Thursday, May 13, 2010

A few exciting things are happening

I'm going to take a break from the long-ish weekly updates and just share some of the neato stuff that's happening in my life in the coming couple of weeks. 

To start with, my collection of robot-related short stories that I compiled and edited last year has won a silver medal in the 2010 Independent Publisher Book Awards.  I'm thrilled that Thank You, Death Robot has gotten the nod because thirteen authors and our cover designer stood by me and my vision for the better part of three years to complete it.  I'm sure I tested their patience and wore out their sense of humor toward it somewhere around year three, but all of the best parts of this book are a tribute to their willingness to persevere with me.  I'm humbled and very grateful that this book which meant so much to them, and to me, has been recognized.

Next up is my first reading event of the year, at the Op Shop on May 28th at 8PM in Hyde Park for the first live literary event put on by the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography (  I was honored to be invited and I'm looking forward to reading and rubbing elbows with some of my other Chicago writing peers that include the excellent Sally Weigel, Ben Tanzer, Jason Fisk and Katherine Hodges.  Hope to see you there and special thanks to Jason Pettus for thinking of me for it.  It's going to be at a very cool venue in Hyde Park that I'm excited to check out.  For more details, click the CCLaP link above.  I realize I've kept the details of my upcoming novel The Damnation of Memory under wraps for most of its development, but as a special treat I plan on reading a section of it for this event.  If you're not able to make it to the actual event, you can watch it back later on CCLaP's online podcast.

I'm also looking forward to attending the May 26th book release party for Gina Frangello's new book Slut Lullabies.  I've had the pleasure of meeting Gina a number of times at Chicago literary events and she and I sat together on a panel last year at the Pilcrow Lit Fest on writing sexuality.  She is co-hosting the event with Allison Amend who is simultaneously releasing her book Stations West.  The guest list includes, among a host of cool Chicago people, my friend Deborah Lader from the Chicago Printmaker Collaborative whose CPC has been home-base for my father-in-law's printmaking art for quite some time.  Deborah is also one third of my favorite folk fusion band Sons of the Never Wrong.

Finally, life is pretty solid here in Casa Brand.  Little John (no relation to the Robin Hood character) has moved up into the full-day 3's pre-school class.  This brings with it a host of new toys, new rules, a slightly different routine, some great new teachers, and all sorts of massively fun pre-school mayhem.  There's dirt!  There's running under sprinklers!  There's using the toilet instead of a diaper and getting used to wearing underpants!  There's using fun new phrases like "two more minutes?" and "that's stupid!"  The adventures seem limitless.  Dad managed to download and tweak a nifty iPhone app called 'Hipstamatic" that he heard about from his friend Amy Guth at the Tribune while hanging out after Reading Under the Influence at Sheffield's last Wednesday night, and some truly great photos followed our wonderful day at the beach.

PS: check out how cute Beth looks!  She won't say it herself but after several months of hard work she's recently back to wearing her pre-baby skinny clothes and she looks smoking hot.  So proud of you baby!

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