Tuesday, January 17, 2006

UPDATE (01.14.06)--Courtyard Bonfires Lookin' Good, New Indie Writers

CHILLY WINTER whispering... But warm spirits pervade within. Very few setbacks, more triumphs and positive wavelengths.
Of course, the warmest news in the last few weeks--since my last update--is the blossoming of the Courtyard Bonfires Studio at 62B Lexington Av, downtown Asheville. (Yes, that's the correct address, so aside from the Walnut entrance, please use the Lex Av black gate during Bonfires events. It's private entry from Saturday to Tuesday, but it's mostly open from Wed till Friday. Those who might wanna visit, please let me know in advance. The gallery address is 9 Walnut St--but both spots are kinda connected by a courtyard behind the former Gypsy Moon, now Scully's. The studio is behind Cafe Bouchon, formerly Cafe Soleil.)
At this moment, we're VERY "connected" around the premises--meaning, the entire 300-meter vicinity of the Courtyard are now wireless. Bring your laptops and feel the vibe. In the office, we have, at this moment, three MacIntosh desktops (one equipped with a video/film editing machine) and my work PC. We will install more computers there as we approach spring. Me and Carlos plan to gradually open up computer/graphics and/or internet literary lessons (for fundraise/income-generation). All these computers have fast-access internet connects, so feel free to come over, in case you need to go online...

AS I'VE PREVIOUSLY indicated, we have promising first week of 2006 events. Attendance was inspiring, indeed. The kickoff Wander workshop took off last Wed with six very concentrated/focused workshoppers, mostly coming from the Tuesday writers workshop that's presided by Robert Kelley. Present were Walter Dinteman, Al Fazio, Jim Cox and wife, and another elderly couple. At least five others pledged to join in next week...
As ever, Jarrett Leone was an amiable emcee to the Thursday Open Mic. We had quite an attendance--a lot better from the first two that we did before the Christmas break. We expect the group to build up, so we may have to fix the gallery a little bit to free up more room... The filmshow last night also resumed with more people than the solitary one last month. People are noticing and hearing and paying attention, so we are cool and bubbling.
So here's the Update...

[ ] New columnists/writers for The Indie & Wander: Ash Devine (youth issues/journal), NY-based Maria Lapachet resumes her Spanish-language column (starts Feb), Carlos Steward starts his film column next month, as well... Jorge Potter of San German, Puerto Rico, Cyn Los of San Miguel Allende, Mexico, and Carol Smallwood of White Pleasant, Michigan also contributed poems to Wander, as well as Maria and Cynthia Potter-Steward (Carlos' wife). Jorge will also write a regular column from Puerto Rico. Manhattan-based friend, Jen Larkin is also contributing cover art for Wander, as well as Manila-based Duane Lucas Pascua and Cynthia Potter.

[ ] Our URTV show, "Bonfire of the Indies" is lookin' good. Station manager Kurt Mann expressed his resolve to help us make this happen and be successful... We are preparing different 5-minute kickers to promote/pitch the show on/before March 10. I think we could do a weekly basis 30min to 1hr show, starting April. I will be writing, anchoring, and directing; my co-producer and co-editor is Carlos, but we will be looking for a female co-anchor + at least two staff/interns. If you want to contribute songs, let me know... In case you have some ideas to feature ("independent, crazy people"), email me, we can brainstorm stuff.

The work/project camera is still with the repairman but the editing machine is already active. Meantime, thanks Katie (Kasben) for loaning me your Sony handycam again. She's always an angel, always ready and willing to support the "madness." Check her out at Bobo's Gallery on Jan 19, I will filming her set... With that, I'd like to send my warm spirits to these our very creative, consistent/focused women-in-Asheville friends. Katie hasnt stopped being part of a glorious community arts (film, theater, music) event since I've known her... amazing energy, indeed. Same with Jenny Greer (aside from her continuous club gigs, she currently hosts Monday open mics and songwriting contests at The Root Bar), Stephanie Morgan, Molly Kummerle, Glenis Redmond, Kimberly Summer (she just unwinded her recent tour with Canada's Martha's Trouble), Laura Blackley, and Vanessa Boyd. Consistency, concentration, energy, resilience--these wont lose, they have them all and more (including beauty, inside and out)... That brings me to a possibility/feasibility of compiling my rereadings/profile/reviews of Asheville women into a book. Since the first few issues of The Indie, I've been consistently writing profiles of Ashevellian women... I might rewrite some and might need an editor, though. But I'll have word in a few months--about its actual publishing plan.

