Every second Friday of the month, San Diego Writers, Ink hosts a Dime Stories open mic event. I love these readings. What better way to spend a relaxing Friday evening than listening to some short personal narrative, memoir, or short fiction while at the same time honing my own public reading skills and also making some friends and connections in the San Diego literary scene?
This was my third time at The Ink Spot, a gathering room big enough for about fifty people, a podium, and a sign-up table at the back. The atmosphere is cozy and supportive. The stories range from the satirical to the raunchy, the hilarious to the sentimental. You never know exactly what your follow readers will offer, but there’s something for everyone.
I was thrilled when my hubby and four of our friends came out to cheer me on. After the reading, we enjoyed a delicious (late) dinner at Fireside by the Patio in Liberty Station. I will not soon forget the espresso marinated brisket with tangy, cilantro-brightened slaw and pickes and jalepeno slices on the side. We all have our own tastes–in food AND in literature, so we lingered a bit too long over our lively conversation and the excellent cuisine, shutting the restaurant down after 10 p.m.!
I felt I needed to apologize to our waiter, but he was gracious and shooed us off with a smile.
If you live in San Diego, head to this restaurant some night for dinner or for Sunday brunch. They do this thing with the Bloody Mary’s . . .
Anyway, back to the open mic. The story I read was one I wrote for one of the “writer gatherings” hosted by the Maine literary author, Carolyn Chute. Carolyn lives one town over from my Maine home, and she’s a well-known and recognizable character in our neck of the woods.
Carolyn’s first book, THE BEANS OF EGYPT, MAINE was something of a sensation when it came out in 1985. Since then she has written several excellent novels that speak about poverty and social issues that are very much being examined today. If you found HILLBILLY ELEGY by J.D. Vance compelling, check out Chute.
I’m no Carolyn Chute, but I did give this one a little bit of that “real Maine” flavor. Since I needed to cut the story down to a three-minute segment, I sliced out all the back story, hoping as I did so that listeners would still be able to follow the narrative.. Lo and behold, the story still made sense, and possibly works better now–which just goes to show how much I overwrite.
My videographer didn’t quite get the recording started in time, so before you listen, the first line of the story is “Toulouse the goose is sick.”
Hope you enjoy listening!