First, make someone else throw the party. Then, have a great time.
Yesterday, after working all day and attempting to revise some fiction, I took a stroll down from my apartment in Capitol Hill to the International District. Someone made a yarn sculpture on this broken fence.
I wandered through Uwajimaya on the recommendation of no less than three friends, and considered finally trying durian, but thought that might be poor roommate behavior. Not everyone wants to smell rot while they’re on vacation.
Also considered purchasing this pig head and wearing it as a necklace to the readings.
I walked through Kinokuniya, too, and bought a pen and notebook. Then I found this sleeping (dead) pigeon and felt like a jerk for taking a picture.
I grabbed a slice of cherry pepper wasabi pineapple pizza at World Pizza, and was off to the happy hour reading at Bush Garden.
Darren Davis read a couple pieces, but mostly one that was about video games that I really loved. I’m not really into video games, but I feel like he might have just kickstarted a new obsession for me thinking about story and how it’s transformed when someone’s talking about an experience, but it’s not real life experience, and how we process that differently, and goals and objectives in life and in games. So good.
I was thrilled to get to see Lauren Ireland read, too. I picked up her book “Dear Lil Wayne” at AWP, and her reading was as hilarious as I hoped it would be. Lauren’s mom was in the audience, a dynamic I always love, and there were several boisterous tables of ladies having dinner that the readers had to holler over, but everyone was a trooper and persevered.
At the All Made Up Fiction Showcase, it was hit after hit. A charming photo booth was set up with a couch and wall paper and “I am a liar” scrawled on the wall in lipstick and framed photos of famed liars. People walking in got bombarded with powder and lipstick. Signature cocktails were being mixed at the bar. People were invited to write down stories of something they’d stolen and take a piece of wisdom from Mum’s Advice Jar. It was a real party!
Tara took the stage in a sequin dress and long red wig to introduce the first set of performances. The Satori Group translated the tone of an excerpt of Richard Chiem’s work in progress, King of Joy, with electronically futzed up Gillian Welch and lipstick on mirrors and a face rinsed with milk. I’m so impressed by how well the performance pieces matched each of the readings, and added to hearing them read.
We took a little break and then Tara was back onstage in a platinum wig and belly shirt. She’s a transformer, I think. What a champ.
The Satori Group performed their interpretation of Matt Briggs’ work with a manic exploration of innocence and lust that paired well with the left turns of Matt’s work.
We took another break and I checked in with Sparkle Leigh, who was applying makeup to the lucky winner of the raffle. So pretty!
Finally, Willie took the stage in drag, identifying himself as Tara. I am kicking myself that I didn’t get my camera out fast enough to capture this. Drat.
I am so, so thankful to the Satori group for the amazing performance they developed in response to my story, “Filch and Rot.” The ladies started out sharing the stories people had contributed about stealing, pulling teeth out of their mouths and spitting. They performed a slick rendition of Lil Mama’s “Lip Gloss” (more rap at all the readings, please) and smeared themselves with lipstick and clutched dirt. It was all so visceral; I just couldn’t be more thrilled with having gotten to work with them.
Then: a dance party! I had such fun. The APRIL crew definitely knows how to throw a party. All. Week. Long.
Tonight, join us at the Pizza Party at Hugo House to hear Mark Leidner, Donald Dunbar, and Eroyn Franklin. Also: root beer floats. I think that might be precisely what my liver needs.