Saturday, July 8, 2017

Through the Oak Door Book Launch

On Sunday, June 25th, we celebrated the official launch of Through the Oak Door at the Knockdown Center, a renovated door factory that is now a unique venue for art exhibitions and events. It was the perfect place for the launch, both physically and symbolically.

As I wrote in my post series Sacred Groves and Writing: On Ogham and Oak :
In Love Lies Bleeding, the word marker between sections is "duir," which is the Ogham symbol for the letter/sound D and the oak tree. It carries the same root as "Druid," which means "one with the wisdom of oak." In fact, the root of "duir" actually holds three meanings: oak, door, and stag.

So holding the launch in an artist space that was once a door factory was definitely the universe conspiring to create magic!

The Ready Room of the Knockdown Center is a spot perfect for book readings. It has gorgeous open-brick walls, plants, artwork, and a bar for refreshments! The entire staff was wonderfully accommodating and genuinely happy to have the book launch; it is obvious that they are committed to being a patron of the arts in the community. Check out their website here:

Once everyone settled in with a book I took the podium. (By the way, I LOVE PODIUMS. I haven't been at one in years! I want one in my house. Think that will go over well?)

As I was reading the first few pages of Love Lies Bleeding, haunting music began to play from an exhibit setting up in the next was actually very atmospheric! Some of the audience even thought I had it piped in from somewhere on purpose. (I did not! But it worked!) Here's a clip:

I also read from Songs Within Stone for the first time ever! In the Q&A session afterwards, one comment really struck me: How my character William reminded the listener of Michelangelo, in the sense of an artist feeling like a power is moving through them into the art. I was so thrilled because this was spot-on part of what I was writing into William, although in a Celtic mythological sense. And really, isn't this what all artists of any medium, including myself, feel when they are creating?

Then I had lovely chats with my audience during the signing. It really was a happy occasion, and I am so thankful to all who participated! 

Special thank you to Tyler and Alexis at the Knockdown Center, and to my ever-supportive friends who bought me those gorgeous roses in the picture and the wrapped bottle (it's St. Germaine -- they know me well). And the most gratitude goes to my husband, kids, and parents, whose presence at the launch were priceless. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Revelations: An Interpretation of Loves Lies Bleeding in Dance

The playbill of the performance, 

part of the Crossing Boundaries Series at Dixon Place

     On October 25, I had the honor of watching Corporeal Arts Inc. perform Revelations, a work in progress based on my novelette  Love Lies Bleeding: The Lady of the Forest.

     It was every writer's dream - Selma took inspiration from my story and how the characters made her feel to create something unique and magical.

     Dixon Place is a 30 year old off-off Broadway theater known as "one of NYC's most important and fiercely experimental artists' nests." The minute I walked in I was struck by the welcoming, open atmosphere: wood-paneled walls covered in photos and art, a bar (the city's only non-profit one, I believe!) and an intimate lounge with a stage. The actual theater was a flight below and could seat around 50 people. This was a place I wanted to be, a true artist's nest, safe and encouraging.

     One of the frames on the wall held an old program from 1992, with a Thursday literature series. The last performance of the night showed a science fiction series of readings, curated by...Gordon Van Gelder!  Those of you who subscribe to The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy will understand why I almost fell to the floor - he was the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of the magazine (the top in the genre, publishing such authors as Asimov and Bradbury back in the day) for many years and is still the Publisher. To think my work was being adapted in the same place that Gordon Van Gelder once curated readings...I was over the moon!

     The performance focused on the transformative effect of story. Selma made the reader (herself) a character and had the two main characters (Aislin and the Forest Lord) interact with the reader. The movements evoked both the character's personalities as well as the reader's reactions to them: the unfolding transformation of Aislin, the menacing yet sensual strength of the Forest Lord, and their competition to capture the emotions of the reader. 

     There was so much richness and symbolism here that I could probably write a paper to analyze it all! But instead I mingled with the artists and spectators afterwards, a glass of wine in hand, and talked about performance and literature. It was truly a magical experience!

     Unfortunately we were unable to take pictures of the performance itself, but - good news - Selma intends to expand Revelations and perform once again at her home-base studio! So hopefully pictures will be forthcoming!

All the world's a stage...the players and I!