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1000 Black Lines

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

Coffeehouse Junkie is on hiatus

Asheville Friday Night Drum Circle
I'm currently enrolled in an intensive writing class on the art of personal essay. As soon as that class concludes I'll be heading to parts unknown to study poetry at a writer residency.

For now, I am suspending blog activity until I can better navigate this personal journey.

I'll tumble log here [Link] from time to time. (What's tumble log? You ask. It is an online scrapebook of digital ephemera). My Write Stuff columns [Link] will resume in July.

Besides, it is the first day of summer. Why are you inside staring at a computer screen?

Write Stuff: I'm on sabbatical

My Write Stuff columns will resume in July when I finish the writing class I am attending. The class is pretty intensive and the weekly reading and homework is stretching me.

Asheville Smasheville

Two semi trucks carrying light and sound equipment were parked outside of the Peel this morning. For better or worse, Smasheville, branded "for the fans, buy the fans," features videos and photos and comments regarding the Smashing Pumpkins return to rock.

Here's a video link to the Paris show--complete with French women singing badly with Smashing Pumpkins. Link.

We don't need your stinkin' help

Like Asheville needs Smashing Pumpkins to put it on the map!

Richard Florida and many others have noted the city and people of Asheville as being a center of creativity. Publications like Rolling Stones (called Asheville the "New Freak Capital of the U.S."), Self magazine (named Asheville "America's Happiest City"), Outdoor Living, Money and others have put Asheville on the national map of recognition. Last year, Kiplinger's magazine ranked Asheville in the top 10 of their Top 50 Smart Places in America:
A virtually franchise-free downtown, world-class cuisine, amazing crafts, live music venues and fine arts make this city tucked into the Blue Ridge mountain range one of a kind."
All this to say a Greensboro new outlet runs this headline "Smashing Pumpkins' return puts Asheville on music map."
When the Smashing Pumpkins reunited after seven years... the alternative rock band made a surprising choice for its first shows: a small club in the mountains of North Carolina.

The Orange Peel... will host the Grammy Award-winning band... for a nine-show run... in Asheville.... "It's an automatic home run for Asheville," said Mike Rangel, co-owner of the Asheville Brewing Co. brewpub and restaurant, just a few blocks from The Orange Peel. "It puts us up there with the big boys."
(via News-Record.com) Link.

Like Asheville needs Greensboro or Smashing Pumpkins to put it on the map.

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Currently, I am in the middle of an intense writing class. When I came across this article (via Boing Boing [Link]) this morning I was struck by this well crafted introduction:
I didn’t want to go back.

When I began reporting from Iraq in 2002, I was still a wild and somewhat naïve twenty-four-year-old kid. Five years later, I was battle-weary. I had been there longer than the American military and had kept returning long after most members of the “coalition of the willing” had pulled out. Iraq had become my initiation, my rite of passage, but instead of granting me a new sense of myself and a new identity, Iraq had become my identity. Without Iraq, I was nothing. Just another photographer hanging around New York. In Iraq, I had a purpose, a mission; I felt important.
Read the rest here [Link].

As far as a personal essay goes, the first sentence gets the reader into the story by asking "why" and presents an authentic voice that hooks the reader into the story.

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Blotter Blurbs & Words: June 16

The Traveling Bonfires invade Durham

The Traveling Bonfires prepare for their first appearance in Durham. Read the press release below:

Blotter Blurbs & Words: June 16: FAME: Summer LUAU
FAME is having it's first "open reading" night! We look forward to this as we celebrate popular local magazine, the BLOTTER. Special guests poets Pasckie Pascua and Matthew Mulder from Asheville and his friends female songwriters Sally Spring (www.sallyspring.com) and Ophir Drive (http://myspace.com/ophirdrive). We look forward to hearing what they have to say!

Join us at RINGSIDE: 308 West Main Street, Durham.
Doors open at 10pm: 18+

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Asheville: new microbrewery in the River Arts District.

OK, maybe someone took my post seriously ("Asheville needs more microbrew beer," Link).

The yet-unnamed brewery will be in the same building as the Wedge Gallery, at 129 Roberts St., said owner Tim Schaller, who signed a lease on the 2,000-square-foot space Thursday.

With brewing equipment already here, construction begins July 1, and the microbrewery Schaller hopes to have the place open by mid-November.... He plans to sell beer at a tasting room, and distribute to pubs, clubs and restaurants.

Carl Melissas, former brewer for Green Man (which makes beer for Jack of the Wood pub), will be brewmaster at the new location.

Tony Kiss (via AC-T) Link.

I sure hope they will brew an IPA as fine as the Green Man IPA.

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Urban Gardening

Three months ago I pushed words and metaphors into the ground and despite the drought the ground broke with lovely green things and white flowers.

I think I should name them poems, but my children call them basil and tomato and peas and peppers.

It is official...

...a new B&N is moving into town.

