Last night was the 5th time I've had the pleasure of reading at the Lit Crawl. I think they keep getting better and better.
The Instant City reading packed Dalva, which is a long narrow bar whose bartenders were slammed by all the people needing beverages before the show began. I managed to score myself a ginger ale (having learned that alcohol does not enhance my pronunciation) and found a seat with the amazing Trent Tano. We chatted about publishing and the inevitability of ebooks.
Gravity Goldberg looked stunning, as always, and remarkably calm for someone who's the Festival Coordinator for the whole San Francisco Litquake experience. She's been publishing Instant City magazine for nearly a decade. Last night's reading foreshadowed issue #8, which will be focused on genre stories set in San Francisco.
It ranged all over. Jan Burke Anderson read a (true?) story of desire and disgust on the AX bus. Kevin Hobson read bizarro science fiction about living in a house made of cast-off phone books. Ian Tuttle read a vignette set in Lucky 13. Alia Volz read a Western set in the dunes near Fort Funston.
In the middle somewhere, I read my vampire story set at Golden Gate Park's Stowe Lake. I wondered if I'd run into anti-vampire prejudice, but should have counted on the popularity of True Blood. When I reached the actual blood-drinking (described in lush and loving detail), the bar grew hushed. I got a sense that people were really into it. That rocked.
The applause, when I finished, was actually enthusiastic. For a long time, I was never able to listen to the applause after I read. I scurried away from the front of the room, embarrassed to take up people's time when they could be listening to the next reader. I'm trying to train myself to hold up and really listen to the audience's response. I stood still for a second, trying to look my listeners in the eye, before I ducked away.
Right after me, Trent Tano stole the show. He read a Deadwood-esque Western set in 1850s Chinatown. He's a master performer, who wears a curled mustache and fired off his six-gun as the story called for it. I can't wait to read the rest of his story when the next Instant City comes out.
Gravity promises that will be before the end of the year. You can keep up with Instant City at http://www.instantcity.org.
Causes Loren Rhoads Supports