Tuesday, August 30, 2005

It's Official: I'm a Writer

Permanence makes things ... real. Like marriage. Same set up, same arrangement as when you're dating, but the permanence of marriage shifts lovers' mindsets from "oughta" to "gotta."

So, I got this tattoo ...

It's a feather quill (b/c the experts at Body Ritual were emphatic that the poofy plume idea was stupid. go figure.) marking a lazy, serpentine scribble on the back of my right shoulder. The inkwell (of course, there's an inkwell!) is shaped by the letters of the word "beauty."

My oldest daughter described it to my mother, "Mommy's a beeeyotiful writer ..."

So, it's official. Gotta get this second book done. The writing is all over my back.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

At the Mercy of MapQuest again

You know that Mapquest is the Devil's plaything, right? Okay. Just wanted to get that out there.

Actually, Satan's toy didn't trip me up too badly this time. Just one rural "shortcut" that I could have done without. Otherwise, the drive was fine.

My first mini-tour in two years, I visited venues in central Ohio and one in Michigan. My hosts were incredible: Ed Mabrey in Columbus, Grand Rapid's Greg Bliss and his lovely leading lady Carrie, Link in Dayton (and the entire Rustbelt team: Melissa, Cherokee & Gee), and Olafemi and Hakim of Cincinnatie. Incredible.

Plus, I've seen a intense growth in my writing and performance over the past year, so it was profoundly gratifying to connect with these audiences in new ways. Now, I wouldn't say that my work has changed, it's just better. Better, from the standpoint that I've --finally-- given myself permission to let loose 100%. I can see now that my best nights, previously, had me wide open at only 80%. Why? Well, I've always worried that I would be "too much." Like that one extra piece of jewelry that turns an outfit from smart to cheesy. Too much.

Then it's like I tapped into some internal, magic cave and drank deep, deep, deep from a clear, colorless pool of abandon.

Honor your words and your gifts, is what the sirens whispered to me.

And so, then, there I was. Blushing at the 100 or so people standing, clapping, cheering my words. Wide open, I was. It was great.

My next stop will be Albuquerque. I'm not performing this year (not that i know of), but I'm pretty proud of the team and I role as coach. I have a feature in Chicago later this month and, tentatively, a gig in Atlanta in September.

And so I'm back in cahoots with Mapquest, trying to make the most out of these travels. Honk if you see me. I'll be the one driving with one foot on the dashboard, guzzling flavored water and Hot Tamales. And speeding.

Unless, of course, it's a rural road.