[ ] Brooklyn's women singer-songwriters Adrienne Nightingale and Malcolm Rollick will be visiting Asheville on May 4 and 5. That's certain. We booked them at (as of this writing) Malaprops and Courtyard's open performance space.

[ ] I am writing the introduction to Maria Lapachet's new poetry book, "In From The Cold." Cordoba (Spain)-based writer/artist Elena Medel does the cover art. Maria, please remind me before I start sinking into these sweet mire of the next Indie and "Bonfire/Indie" (TV) press/editing work...

[ ] I have found a new name (not really original) for the publishing wing of all these "rock journeys and sublime madnesses" -- it's called Loved By The Buffalo Publications. I borrowed the name from a character in the TV movie, "Into The West." It will be the carrier publishing outfit of The Indie and Wander. When schedules ease up (oh well...), I will surely follow the two projects up with food, children, and "spiritual/healthy living" magazines. Tentative titles: "Comfort Food," "Huck" and "Blue Sky Asheville." The CD productions will stay as Orphan Storm, the artists booking/management sideproject, Rain Management.

[ ] Rome-based Indie senior writer Gaither Stewart also suggests a very generous and kind publishing-to-fundraise idea or proposition to me. He offers us to publish (in tabloid/newsprint editon) his novella, "Russia Is Far Away"--proceeds go to The Indie. The novella is/was (I'll check) available at Malaprops... I'll also take this opportunity to thank Gaither for his diligent, punctual submissions to The Indie and Wander. He has just submitted an article about the pardon/amnesty of Mehmet Ali Agca... He beat Mike Hopping as deadline topnotcher, for the Feb issue, at least. (Mike was the first City Council meeting yesterday, so that might be his next Indie story.) I also thank Gaither for continually feeding us with names of possible Indie/Bonfires supporters and advertisers; the latest lead is David Lynch of Lynch Graphics... SALUT!

[ ] Thanks, West End Bakery for the pastries and bread last night... Wild Wings also negotiates a food-for-ads deal with Marta The Nicer Osbourne. That'll work, I guess--so we'll have awesome buffalo wings, chili, tacos in any of the Courtyard Bonfire weekly events. Marta has also sealed a one-page/one-year ad from Black Mountain (Amazing Savings), our first in that area. CONGRATS! Possible new ads for February -- Ship to Shore (West Asheville) and Cafe Bouchon (downtown).

[ ] Thanks, Ken Hanke for the reviews of our Friday film features at the Mountain Xpress every Wed. He sounds snotty in his reviews, but actually, the dude is very soft-spoken and mild-mannered in person and in his emails to me. Thanks, Alan Ditmore, for looking for spare tires to our "pimp van," Marta will call you this afternoon... Carlos aka Devadip said he might have a lighter vehicle for us any time now, c/o his bro-in-law. Thanks, Bruce Elmore for the legal advice to Marta and the $50 donation. Thanks, Patrick (the French chef at Cafe Bouchon) for the awesome coffee.

[ ] In Manila, welcome back (from Japan) Olive Obina. She will be taking over from what Jaja Campos left off in our Bonfires Manila projects... In Asheville, welcome back (from Arizona) Nina Marie Collins. She seeks our help in re her planned spoken word/hip hop/DJ party event for February.

SO THAT's it, for now. It's very early in a snowy Saturday morning. I am at The Indie Crib in Woodfin Place... I'll shoot footages from every nook and cranny of the crib in a few moments. Does it mean that I'm finally giving it up? I'll tackle that in my next Update.

Meantime, buenas dias!

Asheville NC


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