Posts tagged with "readings" - Faerye Net 2013-01-30T07:56:54+00:00 Felicity Shoulders "Small Towns" available to read online! 2013-01-30T07:56:54+00:00 2013-01-31T21:03:20+00:00 <p>Because I am not the sort of person who likes to hear half a story myself, I don&#8217;t like putting others in that situation. Therefore, when I chose to read my novelette &#8220;Small Towns&#8221; at the <span class="caps">SFWA</span> Northwest Readings this month, I decided to plop the full text online for everyone to finish reading, whether they made it to the event or not! It&#8217;s a very different sort of story from &#8220;Conditional Love&#8221;, the other story I&#8217;ve <a href="" target="links">made available online</a>, and I like the contrast quite a bit.</p> <p>&#8220;Small Towns&#8221; is a historical fantasy novelette, first published in the January/February 2012 issue of <a href="" target="links"><em>F&amp;SF</em></a>. Thanks to the kind offices of my co-protagonist <a href="" target="links">Ryan Grove</a>, it&#8217;s available <a href="">as a web page</a> or you can download the <a href=""><span class="caps">PDF</span></a> or <a href="">ePub file</a>.</p> <p>Here&#8217;s the teaser for those who didn&#8217;t make it to the readings:</p> <blockquote> <center><b>Small Towns</b></center> <p>When Jacques Jaillet was a small boy, he brought home a pocketful of sand from the seaside and dribbled it slowly onto the floorboards of his little room. He made long avenues and cottage roofs, rows of shops, garden walls, a church with a fragment of shell for the tower. Then, for no reason he could later recall, he took a deep breath and blew it all away, the shapes and the order, the grains themselves skittering under the baseboard, gone forever.</p> <p>When Jacques returned to his market town in 1918, past his middle years, it looked as if here, too, a monstrous child had finished playing and had blown the town, the streets, the houses and shops from the face of the Earth.</blockquote></p> <p>Go and <b><a href="">read the rest!</a></b></p> Readings ahoy! 2013-01-28T19:42:43+00:00 2013-01-28T19:42:57+00:00 <p>Somehow I&#8217;ve neglected to remark on it here, but if you are in Seattle or Portland this week, you should stop by and hear me read in the <a href="" target="links"><span class="caps">SFWA</span> Northwest Reading Series</a>!</p> <p>I&#8217;m reading at 7 pm on:<br /> <b>Tuesday, January 29</b> in Kirkland, WA at the Wilde Rover Irish Pub, with host <a href="" target="links">Cat Rambo</a> and fellow reader <a href="" target="links">Grá Linnaea</a>.</p> <p><b>Wednesday, January 30</b> in Portland, OR at McMenamin&#8217;s Kennedy School, with host <a href="" target="links">James Patrick Kelly</a> and <a href="" target="links">Grá Linnaea</a>.</p> <p>And if you can&#8217;t come, there&#8217;ll be a little free fiction (to relieve a cliffhanger) online&#8230;stay tuned! Many thanks to <span class="caps">SFWA</span> and to Jim Kelly for this opportunity!</p> Calyx reading a success 2009-09-20T13:24:56+00:00 2009-09-20T15:06:15+00:00 <p><em>I&#8217;ve been putting off this post &#8216;til I could include some photos, but I&#8217;ll just update it later on.</em></p> <p>As <a href="" target="links">previously mentioned</a>, last week there was a group reading of contributors to <a href="" target="links"><em><span class="caps">CALYX</span></em> 25:2</a>. This was, I must confess, terribly exciting for me. I have had some previous reading experience: student readings at <span class="caps">MFA</span> residencies, the formal graduation reading, and one I ended up doing at <a href="" target="links">Radcon</a> at the instigation of one <a href="" target="links">Jeannine</a>. Those events were fun and extremely educational, but there&#8217;s something about reading your own work <em>in a bookstore</em>. It&#8217;s the sort of mark of progress that a person should record on her <a href="" target="links">Fame-o-Meter</a> (note to self: update Fame-o-Meter). A reading I was <em>invited</em> to do, where people could, if they wanted, buy work I hadn&#8217;t <a href="" target="links">published myself</a>.</p> <p>The reading went swimmingly. We had three poets, including Helen Gerhardt Pucilowski, who&#8217;s about to graduate from the Pacific <span class="caps">MFA</span> program.The other prose writer was the inimitable <a href="" target="links">Leslie What</a>, who I first met in that program. Lovely words and moving readings. A lot of people came, some of whom I knew from Pacific, the Portland writing crowd, or the neighborhood. The staff at <a href="">Annie Bloom&#8217;s</a> (my neighborhood bookstore) had to try to find more chairs! Splendid to have so many people there, and so much support.</p> <p>I really enjoy reading my work. There are some nerves, of course, but I rather enjoy those too. You&#8217;re not simply anxious because you&#8217;re performing or speaking publicly; you&#8217;re tense because there&#8217;s no more direct way to put your words before your readers. Short of forcing someone to read your story while you peer into their face from two feet away, you&#8217;re never going to get a simpler test of audience reaction (and I think the peering test might produce skewed results). They laugh or they don&#8217;t. They meet your eye when you look around or they don&#8217;t. I have long thought reading aloud a great way to find the weaknesses in one&#8217;s writing, and I read all my stories aloud at least once before they go out to an editor. But this doesn&#8217;t just force you to hear your own words, it allows you to see them work (or not) on others. Writing goes from the solitary art to the primal, communal play of storytelling. I loved trying out my story on the audience at Annie Bloom&#8217;s Books on Wednesday, and I hope it was only the first of many such auditions.