Saturday, April 25, 2009

Open hours reportback

Unseasonably hot weather may have factored into the low attendance but high fun at this week's open hours. Seriously, it was in the mid-80's--- who'd want to be inside on a day like that? Not us, that's for sure. We brought the household outdoors, even bringing out one of the tables which then Danny and I used to collate the entirety of Ker-bloom! #77, which I had just finished printing this week. Special on the menu were BLTs and bagels with homemade cashew butter. I'm not saying this to rub it in; I'm just letting you know what you missed. Next week we'll fully have iced coffee.

Beyond food and beverage, action and conversation also ensued in the yard between houses. Our new housemate did laundry outside, and Danny and I drank coffee and talked for hours straight while putting 300 letterpress zines together. Mostly the conversation volleyed back and forth between novel writing and house construction. It was like shuffling cards--- no segues were necessary. We jumped back and forth between plot development and partition walls, publishing and copper pipe.

Friday, April 24, 2009

University of Pittsburgh Alumnus Reflects

It's finals week of the spring semester at the University of Pittsburgh, meaning that in a few days I will have graduated one full year ago from the institution in which I am sitting right now (I'm printing the Cp A publication on the spare printing pages of college students' semesterly quotas). I've been at this since 2 a.m. and it's 5 now. I feel that these are often the best times to reflect on your life--when you can feel the veins that lead from your optical cavity to your brain, when you forget how your hands are connected to your body and everything seems to float about everything else.
This past year has been the first year in my memorable life that I was not in school. And, believe it or no, I think I have gotten far more accomplished in these 12 months than any of those previous. Which means that, I may not have been talking out of my ass when I said school got in the way.

-I finally finished a draft of my novel.
-I bought two houses (at once)in order to start the writers' project I that I conceptually developed post graduation.
-Failed to get a sprout grant.
-Found roommates who rule, and write.
-With them (roommates) started hosting events and open hours at the house.
-I am printing and putting together my first magazine-like thing.
-I did almost all the illustrations for this mag
-I co-created most of a board game (man we need to finish that thing)
-I got a lot better at drawing comics (had a short run of 3 panels with the Pitt News, (they didn't know I was no longer a student) man that was no fun)

A lot of the stuff, admittedly, has to do with this project (like working on the website and this blog) and I got help on everything, but I had help before I graduated and I had other bizarre and far fetched ideas then too, but I always said that I would do it after college, or I didn't have time or something.

All I'm saying is: school's lame.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bookmark Us!

We now have fabulous screenprinted bookmarks by the fabulous Morgan! Now when you come by during Friday open hours you can remember where it is in your book (or journal or sketchbook) you last left off, and maybe you can remember us as well.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Round Robin and Ads on line

A couple of things:
I put together a second blog:
That's where the round-robin style writing project we're working on will be posted.
It's a fun story inspired by a drab experience sifting through senior manuscripts of former grad-students at a local University. We decided that it was all crap (everyone's a critic) and that we ought to write our own manuscript that we could hide amongst the spiral-bound volumes. The idea was that if we wrote something that was fun, and unpretentious, it wouldn't matter if it was bad. Like a pop-punk band--if everyone's having a good time, musical quality becomes less important.
So I wrote the first chapter on a bus right after reading Snow Crash (I think it shows) and we've been passing it around ever since.

Second thing: Advertisements--we have some on both blogs. I know, I know, selling out and whatnot, but let me put something in perspective. At the Cyberpunk Apocalypse we run a writers' residency program, a writers' lounge, an events space, and a publication without any money other than what we fundraise. The "rent," meaning the taxes and homeowners insurance for one year, at the two houses we run the project out of is 2,200 dollars per year. That's not too bad but it's a lot to fundraise. On the other hand that divides up to a little more than $6 per day, which means that if a couple of you guys click on our ads every day, then we can focus on fundraising to improve our programming and support local writers more effectively. SO CLICK ON OUR ADS if you think the ad is interesting to you. You'll be doing a lot of good for a little effort.
Thank you, I promise that will be the first and last time I say that so blatantly.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

24hours of film

24 hours of writer and/or science fiction films, april 30th till may 1st, come and go as you please!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

