I'm supposed to attend another writers' critique group tonight so I should be redlining the submissions instead of dicking around here, but I'm a product of the first generation of latchkey kids. Never work more than needed.
The Bosworth mob (as this group calls itself) has amassed an impressive volume of stories. I haven't had the time to sift through all of them but I really like what I've read so far. A few of the more active members showed up at the initial Make meetings. Their intent was to see what information they could gather from these meetings in order to publish their own collection, which is what we've also been trying to do with Write Club Chicago. These days both Write Club and Make seem stalled. The Write Club critique meetings finally seem to be getting back on track, with an emphasis on editing submissions and not the non-profit filings. We have a place to meet, people are submitting new material, working on old stories, and we're getting interest from newcomers via the "Speak Easy" storytelling series. My guess is that "Speak Easy" will be the organ that drives the party, in bolshevik speak. I'd like to get more entries to "Speak Easy" submitted through the critique group, so that it becomes this cycle that grows.
Elsewhere, I've been catching up on well-written web logs. Blaise K. over at Bazima (look to your right for the link) never fails to put a smile on my face. Her adventures in unemploym- ahem, "freelance", are a riot. If she were a Chicagoan, she'd have this city by the short hairs. As it is, she's a hidden gem in Brooklyn, representing Park Slope as proudly as I wax poetic about Bridgeport.
The weblog Gothamist just launched a Chicago version, called "Chicagoist." So far I like what I read: they're all over the Arenda Troutman story. As far as aldermanic scandals go in this city, Troutman's involvement with the Black Disciples street gang is tame. I know, being a resident of the 11th Ward. The juiciest bits of the troutman story are the allegations that she had a "personal relationship" with a Black Disciple member nicknamed "Scandalous"- which proves that if you need thug lovin' you get yourself a thug- and today's news that Troutman's brother Ben was busted in a drug raid at the Ida B. Wells projects. If Chicagoist can keep this up, I'll be frequenting it everyday.
I'm a late-comer to Mimi Smartypants but I think she's a riot, even with the fucking penguins plastered on the homepage. The only cool penguins ever were Chilly Willy and Opus. And even Opus is losing his luster these days with that half-assed, Sunday-only cartoon that Berkeley Breathed is producing, which is probably my comparing today's "Opus" strip to the caustic humor behind prime "Bloom County." Which, coupled with my Van Halen/Hagar post Tuesday confirms that you can't go back home. Worse, "Opus" is in the Tribune, of all papers. Both "Bloom County" and "Outland" ran in the Sun-Times. Doesn't Breathed have a sense of history? But I digress. Sometime next year I want to put together a "Speak Easy" with an all-female line-up and Mimi's on my short list. It might take some convincing- or large quantities of tequila- but I think I could make it happen. Oh well.
Off to the North side. First to the Hideout, then the Bosworth Mob, then back to the Hideout for Kelly Hogan. "Second City My Ass!!" tomorrow. This'll be called the "No HotHouse" edition. Hasta!!