KALI'S DAY excerpt

"Candice hears the sounds of birds. The last traces of light stain the cave’s entrance far from where she sits in full lotus covered only in the ashes of the dead. She drifts in and out, sometimes jolted from a vast emptiness by the grumbling of her stomach. So far she can silence hunger by simply focusing and re-focusing on her breath. But the stomach is a dumb animal and its indifference to “mind over matter” is becoming more apparent in the increasing volume of its complaint. It clenches itself like a fist and it’s all she can do to keep her eye closed, though she hears something scratching along the ground somewhere to her left. She’s conquered fear, never feared the dark until right before she conquered it. In another lifetime, there was a longing that she barely remembers. So it’s not fear or need that distracts her now. It’s the knowledge that, other than herself, something animate, something alive is within reach. Most likely it’s one of those large succulent beetles, thickly armored against what she is now in most danger of becoming—a predator, since she hasn’t really conquered appetite, has only concealed it, and despite having risen above the desire for even the simplest bowl of rice, is about to succumb to defeat for the taste of something that until now has been far from tempting or even remotely relevant to the satisfaction of any desire, let alone hunger—especially hunger.

She doesn’t open her eye. But she imagines it crawling heavily over the various obstacles in its way: pebbles and clumps of damp earth, a random search for whatever nourishment, dirt, dead insects, bits of excrement, it might stumble upon."

KALI'S DAY available from

Amazon U.S.:http://www.amazon.com/Kalis-Day-BonnyFinberg/dp/1570272816

UK, NZ, Australia & Europe:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kalis-Day-Bonny-Finberg/dp/1570272816

SAINT MARK’S BOOKS (signed copies) 31 3rd Avenue NY, NY

UNNAMEABLE BOOKS 600 Vanderbilt Ave. Brooklyn, NY

BOOK CULTURE (signed copies) 536 W 112th St, NY


Sunday, March 31, 2013


                                                   Dangerous Diane
                                                 Photo by Guler Ugur   

What is the working title of the book? 
“The Drunk Monologues.”
Not “The Drunken Monologues.” Some people think they are being helpful when they tell me the grammar is incorrect. But they don’t get it. (In some way it’s sort of a play on “show don’t tell,” isn’t it?) 

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I was drinking a beer in a brown paper bag on the corner of 78th Street and Second Avenue when I saw a group of men looking under the hood of a car. I leaned against a deli wall and watched their ritualistic moves and thought it was hilarious. I went home and wrote “Men and Cars.” That was in the 80’s and I’ve been writing monologues about drinking ever since.

What genre does your book fall under?
I don’t know. Poetry, prose, a solo play, fiction, creative non-fiction. Excerpts have been published in fiction anthologies, arts magazines and monologue books. It’s part memoir. It could even be horror or thriller although those genres usually reject me like ex-husbands.
So I guess it’s a novel. Hopefully literature.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in the movie rendition?
Lily Tomlin or Tom Waits.
Tomlin is also from Detroit, where a lot of the stories take place, especially the music. And since there is music, my original drummer, Leonard Paul Johnson would play drums. Waits once said that he’s a musician because it was either that or air conditioning repair. That’s how I feel about being an artist.
I was the first actor. I read the monologues in all the usual poetry venues in NYC and then performed the solo show in a Horse Trade production, which they produced and directed (by their theatre director at the time, Russ Dobular). I went on to do it again at the NY and New Zealand fringe festivals. If Tomlin or Waits turn it down, I could be persuaded to do it myself but I don’t like pretending I’m drunk anymore. I want the real thing now. It might be because I’m in Florida.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
A tragic-comedy about one woman’s drinking addiction with absolutely no reference to recovery.
Sobriety is over-rated. 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I never stopped. The first monologue was around 1988. There are more monologues than what ended up in the show so I'm excited to get all the monologues together again. Since 1988 I moved three more times in Manhattan, six times in New Zealand, once to Woodstock, three house sitting gigs in NYC, one sublet in Brooklyn (same hood as the Bensonhurt Butcher), and one roommate share in Hoboken, NJ. Now I’m in Florida. In 2004 I left New York for New Zealand to try a second hand romance. The marriage was in front of a portrait of the Queen of England!. It ended not well because that husband was drinking and I was jealous. My moving for the past ten years has a lot to do with writing and drinking, I’m just not sure exactly what it is.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Steven Canon invited me to be a feature reader at the now defunct Avenue B Social Club where the audience included people drinking and people in recovery. Because they all laughed at my stories I was encourage to go further. When I saw John Leguizamo's “Freak” I knew I had a Broadway show. I never got that far but off-off broadway has been good and getting some of the monologues published is  inspiring.
Now Bonny Finberg has invited me to do this. I couldn't say no. I'm inspired to go forward and finish. Thanks Bonny.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest.
Chapter One: Train Birth
I was born in motion. The train rocking and surging,  metal against metal I popped out on a double seat in a little town called Puce - which is French for flea or so  they tell me - fifteen miles east of Windsor, Ontario. Canada. Water blood afterbirth and my mother's tears mixed with clapping and cheering and a champagne toast. Some fell on me, and at birth I was already moving and drinking. 

