I am perhaps more excited to see and meet these people more than I am to actually read some of my own work. That’s natural. I’m humble by nature. Humble and handsome.
The unwritten rule is that writers should read from something either freshly published or contracted for publication. For me, that would be my story collection, Charactered Pieces. But another, perhaps not entirely unwritten rule, is that when crowds and drinks are involved, the best type of material to read is work both funny and short. Charactered Pieces, though it contains elements of each, doesn’t contain any stories that would fit both of those qualifications equally enough to warrant the rapt attention of the audience (which I expect to be huge! You hear me! Be there or be dead!). The bar is high, as I’ve been to both Chuck Palahniuk readings (refreshingly interactive meets his morbid material makes for strange group of lit lovers, videos here, and don’t forget all the people who fainted during his Guts tour) and Dorothy Allison readings (the last, her 2009 AWP appearance which was followed by the only performance worthy of her opening, a performance from Mucca Pazza (this review calls them a ragtag band…they simply don’t know the wonder that is Mucca Pazza).
So, I’ve decided to write two entirely new pieces for the event. One involves my plea for corporate sponsorship. The other involves my plea for free beer. It’s a bit scary to debut something in front of a crowd of strangers, but I guess that’s better than waiting until a piece is printed before finding out it sucks.
What sort of material do you (or would you, if you’ve never been to a live reading) want to hear?
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