May 2013 Open Mic at Village Books ~ Memories and History

Dear Writers:

May’s open mic of course fell on Memorial Day, and that mood and theme underscored the night.

Poet Denise du Maurier

Poet Denise du Maurier

To our Monday ensemble of writers, we welcomed Linda Mercy, who joined this open mic for the first time and also kicked off the night with “My Mom’s Magic Scissors,” a story of a painful childhood bravely presented.

Janet Oakley came next, sharing a tense climbing scene from Timber Rose, her novel that is pending publication. Congrats, Janet! You have been working so hard!

Our special guests for the evening!

A couple very special guests dropped by to listen in.

Harvey Schwartz, with his usual flair, brought a prose piece called “Skin,” which tossed a surprising ending curve ball. He also read “Sputnik,” a poem of memory, worry, and wonder. Rather, “the sky is not the limit.”

Vince Landi continued his newly established tradition of the serial story for open mic, reading the concluding segment of his highly engaging story, “Two Painters.” What will he bring to read next?

Linda Mercy reading "My Mom's Magic Scissors"

Linda Mercy reading “My Mom’s Magic Scissors”

In line with the particular day, C.J. Prince read a beautiful poem in honor of her mother as well as “I Remember” and a “Want Ad” in Shakespearean tone that arose from a poetry prompt.

Angela Belcaster impressed us with “In the Dance Studio,” a poem about a mother regarding her daughter. “I hate it when lovers betray me,” she then told us. Well, Angela, the resultant poem you wrote was awesome.

Jim Milstead brought his poem inspired by dining at the Yangtze River and a cockroach, among other things! Next he read a very moving poem written after observing an individual on the street suffering from extreme obsessive-compulsive disorder. He closed his set with “Collage,” a poem he submitted to the Sue Boynton poetry contest.

Sylvia Crosby reading her tale about a man who misses his wives and finds his son "slimy."

Sylvia Crosby reading her tale about a man who misses his wives and finds his son “slimy.”

From Nancy Sherer we heard “Not Enough Ducklings,” a really-makes-you-stop-and-think essay about an unexpected close-up encounter with a hippopotamus from a series of nonfiction essays she’s working on.

“Poetry is My Medicine” and “Disappearing Into the Fire” were Elizabeth Cardarelli‘s two poems, showcasing her lovely use of language and imagery. I first met Elizabeth at the First Friday writing practice in Sudden Valley hosted by C.J. Smith, and it was lovely to welcome her to open mic. And if you’re interested in joining the practice, everyone is welcome and C.J. leads us the first Friday of each month, 1-3 p.m. at the Barn Coffee Shop in Sudden Valley (exception: in July, we will meet on the second Friday).

Sylvia Crosby cracked us up and then likewise prompted reflection with a short story about death and a love remembered.

Seán Dwyer read from a story about a woman who has an extremely unique problem with her car—”The Voice in My Trunk” promises to continue our new serial tradition. Many of you know Seán for his coffee shop posts Dwyer Cafe and as the guy who coordinates with Red Wheelbarrow Writers to host group write outs. Which, by the way, Seán, when is the next one?!

The delightful and dramatic poetry of Denise du Maurier concluded yet another fine evening. Check out this great video of Denise performing her poem “Conspiring” as part of the Boynton ensemble.

C.J. Prince reading "I Remember"

C.J. Prince reading “I Remember”

Many thanks to everyone who read and those who came to cheer them on. See you next month!

About Town:

Matthew Brouwer Reading

Matthew Brouwer

Saturday, July 20, 1-4 p.m., Matthew Brouwer will teach Using Kickstarter to Fund Your Creative Dream at the downtown Bellingham Food Co-op.

Help Young Writers Flourish: Check out this very compelling short video for the Whatcom Juvenile Justice Creative Writing Project being launched by area poets Kevin Murphy and Matthew Brouwer to offer writing classes to youth in the Juvenile Justice system that will result in a chapbook of the young writer’s work. You can donate by July 30 to the Kickstarter Campaign hoping to raise $2,000 needed to fully launch this terrific giving-back project.

Find pics from other open mics here!

Read more groovy posts from me and my kennel mates at Dogpatch Writers Collective. Woof!


Little Novelist

If you have or know someone who has a daughter age 12 to teens who loves to write, then I hope you will tell them about the Little Novelist Workshop, a writing class I’ll teach especially for a parent and daughter team, on Saturday, November 2, at Whatcom Community College.

Dream of a Vast Blue CavernCheck out fellow writer Selah J Tay-Song’s fantastical fiction title Dream of a Vast Blue Cavern.

  • Celebrating Whatcom County is the optional theme of the next open mic on Monday, August 26 at 7 p.m. in the Readings Gallery at Village Books. 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
In memory of my amazing dad, Anjel Jose Erdoiza, WWII Army Veteran, 1918-1981

In memory of my amazing dad, WWII Army Veteran, 1918-1981

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