On Tuesday, November 18 I spoke to the Charlotte (NC) Writers’ Club a couple of hours south of my home here in Raleigh. My friend and fellow writer Gary Powell had asked me to come talk before this wonderful group many months previous, so this had been in the works since at least the early spring. Gary is a fantastic writer of short stories—in particular this one has resonated and continues to speak to me to this day. Give this a read; it’s a fantastic little flash…this is how to write flash or micro fiction.
Before the meeting, the president of the club Gina Howard, Gary, and a couple of other lovely members took my wife and I out to dinner at a nice little joint called Mezzanotte. We all had a lovely time, albeit too short.
I was so happy to see the room packed and even happier that they laughed at all my jokes and, talking to several members afterwards, I was ecstatic that they really enjoyed our evening together.
I spoke for over an hour before the “Live at the Apollo” clown came out with his hooked cane and ejected me from the stage, my time having been up for at least 15 minutes. But we had a lot of fun talking about my many early influences, both “highbrow” (art, music, films, documentaries, plays, literature) and “lowbrow” (The Love Boat, Hart to Hart, Three’s Company, The Jeffersons, Good Times, comic books, faerie tales, a collection of volumes documenting NBA games from the 50s-70s).
We talked a bit about the interesting entrance I had into the “indie lit” community, publishing in all sorts of journals that many would think an older writer (45) like me has no business sniffing around, including toying with the Bizarro genre which, for a literary fiction writer like yours truly, would seem like a world away, almost diametrically opposed to my material. But that was the point I made to the writers in attendance: experiment with writing in many ways and many genres; see what you like, see what you’re good at, and see how much of it you can publish.
I was happy a few people bought my book Gears, and that another few were brave enough to take a chance on Short Lean Cuts. Most importantly, I think the Charlotte Writers’ Club itself had a great time, and in the end that’s what really matters.