It had been too long – the gap between early December and February. The gap between reading to the Women’s Institute in Wells and my first appearance of 2017. The WI gig was brilliant by the way – great people, great audience…discard your preconceptions.
The story telling void however, was cold and lonely.
Along came Flashers’ Club at Smokey Joe’s vintage café in Cheltenham. The brainchild of Alex Clark (curator, compere and reader no less) this was the second Club event – a new town and a new audience for me. I love that. I love the challenge. My take-aways were that this was a fab venue, warm audience and lots of new voices. It was great to see some first-timers starting their writing-performing careers, good to hear some experienced ones too and I came away glad to meet, hear and buy (a book by) Tyler Keevil.
I read Ting – one of my favourites because it’s emotionally raw and has changes of pace. And people don’t expect it to be read with a triangle.
Mel Ciavucco of my writing group Stokes Croft Writers innocently (!) suggested a theme for Talking Tales #12. And so my venture into Bad Erotica began. I have to say, it was a fun trip – a new genre for me and somewhat an imaginative liberation. I laughed at the excellent stories and there were times when my toes curled – in enjoyment rather than embarrassment. That’s not true. I was embarrassed to confuse New Kids On The Block and Backstreet Boys…sorry.
Now, imagine a porn version of a well-known Saturday night TV show – I read a new story called Strictly Come. I was also delighted to see Nastasya Parker make her Talking Tales debut (we’d met in Cheltenham a fortnight before) and in awe of Grace Palmer’s cup-cake-cases – and her performance.
And finally…the jewel that is Let Me Tell You A Story, Jack - going stronger than ever after 3 years and another Stokes Croft legend. Shonette Laffy comperes and always breaks the ice with a personal story. Will Harding writes and sings his brilliant comic songs. And lots of people turn up to listen and tell stories and recite poems (lots of poems this time). It is one of the most creatively open events and certainly one of the warmest welcomes. And there are sweeties. All of this under the biggest glitter ball I’ve ever seen.
I read a new piece – Skydiving. All about…nah, you’ll have to hear it for yourself sometime. I remain in awe of those who can tell a story without writing it down.
And I am in awe of poets – period!