Step-Ladder Stool Sunday

StoolIt is Sunday. Newspaper day. As a child, I spent most Sundays with my aunt, Sissie, in Libertytown, where came the Washington and Baltimore Sunday papers. They would be sat upon a red-metal step-ladder stool, where they’d stay until the next Saturday. So busy was Sissie’s life of caretaking and working that it often took her a week to finish them. She read every word. She didn’t want to waste anything.

For some reason, I am missing that stool today. Which is just another way of saying I am missing Sissie. Today I miss her because I did something stupid last night that she would have turned into a story about how special I was. Am. No, I’m not, you see. Not since she’s gone. Which is why I miss her – I need someone to convince me (or delude themselves) to believe again. To take me into a world where my Twitter profile is closer to the truth.

There, in my Twitter profile, I hubristically proclaim myself the love-child of Jane and Paul Bowles. Which also has to do with Sissie.

Bowles Jane Solo

Jane Bowles

I did not discover this spiritual lineage- indeed had never heard of the Bowles – until 1981, when the damaged, tender boy-man I was had flown home, prodigal-nephew-like, to my aunt, Sissie, landing neither for the first nor last time on her doorstep in a state of spiritual dishabille and despair. That boy I was knew he’d be welcomed there, knew he would have no need to beg forgiveness there, because there, in Libertytown, there, with Sissie, he was not capable of sin. We – Sissie and I – fell easily (again) into our private world. She was someone who but for the vagaries of the needs of others might have been (should have been) Edna St. Vincent Millay, and having sacrificed herself on the Catholic-altar of duty and convention, determined – fairy godmother-like – that the same would not happen to me; she would foster my inchoate genius and mordancy, her plan being to treat me as if I’d already become Truman Capote/Tennessee Williams/Marcel Proust/Dorothy Parker and thus was excused the expectations of polite society and obligations of real-world adults.

With her, for her, to her, I was a star.

We spent – some might say we wasted – many decades and dollars on this literary, faux-Algonquin Round Table fantasy of ours, and it was 1981 after my having run-away from whatever it was in my life that had crushed me then – the details are hazy now and my journals are lost somewhere in a storage unit at the moment, but I recall it vaguely as being about my younger sister having left the East Coast for a Hawaiian idyll, Tequila-sunrises in plastic pitchers, and men who sported chest-revealing, Quiana shirts emblazoned with Marilyn Monroe astride a swan – to California at the behest of friends who thought I’d find solace and my heart in San Francisco.

Not quite.

I did discover Barbara Cook and my incompatibility with yet another culture – the gay one – and a paralyzing fear of earthquakes. After a Californian Thanksgiving-weekend spent with a soldier my friends picked up for me when I dissolved into weeping having spied him sitting alone at the restaurant where we were all pointedly not having turkey, and his explaining as he left on Monday morning that we would never see one another again – he thought I’d understood that – HA – that is something I have YET to ever understand,  even when trading fake names and stats with Craigslist and Grindr tricks post-tryst – I flew home.

Not a star. To anyone. But, Sissie. And like Sissie not having been Millay, I was, then, on that return, not Armistead Maupin – another name added to the list of all those I had not and would not become.

Missing, then and now and still and always – or, so it seems, here in my implacable decline – the point that I might have spent less energy trying to be those others and more being just myself.

Bowles& Mrabet

Mohammed Mrabet & Paul Bowles

That post-Californian-Thanksgiving-soldier-return, that not being Armistead Maupin adventure in fail, was the one during which Millicent Dillon’s biography of Jane Bowles, A Little Original Sin, was published. Sissie and I read a review and bought it and I devoured it in one of those hardly-any-sleep, blizzard winter weekends when the world went silent and the wood stove kept us warm. After that, I delved into the collected works of both Bowles, obsessing, wanting my own shady, exotic Tangier-ian lovers who I would share with their wives.

Careful what you wish for. While none of my poor choices were from Tangier, there was much sharing – and hiding – and while I didn’t approach matching Mr. Bowles artistic output or gift, when one compares our habit and pattern of messy emotional involvements with needy lunatics – well, I’ve said enough.

