Monthly Rumpus at the Make-Out Room
Jillian Lauren reads from Pretty: A Novel
and yo-yo master Doctor Popular!
Jillian Lauren reads from Pretty: A Novel
and yo-yo master Doctor Popular!
Jillian Lauren reads from PRETTY
Lynne Tillman reads from her collection: Someday This Will be Funny
Kio Stark reads from her first novel, Follow Me Down
Tsaurah Litsky reads from her erotica novel The Motion Of The Ocean
People have already been telling me they’re getting their copies in the mail. I’m relieved and anxious at the same time, and looking forward to a crazy fall. T is coming with me for most of the book tour, so expect mayhem.
I’m going to giveaway a signed copy to celebrate the release. Just leave a comment here telling me what is the prettiest thing about you. Not limited to outsides, of course. I’ll choose a name at random next Friday, September 9.
I’m still adding tour dates to the website, so keep checking back. The launch party is going to be in Los Angeles at Book Soup on September 7 at 7PM. I’m thrilled that the immensely talented Ricky Berger is going to come do a few songs. Here’s a little teaser:
On Friday, we dragged the whole operation out to the desert to see T-Bone’s first Weezer show in a while. He just doesn’t travel as easily as he once did, when he was a little bit more portable in general and a lot less vocal about his desires. So I don’t take him on tour as much (for now). But he’s just as enthused as he always was about going to see Dad play, so I was glad to be able to indulge him.
Sometimes I can’t believe what a pain in the ass it is just to get us all in the car for a weekend out of town. But as soon as we’re out of the city and the sky opens up, I’m reminded of why we insist on doing it anyway.
Like his mom, T digs the desert. He’ll patiently wait hours to see the windmills that flank the 10 outside of Palm Springs. We didn’t have time to hike in Joshua Tree this trip, but T was happy to spend the mornings splashing in our friend’s pool and the early evenings tearing out across the golf course. And, of course, the nighttime is reserved for rock.
T was a consummate rocker. Pat Wilson slipped him an Oreo and he completely spazzed out from the sugar, bouncing on the furniture and dumping bowls of mixed nuts out on the dressing room floor.
At least someone around our camp knows proper dressing room etiquette.
He nearly fell asleep on a backstage road case halfway through the show, but when I tried to get him to leave and come lie down, he screamed so loudly that everyone in the immediate vicinity turned around to see what was going on. Yup- he actually managed to holler louder than the music. It was a proud moment for a rock mom.
A friend just sent me this pic from a Barnes and Noble “New in Paperback” table. So I guess it’s on the shelves, even if it doesn’t come out officially until Tuesday.
Here we go…
The Soundtrack Series is a live storytelling event based on music. On the fourth Thursday of every month at (Le) Poisson Rouge, host Dana Rossi invites five guest writers get on the mic to tell the hilarious or heartwrenching stories they forever associate with a song from their past.
Featuring Jillian Lauren on September 22nd!
Julie Klausner (I Don’t Care About Your Band, How Was Your Week podcast)
Don’t Stand So Close to Me/The Police
Jillian Lauren (Some Girls: My Life in a Harem)
Dancing in the Dark/Bruce Springsteen
Andy Ross (Real Characters, The Moth)
(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life/Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes
David Crabb (RISK, Bad Kid)
Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys/Willie Nelson & Waylon Jennings
Bridget O’Neill (PURGE Storytelling, The Moth)
Nat Cassidy (IT Award Nominee – The Reckoning of Kit and Little Boots)
Yalla Yalla/Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros
Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012
I have a guest blog up at Greg Olear’s Fathermucker website today, in which I recognize that being an artist can often make me a bad parent. Read it to see me cuss not once but three times (and that was edited down significantly).
a) have young children, b) enjoy laughter, and c) can’t get the theme songs to various Nick Jr. television programs out of your head. If you are a subscriber to US Weekly, a resident of New Paltz, N.Y, or a stay-at-home dad, that’s icing on the cake.
