Good answer

A snippet from The Onion AV Club interview with Aaron McGruder on creating a daily comic strip (The Boondocks), and if it is still satisfying. I can relate to how he describes the work, why it is important, and that sometimes there is nothing worth saying, but there is still space to say something. Take note, bloggers. I am.

Here’s the entire interview.

Aaron McGruder: Yeah, I think so. I think, ultimately, the problem with something like this is that you actually have so many more opportunities to say something than you actually have things worth saying. And then, as an artist who doesn’t want to do bad work, gosh, how do you fill up all that space when you really don’t have anything actually worthwhile to say? And that’s what makes the job tough, because the fans get mad—”That’s not funny,” or “You’ve been sucking for several months now.” And you go, “It’s not my fault! I’m trying.” When there’s things worth talking about is when it gets fun again, and when the news is slow, or when there’s just so many other responsibilities bearing down on me that I don’t have the time to do it right, that’s when it gets frustrating. As an artist, you just don’t wanna put bad work out. So when you have to do it seven days a week, you’re just gonna have some bad days and bad weeks and bad months and bad years. If I could just pick and choose which days I did it, that’d be great. [Laughs.]

2005 Librarian Award – Yay for Me!

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Here I am with my librarian face on. Photo by Larry D. Lyons, II. 2005.

Straight from the Tooting His Own Department…

THE NEW YORK TIMES ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF THE 2005 LIBRARIAN AWARDS 27 Librarians From Around the Country are Recognized in the Fifth Year of the Program

NEW YORK, Nov. 14, 2005 – The New York Times announced today the names of the 27 winners of the 2005 New York Times Librarian Awards. Now in its fifth year, the program honors librarians from around the country who have provided outstanding public service and have had a strong and positive impact on their nominators. This year’s winners represent 13 states, including Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Wyoming. Nominations from the general public were accepted from June through September and exceeded 1,200 with nominations coming from 48 states.

The Times will hold a reception in honor of the winners on November 16 at which each winner will be given $2,500 from The Times and a commemorative plaque. A separate plaque featuring the winner’s name and title will be sent to the library where each winner works. Alice Hoffman, the best-selling author of such titles as “Practical Magic” and “Here on Earth” and more recently of “The Ice Queen,” a novel about a small-town librarian, will be guest speaker at the ceremony.

“We are very proud to be celebrating the fifth anniversary of The New York Times Librarian Awards,” said Alyse Myers, vice president, marketing services, The New York Times. “What began as a local initiative to recognize the efforts of public librarians in New York City has grown to a national awards program that garners nominations from nearly every state in the country. Such enthusiasm clearly demonstrates what a vital role librarians play in all our communities. We take this opportunity to congratulate our 27 honorees, but also to salute librarians everywhere and to applaud the enormous contributions they make to our society.”
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Glimpses

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With Artis at Republic in Union Square after Cheryl’s book launch party on Saturday at the Bowery Poetry Club. I had Pad Thai – delicioso! Photo by the fabulous Phillipe Paul.

In the past week alone several folks (who I know and love) told me that they read my blog. Two of them said they do it regularly. I thought, wow, really? Despite the fact that I rarely blog anymore it occurred to me that maybe I could/should post more often. You know, give these kind, but obviously entertainment-challenged souls, something to nibble on while I continue indulging my glamorous life as a publisher, writer, librarian, and socialite at wild parties, exciting book signings and week nights hanging out with all of my “Girlfriends” on UPN.

Last month I…

Published a book, but not by me.
http://www.vepress.com/convincing-the-body. Convincing the Body is one of my favorite books, written by one of my favorite people, Cheryl Boyce Taylor, and you should buy a copy today. Go, go! It’s available online at www.vepress.com.

Took/taking swimmning lessons with my friend Artis, and I am not dead! I swim in my dreams and now I seek to bridge the gap in my waking life. It is not going to happen overnight, despite my excitement and sexy green swimming trunks.

Reunited with Rachel, a hometown friend who I love like breathing. I’ve always enjoyed her matter-of-fact way of being in this world that’s all about enjoying it and not oppressing others with knowledge. Rachel is beautiful and witty, and she reads, reads, reads! She just turned me on to Tananaverie Due. I am so glad she’s back in my life.

Was visited my best friend Carla and her hubby Alem, and it reminded me about how fortunate I am to have such a woman in my life. She’s an amazing thinker and a great storyteller, and has no problem with acting like a fool in public. I like this in a person. And it doesn’t hurt that Alem is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I don’t know a more balanced man.

Finished “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion. It is a lovely painful memoir. Didion recounts her experience of losing her husband in December 2003, and almost losing her daughter, who, at the time, was in a coma. This book is helping me to think through a writing project currently in progress.

Lost a peer, LeRoy Whitfield. He was nice guy and a good writer whose insights about life and love were always a pleasure. I’ll miss him.

Imagined what my death would be like. Would it be a long-term illness? Maybe a heart attack? Shot? Mowed down by drunken driver? Its October and really, death is in the air.

Started therapy.

Won a major award. You will find out soon enough.

Learned what it means to be humbled. Friendships can survive business partnerships if, and only if, you can get your big bloated ego out of the way and focus on the project at hand.

Met Charles Nero who I like and enjoy and find hilarious. Cheryl Clarke, who I also adore, came to drop off things at the SC the other day. She and Charles hugged and really, it was one of my favorite moments of the week.

Discovered that my father is an evolved being. He recently told me that he would always be in my corner until they put him in the ground. My parents did not disown me because I’m a big old manhandler with an even bigger mouth. Few are like me.

Tried not to hate white people. White supremacy can fuck up even the nicest of days, and so I work to honor my anger and frustration without letting it turn me into the monster I could be. Still.

Fasted.

Published reviews of cookbooks in Library Journal. Also published an interview with Heather Hunter at Vibe.com. Oh, and a half dozen other articles, as well.

Dined with the delicious Samiya Bashir. She’s a writer’s writer, all warm and thoughtful and living life. Read her new book, Where the Apple Falls. Very dense and extremely satisfying, you’ll be wrapped up in her work.

Woke up one Sunday morning and found Larry taking a new television, equipped with a DVD, out of a box. He bought it for me because I was too lazy and cheap to simply go out and get one. Mind you, Larry had been out the entire night before at a friend’s housewarming, and in addition to the television, he brought me eight gallons of water AND a half dozen pairs of jeans and cords. I am wearing a pair right now.

He is my love.