Author Archive

The Wonderland playbill

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014


MB Tweedle 1 rl


Do you  have your ticket to Wonderland, are you coming to ALI<E?


Then please peruse the ALICE playbill!

It tells you everything you’ll need to know for your visit, including important information about our venue, attendance age restrictions, and tips on immersive performance, if these events are new to you.

You can also meet our cast and learn who’s who, and tip your Hatter hat to the creative team behind this edition of Wonderland.

Please feel free to print out if you like – there won’t be a paper version available at the event. And if you have any questions about the performance that the playbill doesn’t answer, ask gonervenow AT


EK Cheshire 1 rl

MD Carpenter 1 rl

[All photos Rick Lieder: Marianne Brass as the Tweedle, Egla Kishta as the Cheshire Cat, and Marisa Dluge as the Carpenter.]


Saturday, September 27th, 2014

I recently got a Facebook message inviting me to join a musician’s fan group: a well-spoken, friendly invitation, ending with “I’m sure you’ll agree [the musician]‘s a sorely underrated talent.”

“Underrated” – I’ve heard that about my own stuff, more than once. More than twice. And even when it’s said, as the musician’s fan said it, with honest admiration for the work, it really used to bother me: as if, in the making of art, there was a contest of attention that it was measurably possible to lose or win, and my work was falling short.

underrated definitionSo: value. Public recognition (praise, reviews, invitations to speak, etc.), is one way to keep score. Influence – on other artists, on the wider world – is another. Sales are the most trenchant way, because sales mean that people are buying the work, they demonstrably want it. (Unless people are buying it and not reading it, but that’s a meta thought for another time.) Which is the reason to write, after all: so people can read what you’ve written, what the muse or whomever has given you to say.

So does being underrated mean that my books won’t be read? That’s an honest worry – I want to speak to everyone who can hear me. But is that everybody? Every possible reader? My voice is a singular one (every writer’s is), and the ones who have receptors for it are its natural audience. Having receptors for something doesn’t mean you’ll automatically love it: you might very decidedly not. But you will hear it. And hearing it will make some difference for you, in some way. Further than that, any writer, any artist or maker, cannot venture. We are all mysteries, and our receptors are our own.

I do read reviews, and I do read readers’ comments (the ones I see, or are sent to me). And I do find people who find my stuff to be a total run-on-sentence baroque mess, and other people who fall in love with it, and say so at eloquent length. And at that intersection my work’s found, and heard, and rated, and I can be content.


A shared artistic skin

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

The Internet is very big and very small.

Clive and SKIN

Clive Hicks-Jenkins and I met out here in the web, we bonded over our shared love of puppets, and I was delighted to contribute an appreciation/exploration of his work with maquettes for this monograph,


And was it a pleasure to learn that SKIN was the book of mine that first spoke to him? And was it a surprise? Yes; and no. Like finds like, even (especially!) in the www.

Between the hole and the mirror

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

ALI<E, nerve’s recreation of Lewis Carroll’s classic stories, considers life as a landscape of pleasure and shadows, a game of chess and the turn of a card, the scent of ancient moss, the bright taste of sugar.



The White Rabbit’s energy, the Caterpillar’s questions, the Cheshire Cat’s meow, offer various kinds of direction to the seeker who looks to find a way. The Hatter and Hare pour the tea, pour the tea, pour the tea, because ritual is one way we try to make sense of time; the Tweedle’s melancholy search for perfect love is another. The Pale King and his deadly Red Queen remind us that chaos is everywhere, and that every game must have its end. And the Carpenter, who created this world (as well as myriad others), knows that that creative energy is always available, is always working on the side of growth.

Life is a mystery, even when you know where you’re going.

We are born, all of us, through the rabbit hole, and we leave through the looking-glass. In between, there’s Wonderland.



[All photos: Rick Lieder, including Laura Bailey as W. Rabbit.]



Jump all over the furniture, yeah!

Monday, September 8th, 2014

The second part of the Examiner interview introduces the characters of our Wonderland – born from the imagination of Lewis Carroll, of course, but reimagined in ways that make them brand-new.

Which is why performative fiction is such addictive fun: it’s like playing in a world you love, but you get to move all the furniture around. And then jump all over it!

There are so many books I love … Which to reimagine next?


It takes nerve to have fun

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

This new interview explains that it takes nerve to have so much fun. And to make it.


[ALI<E event image courtesy Antichamber Design and Rick Lieder/photography. Mad Hatter: Steve Xander Carson.]