Recent-ish News



MAY 2017: Joined critique group. Bringing a chapter from novel this month.

Someone gave me a Chicago Trib article that says all juice– vegetable or fruit– is just sugar water. But surely not Bolthouse carrot juice? Not V8? The article didn’t name any brands.

FEB, MARCH, APRIL 2017: Meh.

JANUARY 2017. Rhinofest. Rhinofest. Rhinofest. Rhinofest (etc). Matt Test’s magical musical saw opera (freely adapted from a monologue of mine) performs Saturdays at 7pm until February 25th at Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston Ave. $15 or pay what you can. Check out Michael Martin’s Martin on Hinckley on Foster, Fridays at 9pm. He eats a lot of french fries but that’s not the main reason it’s so disturbing. Barrie Cole’s big-hearted cell phone play, Reverse Gossip, was funny, and wonderfully performed. It also ended on the loveliest damn poem. Check out many great pieces from the likes of– Beau O’Reilly, Jenny Magnus (Salvagers will be remounted– a stand-out), John Starrs (my favorite title of all: Starrs is Getting Up There), Mark Chrisler, Emmy Bean, Diane Hamm, David Isaacson, etcetera etcetera etcetera to the nth degree. I’ve narrowed it down to see 11 shows* (out of 40) and I’m not even including Thinking Outside the Magician’s Box. *at least

Drew a “Trump does the Classics” comic for Chicago Arts Journal.

DECEMBER 2016. Rehearsals for Thinking Outside the Magician’s Box. Hearing Matt Test’s incredible music constantly– my 3am insomnia has nice piano now. Chicago Arts Journal releasing a new issue after mid-January! Woo hoo!

NOVEMBER 2016. The Cubs won and then something horrible happened.

OCTOBER 2016. Formatting woes. Indenting paragraphs with Microsoft Word ruler woes. Page Break woes. Header and Footer woes. Figuring out where scenes end woes. Etcetera. This is a long month.

No Plot? No Problem by Chris Baty (recently re-read) is funny, good-hearted and inspiring. I don’t do NANO because I’m way too slow but this is a recommended read for writers.

SEPTEMBER 2016. I’m really enjoying the Chicago Writer’s Conference!  Excellent speakers including Lindsay Currie (Myth Busting: Demystifying the Publishing World) and Laurie Scheer (Branding Yourself: The Role of the Author in the Marketplace). Can Fear be a brand?  Maybe fear & fairytales can. I’m a bad networker. Because I’d made new business cards– I kind of shoved them at people. That’s a big no-no. You’re supposed to wait for an ask. But they weren’t going to ask.

AUGUST 2016. Back from visiting relatives in North Carolina. A cousin I haven’t seen for over 40 years. Graphic designer. Beautiful family. An abundance of crepe myrtles. The spelling’s controversial. Northerners opt for “crape” while Southerners prefer “crepe”.  But I’m a Northerner who likes “crepe” too.


Yes, everything is over and done. Except, of course, for tidying the apartment.  Well, the exterminator’s due back in JULY so I’d best get on that. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying a couple of Etgar Keret books. Recommend the short story “The Summer People” by Kelly Link.


MAY 8-JUNE 8, 2016—  Had an art show at The Pick Me Up cafe in Chicago. A fun & fine cafe with vegetarian options. Kind staff.

APRIL-JUNE 5, 2016The Eviller Twin, my dark comedy, was performed at Prop Thtr.  Directed by Stefan Brun. The cast: Brook Celeste, Zoe Pike, Nick Leininger, and Danne W. Taylor. Featuring the voices of Kelly Anchors, Beau O’Reilly and Arielle and Zola. Matt Test did sound and arranged songs. (Matt is currently writing an opera Thinking Outside the Magician’s Box.  A bit of a collaboration with Carrie Drapac and myself from The Chicago Sawing Circle musical carpentry class). Jeff Bivens photographed and created the play’s trailer on Vimeo. Jayita Bhattacharya offered her expertise on movement. Diane Hamm sewed up super costumes. Marlana Carlson-Rieger stage managed– ran tech with Jeremy– and cameo-ed as the waitress. Jeremy Campbell designed the set and lights. It was a swell time.


Everything below to take place at Chicago’s Prop Thtr @ 3502 N. Elston. (Across from Chief O’Neill’s and accessible by Addison bus or blue line). All part of Curious Theatre Branch’s Rhinofest:  For a full schedule of events, click on the curioustheatrebranch link on this blog’s sidebar.

My small and friendly art show, Cheerfully Morbid opened the evening of JANUARY 16th.  Yikes. Too Ayn Randy. It ran to FEBRUARY 28, 2016 (the end of Rhinofest). The show featured response pieces from 7 amazing students from Chicago’s Waldorf School:  Claudia Bonaccorsi, Maci Greenberg, Emma Hartmann, Caroline Livaditis, Zoe Miller, Zosia Nowak, and Eva Preus.

(Huge thank you to Vicki Walden, Jason Greenberg, Jenny Magnus, Stefan Brun, Prop Thtr, Curious Theatre Branch, and Danne W. Taylor.)

The Eviller Twin received one staged reading on Sunday February 21st at 2pm. (Chicago Arts Journal published an earlier version of a scene in their Fall issue.)  The cast–  Clothilde: Brook Celeste, Flavia: Debbie Halstead, Brad: Mitch Salm, Seedy Man: Danne W. Taylor, Woman: Kelly Anchors, and Man: Beau O’Reilly. Dark comedy with a few songs.  Beau O’Reilly directed.

(Humongous thank you to Beau O’Reilly and his “Finish That Thing” class.)

Drew over 50 creatures– well, 55 but who’s counting– for an Ionesco production of Rhinoceros that ran a whole bunch of times throughout Rhinofest JANUARY-FEBRUARY, 2016. Directed by Beau.

On the evening of FEBRUARY 22nd, 2016 musical saw instructor Matt Test will deliver a lecture. Some of it, no doubt, involving saws.