Sunday we had a playdate with my blog-friend-turned-real-life-friend Kristen and her amazing brood.
The only danger of hanging out with Kristen is that I immediately want three more children. She and Mark are so graceful about the whole thing that it looks like a completely reasonable option. In reality, I got cold feet about a year and a half ago about our second adoption process and it’s been in limbo ever since. I actually touched base with the agency yesterday and asked them to keep our paperwork on hold for another six months.
I just don’t know, folks. I feel so inadequate most of the time, especially when faced with Tariku’s challenges and needs. I feel like I need to get a better handle on this mothering thing before I add another little being to the equation. But is that completely delusional? Will I ever feel like I have a handle on it? For now I’m checking the undecided box and just crashing the party of Kristen’s big family once in a while.
It’s definitely challenging and overwhelming for Tariku to be around more than one friend at a time. In all, I think he did beautifully. I really saw him trying to figure out how to participate and be kind.
The nice thing about hanging out with some of the other adoptive families I know is that there’s so much less explaining and apologizing to do. They get it. They get that my kid didn’t have parents for a while at a crucial time in his development. It has repercussions We’re working it out. We’re healing. We’re doing great, actually. But our version of doing great looks different that it does for kids who have had a typical attachment cycle in the first three years of life.
I’ve learned so much about all of this- attachment, adoption, parenting, faith, love, community- from my blogger friends. They’ve made me feel less alone on many desperately sad and scared nights. I’m not someone who generally goes to blogging conferences (yet), so it’s a special treat for me to hang out in the flesh with one of my fave blogging moms. One of my fave moms period.
Sometimes I question what I write on this blog. Does anyone really care about my kid’s day out at the beach? Am I engaged in a navel-gazing waste of time when I should be working on an article or another book? And then I remember why I do everything I do- books, plays, blogs, whatever- I do it to connect. And I’ve connected to so much that I value in my life through blogging. I was reminded of that on Sunday.
The Booty Call reading series, organized by occasional Mercury contributor Kevin Sampsell, invites writers/bloggers/zinesters to share their filthiest stories with a well-lubricated (drunk! I mean to say) audience.
Jillian Lauren, Steve Almond, Chloe Caldwell and Dena Rash Guzman
(sponsored by the City of West Hollywood’s Women’s Advisory Board)
Join a group of talented and diverse writers as they discuss their first works of fiction. Dreams, destiny, daring and more are explored by these eclectic, wonderful women.
Jillian Lauren (Pretty: A Novel)
Jacqueline Luckett (Searching for Tina Turner)
Melinda Palacio (Ocotillo Dreams)
Kaira Rouda (Here, Home, Hope)
Moderator: Stacy Beirlein
Signings @ 11:30am, Location To be determined.
Jillian Lauren will be on the Non Fiction Panel at 4pm.
Embassy Suites North Charleston, SC — Airport/Hotel & Convention Ctr.
Monday the 19th
Noon – 2:00 PM – The Moveable Feast of Authors
A special Litquake edition of the Bay Area’s Porchlight Storytelling series
Donnell Alexander, Rob Baedeker, Susan Freinkel, Jillian Lauren, Marc Maron, Vanessa Veselka
October 10, 2011, 8:00 PM
2424 Mariposa St.
$15 advance or at the door
Brown Paper Tickets
21 and over
Yesterday was my 38th birthday and the fam really spoiled the heck out of me. I got flowers and drawings and earrings and this bitchen’ handmade ukulele from Celentano Woodworks, which I’ve been coveting for six months. And T was a gem all day, which is probably coincidental, but I’ll take it.
I’m not usually a big fan of my birthday. It’s not about getting older, exactly. It’s more some inexplicable darkness that seeps in under the doors and around the windows. I’ve spent plenty of b-days in bed. But that was when I got to do things like stay in bed all day.
