February 2014 Open Mic Night of LOVE

Dear Writers,

We all know that February is the month of L♥ve . . . or not!

When February’s Open Mic Night rolls around, I’m always curious who will take aim at Cupid, or just shoot him down outright (or overlook him in favor of what else they’re writing). Due to a huge event (the best-selling author Cheryl Strayed) booked on the same night, February’s Open Mic had a shorter roster than our usual over-flowing list. But this lineup of readers did not disappoint! Here’s the skinny:

Richard Lewis read his “In the Form of a Shaggy Dog” essay, that started as an unfinished poem, briefly toyed with becoming a vignette, and ended in its present, not-shaggy-in-the-least form, that being an exploration by way of Gulliver’s Travels of how things on the surface are not always as they seem.  Our own serial king Vince Landi continued “The Three Parties of Adam Schem,” a story he began for us last month. The enigmatic Schem is the central character in this tale and involved in property disputes and possibly shady deals? There were certainly many comings and goings and inexplicable house fires. To further entertain us, Vince did this reading complete with voices and Russian accents!

 Margaret McFadien delighted us with a trio of poems, including “River People,” an ode to Native Americans, “Poems,” about just that, and “The Poet,” describing the art of creating.  Clare Mercy brought a “true crime story that hasn’t happened yet,” set in “Clare-haven.” With a varied cast and varied names, the described chaos in this piece ensued from line one, seeming to stop just short of!  Jim Milstead was charming reading “Charming,” a lively and humorous account of an unexplained abundance of amphibians in a beleagured community. This tale was knee-deep in tadpoles, tree frogs, and fairy-tale elements teasingly placed in a town that may or may not be Bellingham.

Patricia Herlevi read from a novel she is currently revising that is set in Bellingham and La Connor WA as well as Québec. Launching with a discussion of a quest for the Northern Lights, this story wound its way to (I think we need bullet points here to keep track!):

  • making love on the lake
  • an attempt to steal a friend’s lover
  • trying not to sleep with a certain someone
  • observing wild animals in Canada . . . and that was just what we got in 7 minutes!

Thanks to the writers and audience who joined our literary soiree (although I can’t get too upset at anyone who was across town at Strayed’s author reading).

VB-by-day1-199x300. . . AND ETCETERA

 Next Open Mic: Green Cabbage, Green Fees, or Greenhorns is the optional theme on Monday, March 31 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!

Events: Check out events for writers About Town.

 Read more from me at Dogpatch Writers Collective.

XO Laurel Leigh

P.S. Thanks to Red Wheelbarrow Writers and Seán Dwyer for organizing a fantastic write out on Lummi Island in late fall. I’ve been meaning to post these pics. If you haven’t gone on a Write Out, here in Bellingham or in your own town, it’s high time you do! All you need is a few writers, a venue open to having said writers hang out for a day, and at least one gal or guy (Seán) in our case, to put a little shape to the day. Seán coordinates with the venues ahead of time to get discounts on meals and beverages, plans our departure so we can carpool, and generally makes sure everyone has a great time. I’m ready for the next one, Seán!

The Lummi Island Ferry

The Lummi Island Ferry

Lummi Island Shoreline

Lummi Island Shoreline

View from Cafe Window on Lummi

View from Cafe Window on Lummi

Lummi Island Side Ferry Entryway

Lummi Island Side Ferry Entryway

4 thoughts on “February 2014 Open Mic Night of LOVE

  1. That is a really good point–we’re all so concerned about honesty on the page, whereas the naked truth is sometimes better left unsaid in real life. So how to balance that for a writer? That gives me something to think about!

  2. Wow! What a fabulous place to write! Who wouldn’t be inspired?

    Too bad about the competition from the Strayed reading. When I worked at A Clean Well Lighted Place for Books while getting my MFA, authors were always grateful for those who came out to hear them read at the store. There were always so many competing events elsewhere on any given evening, it was quite daunting to think how much publicity an author needs to get people in the door—unless you’re Cheryl Strayed….or Stephen King….or Hilary Clinton….

    • We of course don’t have the volume of events that SF does, but there is a lot around here for writers and readers to do, which I have to say is pretty great.

      I was in a coffee shop a few days later and overheard a few women talking about Cheryl Strayed. It was interesting that one of them felt she was “too honest” in her writing. Is there such a thing?

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