I'll go with thee to the lane's end... I am a kind of burr, I shall stick. Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

I write not to teach but to learn. Rebecca West

drew's writing:

  • "Always Forever Now," Ideomancer volume 13, issue 2
  • "Black Sun," Black Static # 32
  • "Bread or Cake" and "Pride/Shame,"2nd Annual Philadelphia One-Minute Play Festival
  • "Copper Heart," Polluto Magazine issue 5, A Steampunk Orange
  • "The Accomplished Birder's Guide to Overcoming Rejection," Last Drink Bird Head, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
  • "Another Night With the Henriksens," Player's Theater Halloween One-Act Festival NYC 2008
  • "Hating the Lovers," and "Pipe Down!" Geez Magazine: Thirty Sermons You Would Never Hear in Church
  • "Beth/slash/Nathan," Paper Fruit Blogiversary Contest

Saturday, August 02, 2014

2nd Annual Philadelphia One-Minute Play Festival

This just in: I will have two plays in the 2nd Annual Philadelphia One-Minute Play Festival: an evening of live theater about life in Philadelphia today, with two minutes of pure Drew!

Showtimes are Sunday August 3rd, Monday August 4th, & Tues August 5th, 8PM at:
InterAct Theatre Company, 2030 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Tickets are $20 and available at interacttheatre.org, or (215) 568-8077

The assignment was to write about life in Philadelphia today, and the plays are grouped more or less topically. One of mine is in a cohort relating to public school woes, the other, with LGBT matters. The playwrights represented are a cross section of Philadelphia writers. I've read the ones in my confederacies and there are some sharp ones! I admit, I had been skeptical about what could be done, theatrically, in 1 minute--till last year, my friend Joy Cutler sent me hers to read: terrific, small but potent, like peppercorns. Because I'm under the influence of James Joyce these days, I wrote two small epiphanies based on moments I had witnessed or participated in around town, one on a coffee shop, the other in a workplace restroom. I look forward to seeing what the rest of the writers cooked up...       

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Always Forever Now in Ideomancer magazine

The summer issue of Ideomancer magazine has a story of mine, Always Forever Now. Editor Leah Bobet introduces it as a meditation on Christianity, polyamory, and sacrifice, which sums it up well! I share the summer Ideomancer with a story by Michael J. DeLuca, Virtual Goods, and some fine poems: I like the one by Sara Saab, Inheritance, Far From the Centre of the World.

Here's an excerpt from Always Forever Now:

Todd Calvin stands at the foot of Cindy and Elliot’s driveway, wondering what they’ll make of his boot camp souvenirs — twenty pounds of muscle and a stubbly scalp. Despite their late-night attempts to sway him, traditionalist Todd has withstood Cindy and Elliot’s progressive drift. It stings him that they disapprove of his enlistment; Cindy and Elliot are the closest thing to family Todd has known, his one constant through a lonely adolescence, and an adulthood of strict Christian self-denial. He thinks of his friends — with the faintest aftertaste of rue — as the perfect couple. 

So, stealing time to gather his nerve, Todd slows the day. A few minutes, at most an hour, and his eyes will water and his head will throb — and time will march on. When younger, Todd thought everyone played tug-of-war with the minutes, but no one spoke of it. As an adult Todd suspects only he can resist time, and only he is held back — time washing around him till he can fight no longer and is hurled into the present. 

If time tugged Todd through twenty-six years, two foster homes, state college, intermittent construction work, and a recent enlistment, he has been tugging back the whole way. Todd believes he is special only in this — and in being a better-than-average athlete. 

So he holds the day by the tail. Yellow tulips along the driveway blur. A dimming sun trembles in sweet agony. Whirring past Todd’s head, an early wasp slows, and stops, shivering. Todd sees the pixels of her eyes. The present will rush forward to meet him when he lets go, the driveway tulips jerking on their stems, the wasp hitting warp drive, the sun plummeting to the horizon. 

But only Todd will move. Todd will move, but not yet....
More at Ideomancer...