</p> <p>Thank you to everyone that came. If another reading is arranged, you&#8217;ll hear it here first!</p> My first public reading - Forest Grove, Oregon 2008-06-09T18:28:11+00:00 2008-06-09T21:16:36+00:00 <p>To fulfill the requirements of my Master of Fine Arts in Writing, I have to give a jolly ol&#8217; reading. The details:</p> <p><strong>When:</strong> Sunday, June 22, 4:15pm-4:45pm<br /> <strong>Where:</strong> Taylor Auditorium (Room 216), Marsh Hall, Pacific University Campus<br /> <strong>What:</strong> Graduate readings (15 minutes each) by me and fellow fiction student Lesley Weiss<br /></p> <p><strong>About my reading:</strong> I&#8217;ll be reading a fabulist piece from my <a href="" target="links">thesis</a>, <em>Sea Selves</em>.</p> <p><strong>Logistics:</strong> Marsh Hall looks like <a href="" target="links">this</a> and is located in the middle of campus. That means you&#8217;ll have at least a short walk from any parking spot. Here are <a href="">campus maps and directions</a>.</p> Introductions 2008-04-14T22:57:03+00:00 2008-05-22T10:28:25+00:00 <p>It is a fairly safe assumption that one purpose of giving an introduction before an invited speaker is to induce anticipation of the lecture, reading or performance in the audience. However, I think there are better ways than to tire and exasperate your auditors so thoroughly that the main speaker is anticipated as a relief from the introduction rather than as an event in his or her own right.</p> Adventures at Readings: Lorrie Moore owes me a pen. 2008-02-16T13:00:52+00:00 2008-06-08T13:51:54+00:00 <p>Since I seem to be making a habit of <a href="" target="links">attending literary readings</a>, I thought I&#8217;d better come up with a snappy (or at least cheesy) title for posts about them.</p> <p>Some time ago, I happened to pick up a free bookmark covered with free reading dates at the <a href="" target="links">Stegner Fellowship</a> office on Stanford campus. Now, since I don&#8217;t have Powell&#8217;s down here to provide me with readings, and since Palo Alto is only a jillion miles away &#8211; which passes for convenient in my life at present &#8211; I popped all those babies right onto my calendar. The first so popped was that of <a href="" target="links">Lorrie</a> <a href="" target="links">Moore</a>.</p> <p>Duly, I chose respectable yet not-overwarm clothing and printed off three views of the Stanford campus map along with a set of <a href="" target="links">directions</a> carefully sanity-checked against same. I set off forty minutes earlier than the map site recommended, and felt sure that such a cushion of time would allow me to navigate the Stanford Maze.</p> <p>The Stanford Maze is an effect of Stanford&#8217;s size and wealth coupled with certain human factors. Not only is the campus huge and laid out with organic whimsy, as the growing wealth of the institution and the ambitions of its managers allowed, but it apparently maintains for itself the illusion of intimacy. I infer this from the fact that all the winding byways of the campus intersect at four-way stops. If you have never attempted to use an all-way stop in California, I do not recommend it&#8212;even if the ways stopping only contain one lane each, which is not always the case at Stanford. This utter inability to remember who has right-of-way is one human factor; another is confident undergrads striding about without looking at cars, often at night in dark clothing (in the day they wear bright cheerful colors, but a few like to wear dark colors at night just to keep the drivers on their toes.) Throw in many cyclists and the occasional activist against turn-signal use, and you still have only the slightest understanding of the Stanford Maze.</p> <p> The final effable ingredient is construction. Also an effect of the Stanford Wealth, this construction is everywhere and detour signs are, to put it generously, few. Thus it was that I squandered 25 of my 40 extra minutes driving back and forth in front of a construction fence which concealed not only the road I needed, but its curbcut, sign and existence. Finally realizing this, I moved on to trying to park and become a dangerous, dark-clothed pedestrian, which took the other 15 minutes, as I couldn&#8217;t find a single non-permit-requiring parking spot. At last I trusted to luck and parked in whatever an &#8220;EA permit&#8221; spot might be.