rd book onward in the Sookie Stackhouse novels. Can’t wait for the 2nd season of True Blood to start! I also have my Walt Whitman to read, other story collections. Etc.
When I’m finished with working on my current Creative Nonfiction, I’m looking forward to diving into some of my own fiction. I want to make stuff up again.
It’s fun. 🙂