What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Yes, yes...posting has been light. It is Summer. I'm swamped with (slightly paying) work. I know these excuses are excuses....sigh...but, I want to share some of the things I have been working on off-blog so you can see that I'm not just sitting poolside sipping fruit based cocktails and dreaming of a lost America of love. In fact I haven't set foot in a single Vermont waterfall this Summer! Your regularly scheduled blogging will commence soon...after I swim in a waterfall!

1. About two years ago I read an amazing book called Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring, Story About People Looking at Animals in America by Jon Mooallem. I loved it so much I wrote my first ever book review, blindly submitted it through Submittable (for those film people unfamiliar think WithoutABox for writers- btw, when did Withoutabox become an actual website and not some sort of 90s internet looking porthole? Improvement!) sent it to The Believer and they swore they wanted to publish it! And they finally did in the Summer 2015 issue! The Believer is one of my favorite publications and being in it is such an honor!  But more importantly: you should probably read the book I reviewed! It is beautiful and perfect and really altered my way of thinking about contemporary nonfiction literature both as a writer and a reader.

2. "The current critic system is set up in a way that favors the Hollywood system as it continues to cater to one broad and boring audience: white dudes." Refinery 29: Do Movie Critics Have a Female Director Bias, Too? The Women Film Critics Circle, which I am a proud member of, sometimes get asked to weigh in on important Women/Movie related issues. I ended up contributing to this article about women in film criticism. Is bias there as well? Do women film critics judge films differently than their male counterparts? Is the inherent gender-ing of language possible to overcome? These and many more of your wildest questions will be answered in this piece!

3. Soooo....the annual Women's Film Festival in Brattleboro VT takes place in late Winter/early Spring- known in these parts as "Mud Season"-  and features films made by women about women. The event is a fundraiser for The Women's Freedom Center, a nonprofit dedicated to ending violence that provides advocacy for those affected by it. I do some work for this organization and I've been giving input into the 2016 fest! Super excited to be working on this project, really hope I can help make it grow!

4. SCREENING! This Summer I got an e-mail asking me to join another screening committee and, when offered the chance to pursue my dream of film programming & writing, I felt the need to say "Hell Yeah!" Let me tell you, film screening in the Summer is an entirely different beast than film screening in the Winter! I think having helped produce a movie makes me take the time, even on a beautiful day nearly canceled by sunlight, to evaluate each individual labor of love from start to finish. (swaps sun soaked eyes for film soaked ones)

5. ...and, lastly, yes. I did vacation for a day or two. In Milwaukee! Yeah. You heard me. MILWAUKEE! I did my Blue Velvet/hipster duty of visiting the Frederick Pabst Mansion, went to the impressive art museum and, most importantly, accidentally stumbled into an East Indian Deco movie theater called The Oriental that reminded me that the spectacle of watching a movie will never die!

Okay, so that's what I did on my Summer Vacation! At least I have a full month more to get outside and maybe dip my toes in some water!



Donna K. is a recent transplant to the Midwest where she can be found exploring culture at large through film programming, writing and her general interest in the world- both on and offline.