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1000 Black Lines

:: digital coffee stains on the paper of the blogosphere ::

Bella Vista Art Gallery Re-opens

Bella Vista Art Gallery has opened it's doors at it's new location in Biltmore Village.

We will celebrate our Grand Re-opening on June 2nd from 6-8 pm. Link.

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Asheville's River District flourishes

The River District was the subject of one of my first published articles in Asheville. It is the cover story of today's AC-T:
Pattiy Torno thought she had found the perfect spot... back in 1989 – except for all the crime that came with the abandoned industrial sites along the French Broad River in Asheville.

“When we got here, the first thing I did was put new roofs on the buildings, then I put bars on all the windows,” said Torno....

In the decade since, the prostitution, break-ins and drug dealing died down while artist studios, clubs and restaurants flourished.
Link (via AC-T).

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Asheville not hip to consumer video ads

You've scene the ubiquitous DIY ads by now. It is corporate America's answer to cheap advertising and new media marketing--i.e. offer a DIY commercial contest so the company doesn't have to hire a professional ad agency. And the results are...

[P]lease don't forget how effective these contests can be.... Particularly when it comes to this writer's entries for Asheville, North Carolina's "make your own commercial" contest. Although we made six of the thirteen total entries, but didn't win and we never heard back from them...

Link (via Unbeige).

NOTE to the unnamed Asheville "make your own commercial" contest director: follow-up is the best marketing and PR policy to endure your brand. Otherwise participants of the World Wide Web will expose tawdry arse.

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Asheville home sales slump

With all the "for sale" signs I've been seeing around Asheville, this report details why.
Existing home sales were down 17 percent in April in the Asheville area, the sixth consecutive month that saw a decline.

The number of homes sold through the Asheville Multiple Listing Service for the month was 244, down from 293 in April 2006. The average price of a home sold rose 7 percent to $283,385 but the total price of all homes sold dropped 11 percent.

Article Link (via AC-T).

An acquaintance recently sold an Asheville area home and bought an existing house in a different county for the same price--the new home has three times the space. Do you think people are paying too much for the perceived value of Asheville residency? One thought I have is this: who would by an existing home for in the $280-$350 range when one may contract a new home purchase?

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Malaprop’s turns 25th this week

While independent bookstores have shut down in cities nationwide, B’Racz’s independent bookstore is still filled with customers seeking out the latest books by their favorite authors or just stopping by for a cup of coffee.

“We have people who have moved here from bigger cities come and say, ‘Thank God, there’s a real bookstore here,” B’Racz said.

--Dale Neal for AC-T. Link.

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Artists, get your grants now

Asheville Area Arts Council is encouraging artists to apply for one of its 2007-08 Regional Artist Project Grants. The deadline for applying is Aug. 17. AC-T Link.

More info on the AAAC Web site. Link.

DIY publishing & distribution

Jilly Dybka of Poetry Hut has a DIY publisher/micropress poll and the results [here].

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Write Stuff: Memorial Day

Today's Write Stuff contribution (an excerpt):
Memorial Day is as much about the living soldiers and their families and friends as it is a memorial of dead warriors. Link.

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"$1,299 for two tickets"

That's correct. Someone is trying to sell their tickets to see Smashing Pumpkins play the Orange Peel. Link.

WNC plane crash kills three

Three people died on Saturday when a private plane bounced on landing at a private mountain airstrip, hit two other planes and burst into flames.

The FAA says the crash occurred about 10:15 a.m. at Mountain Air, a private golf development north of Asheville. Link.

Traveling this weekend?

North Carolina's highest average for gas is in Asheville at $3.17; the lowest is in Wilmington at $3.08, according to AAA's Web Site. Link.

Bollywood superheros... music video?

OK, it's time for some Friday fun. I found a link to this thanks to Boing Boing.

Do we really need another?

SKYLAND – Chain bookstore Barnes & Noble will open its second Buncombe County store in Biltmore Park Town Square in fall 2008, developers have announced. Link.

