Tombs Tale Leads Writers Guild Pre-Halloween First Sunday Reading
Well, next month Halloween will be over practically a week before November’s first Sunday, so there was a little nod to the fest at this month’s “First Sunday Prose Reading & Open Mic” (cf. August 8, et al.), sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild and host Boxcar Books. Possibly for that reason I was given the first featured spot with a thus far unpublished tale from my upcoming novel-in-stories, TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH. The story, “The Last Dance,” will be in the book’s second section and tells of a huge storm, with many deaths, and solving a special problem brought with the demise of ghouls as well, the traditional eaters of the dead, in disposing of the corpses. In all there were perhaps eighteen there this month, a bit above the normal crowd that may have been helped by a crisp but ultimately pleasant day, and the story — accompanied with a placard showing the book’s proposed cover — seemed to go over well. (For more on TOMBS, incidentally, see July 24, 15, 9, et al.)
Local writer Margaret Squires was second up with two pieces, the first a fable about a magic sword, and why maybe you don’t want one too, followed by a “historical” introduction to “Blossom Creek County,” a sort of fantasy-analogue, “never was” Bloomington and subject of an anthology she’s piecing together with several other friends. Then rounding out the featured readers was Andy Hubbard, who we’ve met before (see “Last Sunday Poets [and a Tiny Lagniappe],” August 28), who, even though primarily a poet, has also lived in several locations and made it a habit of writing stories about each new place to share with those left behind. Thus this time we heard about Nebraska and the discovery of a peacock walking down a road, followed by a view of Chimney Rock, a Nebraska landmark on the Oregon Trail.
Snacks ensued, followed by the open mike section with six readers this time, led by Frida Westford with a list poem that also pertained to “Blossom Creek,” and also featuring three readers (and there would have been a fourth, but she couldn’t make it) harkening back to a sort of pre-Halloween theme with skeleton-inspired essays. As they pointed out, though, these weren’t the normal bony type, but the type of “skeletons” one finds in closets — and, in many cases, the scarier kind.