Liars’ League NYC Reading and Publication: That Moment in Lao

Jessica Gallucci read “That Moment in Lao” on 6th February 2019 as part of the “Plots & Schemes” edition.

Lao Photo

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Nam Yang: More characters in this movie

giamattiThink Paul Giamatti playing an earnest Quebequoi with the sense of an absent-minded-professor about him and a wide-open laugh. The person played by Paul Giamatti is my Kung Fu twin in that we started and will end our time here at Nam Yang on identical days. My Kung Fu twin’s most endearing quality relates to his shoes. We are forever taking our shoes on and off. Don’t wear them in your room. Put them on to schlep down to the practice area or over to the new practice area or up to the dining area. Paul Giamatti will leave his shoes at one practice area–because, really, it is just a hop from, say, the practice to the tea area. Why, the shoes? Yet when it is time for breakfast and his shoes are down at the far practice area, well; we have a bit of a problem on our han… feet.

grace jonesThis next person is played by Grace Jones with a shaved head and no make-up (but keep the wraps). She had no interest in Kung Fu. She came to Nam Yang for chi gong, but realized that she needed the yang side provided by the kung fu–the fire, the external strength–and well as the yin–the softer, meditative power which chi gong develops.

Along these lines, I am finding the strength-training kind of exciting. Even though I hate it. Mostly because I’m terrified I’ll hurt myself. But I’m not hurting myself. After my first training session led by Master Ian–we do indeed call him Master–he gave me a thumbs’ up! And, as previously noted (perhaps in a tweet), I did the splits for the first time in 10 years.

spaceyThis final person reminds me of the nice characters played by Kevin Spacey–before Kevin Spacey blew it, Me, Too-wise, and then said what he said about that, and everyone was like, “Oh, don’t say that.”

Imagine the young Spacey over there with no hair (The real person shaves his head, too). Then imagine it is the crack of dawn. At the previous crack of dawn, you finished learning a chi gong form, and at today’s crack of dawn, you are supposed to put it into action. All by yourself. Shaved Kevin Spacey is the teacher that comes up to you and says, “I’m about to start the chi gong. Do you want to follow along?”

Meet more Nam Yang people here.

Nam Yang Update: Brad Pitt Moves On

young brad pitt

First departure from our group on my watch: the 20-young Dutch fellow who started his first-ever Asia travel in Sri Lanka with a seven-day, silent Vipassana meditation retreat, followed by two weeks of surfing, followed by one more week of silent Vipassana meditation. He’d never meditated before; he’d never traveled before. With two stints of seven days under his frayed belt, he had no problem sitting for the hour-long session that I was sure was going to kill me yesterday.

(Comic hyperbole aside, I did ok for a 1/2-hour, rather sucky for 15 minutes, and for the last 15, it was like, “When’s dinner?”)

Today, the young man took off on a motorbike to take roads north to Mae Hong Song before roads south to Chang Mai. I said, “Wouldn’t it be faster to go straight to Chiang Mai?”

He said, “I like driving.” In the movie, he would be played by a young Brad Pitt.

Meet more Nam Yang people here.

ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Contest 2019

2019-ScreenCraft-ShortStory-2000x650.jpg

Proud to announce that for the second year running, a short piece has made it to the quarter-finals of the ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Contest. The piece I submitted this year, The Brass Ring, is in fact an essay; but I asked prior to submitting.

No news as to when the semi-finalists will be announced. Last year, my short story, I Wanted Ten, made the semi-finals. Hope to do better this year.

Still in Asia, by the way. Thailand. Studying Chi Gong at the Nam Yang Kung Fu School in Northern Thailand, out side the little bitty, hippie town of Pai.

My body is sore and my heart misses my family so much. Other than that, things are going very well. We’ll chat soon.

First acceptance of 2019

I’m in Asia. Yeah, forgot to mention that. Doing research for the next novel. Any-hoo, this morning, was trampling around Cambodia, a temple five hours north of the famed Angkor Wat complex, name of Preah Vihear. Got an email from Liar’s League, saying my short story That Moment in Lao was accepted for performance–and, I believe publication.

More later, as I understand more fully.

That Moment in Lao one of the only four stories I have for Lena, the dastardly heroine of what I am at the moment calling Crazy Things. Great sign, that her first story was accepted on this, her research trip. Think we yes?

PS. Performance in NYC on Feb. 6th. I’ll be at a tai chi retreat in Northern Thailand, so if any of YOU can attend, say hello for me.