There goes the neighborhood.

Looks like someone didn't feed the bears (Yes, blatant Over The Hedge reference.).

Late Tuesday, an angry mother bear with cubs nearby attacked a 20-pound family dog in Asheville. The bear ripped open sections of the dog's hindquarters. A second family dog, a 30-pound mix basenji, joined the fight and helped beat back the bear, said owner Andrea Hunnicutt. Link.

And if that's not all--

Another bear attack on a family dog here highlights the animals' desperate hunger after a late freeze destroyed much of their food supply, a wildlife official said. Link.

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Is Asheville the wrong place to try to make it as a poet?

A call from an acquaintance in NYC prompted me to ask the question: Is Asheville the wrong place to try to make it as a poet? The Check out the D.C. scene and the Baltimore scene.

Press Release: Traveling Bonfires Events

THURSDAYS (05.31/06.07), 7:30pm-10:00pm (sign up, 7:00pm)-- The Traveling Bonfires' OPEN MIC. Emcee, Kapila. The Dripolator Coffeehouse, 144 Biltmore Avenue, downtown Asheville. For info, (828) 252 0021 or (828) 505-0476.

WED (06.06), 7pm-9pm -- The Traveling Bonfires presents "A Reading by Asheville's Tuesday Writers Group." Featured readers: Walter Dinteman, Robert Kelley, Miriam Oviedo, Karen Nilsen, Pasckie Pascua, and Aile Shebar. Emcee, Robert Kelley. Malaprop's Bookshop/Cafe, 55 Haywood St., downtown Asheville. FREE. For info, (828) 254 6734 or (828) 505 0476.

SAT (06.09), 7pm-9pm -- The Traveling Bonfires presents Laura Hope-Gill and Pasckie Pascua, and open mic. Hosted by Margaret Osondu. Osondu Booksellers, 184 N Main St., Waynesville NC. FREE. For info, (828) 456 8062 or (828) 505 0476.

SAT (06.23), 4pm-10pm -- "Bonfires for Peace at Pritchard Park, Year 4, Event 1." Featuring Peace Jones, Phuncle Sam, TBA. Pritchard Park, downtown Asheville. For info, (828) 505 0476.

TUES (06.26), 7pm-10pm -- The Traveling Bonfires presents Sally Spring, with Michael Hefner and Pasckie Pascua. River Blues Cafe, 355 Sanford Drive, Morganton NC. FREE. For info, (828) 505 0476.

THURS (06.28), 7pm-9pm -- The Traveling Bonfires presents Kama Linden (from NYC) and The Bee's Knees, and open mic. Hosted by Margaret Osondu. Osondu Booksellers, 184 N Main St., Waynesville NC. FREE. For info, (828) 456 8062 or (828) 505 0476.

SAT (06.30), 8pm-11pm -- Third World Asheville & The Indie present a peace concert. Featuring The Bee's Knees, Kama Linden (from NY), Sally Spring, and Phuncle Sam. Asheville Arts Center, 308 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. $5 (free food and non-alcoholic drinks). For info, (828) 505 0476.

SUNDAYS (05.27/06.03), 5pm-9pm -- The Bonfires Filmshowings, with discussion. Facilitated by Pasckie Pascua. Venue: 61 Dunwell Avenue, West Asheville. FREE. For info, (828) 505-0476 or email raindance60@hotmail.com

WEDNESDAYS (06.06/06.13), 5pm-7pm -- Wander Writers Workshop (poetry and short work only). Facilitated by Pasckie Pascua (The Indie's editor-publisher). Venue: 61 Dunwell Avenue, West Asheville. FREE. For info, (828) 505-0476 or email raindance60@hotmail.com

Frastic, spastic, Cinephrastic.

Poetry chapbooks rarely receive published reviews--kind of like reviews of obscure indie bands from Cleveland. So I intentionally search for literary chapbooks as a writing assignment.

