Sunday, February 25, 2007

UPDATE (02.22.07)—Kat Magendie, More Columnists, Bonfires’ “Lilith Fair”

WHAT’S UP? The relatively warm weather is indeed a welcome respite after weeks of 30s temp. Spring is very much awaited, indeed! Despite the chill, however, activity hasn’t died down or fizzled out in The Indie and Traveling Bonfires’ backyard.
Our year kicked off with a twice-a-month Indie, which seemed very bold and courageous, although it was very calculated and contained. Since then, we’ve been growing—thanks a lot mostly to Kathryn “Kat” Magendie (from Senior Writer to Associate Editor). Although she lives in Waynesville, it almost feels like she lives just a mere block away from 61 Dunwell Avenue (aka The Bonfires Abode). We communicate and confer and discuss via emails everyday... More significantly, her volunteer work isn’t just confined to article submissions—she also networks us to as far as Baton Rouge (Louisiana) and Des Moines (Iowa), brainstorms (and offers to supervise) fundraise events come spring and summer (in, around and beyond WNC), finds subscribers and donations to The Indie’s malnourished coffers, distributes The Indie all over Waynesville, and opens up possible advertising leads. I reckon, she should be an Associate Editor, she handles responsibilities that go with the designation, for sure... Now, it’s not just entirely me and Marta The Nicer Osbourne worrying/thinking about internal (mostly Indie) affairs these days.
Kat is like the long-lost spirit that warms you up when things slide down in blues and funk. She rocks ‘em... Thanks as well to Heather Miljour who helps me and Marta a lot in terms of distribution of Indie copies and advertising packages. More than all, her presence in the house makes life lively these cold nights of winter, bald Britneys, pitiful/surreal Anna Nicole Smith “living room TV” battles, and insatiable bills. With Gaither Stewart exuding that “old master’s” wisdom and earnest from afar (Rome, Italy, and elsewhere), Mike Hopping consistently churning out very respectable and well-researched/written/covered/in-depth news-features... Matthew Mulder and Lady Passion’s work arriving on my inbox/desk on time each deadline—it hard to “lose” these days. It’s not yet there—but the signs are going upwards, for sure.

[ ] Coming from Kat’s network is a set of new columnists whose subject matters will definitely add a very delicious spice to The Indie’s pages: Patresa Hartman of Des Moines, Iowa talks about life and living in the mold of Erma Bombeck and Helen Fielding (excuse my comparisons, please), but exclusively prepared the Patresa Hartman-way... Mary Ann Ledbetter of Baton Rouge, Louisiana ruminates and dissects the dizzying, profound, intriguing, and enigmatic literary world from her neck of the woods (or bayou?), and twins Angie Ledbetter and Alaine Benard (also of Baton Rouge) offer advice to the heartbroken swain, problematic wife, exasperated hubby, and a dazed and confused soul... Expect all these as welcome additions to The Indie’s ultra-diverse brew. (Coming up: An astrology column, food column.)

[ ] Not to forget—The Traveling Bonfires’ women-initiative sister organization Third World Asheville fires off a monthly event program with a 4-poet reading at Malaprop’s Bookshop/Cafe on March 10, Saturday, 7pm-9pm. This intimate event celebrates the Women History Month. The featured women-poets are—(1) Laura Hope-Gill, a Gail Godwin Chair of Creative Writing at Christ School in Arden, North Carolina. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Tidepools, 13th Moon, Illuminations, Going Down Swinging, The Cold Mountain Review, The Awakenings Journal, Spillway, and others. (2) The Indie’s Kathryn Magendie. Kat is also an editor for Rose & Thorn Magazine and a prolific creative writer. (3) Jess Clarke, a newspaper journalist with 20 years of experience behind her. She currently hosts a monthly women's poetry group in Asheville that welcomes new people. (4) Rena Wright, a longtime Indie/Bonfires friend and supporter. Rena is the spirit behind Performance Poetry South... Mark that date up, March 10. It’s free! (Thanks to the cafe’s events coordinator, Alsace Walentine-Young for the booking/s.)
Meantime, TWAsheville’s planned music/food/craftfest (a-ala mini-Lilith Fair, which will also include film screenings) will/shall be held on late spring or mid-summer... Stand by for more updates.

[ ] Thank God, our website – -- will soon be up and ready for viewing. This will include both Traveling Bonfires and Loved by the Buffalo projects (The Indie, Wander, Blue Sky Asheville). Our website artist/developer/designer is Kim Vickers, based in Ocilla, Georgia. (She was introduced to me by Kat...)

[ ] Me and Marta The Nicer have made visits at Warren Wilson College (in Black Mountain) lately—both for Indie distribution and networking/recruitment with students and student groups. Debra Kiliru (of WWC and the nonprofit Motherland International Relations) has been helping us out – by introducing us with significant groups and people in the college. We will definitely do a project/event in Warren Wilson come summer...

[ ] Courtesy of Kat, we will have a poetry reading (with music) at Osondu Booksellers in Waynesville on April 16 (subject for confirmation). This is part of The Indie WNC-wide promotions blitz cum fundraise this spring/summer 07... Then, as part of Kat’s brainstorm, we will have a writers seminar in spring in Waynesville, as well. Details coming up...

Meanwhile, Marta The Nicer also has ongoing talks with the owners of The Dripolator in Biltmore Avenue, downtown, for possible weekly open mic... Before I close, we’d like to thank new advertisers (as well as those who renewed their contracts)—Downtown Books, Jae Thai Restaurant, Mela’s Indian Restaurant, Orbit Video, Rosetta’s Kitchen, True Blue, Vincenzo’s Ristorante. Prospects include Harvest Restaurant, Charlotte St Grill, Ruby’s BBQ Grill, and India Garden.
I am busy as ever on the desk... but it is a lot more manageable and enjoyable than before. It’s good and exciting to see/layout/edit/read new materials from a very diverse group of writers...

Gracias! And, as I always push—live good, love good, and eat only good food!
9:34pm / West Asheville NC


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