Enough. You see? Without Sissie, without our wood stove, deep reading, shared-discovery weekends, without our papers piled on the red-metal-step-ladder-stool, I have devolved into this lumpen mass of myself – and there is so little of me left – such energy I have spent trying to be those others, trying to please so many others – I can’t focus. I can’t find where I am – was – should be?

waugh bridesheadrevisitedAnd so disconnected am I from reality, so busy trying to be other, that last night I set all the clocks back an hour. Why? Because I am such a delusional Anglophile that the majority of people I follow on Twitter and the websites I troll are located in the United Kingdom. So, all day yesterday I kept reading about and being reminded to set back the clocks, unaware that I was being fed these things by U.K. sources. It took me until 9:30 this morning and a not pretty bout of raging at my laptop and smart-phone about how NOT smart they were for not re-setting as they ought – that I realized what I’d done.

Sissie would have said, “Well, you really are British at soul, anyway. Very Evelyn Waugh Brideshead Revisited and Noel Coward. That’s why.” And made me feel all sorts of all-over powerful. As if my idiotic behavior was somehow a gift, a blessing.

I miss Sissie. And I want that stool back. It, like my journals and my belief in myself, locked away somewhere, in storage, waiting for me to find a place I can call my own home again.

Sunday. Bloody fucking Sunday.

 

Reading … Armistead Maupin’s “The Days of Anna Madrigal”

Days of Anna Madrigal

Click on book-cover photo for information on book and purchase from HarperCollins Publishers.

I am known for many things, two to which I will admit are my addiction to reading and my propensity for bursting into tears at the slightest provocation. Interesting fact: Rarely are the two coincident. So, when I burst into sobbing during the last few pages of The Days of Anna Madrigal, Armistead Maupin’s ninth and final novel in the Tales of the City nonet, I was surprised as well as emotionally drained. Here is the synopsis from Mr. Maupin’s official website:

THE DAYS OF ANNA MADRIGAL

Anna Madrigal, the transgender landlady of 28 Barbary Lane, is one of modern literature’s most unforgettable and enduring characters. Now a fragile ninety-two and committed to the notion of “leaving like a lady,” Anna has seemingly found peace in the bosom of her logical family in San Francisco: her devoted young caretaker Jake Greenleaf, who’s hard at work on a secret art project: her former tenant Brian Hawkins, now unexpectedly remarried at 67; Brian’s daughter Shawna, a single woman who wants to be pregnant, and, of course, Michael Tolliver and Mary Ann Singleton, both of whom have known and loved Anna for over thirty-five years.

Some members of Anna’s family are bound for the other-worldly landscape of Burning Man, the art community in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada where 60,000 revelers will build a city (Michael calls it “a Fellini carnival on Mars”) designed to last only a week. Anna herself has another Nevada destination in mind: a lonely stretch of road outside of Winnemucca where the 16-year-old boy she used to be ran away from the whorehouse he called home. With the aid of Brian and his beat-up RV she journeys east from San Francisco into the dusty troubled heart of her Depression childhood, facing some unfinished business she has so far avoided.

Suspenseful, comic and touching, THE DAYS OF ANNA MADRIGAL unearths secrets and dreams that span 75 years.

That’s for those of you who need a synopsis with your book reviews. I myself want to know what a person felt while reading the book.

The first installment of this series was published in 1978, but I didn’t read it immediately. It wasn’t until the early 80’s when I once again ran away from home, this time across the entire country, and ended up in the San Francisco Bay area, that I discovered Mr. Maupin’s work – along with many other discoveries redolent of the journeys of the characters in the novels.

I didn’t last long in California. The first real earthquake I experienced sent me home. At the time, there was nothing in my life over which I felt I had any control at all, and the ground vibrating beneath my feet, nowhere for me to escape it, that was more than I could bear. It terrified me. Too, I was not a California soul. I did not fit in there. And while my entire life up to that point had been a lesson in not fitting in the predominantly conservative, hetero-sexist Frederick, Maryland, it turned out I also didn’t fit in the San Francisco gay or theatre community either.

I have never much fit anywhere. Like Anna Madrigal. So, I tried to be like Anna Madrigal, to create a life, a family, a world in which I was comfortable, where I did feel supported and where I could offer a sense of belonging to other misfits and miscreants who came my way in need of shelter. Like Anna Madrigal, for a while,  I did a damn nice job of that. And, like Anna Madrigal, I have aged. I miss parts of the boarding house for lost souls I had going, but, eventually, one needs to sit down with one’s self and allow someone else to load the vaporizer.

