A shared artistic skin

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

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!

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

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.]

Strangely empty

August 24th, 2014

In my research for a new YA novel, I visited empty places. Empty places do strange things to people’s minds.

Hancock Brick:ohio


Who waits for us, in those places that seem – from the outside, at least – to be empty, lost, abandoned a long time ago? Who hears us coming, past the whisk and whisper of weeds, the muted crackle of broken glass?


Abandoned NYC

We think we’re alone, and maybe we are: alone with our imaginations, our thoughts, the way the mind whispers to itself … Do you know what your mind sounds like? Are you sure?

What if you’re wrong?

Ohio school

Empty places do strange things to people’s minds.

[Photos of Ohio's Hancock Brick and school: Detroiturbex. Letchworth Village: Abandoned NYC.]

The best cult

August 16th, 2014


J Leach KK Brillig      Brillig!


WRabbit & Hatter

“I feel like I joined a cult — the best cult!”

Thus spoke a patron, as nerve went Brillig!, a pop-up show leading us further down the road to the full performance of ALI<E.

Read the review

“Call it sudden theatre, guerrilla spectacle, maybe aesthetic shenanigans, the proceedings had an overall religious feel (maybe just “relig-ish?”) blended with a raucous rule-bending of theatrical expectations.”

Brillig 2 parade CMBrillig parade 5 CMBrillig 6 WR CMBrillig 3 parade CMBrillig 1 CM

Our creed is fun. We’re making it for you. Join us.