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Cocktail Hour


Bad Advice Wednesday: Come Feast with Us!

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Sustenance poster low res smNext week, Novemener 3-7, is Writers’ Week at UNCW which means a week off from regular classes here in Wilmington and a horde of writer folks descending on us. It starts with Mark Spitzer and Heidi Lynn Staples on Monday, along with an all-star alumni reading starring Douglas Cutting, Jay Varner, Sarah Creech and Rochelle Hurt. On Tuesday we are visited by Belle Boggs and Chantel Acevedo and Wednesday we bring in agent Michelle Brower, who represents our very own Jason Mott. The Buckner Keynote Reading on Wednesday night will feature poet Patrick Philips and nonfiction writer Katherine Miles, whose book about hurricane Sandy, Superstorm, was released just last week and it taking the world by…well, you know. Brock Clarke takes the stage Thursday night, reading from his just-released (Nov 4) novel, The Happiest People in the World. And the next morning Alison Hawthorne Deming will discuss her new book, Zoologies, with her editor at Milkweed Editions, Patrick Thomas.

 

After a week like that we will all be hungry. Which is why we are celebrating on Friday night with a big feast to celebrate the Sustenance issue of our magazine, Ecotone. Ecotone, partnering with the nonprofit food-system initiative, Feast Down East, will host a farm-to-table supper with readings by Ecotone contributors Alison Hawthorne Deming and Randall Kenan. The feast takes place in the Kenan Hall courtyard, and starts, as all good feasts do, with beer, during the 6–7 social hour featuring the Wilmington Brewing Company. Supper starts at 7, prepared by chef Ryan Andress.

 

The feast costs $50/person and includes a multi-course meal , beer & wine, limited-edition broadsides and recipe cards, and a copy of Ecotone’s Sustenance issue. Seating is limited, and no tickets will be sold at the door. Tickets may be purchased at ecotonesupper.brownpapertickets.com.

 

For more info about both Writers’ Week click here and to learn more about the feast see below. Please join us!

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Getting Outside Saturday: To Bald Head

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About to head over to Bald Head Island with my writing-from-place class. Good omen yesterday as I saw a bald eagle up close down at Carolina Beach State Park. (Baldies no big deal in Maine, but exciting here, and coming back in this area.)  Bonfire tonight, marsh kayaking tomorrow. Weather perfect.

 

Bald-Head-Island-East-View-FOR-WEB

Table For Two: Debora Black interviews Annette Berkovits

categories: Cocktail Hour / Table For Two: Interviews

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Annette Berkovits

Annette Berkovits

 

Debora: Annette, thanks so much for being here on Bill and Dave’s Cocktail Hour. Some day soon we must actually meet for a martini or two. But for now, a cyber setting. I thought, given the complex outcomes of the narrative you’ve written, tea and cookies by this warm fire at Three Peaks Grill would be fitting. We can watch the alpenglow spread over the ski mountain as we discuss the pages of your beautiful new book: In the Unlikeliest of Places, How Nachman Libeskind Survived the Nazis, Gulags, and Soviet Communism. Continue reading →

Bad Advice Wednesday: Tear Through That Second Half

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vintage manuscript

I’ve been talking to several friends who are in the same spot as me–a novel or other book maybe half finished, 150 or 200 pages under the bridge (and awaiting revision), and that feeling of slowing down, of weeks turning into months, and months starting to look like years.  My big idea, which I’ve often done with shorter work, is this: I’m just going to bust out a very rough pile of pages, get myself to a (no doubt tentative) end, then go back and really write. Continue reading →

Most Excellent

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Amidst all the exciting news about Bill (Amazon, People, HBO), you may have missed the fact that we are making a new film. We may not look as good as we did when we were younger, but it turns out Hollywood wants us back.  For more info on our forthcoming flick: http://time.com/3431163/bill-and-ted-3-excellent/

And here’s a shot from our first movie (Bill, beardless, on left):

 

Bill and Ted

 

 

 

 

 

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Bad Advice Wednesday: Call in Sick

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Every year I come in and guest teach in our big intro lecture class, CRW 201. But this year I was sick so I wrote this to Wendy Brenner, who is currently running the class:

Woke up still sweating. Better, but not great.

Doesn’t look like I can do it.

How about you ask a student to read this:

David Gessner really wanted to be here. He has grown to love talking to 201. This was not always the case. At first he thought there was no tougher audience in the world than 201. When he spoke he felt a little like Rodney Dangerfield (a comedian from long ago). {Note to reader of this page: when you speak of Rodney squirm uncomfortably and wiggle your tie, or where a tie would be if you had one}

One year David decided he was going to wow the 201 audience. He had just written about about following the osprey (better known to you as seahawk) migration. He had gone into Cuba illegally and into the jungles of Venezuela following the birds. He had great pictures and a power point presentation, which was cutting edge back then.

He threw his heart into his presentation. He felt good when he was done and continued to feel good until he walked out the door after class along with the students. There he overheard one gum-snapping girl say to another: “That was the most boring fucking hour of my whole fucking life.”

Disheartened but not defeated, Gessner vowed he would get his revenge. If they thought that was boring, they hadn’t seen anything yet. The next year he asked a film student to sneak into 201 and sit in the front row, filming the class. Then he did this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuNjEs8mdrA

 

Lundgren’s Book Lounge: “The Remedy For Love,” by Bill Roorbach

categories: Cocktail Hour / Guest Columns / Reading Under the Influence

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Living in Maine or anywhere with a real winter, we’re all familiar with the hyperbolic ‘storm of the century’ and the panic that ensues as grocery store shelves are emptied, cars shuttled about, gas procured for the snowblower and emergency supplies (batteries, water etc.), restocked. And of course what usually follows is anticlimactic as the storm blows offshore or the storm track veers off to the west (or east or north or south).

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Bad Advice Wednesday: Do Something For Someone Else (from the archives)

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How to get published, how to get an agent, how to be a better writer, these are all high on the list of common questions we get asked here at Bill and Dave’s.  Where there’s not a bit of desperation in the question there is often anger, and where the anger has faded there’s sometimes sadness, maybe a whiff of self-pity.  Or is that me, feeling all those things no matter where the writing takes me, often in equal measure with pleasure, even elation (but that comes most often in the making, sitting at my desk alone, lovely, soon to be dashed).  What I’m proposing today is forgetting about our own careers (or lack) and thinking about what we can do for others, what we can do to make the world a more hospitable place for art, and for artists, which is to say for writing and writers.  Doing for others may be your key to success, and is certainly the key to happiness.  Herewith, 30 suggestions for writers, and an invitation to suggest more.  Karma, anyone? Continue reading →