September 2012 Open Mic

Dear Writers,
Mopping, I discovered that my kitchen floor is actually light brown.

So how is your floor like your character? It’s not, but if you do the work to fully render the little moments that gradually strip away the layers obscuring your character’s true self, the critical scene in which the last of those layers falls away has potential to be extremely powerful on the page.

On to September’s open mic recap!

Denise du Maurier

Shannon Hager entertained us once again with hilarious excerpts from her manuscript Five Thousand Brothers in Law, including a scene in which she had to bribe a government clerk with candy bars and soda pop to get a look at public records. Cate Perry read “In Between Days,” a short story about a missing friend for whom the narrator searches. Cate showed her awesome writing chops, starting this piece on a very funny note but then turning serious.

Tsena Paulson and Shannon Laws brought their delightful poetry: Tsena’s set included “Love is Making Me a Vegetarian,” “A True Yarn Spun,” and “First Woman on the Sun,” and Shannon read “River Ink” and “Ghost in the Hall,” based on a true story.

Janet Oakley, author of the novel Tree Soldier, gave us a peek at the opening to her unpublished novel. Jim Milstead’s “Blueberries” commented on extreme trends of research with a very wry look at fighting memory loss in rats.

Jennifer Bullis read poems about fall as well as her intriguing goddess poetry, including “Moving Day.” Andy McBride’s set included “Flight” and “Road Dog,” along with a quietly moving prose poem remembering Vietnam. Matthew Brouwer added “Memory Drug” and “A Story of Ends” to the poetry lineup, the latter telling of the undoing of both people and planet.

Jillian Vcitenheimer gave her very first reading (yay, Jillian!) with “Unwritten Story” and “Cobblestone Path.” Ryan McClure offered a poem he described as giving voice to how “bewilderment dominates humanity.” And the unparalleled Denise du Maurier performed her original poem “Summer into Autumn.”

An engaging reading from visiting New Yorker Kate Laubery and Charles Van Pelt, reading from a vampire story, topped off the marvelous evening.

Creativity is in the air:

Congratulations to Nancy Canyon for her recent solo art show at Honey Salon as well as the release of her e-book Dark Forest, featuring a collection of short shorts. Kudos to Marvin Waschke for the publication of his book Cloud Standards (Apress). This project was an immense technical and writing undertaking, and it’s great to see the book out in the world. Way to go, Marvin!

Check out these events:

Speak Easy 9: Road Trip: November 11 @ 7 p.m., The Amadeus Project, 1209 Cornwall, Bellingham. 24 poets will read original work about their own road tripping.

From Cami Ostman at Red Wheelbarrow Writers: “Urgent! Writers needed. We still have about 17 slots to fill up on the second Great American Collective Novel this month. It’s been a lot of fun so far. If you’re already doing it, think about taking a second day.”

  • As always, send me your writing-related event notices so I can help spread the word!
  • Check out the open mic “regulars” page. If you’d like to be added you must have read within the last three months. Send me your site link, too, so I can include it!
  • Read more from me at Dogpatch Writers Collective including Potty Head.

The next open mic is Monday, November 26 at 7 p.m. in the Readings Gallery at Village Books. Bring your latest writing to celebrate National Novel Writing Month! The rosters fill early so be sure to sign up ahead of time at the main counter on the first floor or call (360)-671-2626.Write on!

xo Laurel Leigh

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