not for the cool

I had a revelation about social media the other day--I realized that none of the truly cool people I know are any good at Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr. Usually they are too cool even to try--they would never expose themselves so casually, or be so unconsidered, or waste their time so obviously.

And maybe this is the GREAT THING about social media--cool people don't get it! So it's the happy playground of the uncool: the slightly excited, the earnest, the nerds and geeks, the goofy jokers, the hearts-on-their-sleeves.

Myself at age 7-ish, being massively uncool. Already a potential social media genius!

Myself at age 7-ish, being massively uncool. Already a potential social media genius!

I am just glad all the cool people haven't tried to come and ruin it for us.

In other news: I am about to open another play, called The Christians, by Lucas Hnath. It runs February 26-March 28 at the tiny Hyde Park Theatre, which we're turning into the smallest megachurch in North America for the occasion. It's a beautiful play that I feel lucky to be in, but it's been a long time since I did back-to-back shows and I. Am. Tired.

Also I wrote a new Cabinet of Curiosities story, about a school with an urban legend about a dangerous gift. This is one of the creepiest ones I've done in a while, and I am pleased with it. I borrowed the name and personality of one of my own sisters, and then gave her a terrible fate (what is wrong with me? good question).

But guess what? She'll never know, because she is too cool to read blogs or Twitter etc. WINNING.

a happy bloody beginning

Selfie as Clytemnestra at the Long Center, mid- Deus Ex Machina . You get tousled slaughtering your husband then swanning off with your psychopath boyfriend.

Selfie as Clytemnestra at the Long Center, mid-Deus Ex Machina. You get tousled slaughtering your husband then swanning off with your psychopath boyfriend.

For me the new year began with a nice bloody smash in the play Deus Ex Machina, a quite mad updated choose-your-own adventure version of the collection of Greek tragedies known as the Oresteia. The audience directed us like puppets and it was scary, hilarious, and fun.

And I just got some nice news: my second novel is headed into line edits--it doesn't matter what those are, just: YAY.  It will definitely be on the Dutton Winter/Spring 2016 list. And it still doesn't have a dang title.

I also wrote a story for the Cabinet of Curiosities--we're definitely back. This one traces my curator's adventures monster-proofing a spooky window that hangs from the sky, feeding nightmares into the world. It was inspired by this photo I took in Austin's Hyde Park neighborhood a year ago--whoever you are, lovely & creative homeowners, I regret killing you off so unpleasantly in the story. 

new year and it will be new, it will

Hello my all. I've broken my own "at least monthly" rule here, sorry for that. My life's been a bit mad and a bit seasonally sad*; but now it is almost the new year, and I will begin all new and brave and calm.

My resolution, in case you're counting, is to stop myself when I reach for the anxious response. It's like reaching for a bow & arrow every time you hear leaves crunch in your front yard. My arms are getting tired, and anyway it's usually just a cat.

Meanwhile two other things. First, The Cabinet of Curiosities was chosen as one of the New York Public Library's 100 Best Children's Books of 2014. YES, that crazy little muppet monster of a book chugs on.

We've neglected our Cabinet storytelling in the latter half of the year, but plans are afoot to pick back up next month. Meanwhile Stefan Bachmann wrote a perfectly lovely holiday story last week--I really urge you to read it, it will fix what ails you, with humor and sweetness.

Fuzzy selfie as Clytemnestra. She's in a bad mood! You'd be too under the circumstances!

Fuzzy selfie as Clytemnestra. She's in a bad mood! You'd be too under the circumstances!

Also: one of the things keeping me busy has been the craziest theater project I've ever worked on--a choose-your-own-adventure version of the Oresteia, in which the audience votes at crucial moments to turn the story in entirely different directions. It's funny, it's tragic, the design is fantastic and full of surprises, it's UNBELIEVABLY BLOODY, I kill and get killed in multiple ways, depending on how the audience votes -- lots of fun. 

So if you're in Austin, please come see Deus ex Machina--it runs at the Long Center January 3 through January 18, 2015.

More next month. Yes.

*As I have written in the past, I think the sadness so many people feel around Christmas and the solstice is part of the point of the holiday, so I don't mind it, but it takes up a lot of mental space.