First, the venue can’t be beat. What a beautiful old place, my pictures do not do it justice.
There were no wickermen waiting for me when I arrived, much to my relief (and disappointment!). William Craig–writer, teacher, reading series guru–offered me a chance to climb up the bell tower. He said it was a little dicey with the fixed ladders. I was fine with the ladders, but he lost me with the talk of bats. I don’t have a fear of bats, per se, however, climbing into a tower with bats seemed like pushing my accident-prone luck. I know, wimpy, and I’m kicking myself not taking the opportunity.
I got there early, and sat in on William’s class pre-reading discussion of their final paper. There was heartening talk of genre (speculative and crime) and how it can be used, and that talk lasted throughout the night; pre-reading, during the intros, and post-reading. The college class was part of a healthy crowd of 75ish people. There were cookies and everyone was very nice and accommodating.
Poet laureate of New Hamphsire, W. E. Butts was my fellow reader. Besides being a helluva of nice, interesting guy, he was an amazing reader. He read from his most recent poetry collection, Sunday Evening at the Stardust Cafe, and read some newer poems as well. Great stuff. The opening poem to his collection, “September” had many lines that made my teeth hurt with jealousy. Walter’s wife is a poet as well (I’m spacing on her name, so sorry!), and we talked about sympathetic/empathetic characters.
William, in his intro to my reading, made funny and appropriate mention of my Wickerman Livejournal post. I read second and it seemed to go pretty well. No boos or snores. I read the first two chapters of The Little Sleep, then skipped around and read bits and pieces about Mark, Ellen, and Tim. I finished with reading the first chapter of No Sleep till Wonderland.
I also got to meet Beth and Dave of Kingdom books. We talked crime and swapped sleep apnea stories. And, believe it or not, in the audience was a gentleman named Sal who suffers from narcolepsy and at one time was a private detective. No kidding! I didn’t get to talk to Sal about his PI work, but he did share with me some of his harrowing experiences with narcolepsy, and a funny anecdote about his doctor performing surgery to make his nose bigger. Sal quipped, “I’ve always wanted a bigger nose, doc.” And he bought a book. Hope you like it, Sal!
All and all, one of my favorite readings/events I’ve attended. Very thankful to William and the Canaan public library for having me, and was honored to share the podium with Walter. This reading came at a good time, for me, and after having a cranky month or so with writing, I feel refreshed, and ready to write another apocalyptic horror short story!