The Days of Anna Madrigal is an artfully constructed book. Like all the Tales of the City novels it dances in that magical realm of could be and coincidence, but grounded enough in possibility and plausible motivation that it stays just this side of fantasy, firmly in the fantastic. Anna and most of the other favorites from the series end up at a Burning Man festival, and when we leave them, we can feel confident that they are all well-loved, if not always by themselves, then by those they have called and made family. Anna – who I suspect is built from the best of Mr. Maupin’s open and Light-filled soul – as always, says it best:

“Brian, dear — you mustn’t try to tidy things up. You’ll just exhaust yourself.”

“What?”

“There’s no tidying up to be done . . . with the possible exception of this hat.” She fiddled with the loose ends of the turban that Sergeant Lisa had presented to her as soon as they had left the Winnie that morning. “What I mean to say is … I’ve said all I need to say to each and every one of you. Michael included. It’s in you now for good.”

That is beautiful. It’s beautiful not just because it is so perfectly in character and as apt as it is insightful, but, also, technically gorgeous. That all that is left to be tidied is a thing she has been handed by someone else in which to wrap her head, only the dressings, the outside – oh Mr. Maupin, I am still in awe.

I sit here, having said so much to so many, but not yet having achieved Anna’s grace of having said all I needed to, and I recall the young – so young – man I was in San Francisco and my first (well, only) Thanksgiving there and that sailor eating alone in the restaurant where I and my other transplant friends – all of us trying not to admit we were homesick – had gone to eat. I started crying (which, as I said, I am famous for) because he was all alone. I could not get a grip. My friend, A, unable to take any more, invited him to join us. He did. And he came back with us to our place. And that night he made me forget I was homesick, and I fell – as I did so often then – into what I thought was love and started picturing forever – and, of course, I never heard from or saw him again.

When the earthquake hit, my first ever Barbara Cook l.p. was playing on the stereo. I had a lot of “first evers” in my short time there. Miss Cook and I were mid Vanilla Ice Cream from She Loves Me which – ever after – skipped at the spot playing when the earth started to shake.

These strands of memory . . . they will not be tidied. They will not stay in place. They come up, they demand attention, they make us who we are and are woven into the fabric of our days, the patchwork quilts in which we wrap ourselves against the cold of the increasing solitude of aging, when there are fewer and fewer people who truly know us, who even begin to understand the quilts we wear. That part of aging – the loss of those who understand, who “get it”, is – I think – the hardest, and so, perhaps, the bursting into sobs at the end of The Days of Anna Madrigal had to do with that as much as anything else.

The beautiful Tales of the City have ended. Anna has said all she has to say to me, and I have lost one more friend,  adding to the list another person (well, people)  I have deeply loved and trusted in my life who will not be returning. Farewell, dear Anna. I will always love you.

About the man who touched me last night … and god and Brando and Bankhead and Bacon … quick thoughts between chapters …

Sometime late last night, or, early this morning, something I never dreamed might happen, happened. Armistead Maupin chose to favor me. Technically, in digitechnosocialmedia-speak, he favorited the Tweet in which I’d written:

The Days of Anna Madrigal by Armistead Maupin. Oh Joy. Oh Tumult. Oh other worlds to which to escape. ThankYouThankYouThankYou

Armistead Maupin. Favorited. Me. I was reading The Days of Anna Madrigal late into the night. I was Tweeting out things she said. Like:

I don’t make up things, dear. The truth is hard enough to sell.

Oh my, I am really going to miss her. But, one of the advantages of aging is that one forgets, or, more accurately, begins to remember selectively, and, on occasion, with passionate reverence. Reading Days, the final book in the Tales of the City nonet, has wakened memories of all the decades during which I read the preceding eight volumes, and all the people I have been, known, loved and the places and times we lived together. I confess, last night, the great pleasure and joy of Days was accompanied by the melancholy of people and places I missed, and the thriving, real relationship in the book between Michael (Mouse) and Ben left me in a state of longing both for some of the relationships I did have, some I didn’t manage well, and, worst of all I think, those I will never manage now.

Then Armistead (I feel we are on a first name basis, now) Favorited me. And it was all better. Well, better anyway.

So, I can’t stay long because I am luxuriating in a day during which I have nowhere to be and no one for whom I need do anything. It is me, my books, my space heater, my coffee and tea, and leftover sushi & Chinese from last night’s delivery. And the final 13 Chapters of Armistead’s The Days of Anna Madrigal await me. I suppose part of the melancholy is that I think – I suspect – I am in my final few chapters; things feel as if they are ending, somehow – difficult to explain, and unlike with Tales of the City, alas, when I am finished these last few chapters I cannot go back to Book One and appreciate it again and better from the start.