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Self published. 
1. I can’t go through mass rejection again. Twenty years ago I had a top New York agent who sent my first novel, “Girl Culture” to all the big publishing houses. I received over twenty-two rejection letters all in a span of a few weeks. At the same time I had been dating a poet/cab driver who asked me to marry him over a few bottles of vodka. We flew to San Francisco.  In the middle of the ceremony the judge admonished me for laughing because  it was a “solemn occasion”. I stopped laughing, we got married and my friends Bobby and Marcie took us to a revolving restaurant in the sky where we ordered champagne. However, my new husband wanted a bloody mary instead and I knew I married the wrong man. 
2. I want to publish visuals and music with the chapters. There are old songs and cartoons that are appropriate and I want to create new stuff with sound and ink.  A blog is the only way to control that. As soon as I figure out how to create those menu blocks on the top of the blog and how to create links so the reader can “read more” I will go forward.
3. When finished I will toast the project with a glass of red wine. Lately I’ve been riding my bike to the grocery store where I browse the wine aisle. Once I picked up a bottle to see how it feels. This is an incredible incentive. When I’m finished I get to toast my success. After sixteen years sober, I think I deserve a drink. Recovery is so over-rated. I’m not having any fun since I hit bottom. 

What is it that you want of a book? 
I want my book to do what books do for me: EVERYTHING.
Gore Vidal says that a writer must tell the truth and the best way to do that is in a novel. I like deadlines. Now if my neighbors invite me for a game of golf I can say, “Sorry I’m on a deadline.”

Diane Spodarek is a Canadian-American artist, a recipient of an NEA artist’s fellowship in video-art and two New York Foundation for the Arts artist’s fellowship in creative nonfiction. Excerpts from, “The Drunk Monologues,” are published in “Young Women’s Monologues from Contemporary Plays,” “The Unbearables’ Big Book of Sex,”"Even More Monologues for Women by Women," and Gathering of the Tribes 12.” She was the "First Runner Up" at the Nuyorican Poets Café "First Grand Poetry Slam" in NYC and her short story “The Farmer in the Dell” will appear in the horror anthology, “Apocryphile in 2013.www.dangerousdiane.blogspot.com

Friday, March 29, 2013


Here's the next installment of the NEXT BIG THING PROJECT. I'm glad to host bart plantenga's self-interview. 
bart, formerly a DJ on WFMU, hosts a freeform radio show from Amsterdam called Wreck This Mess.
His blog is called Wreck This Cloud.
His novels Wiggling Wishbone (Autonomedia, NY) and Beer Mystic are underground classics. See a video excerpt here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqEeL1QzGsc
                                photo of bart plantenga by Eddie Woods


What is the working title of the book?
Radio Activity Kills
Where did the idea come from for the book?
The idea came out of desperation & experiences beyond the ken of normal sentient beings down a dead end where the chosen & discarded confuse one another. the idea also arose out of the fact that no one has ever written a novel of some caliber on the subject. Don’t get me started; OK, but now that you have... In 2012, after 8.33 years of bickering with my latest book YODEL IN HIFI: From Kitsch Folk to Contemporary Electronica that addresses people’s comfortable preconceptions & socially determined prejudices on culture, here specifically related to yodeling; & after a decade-long protracted birthing process that produced the twin books PARIS SCRATCH & SIN PHONEY IN FACE FLAT MINOR, consisting of urban zen snapshots; & after the routine rejection of yet another version of the novel BEER MYSTIC by some 100+ gatekeepers [editors, agents, publishers] & then publishing the entire book online in a global pub crawl & producing a guerilla film of the book’s last chapter: Beer Mystic: Last Day on the Planet; I decided it was time to tell daughter Paloma Jet [13] that she must at all costs never harbor the delusion that writing can ever be considered a worthy, well-respected pursuit commanding any prestige or means for survival. In our rush to democratize we forgot criteria like talent. & since Paloma is smart & visually oriented, I am not worried. It is however then, never at a loss for words or rather not knowing what else to do, that I suddenly decided to give various shapeshifting experiences some definition at the peril of risking my mental wellbeing yet again.
What genre does your book fall under?
Somewhere between speculative-neurotic-metro-nerd-quasi-fiction & transgressive-black-humorist-implausible-memoir-manifesto: imagine characters from the old sitcom WKRP played by Monty Python offspring in a script written by Dostoyevsky, the channeled voice of Lester Bangs & the comedic talents of writers fired from the sets of various harebrained teen sex comedies.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
They will be unknown but gifted non-actors with a link to the milieu & zeitgeist [not a type of beer, although why not]. They would reside well outside the realm of the entitled & connected few & they will not have been tainted by formal training, Hollywood, or any professional workshopping-networking activities ... They will like both Jacques Tati & the Three Stooges, both Antonioni & Animal House & will have formidable music collections consisting of bands no one has ever heard of & they will have noticed something poetic about Doris Wishman’s movies & something inherently humane in the spirit of Jon Peel. They will have spent some time doing menial, underpaid labor & take that with them on their journey.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Radio as lived environment, sexual aid & alternative reality; a space where the cultural battles will be fought. & those [wo]manning the barricades will have only their wits & their encyclopedic knowledge of obscure & neglected musics as their weapons.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
26.2 years experience + an estimated 1.44 years of scribbling...
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Squat-pirate-illegal-alternative radio, faceless radiomakers with homemade egos – & their mothers, partners & enemies operating in straight/compromised media outlets...
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Their deep understanding of irony & satire will not be enough to save the main characters from a perdition that will be bearable only to some. Their sexploits will redeem certain bad decisions they have made although the STDs contracted will not. The novel will not be your standard musical although many of the main characters will speak in lines cribbed from the lyrics of obscure & sometimes touching soul, hillbilly, blues & novelty songs. The revolutionary impact of their actions will surprise even them.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Neither - it will be via a third way...
What is it that you want of a book?
The book should – or rather the text or rather the texture & ambience of the text – should serve as a lived environment, as an auxiliary, alternative halfway house somewhere between fear & imagination, entertainment & the discomfort that comes with revelation. For instance, if the main character was a tongue s/he would be located equidistant from the teeth, cheek & throat. The main characters’ ventures into performed & recorded music can best be described as charming & portentous fiascos.