April 2013 Open Mic @ Village Books
Okay weird, my TV is jabbering in the background and a character just said, “Okay Laurel, you belong with Oliver.”
Huh? Oliver Stone? Twist? Whatisname I went to school with? Actually, I don’t think I went to school with anyone called Oliver, but I felt that line needed a third beat so added it.
No, my TV isn’t on all the time. Since I work from a home office I have a rule about when it can be on. Those of you who work at home know that one, right? It’s the kiss of death to your billable hours to turn on the TV during the daytime, kind of like you know one of your key clients will call if you try to cook eggs. I don’t think I’ve had a hot lunch in a decade. But I digress and I still don’t know who Oliver is. I do, however, know several wonderful people who graced April’s open mic reading.
Jim Bertolino cruised in to listen. Next time we’ll have to persuade him to share a poem or two. We got right to it with Ted Gibson taking the mic to share his images of landscapes from Stillwater River Valley, Montana; Muskoka, Central Ontario BC and more. Sabine Sloley read the opening from her story “Chip and Kitten Go to the Beach,” in which a character from a company town gets stuck in quicksand and that might be the least of his problems. Next came Seán Dwyer with “A Damn Fool Thing” inspired by a guy he knew from college. Hilarious but also with a dark undertone. You people are dark! I love it!
C.J. Prince had us in stitches with a poem noir she created for Na-Po-Wri-Mo. Her delivery was as delightful and funny as the poem itself. Susan Chase Foster‘s “Muse Flash,” posed the intriguing question ‘Who doesn’t need a lighthouse?’ This lyrical ditty included a personal muse whose many forms included none other than Annette Funicello. BTW: blogger Jilanne Hoffmann has a great recent post about muses; check out The Art of Cohabitation.
Joannah Miley brought a couple great Billy Collins poems, “The Trouble with Poetry” and a great Mother’s Day poem, “Lanyard.” Joannah is at work on a novel, so we can hope to hear a bit of that one of these days as well! Nancy Canyon got up and said, “This has swear words in it,” before totally hooking us with an excerpt from her memoir project Lookout. Jim Milstead read his poem “Adaptation,” reminding us how each event of nature is surely a miracle. And good luck to Jim in his latest endeavor to walk the circumference of the moon (since he’s already done the earth).
Mark Wasake, with a guitar accompaniment no less, shared an impassioned piece for the one year anniversary of the disbandment of Occupy Bellingham. Angela Belcaster read her poetry in honor of beloved poet Jack Gilbert (d. 2012), who waged a battle with Alzheimer’s. She also read “Various Distortions of Love,” which displayed her usual deftness. Matthew Brouwer read prose! a first for me to hear, and it was a great piece of reflection on teaching creative writing to students whose writing incorporates violence. Watch for his piece in the Bellingham Herald‘s Window on My World feature.
Remember Vince Landi‘s engaging story “Two Painters”? Well, we got part two tonight, and the only bad thing about it is that we have to wait for at least a month to hear the ending. This long short story wasn’t intended as a serial, but it sure is a fun one. Award-winning poet Betty Scott concluded our wonderful night with poetry to inspire world peace, with thanks to her editor Denise duMaurier.
For those of you paying attention up top, turns out Oliver is that Green Arrow guy. Television off! Who needs it when I have a copy of Jim Gavin’s Middle Men awaiting me.
Thanks to everyone who read and came to support this great evening! Find more pics from open mic here.
Thanks as well to so many people who keep asking me if I’m teaching anytime soon. The answer is yes! I’ll teach a Pitching 101 session at Chuckanut Writers Conference in June and in the fall I’m launching a new class at WCC called Little Novelist Workshop, based on a project that is near and dear to my heart. More on that as the schedule is finalized.
The next open mic is Monday, May 27 at 7 p.m. in the Readings Gallery at Village Books. Bring your writing about history and memories—or any creative work in progress. 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!
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Laurel, thanks so much for including my new blog, Still Life with Tortillas, on yours!
What a nice event, and a wonderful gathering place.
Thanks, Naomi! We’re pretty lucky to have a bookstore that supports this event. Village Books is pretty good to writers around here. BTW: Loved your pics for Another Man’s Shoes!
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Open mic sounds like so much fun. Too bad I’m on the other side of the continent. Lanyard by Billy Collins is one of my favorite poems, by the way!
It is a great event indeed and I’m always amazed at the talent that cruises in. If you ever get the urge to hit the West Coast, you know where to find us! I actually hadn’t heard the Lanyard poem before but of course loved it. I hope you are getting some sunshine out your way. It’s gorgeous here. Cheers!
If I could only wiggle my nose and be there for Open Mic, I would! Thanks for the nod, Laurel!
Instead, you’re wiggling your nose and heading to Squaw Valley, which is awesome!
Well, that’s pretty generous. What a nice message to get. Thank you!
The arrival of your blog is pure pleasure, Laurel. Merci!