I’ve since learned that it’s common for adoptees to not like birthdays. When I read that, it made perfect sense. I was finally able to put my finger on that specific birthday darkness I get- it’s loss. A deep, body memory of loss. I came upon that because I was researching T’s adoption, not my own. And once again, the effort I put into Tariku winds up helping me in ways I could never have imagined.
And yesterday, for some reason I didn’t succumb to feeling blue. It washed over me at times during the day, but it passed. We all went to Zuma beach in the late afternoon and I felt kind of serene, in fact. This is how many years I’ve been on the planet. This is what that looks like on my face. This is what I have to show for it.
I can’t always see it. I don’t always feel it. But I’m doing just fine.
2 weeks exactly until the release of Pretty (so not anxious about it at all.) I’m glad I’ve been through this once before already and I know that the anxiety pretty much dissipates immediately upon publication. Right now, I feel this massive pressure to somehow control the outcome. What can I do? Who can I call? In a couple of weeks that illusion will be blasted and I’ll have to just surrender to the fact that my job is to do my work, get it out there and then make myself available if someone wants to talk about it. Whether or not people want to read it isn’t really my business.
Still, I’m happy to say that I’ve had a couple of good reviews come in already. Leah Tallon’s at The Nervous Breakdown is my favorite.
Also, the Reader’s Group Guide is up at the Penguin website, along with an interview.
I have an interview up at my friend Christina Soletti’s blog, Steady Happy, today. I’m talking about trying to find work/mom/life balance. You know- the subject I know absolutely nothing about but am nevertheless happy to expound upon for days if you let me. I adore Christina and always feel a bit wowed by how glamorous and industrious she is. I’m honored that she asked for my contribution.
We performed Cattywampus last weekend, after a manic three weeks of rehearsals that I rolled right into after the closing night of Mother Tongue. Until this summer, I had pretty much stopped performing since we got T. I figured something had to give and it wasn’t about to be my writing. So in some ways I feel like my body has been engaged in a way it hasn’t been for a long time and it’s been wonderful. I try to write from the body and not just the brain, but I think this sometimes winds up being more theoretical than anything else- at the end of the day it’s still just me and the keyboard. It was amazing to break away from it for a minute and work with such a talented group of people- to experience that creative interchange and trust that come with making a piece of theater happen. I’m proud of the work we made.
I’m grateful to be back working at home today, but that sound you hear is me taking a massive crash into my daily routine. To go from the adrenaline of dancing and turning over tables and getting all kinds of crazy to facing an inbox with about 473 emails and a pile of paperwork and spaghetti dinners and craft projects and conflict resolution is a bit of a tumble. I’m still sort of shuffling through it.
I had a great conversation about balancing art and kids with a film director friend of mine yesterday. He said that, sure, his kids pose plenty of obstacles to his creative work, but they’ve just relieved him of the job of getting in his own way. So, so true.
I’m glad to say that the show isn’t over yet, though. If you missed it, you can still catch us at the REDCAT New Original Works Festival on September 15, 16 and 17. We’re on a bill with choreographer Rosanna Gamson. Here’s what the REDCAT website says about the show:
In this backwoods reinvention of August Strindberg’s classic Miss Julie, writer and director Robert Cucuzza hones an essential tale of class and power, and stages it in modern-day Appalachia. Cucuzza and his collaborators orchestrate a multidisciplinary approach highlighted by distinctly American forms—country-western music written and performed by Juli Crockett, line dancing choreographed by Jordana Che Toback—that binds Strindberg’s characters, both the rich and the poor, by exposing their shared vulnerability in a time of economic collapse.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Jillian Reads at 7:30pm
at The Writers Junction
1001 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica 90401
Tickets for $8 at: http://junctionlitmarathon.eventbrite.com/
Or roll the dice at the door for your admission price – literally.
Performances will be going for 7 hours straight, as will the snacks, drinks, & revelry. There will be a silent auction, giveaways, & you can check out the amazing workspace that is The Writers Junction. We will donate a portion of the evening’s proceeds to The Young Storytellers Foundation.
Visit The Writer’s Junction facebook event page here: