December 12, 2001

In the mail yesterday, to my great delight, was my almost-as-good-as-new copy of FORMS OF HEAVEN, the second collection of plays by the talented and polymathic Clive Barker - out of print these last few years, but had at bargain price through And this is significant because, aside from the fact that it now pretty much fills in the last empty slot in my Clive library (and has, to boot, that beautiful mid-90s cigar-in-hand shot of the the author on the back - Mr. Barker is SO on my freebie list), it will allow me to read CRAZYFACE, the Tyl Eulenspiegel play, and write up a proposal for it for the local theatre company that's looking for directors next season.

Bit of a longshot, of course, as this is likely enough to bring every damn bargain-basement would-be Roman Polanski waving a well-thumbed copy of YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU or similar out of the woodwork, and I've barely looked at a stage from either direction in nearly six years. Sigh. But I'd rather be turned down legitimately than sit around kicking myself for the next two years for not giving it a try at all. Welcome to the Industry. Sitting around at home being brilliant is, shockingly enough, only a beginning.

So I've got my work cut out for me this week, and I can hear the cobwebby wheels start to turn in my head as I'm reading - already trying to solve problems of staging and multiple roles and French scenes and whatnot. Can I sell it? Is the world truly prepared for a Dan L-K vision of CRAZYFACE? I guess we'll know soon enough. And I'm sending in a treament for THE TEMPEST at the same time, just in case this one's too, y'know. . . askew for the public palette. May the Mystery smile on my lovely wife, in any case; she's the one I owe for spotting the ad in the first place, and not allowing me to waffle about giving it a go, longshot or not. I'm often surprised at times like that, though I shouldn't be; I have myself all convinced that Stacy's more or less just as glad I'm not gallivanting around at all hours away from home trying to create Theatre, and then she turns around and knows how to become exactly the right combination of cheerleader and drill sergeant to get me off in the right direction. I don't know why I don't know better. Damn guilt's a bitch.

December 10, 2001

Wooch. I'm all goofy and bleary-eyed today from being up far, far too late past my bedtime due to attending last night's Jim's Big Ego show at Iota in lovely downtown Arlington. It was worth it several times over. Rediscovered how rewarding it is to be a fan of these guys; Jim Infantino is just a damn nice person, as are his bandmates, and they really make you feel good to have come out and given them your time. There should be more bands like that.

(So go and tool around on, if you haven't already. Get a copy of NO PLACE LIKE NOWHERE and the companion book of Jim's lyrics and poetry, LEGITIMATE GRIPES. Well worth the time and money, and it supports the cause of good, smart, fun music. See how long it takes before you're inflicting it on everyone you know, and waiting for JBE to come play in your area.)

AND I got to hear my contribution to the obligatory Napkin Poetry segment made into a call-and-response refrain ("Bean soup - Too much curry!"), and meet Seth Cohn (if I'm spelling that right), also formerly of the Boston singer-songwriter circle, or community, from whence Jim hails. We talked briefly about how easy it is as songwriters to find that you're suddenly writing stuff with an Infantino sensibility, and that there are worse fates. And then Jim sang one of the verses of "Slow" as Tom Waits. A fine evening, plus we earned our fanboy moments of hanging out with the band by pitching in as on-the-spot roadies. It was a privelege.

December 07, 2001

So I spent an enormous amount of time last night working on The Website (, editing and converting various bits of my writing for all and sundry to see there. Had that awful moment of doubt where I had to wonder if anyone cares enough to involve themselves in the workings of my twisted mind to spend time slogging through it there, especially with almost nothing up that has anything like an end or resolution or any of the other satisfying qualities readers generally look for in entertainment. OTOH, the feedback on Fantasybits for almost all of it has been so strongly positive for so long that I have to believe there's SOMETHING there. Vainglorious, indeed. The one thing publishing works-in-progress like that really has going for it is the potential to keep me honest, keep me working at it until it's done because I've got some other poor bastard involved in it. I can hope so, at least. It's certainly possible I'll finish something and the damn thing will sit there without anyone ever seeing it in all its glory. "What if I wrote a novel and nobody came?" It's surely happened to better than I.

And then there's the stuff I can't seem to be making headway on, like the William Burroughs poem I started for the "invisible stalker" topic and have been picking at like an old wound for a month or so. I know what I want to say, but I'm having a hell of a time getting there - two lines at a time on a good day, and it constantly wants to veer off in some unintended and unsatisfactory direction. Maybe I'm just overly conscious of not wanting to repeat what I had to say in "Sailing to the Western Lands." But I'm terribly afraid this is going to be like "S. T. Joshi in Dreamland" and sit around on my computer for five or six years without an ending because it seemed like a good idea at the time. Could it be that this whole poems-about-writers thing is a clever concept that fails when actually put to the test? Gods, I hope not.

And "A Lizard in Crimson" has been, or continues to be, back-burnered for a time while I work on some other stuff that needs attending to - THE RESIDENTS #1 for starters, and a couple of other things that seem to want some tinkering with (not to mention getting ready for the holidays and assorted pesky RL stuff). Hope this doesn't upset my adoring public TOO much, since it turned out to be my breakthrough 'Bits storyline in a number of ways, including being singled out by the weightily talented Vishal Bharadwaj in a recent missive to me. Vishal shall be richly rewarded for that, let me tell you.

Sigh. I'm torn between the burning desire to delve into the work and the burning desire to get away from all of it for a while. The latter is frought with danger, of course - I'll take a break and get into something that I've had on the "to-read" list for a while, like URTH OF THE NEW SUN, and come back trying to make everything feel like Gene Wolfe, layering six new kinds of grotesque strangeness on top of what's already in there. Story of my life - trying to find the point at which the extra dash of curry helps the soup instead of turning it into a bowel-torturer.

Or I could take the night to rent a movie or something. I dunno.
Just got my first response this morning from my esteemed collaborator Maija re: THE RESIDENTS, and the news is good. She likes the ideas and is still interested in working on it. What can I say? It's more than I deserve. I think I called the project "ambitious" and "vainglorious" in my response to her, both of which are true. It just blows my mind that there's anyone willing to put ink to drawing board to make this insane creation of mine come to life.

Almost as good, the last time I sat down to it I wrote "Page 5, Panel 3" and didn't draw a total blank. Could it be I can actually do this? It seems too much to ask. Probably a little soon to assume that I have a talent or anything for it just yet. The proof will be my providing a text that Maija can work from. We shall see.

Speaking of which, I need to catch up on her ANGELWINGS story, which I've been, y'know, "saving for later." Bad collaborator! *smek*

Ah, well. Better to have too much to do than the alternative.

December 06, 2001

Well, crap. I just typed up quite a long post and lost it to the great etherial void where such things go to die. Some kind of weird Javascript error. Grrr.

December 05, 2001

Hi. I'm Dan Layman-Kennedy. This is my new blog.

With any luck, I'll be coming here from time to time to throw my thoughts into the void about life, art, writing, good food, good books, magic, the Universe, and everything. Hurrah!

Or maybe I'll just be using it to bitch and moan. Whatever.

I feel sort of like Bridget Jones. If Bridget Jones was male, hairy, American and about a hunnert pounds heavier, that is.