Jan 23, 2008

I just sent in my revised second novel (Godmother), up from 59,000 to 72,000 words.. FINALLY!!!!

The book is scheduled to come out next spring from Three Rivers Press, by the way.

It has been VERY HARD trying to finish this book while also writing 15 pages a week of the Dante book (which requires so much research, too) for this new workshop. Not to mention a bunch of deadlines at work. And boot camp. But for some reason I seem to function much better when I have a ton of things to do. And when I am free and clear, I just want to watch Law and Order for 50000 hours at a stretch. Sigh.

In other news, my friend Phillip and his dog Molly are staying with me for the next week, he being one of those 200 peoples who were unceremoniously booted out of their Williamsburg loft building after GRAIN SILOS (for an illegal matzoh factory run by the landlord) were discovered in the basement by the FDNY, and last night Molly refused to sleep on my couch with Phillip and instead tangled herself up in my legs on the bed and stared at me dreamily all night long.

I don't want to speak too soon, but I think we might be in love.

Jan 21, 2008

So I am sitting here writing writing my new novel with books on everything medieval spread around me and I just have to pause so that youse can take a gander at some of the things they (rich people) ate:

-- artichokes with blueberry rice (which I shall make in the very near future)
-- pears with carob cream
-- spiced partridge in nutted wine sauce
-- bird stuffed with dates and mustard
-- chicken stuffed with lentils, cherries, and cheese
-- fried loache (white fish) with roses and almonds
-- salmon and currant dumplings
-- sorrel soup with figs and dates

And tons of spices, with my favorite, cinnamon, in almost everything.. I can see now how in future drafts I will have to take out at least 50 references to cinnamon and cloves. Spices, fruits and flowers are the best things to write about. Sigh. Not to mention torches and feather quills and bottles of ink and parchment paper. And needlework and crackling fires and the Arno river. So many gorgeous things to write about, I cannota stand it. !

In other news, Joi and Rob came over to my sister's the other night for hours of Make Me a Supermodel and other tawdry examples of modern life. I have a crush on Perry, I'm not gonna lie: "I'd say if I had to improve on anything I guess I'd be more good looking... if that's possible." The way he strutted in that Heatherette garb.. with a broken foot! Such manliness! I have also been cooking and working out like crazy with my sister, and writing, and then last night I had a romantical dinner of paella and red wine with my friend Eric, who is gearing up to finish his first novel, which will be astounding--melancholy and lovely and sweet and profound, all against the backdrop of a weird, romantic, gloomy Berlin. I caint wait!

Jan 16, 2008

So this evening Tink and I shall be attending a talk on Armed America: Portraits of Gun Owners in Their Homes by one Mr. Kyle Cassidy at 6:30pm at the Soho Photo Gallery at 15 White Street. It costs 10 dolla. I mean look at how cool this book is:

Said lecture will take place just after the first meeting of my new, hardcore, five-week, 15-pages-a-week workshop, which my agent strongly recommended I take to work on my next novel -- the one about Dante's Beatrice set in 13th century Florence -- because she loves the woman leading it so much and thinks she's so good and thinks she would be good to work with on this book in particular. I had to turn in my first batch of pages on Sunday and on Saturday night still had no idea what to write. Despite the piles and piles of books on late medieval and early Renaissance Italy I have at home and at work.. I've been reading about what they ate -- spices! lots of cinnamon and cloves! cool candies and sugared fruits! big roasted birds! -- and what they wore and what their houses were like and what childbirth was like... all the things you do not learn in school whilst studying Dante. And then, late Saturday, after a brief and inspirational talk from Tink, I just got it. The whole world of the book flared to life. Suddenly I could inhabit my character's body and imagine her house and hear the fire crackling and feel the needlework in her hands, I could feel the poetry that animates her... and I just got her story and, at least in broad strokes, how it will happen. It just all came to life and I managed to churn out 12 pages by early afternoon on Sunday. It was quite exciting and if all goes well I should have 60 more pages within the next month. BECAUSE THAT IS HOW AWESOME I AM.

Plus I paid 600 smackers. Nothing like some dough sadly spent to inspire one!