</p><p> At this point I was some distance away from the auditorium, with only three minutes to find it lest I become an embarrassed latecomer mouthing &#8216;sorry&#8217; as I scoot my butt past those in more convenient seats (which would have been extra-mortifying when I found out that <a href="" target="links">Tobias</a> <a href="" target="links">Wolff</a> was doing the introduction. Tobias &#8220;Bullet in the Brain&#8221; freakin&#8217; Wolff.) Luckily, by dint of fast walking and ignoring the cryptic names of buildings on my map in favor of their cross-sectional shape, I managed to squeak in one minute before anyone said anything, if, in all probability, one minute after nominal showtime. I found myself in one of the larger readings I&#8217;ve ever attended, dreadfully thirsty, surrounded by people I didn&#8217;t know and arriving just in the nick of time. This is no way to acquire the secure air of the lone sophisticate, but luckily one of the four people I know at Stanford was there, so I did not have to sit alone and look clever.</p> <p>Lorrie Moore read the first chapter of a novel she has almost completed (I have no idea if it&#8217;s the one she was working on in this <a href="" target="links"><em>Ploughshares</em> interview</a>, but it didn&#8217;t seem to be about hate.) It proved to have a self-deprecating narrator with a distinctive voice (Moore excels at voice) and a fund of odd observations about the world. She had us laughing out loud a great deal. As <a href="" target="links"><em>The Believer</em></a>&#8217;s article on her says, &#8220;Moore&#8217;s hallmark has become the inextricability of humor and pathos, which she explores with rare understanding.&#8221; I look forward to reading the rest of the novel. She has an idiosyncratic reading style; she places emphasis and pauses in very different places than I would expect. I wonder if this means that she &#8216;hears&#8217; those emphases and pauses when she&#8217;s writing, as well? I think it&#8217;s easy to assume that the way you yourself hear sentences is &#8216;normal&#8217;, but in all probability everyone is a little different. The individual ear is probably informed by the <a href="" target="links">literary sponge</a> effect.</p> <p>At any rate, I enjoyed the reading, and utilized my patented Lurking Skills to haunt the author afterwards so I could get my copy of <em>Like Life</eM> signed. I was only the second or so person to approach her in this vein, and she didn&#8217;t have a pen. Luckily, I have a messenger bag instead of a purse, so I whipped it open, noted with amazement that I had <span class="caps">TWO</span> of my preferred rollerballs as well as my fountain pen, and handed her one of the rollerballs. (Not only is the fountain pen all cherished and stuff, but it was loaded with aqua ink <span class="caps">AND I</span> have handed it to two faculty authors in my program only to discover they are left-handed and fountain pens are a hindrance more than a help.) Anyway, she foolishly said this was the type of pen she liked herself, whereupon, flushed with the competence of having 2 of them on me, I offered to abandon it to her. There was, after all, a line forming, books in hand. There is a certain wordy bashfulness common in writers, and in the depths of same we clashed, courtesy upon courtesy, until I told her my name and that she could owe me a pen and dashed away.</p> <p>It&#8217;s not much of a distinction, being owed a pen by a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, but that, and no ticket on your windshield, will get you home happy and warm. That ain&#8217;t bad for any adventure.</p> Adventures at Readings: Notes from a literary event 2006-07-07T23:31:44+00:00 2008-06-08T13:51:20+00:00 <p>So, having been so pleased with my heady <a href="" target="links">entr&eacute;</a> into the local literary world, I was eager for another taste. To this end, I perused my Powell&#8217;s electronic newsletter with greater attention, and came up with several events to attend. The first one was tonight.</p> <p>So we gathered, those who were anxious to be seen to Know People, those of us eager to remain in our isolated bubbles, and all of us watching each other, no doubt all to write about the experience in our blogs (we&#8217;re all too old to have moved on to MySpace. I hope.) As I said, people-watching was everywhere, and all of us were a bit self-conscious as a result. As I sat, unfashionably early, I read one of my <span class="caps">MFA</span> reading-list assignments, <em>Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Darker Side of Human Nature</em>, scribbled notes and musings, and wondered how pretentious I looked. Half the women (as I did) pulled at their shirts to force them to meet their fashionably low pants in back, exposed by the folding chairs. Half the people (as I did) sported <a href="" target="links">Timbuk2 bags</a> &mdash; I guess I&#8217;m wearing a uniform, unbeknownst to me!</p> <p>The reading was fun, and I bought a book of stories by Aimee Bender, whose story, reading, and demeanor I liked most of all. Of course they have the three readers sitting at one table to sign, which creates a subtle dynamic of competition. Poor writers; but poorest for another reason.</p> <p><span class="caps">MOBILE PHONES</span>. Dear Goddess on a Lotus Leaf, <span class="caps">MOBILE PHONES</span>. We complain about poor courtesy at movie theatres when one or two phones among 200 viewers go off in two hours. How about five phones among 90 people in less than an hour? 90 people listening to live humans with feelings read things they wrote? I guess I was spoiled by the attentive audiences at the Residency!</p>