Month: June 2013

KGB

It is perhaps, a cliche, this thing about writers and whiskey, but there is something very special about doing a reading in a bar.

Until now, my favorite reading was at The Apple Barrel, on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans, back in 2009.  But I think that’s going to change because I have arranged a reading this fall at KGB Bar.

“In the years since it opened in 1993, KGB has become something of a New York literary institution. Writers hooked up in the publishing world read here with pleasure and without pay to an adoring public over drinks almost every Sunday evening (fiction), Monday evening (poetry), and most Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. The crowd loves it. Admission is free, drinks are cheap and strong, and the level of excellence is such that KGB has been named best literary venue in New York City by New York Magazine, the Village Voice, and everyone else who bestows these awards of recognition.” (kgb bar)

So you will understand how very pleased I am to have been selected to read at KGB this fall.  It’s still four months off, but on Wednesday evening, October 23, I will be one of several MWA (Mystery Writers of America) members who will be reading at KGB.  Located in a second-floor walk-up in the East Village, KGB Bar is the preeminent literary bar in NYC.

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I’ve added a page of Events and Appearances with information about this and other upcoming book events.  All of the events are going to be fun, but if you can only get to one, this is the one to put on your calendar.

I’ll be easy to recognize.  I’ll be the one sipping Scotch.

Hippies-turned-stockbrokers

When my short story, The Sound Bite, was first published by woman’s corner magazine in 2006, the editors wrote the following, by way of introduction –

Author Jeff Markowitz writes, “I’ve always wanted to write a story about the early 70s, about the blending of anti-war politics, eastern spirituality, sex, drugs and music that we once called the counter-culture and about the underlying innocence of those turbulent years.”

Indeed, for those of us who experienced those years, it was all of those things.  Nothing was bizarre or “too far out.”  There were counter-cultures to counter-cultures.  Markowitz’s story gives us a glimpse into what was “reality” in an unreal world of war, drugs, experimentation, free love and communes.

For any of you hippies-turned-stockbrokers out there, you’ll understand. 

Hippies-turned-stockbrokers.  That description hit home a couple of years ago, when I saw Carole King and James Taylor at Madison Square Garden as part of the Troubadour Reunion Tour.  Twenty-thousand stockbrokers, in hundred dollar seats, turning back the clock, hippies again for one extraordinary evening.  And I was reminded of that again tonight, watching the Troubadour singer-songwriter special on PBS.

It’s about identity, how music defines us and connects us.  I said once, in another post, It’s about how the boy still lives, somewhere inside the man, but also about how the man always lived, somewhere inside that boy.  With one ear, I was listening tonight in 2013, but the other ear was firmly planted somewhere in the 70s.

I don’t know how to explain those years.  It seems so unreal to me now.  But I have long understood that fiction reveals truth in a way that a strictly factual account never can.  Woman’s corner magazine, unfortunately, is no longer publishing, but, once digitized, nothing truly disappears.  Go into the basement and find that old, scratchy copy of Tapestry, put it on the turntable and turn back the clock.  Inhale deeply and follow the link to The Sound Bite.