Make your days count children. And now, the random photo essay inspired by my Anna Madrigal reveries.

Bankhead, Tallulah

When I find myself getting lost in the past, on days when tears are shed from unexpected memory assaults, I become melodramatic and illogical, and my frame of reference sends scud-plosions into my consciousness. I often am uncontrollably considering myself one or another Tennessee Williams fragile tragediennes; most often, Blanche DuBois. Last night, it was Miss Tallulah Bankhead’s Blanche I thought most like me in that, though the role was written for her, she turned it down (read about this here), and when at last she did play it, well, legend has it that it did not go well, although after reading a letter from Mr. Williams himself (CLICK HERE) – it seems that is not completely true.

Still, I think me, a Blanche done badly. And there is no Blanche without Stanley, and there has only ever been one Stanley.

Brando, 24, 1948 Streetcar PublicityI still love my Brando. Despite the fact that he was a self-centered ass, someone who seemed to love with overpowering passion and devotion – until it was no longer convenient for him, and then disregarded people with cruel and calculated disdain; despite all that, I still believe that there was a damaged core of vulnerability and light and good, true heart that meant to be kind, that meant to connect, but fear and an inability to trust devoured him and made him hide his true self behind facade after facade.

Which thoughts resulted in, “Stop with the gone and the dead, where are the here and the living?” And, somehow, there was Russell Tovey. Just because.

Tovey, Russell in Brando modeAnd this photo just LOOKED so Stanley-esque. But then, no sooner had I thought, “Oh, Russell” then did I remember that HE TOO, like Jeremy Jordan,  is on the list of fellows that damn Jonathan Groff (about whom I bitterly complained yesterday, HERE) has gotten to do with-

DAMN YOU GROFF!

DAMN YOU GROFF!

– oh well and anyway, Russell is only 32 so – but wait, Mouse and Ben have decades age difference in Tales of the City and Isherwood and Bachardy did too, and, come to think of it, Armistead Maupin and his husband, Christopher Turner, also quite an age difference. I mustn’t be ageist. Well, I’m definitely not, but, maybe, wait … someone older. How about I’m the younger one. How about, Kevin Bacon?

Bacon, KevinBacon, Kevin 2

He’s older than me. A little. Or, Keith Carradine. He’s older than me by more than a decade.

carradine, keithCarradine, keith 2

Oh, who am I kidding? No one is who I am going to be with. I’m on the last chapters. So, enough melancholy and if I’m going to fantasize about people who will never love or be with me – and better to fantasize then spend years pining in real life over real people – then it might as well be – well – here –

brando stellllaaaa gif russel tovey Hough, Derek Sailor

 

I Had To …Weekend Book Buys … I am a curious iguana (fan)…

Well, I asked for help. I pleaded with you to stop me. (CLICK HERE FOR THE BIBLIOMANIA POST) No one did. And here, in this photo, the results. I BOUGHT THREE MORE BOOKS TODAY!

Books Jan 24 Curious Iguana CROP

But it’s OKAY. Really. See, I was having a really STRESSFUL day – one of those, “Nobody loves me unless I’m doing something for them. Everyone takes me for granted. WahWahWah” sort of days. So, I went into the reasonably new independent bookstore here in Frederick, Maryland called THE CURIOUS IGUANA (click here for their website)

Curious Iguana article Curious Iguana LogoWELL – Not only did I buy the three new books pictured above: Armistead Maupin’s The Days of Anna Madrigal, Adam Sternbergh’s Shovel Ready, and E.L. Doctorow’s Andrew’s Brain – but the amazing and lovely clerk, Marlene (or so it says on my saleslip) signed me up for the Frequent Buyer Club. When you spend $100, you then get $10 off. And PLUS that, Marlene talked to me, shared what she was reading, listened to me hysterical babble – I was in a big race against the clock, had to be somewhere I didn’t want to go and was rewarding myself – and she helped me find what I wanted – and helped me decide between the Doctorow and another (I won’t name – because I don’t want to hurt another book’s feelings – I’ll buy it eventually) and she made me feel smiled at and appreciated and SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORES! You can follow CURIOUS IGUANA on TWITTER HERE (CLICK) and you TOTALLY should.