In other news, I saw Sweeny Todd the other night with Shax and Eric, at the Ziegfield theater, and I looooved it. So weird and hilarious and gorgeous. Go see it immediately!

Jan 15, 2008

So I'm staying at my sister's apartment for the next couple of weeks because we're doing a BOOT CAMP together: eating healthy food and working out before work and after work in her swanky downtown apartment building gym and generally just being gorgeously Amazonian. Last night Joi came, too, to elegantly use the elliptical machine and imbibe brown rice, tofu,and veggies. Tonight, however, did not go quiiite as well. After work I was to have a quick drink that turned into two LARGE goblets of red wine and yours truly sluttily making out on a park bench with the cutest boy ever. THEN I came back to the apartment and was woozily changing into my workout clothes when my sister called to say that her new beau DeWayne was coming over with TAKEOUT FROM NOBU. My heart stopped. Everything changed at that moment and before I knew it the following shimmering vision had appeared, as if conjured from my deepest, most secret heart:

We had tons of sushi, miso cod, all this lobster... Plus he roodly brought some lovely red wine and a pint of low fat Cherry Garcia yogurt. Here is the actual culprit who is the enemy of boot camps everywhere (not to mention an investment banker and a professional bodybuilder), again up to no good:

Now, hours later, my sister and I are drinking wine, watching Law and Order SVU, and attempting to recover.

Tomorrow, as we all know, is a brand new day. Sigh.

Jan 14, 2008

I have many many astonishing things to report but for now I would just like to direct your attentione to the following lovely creation:

I read with Marie last year and then perused her very very lovely and lyrical memoir about the trapeze. Look:

The Aerialist caught the hoop beautifully every time, sometimes with her feet, sometimes with her arms, sometimes with her ankles, once with her head. She projected long shadows against the wall of the tent. Many times I thought she might fall and break her neck, but she didn’t. It was the first time I’d seen anything like it. From a distance, she looked perfect. She did not seem to sweat. She did not seem to breathe. Her body appeared weightless. She was so far above me she could have been God.

Later, I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I was so touched by the way she defied everything human in herself: unafraid of heights, flexible and strong.

That night, I dreamt shadows were dancing above me. I thought I was falling from a trapeze and I woke to my own shuddering.

Very beauteous, I know. Plus she is doing this cool reading which yours truly and my sister and Joi will be attending, as none of us can possibly resist a poetry brothel featuring trapeze:

Marie Carter and Natalie Agee Performing THE TRAPEZE DIARIES (on the trapeze) at The Poetry Brothel!

Jan. 18th Opening Night! Featuring Marie Carter and Natalie Agee performing The Trapeze Diaries

The Poetry Brothel will open for business at 11PM at the Living Theater (21 Clinton St, Lower East Side) on January 18th! Opening night features MARIE CARTER and NATALIE AGEE, performing from The Trapeze Diaries (Hanging Loose Press, 2008) on the trapeze!

The Poetry Brothel is a night not for the timid. Here's how it works: The 3rd Friday of every month the "Madame" presents some of this city's finest poets for an interactive night of surreal happenings, literary debauchery and private poetry readings. The Poetry Brothel offers up a wine and whiskey bar, a blackjack table, and a bathtub, with spectacular performances from our poets, performers, and artists throughout the night. It's $10 all night, which includes one free drink and all the private readings you can handle! Come one, come all!

Jan 6, 2008

So yesterday, among many other glamorous activities, I babysit my best friend Aoife, gave her a very very literary black beret and a small volume of Camus, and also helped Tink give her a bath. And as Tink tried to get her to say "mama" for the first time, I very patiently attempted to teach her more important words, such as "Carolyn" and "escargot" and "bon soir." Sadly, all she wants to say thus far is "dada." Tink thinks she is referring to her father but I think it's obvious that Aoife is more interested in the artistic movement, as well she should be.

In other news, my-other-future-Paris-visitor ANNA's beret is in the mail:

In other, other news, this is my mom and sister and me at Thanksgiving:

And my mom and dad at the Russian Tea Room a few days before Christmas:

I know. It is all far too glamorous for words.

The end.