Celebrating Whatcom: August 2013 Open Mic
From washing butter to cactus poaching to frightful television to exploring the mountain peaks of Whatcom County, September’s Open Mic was a delicious mix of weird, wild, and wonderful readings.
Zen Rule #4: There Is Always An Answer. So sayeth Harvey Schwartz, lending his own twist to Zen-ism while recounting his terrific tale of how he once hitchhiked out West—and stayed! Needless to say, this suited our optional theme of celebrating Whatcom County, so thanks, Harvey!
Donna Seely came along to deliver “Banning Bad Words,” a humorous defense of the role of bad words as an occasional necessary part of vocabulary. We welcomed Laura Rink to our midst, reading an excerpt of her story “Mariner’s Rest,” detailing the experience of an aged sailor.
Andrew Shattuck McBride brought his haunting poetry, including “Christmas Day in New Orleans, Searching and Listening for Grandpa.” Jeanne Armstrong read her poetry, including “Awakening” as well as an ode to the nightmares of television—24 frames per second. And Vince Landi enthralled us with a continuation of his story, “Saguaro,” in which a poaching mission results in a freak accident in the most unusual of deserts.
We heard some lovely poetry from Elizabeth Cardarelli, including “The Ceremony Carrier” and “I, the Wind.” (I confess to coveting her super cute shoes!) Janet Oakley entertained us with a lively tale of washing butter—and how it compares to writing. The Walkin’ Dude Jim Milstead read a gorgeous piece dedicated to a dear friend with whom he took part in many peace gatherings.
Patricia Herlen read an excerpt from “How They Finally Met,” inspired by an interesting character she encountered right here in Bellingham, while David Drummond stepped up to read his piece inspired by exploring Whatcom County’s mountain peaks and summits. And Clyde Curley closed out the night with an excerpt from his newly published novel, Raggedy Man, available at Village Books.
Truly another great night of sharing stories, poems, and insights.
♦ The next open mic is right around the corner. Autumn Inspirations is the optional theme on Monday, September 30 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. Find pics from other open mics here!
♦ Check out events for writers About Town.
♦ Read more from me at Dogpatch Writers Collective.
♦ Don’t miss 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.
XO Laurel Leigh