Here’s another 5 Things: I published an article; I am doing a reading in Seattle; there is a new online school for alternative and LGBTQ-friendly interpretations of Islamic texts; two feminist/progressive publications to read and submit to; and yes, I love Hamilton: An American Musical.
- Publishing news — A piece I wrote was recently published in the UU World: A Filmmaker’s Quest. It’s a profile of Natalie Fedak, a young, indie filmmaker in Bellingham, WA. I interviewed Fedak in August, and found her to be a really admirable, thoughtful person. She has done a lot of creative work and dived right into a tough industry. Being creative, caring, and productive all at the same time, is no small feat, and I wish her all the best, personally and professionally. Remember the name! (This piece appears in both the online and paper editions.)
2. Come here me read! — If you’re in Seattle and not familiar with Minor Arcana Press (motto: Good Books for Weird People), you should check out their site. Or even better: Attend one of several upcoming events.
The free Beer and Poetry Holiday Gathering will be held on Thursday December 3rd at Vermillion Art Gallery. There will be four or five readers, including Evan J Peterson, Natasha Marin, and yours truly! I’m not sure what I’ll be reading yet, maybe some poems or an excerpt from a short story. Normally readings in galleries terrify me but the folks of Minor Arcana Press are really kind and normal people. If you want to venture out to a poetry event for the first time, or for the first time in a long time, this is the one.
If it’s writing you want to do, check out the free Community Writing Circle this Sunday November 29. The event, which usually involves intros and a prompt, writing time and brief, voluntary readings, will be held at Douglass-Truth branch library from 2-4pm. I’ve been to several of their CWCs, and I have to say, they are all welcoming spaces. Also, the prompts have been generative for me. One session got me started on a brand new short story for my Lysithea collection. I’ve since finished the piece and submitted it to various publications. I intend to be at Sunday’s event as a writing participant. These are really non-intimidating, inclusive (racially, gender-wise, class-wise) sessions that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. And again: FREE.
3. The Mecca Institute — I heard about this new venture via Twitter. I read a Truthout article about Daayiee Abdullah, noted as being the first openly gay Muslim Imam in the United States, founding an online school and think tank that examines alternative, contemporary and inclusive interpretations of the Qur’an and other Islamic texts. to host classes on inclusive interpretations of the Qur’an and other texts. Read more about the program here. Classes will be open to both Muslims and non-Muslims. I will be keeping my eye on this. Even though I am no longer Muslim and have no interest in ever being Muslim again, I still have interest in the theology and culture of Islam. My family of origin is still Muslim, too, and after 25 years of having been a believer in that faith, I am connected to it, even though I have chosen a different path for myself.
4. Read and Submit! — I’d like to let you know about two great projects. One is an online magazine, founded and funded by women called The Establishment. They launched only a month ago (October 26) and feature fantastic content from women all over the country on a wide range of topics. I met several of the founders earlier this year and they were great: enthusiastic, experienced, and looking to really contribute something of value by feminist women, for feminist women. I am enjoying many of the articles. Go check it out. And they are also seeking pitches; and they pay.
Anthropoid is a literary project that is currently seeking submissions for its second issue, FOLK – but the deadline fast approaches: Sunday, November 29. You can check them out here. Anthropoid is looking for poetry, fiction, visual art and whatever else you’ve got related to these themes: “examination of the human condition, participant observation, experiential narrative, anthropology and the business of living, culture, “humanesque stuff,” etc. Through Twitter, I know of several people involved and they are awesome women. I have a piece I want to submit to them and it will be a scramble to finish in time….
5. The Hamilton Musical — So, I love this piece of musical theater. I heard about it on Twitter, of course (it’s where I hear about most things these days). People I knew were going ballistic, posting lyrics and going loopy with fandom. I was thinking, “Oh boy.” I thought I’d do my usual thing of not getting caught up in a product or project until long after the majority of people had forgotten it was The Best Thing Ever.
And then. I remembered my regret of not seeing Tracy Chapman when she toured one of her albums. And so many other bands. And The Lion King. And I remembered how I had seen the musical Chicago on Broadway, the very last week that dude from Dexter was playing Billy Flynn, and how awesome that was. And I thought, “Maybe I should just give this a listen, because who knows.” Trust that Hamilton: An American Musical is an entertaining, exhilirating work of genius! At least give it a try. If you dislike it, that’s all right (though it will still be a work of genius). I love it. And so does Kidlet. Her favorite song is Non-Stop, and mine is Wait For It, but so many other numbers (there are 23) are wonderful. What a feat! Read about it here.