First Open Hours Session

The first of our open hours sessions was today. I'd say it went pretty well, considering that nobody who doesn't already live here showed up besides Tommy Jarvis, and he didn't even come all of the way through the front door.
This wasn't a huge surprise, since we haven't advertised heavily, and we're just getting started. If you don't know already, the open hours at the Cyberpunk Apocalypse is when our living room and kitchen get converted into a kind of speakeasy-coffee shop for writers to spend time in the company of other writers. For now they are on Fridays from noon to 7pm, and we have coffee and snacks and pencils.
Despite the low attendance it was a profitable experience. Since my electrical engineer acquaintances have been slow to get back to me I've been doing research on DIY electrical generation. The back house is a little damp, so I thought I could probably build a little windmill generator and hook it up to a computer fan that could help ventilate the basement. I had originally been fantasizing about the possibility of making hundreds of little windmills on my roof generate electricity for the entire house. It turns out that there is a very practical reason that most electrical generation systems are not made of hundreds of little generators: the less the wattage being transferred the less efficiently the electricity travels across a cord. So while high voltage lines can go hundreds of miles without loosing much power, little generators can loose a significant amount of power over the distance of a 10 feet. That doesn't mean my little generator-to-ventilation fan idea won't work. It doesn't even mean that you cant put a dent in your electricity usage with a lot of little generators; it's just another obstacle is all--I'll keep you updated.
I also spent this time working on more illustrations for the upcoming publication. Unfortunately the robots that Bill works for wouldn't let him leave the invention factory today, but hopefully we'll get work done tomorrow, and will get the book printed soon.

Ross came home unexpectedly from work with a cold. It was too bad that he was sick, but it was great he got to come home. Ever since he's been working on writing his opera in the basement with his accordion, Sara's keyboard and a borrowed four-track tape recorder (seriously he came home at 2pm and he's down there now at 10:42).

As for me, I think I'll spend my evening in my room working on my novel with a glass of water and pound on that rock for a bit.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Microcosm Reading?

Seems like a reading isn't happening here. I haven't heard anything and it is 8pm.

Work at the Writer's Space


This morning Ross Sara and I sat around in the sun eating icecream made from frozen dumpster-bananas, and talking about the Cyberpunk Apocalypse. Within a week or so we sould have wifi here and our neighbor Chris is going to set up his desktop in the events-space as a public computer.

Once Artnoose gets the water working in the back house we'll move our kitchen, and once I get a new basement door we'll have a bike-room. So, once that happens there will be a real comfortable space for struggling writers to come, and be surrounded with people who are driven (just like them) are passionate (just like them) spend long hours working over old pieces on their computer until their not sure if the words even make a coherent sentence or convey any meaning (just like them).

In the mean-time here are some projects that are in the works:
-The website is getting re-vamped (who knows how long it will take, but it should be great). My friend Varun is being a great pall and offered his assistance.
-The final version of the first publication is being finalized for printing later this week. Billy is working his magic design skills around and producing some solid gold grey-scale shit.
-Once the publication is printed we hope to have a release party around May 15th, where we would sell a few copies and possibly have an art auction in conjunction with the release. So, we'll be looking for local artists willing to donate works that are inspired by the Cyberpunk Apocalypse (either in a funny or serious way) to be sold in order to help support the project.
-Ross is planing a 24hour movie marathon of movies about, or relating to writing later this month.
-Ross is also planing on selling raffle-tickets to see who will be allowed to cut his hair.
-Art Noose is having an awsome Lemonade week with a reading at the Carnegie library's main branch in Oakland (7pm TODAY thursday 4/16/09!!) that will climax with a Welcome Home Artnoose (vegan) Potluck at the Cyberpunk Apocalypse (5431 Carnegie St. @ 54th in Upper Lawrenceville) that starts at 8pm Sunday 4/19/09. She also recently finished the text for her newest issue of Ker-bloom!!
-Sara, mean while turned 24 today and is thinking about a stream-of-conciseness writing party, and trying to get Ross to learn enough 80s songs on the accordion that we can have an 80s night cyberpunk apocalypse style.
-Zoe is moving to Chicago come May 1st, and we already have a writer interested in moving in, which is exciting.

As you can see, there is a lot of stuff going on that we are very excited about, but hopefully this is just the beginning.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Artnoose Moves In!

Well friends, consider the backstairs house inhabited. This week I'm moving into the little house in the back of the compound. I have a little work to do reconnecting the plumbing in the basement, but other than that, I'm good to go. The ground floor of this house is destined to be more communal than it is currently, but as it is I'm the only one in this house. This afternoon I set up walkie-talkies so that the main house and I can communicate without yelling across the yard. (Maybe a tin-can phone is in order!)

I'm pretty excited about this spring and summer, both because I think this space will give me time to focus on my writing projects, but also because the other people who live here have some great ideas. More adventures to come...

Friday, April 10, 2009


Were having open hours on Fridays from 12 noon till 7pm at the house. Feel free to stop by for Coffee, to work on your writing, or talk with us.
We'll be doing this every week, so come on by.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Acoustic Punk Show

The show last Thursday was perhaps the craziest show to happen with only ten or so audience members. Only one neighbor complained, the fire department came and went with little to do, and spontaneous Blink 182 dance party sprung out of the ashes of the show like a drunken phoenix.
Good times.

P.S. the bands were really good.