To my surprise I read Amy King's blog review [here] today. I was sure I was the only one to review Kathleen Ossip's chapbooks Cinephrastics [read my review here] due to its limited distribution. Whereas Amy King "picked up this handmade chapbook the other day after a reading," Kathleen Ossip actually emailed me and invited me to review Cinephrastics. I did. And The Indie published the review recently.

So cheers to other like-minded readers who find delightful chapbooks and by extension the poets and the publishers that create them.

Rage against The Orange Peel

For those Asheville-ians who tried to purchase tickets to see the Smashing Pumpkins at The Orange Peel and missed out, the Mtn X offers a place to talk about it. Link.

I found it!

The end of the Internet!

The bus does not have wifi--or how to cut your gasoline consumption in half

I wrote a column for Write Stuff titled "Unplug" [read here »]. I summarized Mr. Stephen Elliott's article in Poets & Writers: “Surviving a Month Without Internet.” The article was read on the bus during my commute to work. I can usually read through an entire magazine, cover-to-cover, in one day of commuting on Asheville's transit system (roughly three to four hours a day) and a complete book (depending on the page count and complexity of language) in a week. A 1200-word article was written on the bus and as well as a several dozen poem sketches and a couple book reviews.

But then I get to the office or return home and try to engage the Internet and... well... I don't want to bother with typing what I wrote on the bus. Grudgingly, I plug in and correspond with a client 600 miles away and an author half the world away. It is not that I begrudge the client and author. Sometimes face-to-face communication is preferred; like meeting acquaintances at Bobo Gallery for Asheville Green Drinks.

Yesterday, I read this sad report about history going the way of the dinosaur:
After more than 50 years American Heritage, the magazine that furnished not just the minds but... the dens of generations of American history buffs, is suspending publication, its editor, Richard F. Snow, said last week.... Mr. Snow said, the publishers have decided to put the next issue, June-July, on indefinite hold. For at least the time being, however, American Heritage will continue to maintain a Web site.

That leaves Mr. Snow and his staff, which has dwindled to four from a dozen, in limbo, where they have been since just before Christmas, when they were informed that the magazine was going on the block. “It’s a little like sailing the Flying Dutchman through the fog,” Mr. Snow said. [continue reading here »]

And this A.M. I read that a new library opens today. [Gothamist Link.] And that seems to tell me that there are still places were people can enjoy an analog sanctuary (analog mostly--I assume there is a computer center and other reminders that we embrace a digital/info age tightly).

I love the word "sanctuary." With the deluge of info streaming through WiFi portals and email in-boxes, I long for sanctuary--a shelter, a place to rest. The word comes form two Latin words: holy and a suffix meaning place--i.e. a holy, sacred place. The mainstream media reports about America's gasoline consumption and its related high price, but what is the cost of info consumption through the Internet? Insomnia? Paranoia? Can it be measured in American dollars? Maybe we need a rest--but not escape. Maybe we need sacred places where we can be engaged but not overwhelmed. Alaina posted a great quote by Kahlil Gibran [Link.] that reminds us to remember and enjoy the wind in our hair and sand between our toes.

Where is your sanctuary?

Flood Fine Art Center monthly poetry reading series

Hope introduced last week's monthly poetry reading at Asheville's Flood Fine Art Center located in the River Arts District.

Overheard on the bus:

A couple, who appear to be on intimate terms, converse at the bus stop.

The man (wearing a Cradle of Filth t-shirt) tells the woman: "Suicide Girls is art--not pornography."
The woman (smokes her second cigarette in ten minutes): "No. The guy who takes photos of a thousand nude people in Mexico is an artist. Suicide Girls is pornography."
The man: "Some pornography is art. Suicide Girls is art because they perform to music."

Bus arrives.

AGR newspaper... gone

According to Rebecca Bowe of the Mtn X, the AGR newspaper will no longer exist. More here »

Write Stuff: A definition poem

Recently inspired by the poetical form sometimes referred to as a "definition poem" (akin to a recipe poem), I offered a poem sketch on Write Stuff. Link.

