Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Grub Street Rag, 7/30/07

Welcome to the Grub Street Rag, a newsletter of the Boston literary scene sent out every Monday from the balloon and party hat recycling station at Grub Street's world headquarters.
As always, if you are receiving this e-mail in horror, please advance to
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And now, onward to puberty

We've turned ten, and we couldn't have done it without you. We're thrilled to report that over two hundred friends and fans of Grub gathered in our offices last Friday to hear readings from Hacks (our anthology), get our faces painted, nosh on Redbones barbecue, eat birthday cake, and fill in our personal histories on the big Grub timeline on the wall. We hope you all had as much fun as we did. We're already looking forward to Grub's Sweet Sixteen!

And now, a thank-you to our sponsors and donors
We know you're asking: How did Grub pull off such a snazzy, stylish birthday party? We owe a lot to our staff, volunteers, and interns, but the party wouldn't have been SUCH a party if it weren't for our event sponsors and donors. HUGE thanks to Redbones for providing barbecue, enormous thanks to Newport Vineyards for providing wine, and big thanks to Blanchard's for donating a portion of the night's beer. We'd also like to thank all of the party-goers who made a contribution at our Donation Station: in total, you donated $188, which helps defray the costs of the evening's festivities. If you attended the party but missed the donation station, or couldn't make it to the party but would like to help us out, we'll gladly take donations online. Please click on http://www.grubstreet.org/getinvolved/donations.html to pony up.

Memoir II morphs into a new 6-week course
Our Memoir II class has changed its length, price and start date. It's now a 6-week class that runs from August 13th to September 17th, and costs $275 ($250 for members). The objective of the course stays the same: to give more experienced writers intensive review and analysis of their creative nonfiction, and to write and revise one or two nonfiction pieces or book chapters. Call us at 617.695.0075 to sign up.

Grub Street all over the Globe
There have been two Grub-related writeups in the Boston Globe in as many days. First, check out the article about one of our favorite instructors, Lisa Borders, by clicking http://www.boston.com/ae/books/articles/2007/07/29/for_her_fames_not_name_of_writing_game/. Lisa teaches our Novel In Progress course, and her writing is just as beautiful as this article says. Grub Turns Ten also got a mention in the "Names" section of today's paper. The text is online at http://www.boston.com/news/globe/living/articles/2007/07/30/fun_and_game_plan/?page=2.

SOFTBALL DEPARTMENT (Brought to you by regular sportscaster, Chris Castellani)

Grub Street Word-Slingers 15 BSSC Indies 16

ANDOVER - Leave it to a bunch of writers to save their most compelling drama for the final act. Leave it to the Word-Slingers to avoid the cliche of getting pummeled in the playoffs. Such a predictable end would have been savaged in workshop.

What we had instead, sports fans, was an old-fashioned thrilla.

It started with a ball that bounced out of Ben Patterson's glove into the glove of newcomer Mark Beckytuchsfriend, preventing at least two runs. Indies up 3-2. Then, at the top of the third, the Slingers took the lead with five runs, four of which were awarded as bonuses because the Indies were woman-deficient. For once, the draconian/chauvenist BSSC rules benefited Grub, who'd drafted reserves Anna Stern nee Goldsmith, Nicole Patterson and Lyssa Marksgirlfriend.

But those four runs, like free Redbones BBQ, disappeared quickly. The Indies got 7 at the bottom of the third thanks to three throwing errors and chaos on the basepaths.

By the top of the seventh, the Indies were up 13-12 after Beckytuchsfriend tied it, Jen "RBI Machine" Dupee knocked in two and Wayne Feldman provided some fireworks with a bases-loaded single that notched two more. The Slingers needed one run to stay alive, and then, miraculously, a Patterson walk sent Becky Tuch trotting gleefully home. Indies don't score again. Game tied 13-13. Extra innings. History in the making. Weak knees.

At this point, the Indies starting pitcher -- a coltish, huffy Amazon with a dash of crazy -- was ready to strangle the umpire, whose breath reeked of whiskey, and who liked to call her balls and strikes before they reached the plate. The Indies brought in their closer for the eighth, and the Slingers scored, this time on a bloop hit by power first-baseman Michael Borum, who scored five-tooled star and expert center-fielder Jeff Stern. Anchor outfielder Tom Meek and infielder Brian Runk called a team meeting to pump everybody up and strategize defensive positions in the next half-inning. Brian was still fuming from being called out at third after a brave slide, and wanted revenge. But the Indies scored anyway, and the game was tied again.

Top of the ninth. Skies darkening. Mosquitoes attacking. The Slingers don't score. Game still tied 15-15. Dead silence as pitcher Chris Castellani serves up a triple. Man on third, no outs. Then the next batter hits a line drive into center field, the man on third scores, and the game is over.

Maybe the Word-Slingers have sought over three seasons to experience all the nuances of loss. Maybe they fear the bourgeois trappings of success, the sappy losers-will-triumph happy ending. Maybe they glory in the flames licking their backs as they swan-dive from the heights each and every Sunday. In any case, they're writers. Their skin is thick, and they will fight on.

See you next year!

Whitney, Chris and Sonya

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