Entries in events (2)

Saturday
May182013

Springtime Shows and Shenanigans

Cherry blossoms at Brooklyn Botanic Garden (© 2013 Amber Drea)

Spring has been full of excitement. In April, my drinking-themed storytelling series, Another Round Storytelling, relaunched at LaunchPad in Crown Heights with comedian and performer John Flynn, host of "Oh, Hey Guys!" at UCBeast, and ginger-rum cookies from Spirited, a boozy bakery run by Kimberly Wetherell. This month's show on May 2nd featured Cammi Climaco of Ask Me Stories and Six x Six at the PIT, and June's edition will welcome the sexy storytelling of Jefferson, who hosts the Bare! and Spill! series. In addition, I'll be doing some storytelling of my own at Local Stories on Monday, May 20th, at Three of Cups in the East Village at 8:00 p.m. The theme is "elimination," and my tale will recount my breakup with religion. And on Thursday, May 30th, I'm reading a new piece of short fiction at Molasses Books in Bushwick alongside Ben Bush, Michael Thomsen, David Moscovich and Matthew Jent. Dubbed "Selfies: A Supergroup," the reading will deal with the concepts of image, self-consciousness and the individual in community. Stay posted on all my upcoming events here.

Blue heron sculpture at Ferran Park in Eustis, Florida (© 2013 Amber Drea)

On a personal note, I visited my uncle and cousins in Eustis, Florida, during a recent trip to Orlando for a work convention. I hadn't seen DJ in 12 years and was surprised that it seemed no time had passed. I always had a great relationship with him since I was a kid, and we grew especially close when he lived with my dad and me for a few months in 1992. His children, on the other hand, were only 1 and 5 the last time I saw them, and now they were teenagers. Soon-to-be-13 Stella, who was named after my grandmother, loves Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, particularly the nerdy intellectual Donatello (the one with the purple bandana—her favorite color). She also likes to punch her dad when he teases her. DJ's son, Austin, is impressively polite and hard-working for a 16-year-old whose Instagram handle is 420keepitreal—he puts 30+ hours a week in at his job at the car wash and has already saved up enough money to buy his own vehicle. When he graduates high school, Austin plans to enter the military and has even taken the large-gauge plugs out of his ear lobes so they'll be fully closed up by then. We had dinner at Copacabana Cuban Café in nearby Mount Dora, a quaint town that reminded me and DJ of Mystic, Connecticut—our hometown—but with more gun shops. My uncle and cousins had never eaten Cuban food before, so we tried nearly everything on the menu, and the bill totaled only $88! We were also serenaded by a couple of musicians playing traditional tunes on acoustic guitars. If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend going there. And say hi to DJ, Austin and Stella for me!

Stella, DJ and Austin on Dora Drawdy Way in Mount Dora, Florida (© 2013 Amber Drea)

Wednesday
Oct312012

November Is National Novel Writing Month

Fallen tree branch in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (© 2012 Amber Drea)

As I write this, New York City and its surrounding areas are dealing with the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, and my heart goes out to everyone who is suffering during this tragedy. Fortunately, my husband and I live in a neighborhood of Brooklyn that remained relatively untouched (other than being stuck without a train line into Manhattan). The last three days at home have been relaxing—the perfect prelude to National Novel Writing Month, which starts tomorrow. For the next 30 days, I'm devoting all my personal time and energy to cranking out 50,000 words for a first draft of my novel. I set up a profile on NaNoWriMo's website, and I'll need all the support I can get, so add me as a buddy if you're participating too. 

Green Fall Pond in Voluntown, Connecticut (© 2012 Amber Drea)

Nostalgia plays a significant role in my writing, so a recent visit to my old stomping grounds in Connecticut definitely got the creative juices flowing. After a hike with a high school friend and her children at Pachaug State Forest, my husband and I stopped by Green Fall Pond and then headed up to Moosup for lunch at Riverview Restaurant. We drove past the Aldrich Free Public Library, where I spent many a Saturday and most of my summers as a teenager. 

Aldrich Free Public Library in Moosup, Connecticut (© 2012 Amber Drea)

Despite my decision to become a shut-in for a month, I plan to make two appearances in public: The Renegade Reading Series on November 8th and the Honey-Mouthed and Poison-Hearted storytelling night on November 15th. In hopes that I will be featured at more events in the future, I created a new page on my website where you can find more details and links. Of course, you can always follow me on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook to stay updated on my endeavors. And if you've needed the motivation to finally write that novel you've been thinking about for years, get your NaNoWriMo on with me this November! Then we can celebrate with a bottle of booze from this place on December 1st:

Marie's Lake Street Spirits in Moosup, Connecticut (© 2012 Amber Drea)