Now, I have to get back to my reading. I only stopped to go searching through piles for a bookmark I wanted and along the way I found the torn off cover to the script for a show I once directed and was in, on the back of which was written a note to me from someone who had worked on the show, who I no longer know – if I ever did, really – and it took me by such surprise – that such a thing was in that particular pile and place, and to unexpectedly come upon this note – I lost it. I burst into sobs. So, I had to write this post, because I needed something happy about something that has never left me, has always been there for me – my books, my love for books, the way they love me back.

And so I will read all weekend. I am SO BORING. But, you know, better my books than to ever again get written a note by someone I love and trust and would be under a bus for (and was) who will, later, be driving the bus I’m under. So, bring on the blankets, EarlGrey, and my lovely new lovers – ALL BOOKS!

HAPPY READING FRIENDS!

My Addiction – My Confession – I’m a BIBLIOMANIAC!

Books January 17-23I have a problem. I am out of control. I can’t stop. I have piles of books … everywhere. They call to me; “Read me, Charlie. READ ME!” And I suffer because I can’t read them all at once. Some of them don’t even know I have a storage unit FULL of boxes of other books – books that were once like them – waiting to be read nearby – and now languish across town. They don’t know that the last two times I moved, both times, I gave away PILES of books, and left others behind. I know – logically – that I probably ALREADY own more “to be read” books than I will be able to read during my lifetime. Still, I keep accumulating more. And now, they are backing up on my Kindle as well. The picture is the four that have come most lately to the pile:

  • Rachel Kushner’s The Flame Throwers
  • The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard
  • Elizabeth Spencer’s Starting Over

– and I STILL need to get Armistead Maupin’s The Days of Anna Madrigal and Adam Sternbergh’s Shovel Ready. I’d have them now but for the fact my Amazon gift cards are used up and I need to replenish. And I know I shouldn’t. Because – I HAVE ENOUGH BOOKS TO OPEN A LIBRARY. And too, I have to SNEAK IN the new books because the older books get so upset; they cry, “NO, DON’T PUT THEM ON YOUR BEDSIDE TABLE, THAT’S WHERE I BELONG! I WAS HERE FIRST!”  or, they whisper, “Don’t you remember how GOOD it feels to read a trashy paperback mystery cozy? COME ON. PICK ME UP AND OPEN ME, BABY!” I hate hurting their feelings. I wish I could read them all RIGHT NOW but – things happen – and, well, a new, heralded shiny comes along – or, I am reading an article (or another book) and discover that there exists a book from “ago” I should have heard about and read (thus, Joe Brainard) or one of my favorites, a legend, who wrote something I loved – say, “Light in the Piazza” –which had huge meaning in my life, writes another (Elizabeth Spencer) or – well, you see how things happen. I don’t mean to be so fond of so many – so easily swayed and persuaded – but I am.

First step; admit I have a problem and it’s out of my control. Done. Could be worse I guess. I could be high and drunk, speeding through metro-streets in a rented Lamborghini. So, yeah. All good. Now, to arrange my schedule so I can hit the new downtown bookstore tomorrow and HOPE they have the Maupin and Sternbergh – and PROMISE MYSELF I WILL NOT BUY ANYTHING ELSE THERE!

HAHAHAHAHAHABABABAHAHAHAHAHABAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

Random Thoughts Thursdays … YES! A hook-up musical. Bring on the NOISE; Bring on the JUNK!

So, there’s a musical about Grindr? I found this while cruising Queerty (CLICK HERE) this morning. And, yes, that’s Anthony Rapp from Rent.

Fascinating. I’ve never been on Grindr – hard to believe, I know as I am all sex-hook-up-positive and such, but, I am not now and never have been the kind of attractive that works on a see-my-pic/want-my-dick kind of site. In addition to which, a large portion of the gay community cohort – which ought really to know better – is horrifyingly ageist. The whole Tom Daley dating Dustin Lance Black thing really spotlit that. I found this opinion piece in the Washington Blade (CLICK HERE) about it:

My Partner is 34 Years My Senior – So What? (Click here to read).

we've all got our junk ... hope someone at the gym today has theirs out ...

we’ve all got our junk … hope someone at the gym today has theirs out …

Look, in the musicals quotation vein: We’ve all got our junk. And by JUNK, I mean not JUST our genitals – but all the garbage we attach to using them.