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the worlds largest bookseller, announced it has signed a lease agreement to open a new Barnes & Noble bookstore in Asheville, North Carolina. The bookstore, expected to open in March 2009, will be located in the Biltmore Park Town Center at 33 Town Square Boulevard. The store will stock close to 200,000 book, music, DVD and magazine titles, and include a café serving Starbucks coffee. Link.

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Asheville, what do you really think

Here's what Asheville newcomers (and outsiders) are saying about the Paris of the South:

“These people are considerate, polite, helpful, and just plain nice. Southern hospitality reigns here.”

“On a sour note, there is a serious drug problem here. Very high personal crime rate, very high violent crime rate, for such a small city.”

Link (via Mtn X).

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The new Cold Mountain

The New York Times ran a feature a few weeks back, about how publishers have been searching in vain for the next Cold Mountain - a literary novel by someone other than Stephen King that editors won't be ashamed of, but will still turn into a best-selling sensation.

Not even Charles Frazier, the author of Cold Mountain, can't seem to do the trick, it seems. Sales of his follow-up novel, Thirteen Moons, proved merely whelming.

Still, the publishers keep hoping. Now comes Cataloochee, a historical novel set in western North Carolina, like Cold Mountain. It's by a first-time author, Wayne Caldwell, who's from Asheville (like Charles Frazier) and who studied at Chapel Hill (like Charles Frazier).

So, naturally, it's being touted as the next Cold Mountain.

That sort of stacks the odds against him from the start. Which is a shame: Cataloochee might not be a classic, but it's a rich, flavorful slice of fiction, thick with the aroma of venison and mountain apples.

Cataloochee is a decades-long saga, spanning four generations from the Civil War to the eve of the stock market crash. The real Cataloochee is, or was, a township snug against the Tennessee state line in Haywood County. Beginning in 1928, the government bought up the land for what would become the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The story's linchpin is Ezra Banks, a character straight out of Faulkner. He left home at 14 after his foul-tempered father whacked him with a hammer for sassing back, to join in the last throes of the Civil War.

Ezra, we're told "sprang from a line of men pretty good at hunting and fishing and gambling and drinking. But at farming they piddled."

As a dirt-poor Confederate private, he sees the fertile vales of Big and Little Cataloochee and vows to buy his way into it.

Read the rest here (byBen Steelman for starnewsonline.com Link).

Or not.

What's with the bikes?

Oh, so that's the reason for all the bikers on the road--
The 35th Annual BMW Riders Association International Rally is expected to bring thousands of bikers and millions of dollars to Asheville, N.C., this weekend.Organizers said that they anticipate that the rally will pump $2.6 million into the local economy. Link.

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Smashing Pumpkins play secret show

See Asheville (and The Orange Peel), you're not Smashing Pumpkins' only "whore."

Launch Radio Networks reports: The SMASHING PUMPKINS played a secret acoustic show in Berlin for 200 fans on Tuesday night (June 5)... the PUMPKINS played a two-hour unplugged set, after which original members Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin remained onstage to take questions directly from fans. When asked why he decided to reactivate the PUMPKINS after a nearly seven-year hiatus, Corgan replied, "When the band broke up in 2000 a lot of people were saying it was a bad idea. But I felt we had to do it. Now we had to come back. We believe in the power of intention and prophecy."

The singer and guitarist called the recording of the upcoming PUMPKINS album, "Zeitgeist", "a long, laborious process to perfection." The album is out July 10.... The PUMPKINS began their comeback tour on May 22 in Paris... The group is now doing a series of European festival dates before coming home for July residencies in Asheville, North Carolina and San Francisco... Link.

Still the questions remains: where's James?

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River Arts District studio stroll this weekend

Here's a couple links about the studio stroll: "River District studio stroll is next weekend" and "River District 'Studio Stroll' worth attending" and the RDA official site.

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Weekly literary calendar


The Traveling Bonfires showcases poetry at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood St., Asheville, 7 p.m. Call 254-6734.


The Indie Poets return to Osondu Booksellers for an evening of verse, followed by open mic reading, at 184 N. Main St., Waynesville, 7 p.m. Call 456-8062.

Award-winning poet Stephen Holt reads from his new collection, “Elegy for September,” at City Lights Bookstore, 3 E. Jackson St., Sylva, 7:30 p.m. Call 586-9499.

Bella Vista Art Gallery Grand Re-opening

Asheville needs more microbrew beer

OK that headline should grab your attention--thought this might be an interesting event.

Residents are invited to join two well-known economists as they share their insights on the national and local economic outlook ... Dr. James F. Smith will reveal why the U.S. economy is most likely already in a recession, and how long it will last. Link (via AC-T).

Oh, this sounds like a real happy-happy-joy love-fest. Economists sure know how to have a great time. Someone remind me to bring diazepam to share with attendees.

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Asheville beware of Northern invaders

Oh, this is too exciting--a Northern invasion into the Southern highlands. Man the battle stations Krispy Kreme loyalists!

The Dunkin' Donuts chain plans to add 45 franchise restaurants... The local expansion is part of an N.C. growth strategy that calls for 112 new locations in markets that include Asheville... Link (via Charlotte Business Journal).

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