Sunday, March 31, 2013

When a literary festival takes over your month

I was a reader at the first reading of a month-long literary festival, and it has been taking over my life.  It was organized by a friend of mine, and he's invited a truly staggering number of mutual acquaintances to take part.  This means I have been spending a lot of time in coffee shops around the area hearing writers I already liked and finding new writers I've never heard before.  It also means I haven't been home most evenings to write for my blogs.  I feel like a real slacker.  But I've been writing a lot.

Hearing numerous voices in all sorts of genres does that to me: it makes me pay attention to the words of others, and it makes my brain fizz with words and ideas and forms and topics I want to write about.  Hearing new work from writers I know makes me feel more a part of a community.  I talk to people I haven't seen since that class 6 years ago.  (Okay, mostly I think about talking to them.)  I am inspired again by the things that are important in their lives, the things they write and think about, and the ways they share these things with the world.

And the new voices.  That hilarious zombie piece by the guy in his 70s, the music of spoken word poets from Guinea, that essay about why fiction writers suck at life, or the piece about the travails of being a thug-ish husband forced to wear a shirt with sleeves when being dragged along by his wife to meet the potential Doula (he got ice cream as a reward).  The voices all swirl together.

There is not a single reader who has left me without some phrase or image to write down and mull over.  This is a feast, and I am thankful for its bounty.  So I may lie a bit and back date some of the posts for this month that are based on what I wrote in my notebook but never put in here.  Indulge me.  This dream world will only last for a couple more weeks, and then I will be left with the memories and the notes and the urge to read and think and edit and write, which can only be a benefit here, right?

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