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Asheville Garage and Yard Sales Map

A new (beta) website detailing none other than Asheville's garage/yard sales: Asheville Garage and Yard Sales Map.


Write Stuff: Simple

This week's Write Stuff post, Simple:
Ever wonder what your life would look like as a painting by a famous artist? continue reading »

Book News: part 20

Some recent developments coincide with the one year anniversary of Essay Collection A (the book I helped bring to the marketplace).

1) More than 10,000 copies sold in 12 months (includes both titles).

2) Sales top... well... let's just say they've done better than expected... way better than expected.

3) A major distributor, CBD, recently agreed to carry Essay Collection A and Essay Collection B. They mail over 60 different catalogs per year to millions of households across America.

PART: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]

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Write Stuff: Unplugged

This week's Write Stuff post ought to stir the pot a bit:
I fully realize the irony of writing about avoiding the internet or at least a limitation of internet usage.

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Barnes & Noble News » tracks The Traveling Bonfires to Osondu

This showed up yesterday in my Google Alerts. Seems that Buzz Tracker posted that I read at the Osobdu bookstore in last weekend. Woo-whoo!

And for those reading this from Barnes and Noble HQ, yes, you may sell my "novel in 30 verses!"

Novel in 30 verses? you ask. Yes, allow me to explain--no let me sum up an email exchange between Britt and myself.
Coffeehouse Junkie: It's a hybrid haibun/haiku/lyric--each chapter (verse) is less than 20 words.
Britt: That novel/hiaku hybrid sounds like quite an undertaking ... How was the hybku-novel received at Osondu?
CJ: The naiku-hovel has been a journey. I removed the element of characters in order to emphasize the emotional landscape of the setting and plot. So the introduction is essential to understanding the 30 verses--i.e. its a romantic tragedy in which two, star-crossed lovers follow relational entropy. The Osondu crowd responded politely....

For the record, the manuscript is complete and needs an editor and publisher who would like to place it in the hands of readers everywhere. Interested parties may email me at: coffeehousejunkie@gmail.com

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Sebastian Matthews on national broadcast of The Writer's Almanac

I woke up to the voice of Garrison Keillor reading "Live at the Village Vanguard" by Sebastian Matthews from, We Generous: Poems. © Red Hen Press. Link.

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PRESS RELEASE: Flood Gallery Fine Art Center

On May 17, 2007, the third Thursday of the month, Flood Fine Arts Gallery will host its monthly poetry reading at 8:00p.m., featuring the following poets:

Ann Barrett was a hairdresser before becoming a writer of both essays and poems. “To be a truly successful hairstylist,” she says, “not only must one have a degree in Psychiatry, one must also give a wicked shampoo.” Ms. Barrett does not have an MFA, but she has published in a variety of journals, including but not limited to The Baltimore Review, Many Mountains Moving, Archipelago, Culturefront, and The Caribbean Writer.

Rick Chess is the author of three books of poetry, THIRD TEMPLE (2007), CHAIR IN THE DESERT (2000), and TEKIAH (1994), wll with University of Tampa Press. He directs the Creative Writing Program and the Center for Jewish Studies, both at UNCA. Recently, he contributed a poem to QuickMuse. He has also been featured as artist of the month on the website for Image: A Journal of Art, Faith, and Mystery, and on PoetryNet, a website edited by the poet Mark Jarman.

Chall Gray lives in Asheville, NC. His writings have appeared in numerous journals and have also been accepted into the Outside Voices Anthology of Younger American Poets, which will be published in January, 2008.

Valerie Finn will be reading her work at the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville, March 22, at UNCA in April, and at Malaprops in May. Her poems are in the recent issues of Poet Lore, Agenda (England), Best New Poets of 2005, and forthcoming in Prairie Schooner.

Flood Gallery Fine Arts Center is located at 109 Roberts Street in the River Arts District of Asheville North Carolina. For more information, please contact Mark Prudowsky at info@floodgallery.org or call 828-776-8438.

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