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Reading; The Classics
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It's official. 2 PM, March 21, I'll be reading at Borderlands. I'll probably go out and get some food or a drink someplace afterward if anybody's interested.

Now, the eternal question -- what to read? I could do "Annabelle's Alphabet," since it's short, but I've read that several times in the past, and it'd be nice to do something different. Unfortunately, most of my stories are just long, and I don't want to read more than a couple of thousand words at the most; shorter is probably better. I could read poems -- there are a few tried-and-true crowd-pleasers in the collection. I could read a couple of poems and "The Heart, a Chambered Nautilus." Or I could read an excerpt from something longer. Or I could go wu-tang and read something that's not in the collection at all, like an excerpt from one of my stories that's upcoming elsewhere (I won't read from anything that doesn't have publication pending, because that's cruel, unless you read the entire story). If I do that, what should I read? Something from the polyphonius "Hart & Boot," my oddball Western? Something from my pulse-pounding-narrative adventure/love story "Lachrymose and the Golden Egg"? That could be fun. Or a chunk of "Terrible Ones," my Furies-in-Berkeley story? A piece of my coming-of-age story "In a Glass Casket"? I dunno.

Some of you are going to be at the reading, right? So, any preference? I'm a decent reader, but get markedly better if I practice a bit beforehand, so I don't want to go in there with no idea what I'm going to read...


Once again, I'm delving into Classical mythology. I didn't mean to, but I was at a café and I overheard this guy trying to ineptly flirt with a woman who turned out to be a Classics major, and once the guy figured out that "Classics" meant ancient Greek & Roman rather than Shakespeare, he brought all the knowledge from his tenth-grade literature class to bear, complete with nested misconceptions and the ignorance that comes from time eroding the specifics of lessons he didn't pay much attention to in the first place. I'm no Classics scholar, but I've read the major plays and sages and waded neck-deep into Classical mythology, so I was wincing with every wrong thing this guy said (she said she liked Euripides, but not Sophocles, and he said "Oh, so you like the comedies better than the tragedies?"), while the woman just stared at him bemusedly until he went away. I almost flirted with her a little myself (she's cute), thought of saying "Yeah, that Euripides, he was a funny guy," but I didn't, because a story was spinning itself in my head. So I went to my table and started writing a scene that began with that overheard dialogue, more-or-less, and then I had the narrator flirt with the woman in the story, who was already very different from the real woman. And then I wrote another scene about some stuff that's been obsessing me lately (high-functioning autistics, prodigies), and now I've got the beginnings of a story built somewhat on a foundation of Classical thought (though it's largely about subverting notions of fate and destiny). It could be good, but the last substantial short story I wrote was about the Euminides, so it all feels a bit familiar, even though this is radically different from "Terrible Ones" (and more about primordial chaos than any of the particular gods or heroes from Greek myth). Still, my next story will have nothing to do with Greek mythology! So I proclaim! I worry about getting into a rut, and it's hard to do something new with Classical mythology (not impossible, obviously, or I wouldn't bother, but the obvious changes were all rung long ago).

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