(Above, that's our native Blue Flag Iris. We came upon it hiking around Cape May, NJ, which has pleasant trails to amble about on. If the flower suggests the trinitarian, then it neatly augurs the themes of my story!)

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

after the gold rush?

I've always admired my friend Alison's knowledge of ecology, her writing, and her marvelous garden, which is visited by all kinds of wildlife—I've seen accipiters and great lepidoptera there. Alison's first book, Hives in the City: Keeping Honey Bees Alive in an Urban World is out in paperback and e-book. Alison came to Philly and met some of our beekeepers, and also made a pilgrimage to the site of L. L. Langstroth's home—Philadelphia's own Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth invented that modern hive that resembles a bureau, and is much kinder to the bees. She also interviewed urban beekeepers in DC, Baltimore, and New York.

In addition to being a neat tour of the urban beekeeping word, Hives in the City breaks down Colony Collapse Disorder and bee die-offs, and neonicotinoid pesticides. The situation for bees is as grim as it is confusing, and I found this book the best guide to the subject I've come upon. Nice job, Alison.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

basilisk signet ring

A friend of mine lost a signet ring her father gave her when she was 19. She was always sad about it. She asked me to design a new signet ring, with  a new motto she had chosen, and a new heraldic beast, a basilisk. The old beast was a griffin and the motto was something about God. 

Above is my first try, not really heraldic enough.


That's my second pass. More heraldic, not fierce enough.  Cartoony.

I tried a lot of heads, looking for fierce. I looked at snakes, hawks, dragons, eagles. How do you make a beak look scary, like it's about to bite you?

I realized that the original head was fine, it was just the body that was off. I put the first head on the second body, and tried a bunch of different wings and tails. You can see it coming into its own, looking fierce, crazy, dangerous. That's what we were shooting for. It's a great feeling when something starts to come together.

My friend liked the bat wing with the curling devil tail, but the ridges on the stomach she didn't like. I had a terrible time with the wings, till I figured I could just add ribs. You see those in the final version.

The new motto my friend chose would be a Latin translation of her father's motto:

                                               When in danger, when in doubt, 
                                               Run in circles, scream and shout.  

We thought "scream and shout," or, in Latin,  "quiritatus et vociferatio," would fit on the front, and look motto-ish, while the rest could go around the rest of the ring.

The last detail I fooled with was the eye. I went with the one on the right.

The final version.

The ringsmith took a lot of liberties with my drawing! But the great thing is to be doing artwork again. Last year I designed a T-shirt for the museum I work for and found I could still draw.  That was like finding a hundred dollar bill in the pocket of a jacket you haven't worn in a while.    

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bannerman Castle

We planned a trip to the state of old New York, which I had seen very little of.  My camerado wanted to do some camping, and I had a deep desire to visit the home of Washington Irving again. Our guide at the Irving house was a focused and well-prepared woman in a hoop skirt, named, I think, Lorraine. A pro.

We also planned a day to see the Eleanor and FDR sites, with a tacky Vanderbilt site thrown in. Learning about Eleanor Roosevelt was one of the highlights of the trip.

The most photogenic site we visited was Bannerman Castle. The camerado insisted we see this. "You love castles," he said. True! The castle itself was a warehouse for Francis Bannerman's military surplus mail order catalog. I liked that Bannerman manipulated the angles of his castle so it would look vastly larger when approached from the water.

Bannerman was very thrifty, and, according to our guide, used the cheapest materials for his castle. This, along with a series of mishaps--explosions, fires, and vandalism--contributed to the structure's decline.

That's the house the Bannerman family lived in, with a garden lovingly maintained by the volunteers of the Bannerman Castle Trust.

The interior is unsafe for visitors, so some ingenious person had this painting installed in the window, to give a sense of it.

Here is the view the Bannermans' had from their front lawn.

Bannerman's Scottish heritage was very meaningful to him, so there are cute Scottish labels all over the island. 

The night before we saw the castle, we stayed in an inn, in this appropriately named room. I liked the brownies the innkeeper made; my camerado was excited to find an old VHS of Hitchcock's Notorious, dubbed from TCM; I hadn't known he loved this movie. That it was a dubbed VHS made it somehow better.

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