"Scaramouche Unopposed" (papier-mâché masque; sheet music [Arvo Pärt, Pro et Contra, 1966]; gold leaf; lapis lazuli accents). Submitted to Shriner’s Hospital 21 January. Rejected 5 February with note claiming that the object, while entertaining, could not be considered either art or helpful to the terminally ill, much less a terminally ill child. Resubmitted 7 February with edits to the darker portions of Pärt’s piece, along with fluorescent hi-lighting of warmer, more comforting notes. Returned for insufficient postage.
"Malformed Puppeteer" (Punch puppet; wood; cloth; acrylic paints; pig’s blood; swazzle; string; small sock monkey puppet). Submitted to Oakview Cemetery/Glory of the Sun Crematorium, with attachment, 19 April. Received response 27 April: "... The passing of your mother was difficult for all of us and your unresolved concerns regarding issues of control could be mitigated by a consultation with a professional trained in such atters. Thus I am retuning [sic] your parcel immediately ..." Rejected 29 April, returned with a business card advertising a "Doctor Susan Lemansky, MD". Card, box, and Punch puppet smelled of cigarette smoke (likely menthol). "Oooh, what a pity"! Submitted to Shriner’s Hospital 30 April. Rejected 15 May.
"Tiger, Tiger" (automata; porcelain; bonsai trees; swiss gears; glass beads; genuine tiger hair). Submitted to movie director Hector Elman 20 April. Got a response 19 August! He says he likes it and can he, in fact use it in one of his movies?! Of course, the answer is "yes"! Queried 9 December. No response as of 16 January. Saw preview for movie Beast-Machine of Prey 5 March. Not bad. "Tiger, Tiger" is clearly visible in the opening credits as a back-lit silhouette, the Tiger’s leaping timed to coincide with the fade-in of the copyright date. Roman numerals, Bengal tigers, German directors. Submitted further query 13 April. No response by 30 June. Sent invoice 3 July. Received photocopy of cancelled check (#3014, dated 27 August, amount $750.00, signed by Hector Elman, written out to Jack Bingham). Sent a letter explaining that I had not yet seen this check and that it must have been lost in the mail somewhere. Finally received check (as above, but #3245 and amount $850.00) 11 October. Beast-Machine of Prey has grossed around $3.4M as of most recent figures, per Entertainment Industry Insider Magazine (May issue). Cover price of magazine is $7.95.
"Reflections on a Lie" (decoupage and glass-etched hand mirror; silvered glass; bronze frame; black and white photographs; acid). Submitted to Jeffer’s City Creative Arts Open 24 May. Accepted 9 June: Notified that the piece will receive an Honorable Mention at the awards ceremony on 17 July. Received Honorable Mention 17 July. My first Honorable Mention! Submitted to Experimental Visionaries Forum 14 August. Received letter 28 September saying that the EVF has lost funding and will cease all action immediately. Submitted to Elsie Bingham-Jones (ex-wife) with certificate of Honorable Mention, 29 September. Rejected 7 October with a note claiming: "... furthermore, the man in those pictures was not a part of my life until after the divorce. Your super-imposition of his face on our wedding picture simply reinforces my argument (you have heard it many times, Jack) that you are insecure and bordering on paranoid." The decoupage came back damaged and will need some retouching.
"Bozo Knows" (clown facial accessory; foam and acrylic paints). Submitted to Circus World Museum, Baraboo, WI, 19 June. Rejected with note that they only accept pieces of historical value (such as the horn of Squeaky Bobo or Wavy Gravy’s Mescaline Wafers) though they appreciate and encourage my efforts. No date on rejection letter (Circus Museum – what do you expect from clowns?), but received sometime in early July. Submitted to Mister Whistles 1 October. Received form letter in reply beginning: "Mister Whistles loves you kiddos – keep on whistlin’!" along with fan club application ($12.00/YR), 27 October.
"Missy I" (female Cairn Terrier modifications; hair-clips; pipe cleaners [warm palette]; clothespins; ponytail holders). Submitted to Elsie Bingham-Jones 28 October. Rejected 29 October by phone. Simultaneously rejected by County judge, but my lawyer will appeal on grounds of censorship of art. He is confident art will prevail.
"Missy II" (female Cairn Terrier modifications; hair-gel; hair spray; spray paint [cool palette]; glitter). Submitted to Elsie Bingham-Jones 13 December. Rejected 14 December by phone. County judge tells me that he will see me incarcerated for cruelty to animals and for violating the terms of my restraining order. I asked him to recuse himself from the case, as he owns a dog of the same breed as my ex-wife. Rejected.
"Fluff I" (First in a planned series of five - male Cairn Terrier modifications; rubber cement; soil; semi-precious stones [tiger’s eye, agate, rosy quartz]; dunce cap). Submitted to County judge 27 December. Rejected. Lawyer was no help in this matter.
"Origami Prison" (Diorama; toothpicks; plastic straws; paper; blood). Submitted to Doctor Raymond Matthews 24 February. He says he is glad to see that I painted a smile on the "prisoner’s" face (his "quotes"), but that since the mouth and eyes and hair were painted with my blood, he would have to take away all potentially harmful objects for the time being, including this paper
This piece grew out of my short story submission log. One thing of note in regards to this piece: I really quite like dogs. Cats, on the other hand...well, let's just not go there. Ferrets are really cool. Some day they will take over the earth.