Sufficiently death matched

So yesterday I competed in a Literary Death Match, an international reading series put on by Opium Magazine (based in Brooklyn) and Dime Stories here in San Diego.  The event was a blast.  Lots of good readers, and like all readings I participate in,  I took home a lot of great ideas as well as some practical needs I should address in my own performances.  Reading a story (particularly your own) is an art unto itself.  It’s rare to find the serious writer who can deliver a dynamite reading (well, maybe not that rare, but those people are usually famous).  It’s strange, I’ve never been prone to stage fright or making a fool of myself in public, but the older I get, the more my performance anxiety seems to cripple my actual performances.  Part of it is that I have a condition I call “Stage Dyslexia” where whenever I read from a printed sheet to an audience, I spoonerize words, pronounce words wrong, miss whole lines, ect.–so my way of combating this problem is to read very slowly and carefully, keeping myself very still so I can read the words, but unfortunately this method doesn’t lend itself to a very lively reading.  And knowing that I’m prone to lackluster readings lends to even more anxiety… and we end up with a Catch-22.  Oh, the hazards of the craft.

But I digress.  So at said Literary Death Match, I read a story I produced way back around April 5th or so, (the one about the whirling dervishes).  If you’d like to read the revised (and somewhat more up-beat, less Kafka-esque version) click on this link: whirling dervish – LDM version

A contest in Opium Magazine called the Seven Line Fiction Contest is accepting submissions, and I’ve been trying to hone my very short stories.  So partly out of wanting something to submit, and partly out of laziness, today’s story (which is actually yesterday’s) is only seven lines long.  (In case you’re thinking I skipped a day and didn’t write yesterday, pity me because I was revising the Dervish story–also, I wrote a detective/ghost story by hand in my flip-pad, but when it came time to type it out I decided I didn’t like it so I wrote a new one for the 13th.  Seriously.)

Story for April 13


  1. Thomas

    The original Dervish was better. The back-and-forth between the kid and dad and the “Dervishes do it whirling” detail could stay, but (as usual) the darker version wins.

  2. Thanks for your reply–and the reaffirmation of my dark fictional tendencies. This just goes to show you can never please everyone, (happy ending/twisted ending) so there’s no point in trying. Thanks again!

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