Monday night, I read at a place called The Maiden with members of The Portland Fiction Project. Really fun evening. I was their guest reader and got to hear some really great pieces. Musical guests were a lovely cello and guitar duo, and the cellist played a little cello intro for every reader. How cool is that?
The event started a bit late because The Maiden kind of forgot we were going to be there. So we had to wait for the couple who were sitting at the table in the corner to leave so that management of the restaurant could then unbolt the top of the table and remove the whole works to open up the reading space. Waiting meant I got to meet a few of the Portland Fiction Project. And order french fries. The very pretty gal at our table looked across at the couple sitting where we were supposed to read and said, "Looks like they're newly in love. This could be a while."
Soon, though, they were gone and there was a guy lying on his back on the floor taking the table apart. Microphone and cello set up. Great last minute coordination by our emcee for the evening, Jacob Aiello. The whole plate-clinking, laughing, talking restaurant went quiet for the readers. The theme of the evening was youth. "Hell Is For Children," they were calling it, which I didn't find out until I got there is the name of a Pat Benatar song.
I read pretty well under the circumstances. The circumstances being my brain. No, I'm kidding about the brain [and about there being any circumstances. i just thought it would be fun to say that. and it was]. I think everyone read really well with only the little expected flub-ups here and there--but I do have to say that my favorite part was when the line in my piece that read, "The closets were full of jeans and button-down shirts." turned into, "The closets were full of beans."
The readers were:
Some really great writing about fathers and sons, mothers and elephants, and eating your own hair. And disembodied ears. Because the theme was youth, of course. Check out their writing on their website [I linked above] but be prepared to fall into a really cool hole, because they give you a new piece of flash fiction practically every day.
And the musical guest was Sweeter Than Later. They played a mean set of jazzy stuff in the middle of the readings, and I liked how they grinned at each other after every piece.
The event was sponsored by SOSSA, Speaking Out on Sibling Sexual Abuse.