Here's emcee Mark Saltveit, comedian and palindrome world champion. Seriously, he's a world champion. Somehow I thought he'd be introducing us all palindromically, so sort of on the spot before the reading started, he wrote one for me off the top of his head. It involves me as a singer opening up for Mark in one of his comedy shows: "Gigi Little, belt 'til I gig."
Mark kept things moving great throughout the night.
Here's JW Griffith. I was on the program following him. You don't want to follow JW Griffith. He's a brilliant writer and very smooth, very particular reader. He was the only one among us to read from his actual Frozen Moment piece: "How We Were, How We Are, How We'll Be."
Kathleen Lane. She followed me. You don't want Kathleen Lane to follow you. She read one of my favorites from a collection of short stories she's been putting together. It's about normal stuff: chewing scabs, winding your hair around your finger and then licking your finger, stuff like that. Actually, it's about childhood and identity and the longing for connection. Beautiful.
Here's Michael Sage Ricci reading from his new novel in progress, a story about tattooing and murder. I was privileged to be the first person to hear the first chapter, when it was just written, so hearing him read it in public, I had a little bit of a 'that's my boy' reaction. Reading the opening to a novel at an event can be risky because there's so much setup that goes into that first chapter, but Sage's opener is totally riveting.
Next up in the parade of faceless photographs: our musical guest for the evening, Bradley Rosen. I didn't realize until we talked later that those were his own songs he played. Lovely. He closed the first half of the event.
Here's Liz Prato, who's a great teacher/workshopper as well as writer. I haven't taken her workshop, but friends of mine have and rave about it. As a writer, she's a quirky storyteller who crafts sentences with precision.
Here's Margaret Malone doing her lovely deadpan read of a short story I hadn't heard before. I always love Margaret's work, so deft, so elegant and full of dark wit. Sadly, if I haven't read a piece beforehand, after a reading the details of the story go out of my head and I'm just left with the enjoyment I felt and the longing to get that story back in me again - especially if I wait a few days to write it up. I was like that with both Margaret and Liz' pieces.
Closing the show: Tom Spanbauer, presenting a gorgeous psychedelic moment from his new novel I Loved You More. Two tidbits about Tom's reading. First, somewhere in the middle there, someone, maybe Someday Lounge staff, maybe Bigfoot, was making loud roaring sounds in the kitchen just off from the stage. Tom, with his lovely powder soft voice, kept reading, finished his piece, paused and then roared right back.
Secondly, I found out after the reading that Tom had actually lost the last page of his piece somewhere between the car and Someday Lounge. And he spent part of the early part of the reading rewriting it. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a remarkable man.
As I said above, I read second in the lineup.
For notes on how I did, you can read this.
Or look at this picture of my shoes.
In my defense, I want to say I'm usually a good reader. After that performance, though, I don't know. I may never read again.
By the way, I'll be reading on May 30th at the Jack London Bar. Details are up on my website here.
[OK, I wasn't that bad.] Frozen Moments was a reading to benefit the anthology The Frozen Moment, edited by Colin Farstad. More information on the book is here.