Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy Green (whoops...I was going to say "Day" until I realized those googling a band I despise will end up on my blog and we just can't have that!)

So Juked Magazine published Star Man today, my first so-called Scifi attempt though of course as I mentioned a few days ago it seems to have turned out otherwise and smacks of my usual warped themes.

Last night I forced myself outdoors and had dinner with Julie at one of her suggestions: Standard Tap. Yep, she was right. I absolutely loved it. Right up there with the best bar food I've ever had. It was definitely my kind of it says, no T.V., just hipsters spanning all ages sitting around talking and drinking a great selection of beer or in my case, moaning over hand cut french fries. The highlight of our meal though was this outrageous, buttery flaky warm pecan pie topped with homemade whipped cream. You would have thought I was having a sexual experience while I ate that. Ha. Last night was a set-back for me; I've actually lost almost ten pounds in the past month without really trying. See what obsessing over a novel will do to you? I've been forgetting to eat or just not hungry in general while I work on that thing.

They need to do something about their music choices, though. I felt like I was listening to an up-dated version of disco. Oh my god, if disco is back I'm just going to end it all now.

(Actually, on their website they mention a juke box playing everything from Iggy Pop to Tom Waits. So I must have gotten screwed last night by a patron with really bad taste in music feeding said juke box. Okay, now that I know that, I will go next time armed with dollar bills and load that sucker up before I even sit down to eat.)

Speaking of writing, recently I was contacted by a group of writers from the Middle East who are interested in learning more about American authors. Their website is all in Arabic so exactly what they are all about I can't tell you, but they were referred to me by a great writer pal I trust who had also furnished them with his stories and an interview. Anyway, I agreed to be a part of their project, and it was way interesting, especially due to language differences. Our email correspondence alone was pretty amusing. They started out by seeking out like everything I've ever written and analyzing it and then they furnished me with a set of questions in line with my writing. I don't want to publish the questions and my answers yet in case the interview is published in English (well, they sort of say it will be in their last email) but I do want to share a bit of the experience.

Here's part of the first email when I didn't respond to the interview right away because (1) I was working on my novel and (2) I had to read over the questions several times before I at least thought I understood what they meant.

Dear Robin,
Answer as you wish, omit what you disliked, and ask for details or modifications when necessary. You will be our guest for some time. Help us to show your qualities and abilities. Fresh photo and a brief are needed then, we expect you to look shiny and marvelous, as you are indeed.

I'm shiny and marvelous? Hey, I like that!

When a few days passed and I didn't respond to their questions right away, I got the following:

Dear Robin,
we did some progress with your materials, dear Robin, but so far we do not know if you are happy about the interview, and when the expected date for answers. We need to know to update our schedule. Please do make your word.

We're waiting for you.

We read a lot and prepared a lot.

we like to have you with us as a friend, member of the family.

So then I felt bad/guilty and also a bit shaken by the "We're waiting for you" part, I completed the interview as best I could and sent them my shiny, marvelous photograph. After which I received the following:

Dear Robin,

Many thanks for this fabulous response. We are pleased to inform you that the materials were passed on for translations.

In few days to come you will receive a link to have a permanent access to the site, and the workshop. You will meet some old friends from the states like ____ and ___ and so on…

a link with either writesight or authors den will follow.

Be alarmed...

Ahem. Be alarmed? Okay...not a problem.

Be Alarmed! is definitely going to be the title of my next novel. I'm dead serious about this. Really. I think it's awesome and I'm using it.

I showed the above correspondence to the man who referred them to me and after he finished laughing and teasing me about my new NSA file, we both agreed it was a cool experience and I'm actually looking forward to seeing the interview and their impressions of my work. What really intrigued me is that they went back to a story I'd written in 2004 and left a comment under it on the magazine's website dated March 6, 2006 which was most interesting. How do I know this? Because as you already know, I'm an anal retentive who googles herself every five minutes.

Just kidding. I only do it a couple times a week.

Oh god I'm such a mess.

But one positive thing: I've taken what might be a permanent leave of absence from Zoetrope Studios. I've made my friends there and they are fantastic but the others...the trolls, the stalkers, the terrible writers, the self-absorbed freaks who do nothing but talk about their own work and never congratulate others on their success...arghhh....I just couldn't stand it any more. Luckily my close Zoetrope friends and I email and meet up in the real world regularly so I no longer need to be aggravated on a daily basis by "the others". But who knows, that could be just my mood of this month...I know I'll at least return temporarily when my pal Ellen's book comes out this summer because I want to be part of the excitement on her behalf.

Most importantly, since I stopped hanging out at Zoe I've been writing like crazy, so that's even more reason to stay away.

Anyway, yeah, Eric did play with John Wetton last night and he told me some funny stuff but since I'm going to the Saturday show I didn't go last night and therefore do not have any photos yet. I've asked a couple people who were there to email any they might have to me and if that happens today, I'll come back and do a new post; if not, I'll wait until I take my own pictures this weekend. Yeah, I know, I could write all about it now without the photos but I have my own strange way of doing things and I like to have pictures with my stories.

But in case anyone reading this is in the northern New Jersey area, Eric will be performing with John Wetton and the Rock School All-Stars tonight at Bergen County Rock School and I hear it's an amazing show.