Thursday, October 11, 2012

Litcrawl Reading

It's Litquake week in San Francisco -- 850 authors reading at 163 events all around town. And Saturday is Litcrawl, a reading extravaganza that happens in three phases from 6 to 9:30 pm. If you aren't local and thinking when's the best time to visit San Francisco, the weekend of Litcrawl is always a good choice. The city goes mad for literature!

This year, I'll be reading at an event hosted by my friend, a wonderful writer Peg Alford Pursell. The reading is called "Tzara's Hat" and is inspired by Dada art. A few weeks ago, Peg has gathered all the readers in her home for a live writing session. Each of us came up with a word that we wrote down on a scrap of paper, and then we went around pulling these words from a hat and writing for three to five minutes on each word. The idea was to come up with a complete piece of flash fiction in that time--a piece of fiction that included each of these words in the order pulled from the hat. We would then revise these flashes before the actual reading.

I know writing from prompts is popular among poets and among some (experimental) groups of fiction writers. I have not had much experience with it in my own writing--when I started, I would set out prompts for myself, but they were vague (write something funny!) and I never held myself very strictly to the formality of it. This exercise turned out to be a lot of fun--in an odd way, the story ideas I came up with were based on memories from deep within my subconsciousness, experiences and feelings I had not thought of in many years. I enjoyed this exercise very much.

We'll be reading from 6 to 7 pm on Saturday, October 13, at Four Barrel, a coffee shop at 375 Valencia Street. More details are here, on the Litcrawl site. Please come and hear us read these stories, and be as surprised as we were when we shared first drafts with one another about how different these stories turned out and how wonderfully they represent each writer's strengths and interests. Here's a hint: our list of words included "popcorn" and "alien" :)

No comments:

Post a Comment