There are different kinds of “the click” and it has been my experience that the very narrow definitions and parameters of what constitute “acceptable and approved relationships” are – quite often – inadequate to actual life. As a patriarchal culture that has historically required a large population of underlings to serve the few “masters”  – the approved model is a masculine dominated partnership in which sex is used as a bargaining chip, a source of power and control. In actual fact, many primary relationships – by which I mean intense connections of like spirits – are not sexual; and by the same token, many sexual exchanges are not primary relationships, or, are not designed to be more important than the sort of casual friendships of surface connect. Sex has become ridiculously fraught with cultural-religious-socio-economic-faux-morality baggage and – all too often – it becomes our JUNK (so to speak) when it should be just fucking fun. Or, fun fucking. Whatever, like I said – like Spring Awakening said:

I’ve worked really hard to live and see outside the patriarchal-heterosexist-capitalist parameters constructed to define and confine us. It is – not gonna lie – very lonely out here. And dangerous; you can think you’ve “connected” with a like-spirit – on some or another level – and, sometimes, you do – BUT, all too often, after the fact, that other person will find it far easier to fall back into the culturally-approved limitations; few people have the courage to live outside the boundaries and the box – and BEWARE, if you take somewhere there (here) – when they revert to cultural-trope-type, they will ALMOST ALWAYS find it necessary – no matter how much they loved you or said they loved you – to DEMONIZE you. And “demonizing” you is pretty easy when you live on the outside as an “other” and refuse to toe the patriarchal line.

This is getting RIDICULOUSLY heavy, when I meant to be funny and light and flit around today. I should probably head for the gym (LOL – after all that talk of being “other” – I, Hypocrite, cannot accept the body and age I have/am, and FIGHT IT OFF with hours working out – pretty much to no avail) and see if there’s anything fun going on in the showers or sauna (and again – doubt I’ll be lusting after anyone “outside” the parameters of conventionally defined good looks).

Speaking of gyms and half-naked men and idealized versions of junk exciters – did you not get that from the above? LOL – Russell Tovey, my idealized fantasy boyfriend (one of them) or junk-up – posted a GIF of himself that I sort of loved –

Tovey, Russell Jan 2014

I want him. Badly. I am not alone – although I STILL think I called him first in this country – it was YEARS ago when he was in The History Boys on Broadway. I called him and Dominic Cooper. So there. Last week (?) Towelroad did a whole pictorial on Russell in his new London play, Pass.

Tovey, Russell PASSFYI- I’ve never been to London, so if anyone wants to send me over there so I can write a more in-depth, up close and personal piece about Russell’s pieces – I’d be happy to do it. Or them. Or him. I think I have a passport. Click here for the link to the whole pictorial.

And, before I sign off, on a more erudite note, I am currently reading Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, Aids, and Survival by Sean Strub as published by Scribner. Body Counts

Quite moving, and terrifying. Having lived through and come out during the 70’s/80’s in some of the same milieu, it is both melancholic and infuriating – once more. Everyone should read it in light of the recent attempts to roll back rights and what is going on in Sochi and – more importantly, everyone YOUNG should read it – to get some understanding of what it was like to live “out” in those decades – and have to fight almost every day for the right to even be who you were, speak your truth, hell, hang a photo of your significant other in your office.

And, too, how excited am I that Armistead Maupin has delivered another chapter in the Tales of the City saga? It’s called The Days of Anna Madrigal , and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.  Lambda Literary has an interview with the literary icon HERE – click to read. HARPER.0121.B1.THEDAYSOFANNAMADRIGAL

And, equally exciting for me, Michael Cunningham – another of my literary icons – is releasing his next book, The Snow Queen (Click here for details and his website), in May. I devour each of Cunningham, Michael The Snowqueenhis releases and then return to them, again and again, as I work on my own projects, to study and admire. His work is eminently readable but also – for a writer – taking it apart, looking at his technical acumen and learning from him – such a gift.

IT COULD BE WORSE

Thanks to the fact that I stalk authors on Facebook who I think are geniuses, I saw a link today on Armistead Maupin‘s page (YES – that Armistead Maupin, writer of “Tales of the City” and “The Night Listener” – go ahead, be jealous) to this Vimeo Webseries called “IT COULD BE WORSE” starring Wesley Taylor, who plays (or, I fear, played, past tense) Bobby on “SMASH.” He has become my new obsession.

The Skivvies, Wes Taylor© Monica Simoes Wesley Taylor© Monica Simoestaylor, wesley headshot

It is completely riveting – especially if you have ever been anywhere near theatre. WATCH IT! My new obsession (along with genius authors.)