Of Books and Beer

Two weeks ago I took part in the inaugural Lit Crawl Seattle - an evening of over 60 author readings dotted about the Capitol Hill neighborhood. My reading was part of the Debut Lit presentation, seven debutant(e) authors from Seattle (and nearby) who are just emerging onto a larger stage. It was my honor and my privilege to share the mic with Suzanne Morrison, Jeff Bender, Rebekah Anderson, Lance Weller, Will O'Donnell and Nicole Hardy. In a room packed with people, and against a LOT of background noise from the bar, I think we all did ourselves proud.

My own reading was a collage of two separate excerpts from Ka Mate: Travels in New Zealand, stitched together to make some kind of coherent whole. If you want to read the full chapter - or you're intrigued to see what went down in Capitol Hill on the 18th - then you can read the unedited version for free on The Nervous Breakdown. And don't say I never give you anything.

Luckily my reading took place early in the night, so I was able to take full advantage of the event's mind-blowing schedule. Highlights from the rest of the night included the Tin House event - with fantastic readings from old friend Vanessa Veselka and new friend Pauls Toutonghi - and the after party back at Richard Hugo house, where Peter Mountford read from his Salon article on the time he spent serving the rich and famous in Los Angeles. Beer was drunk. Old friendships were renewed. New friendships were forged. And, occasionally, we even sold a book.

The feedback I've heard from the first Lit Crawl Seattle has been overwhelmingly positive - let's hope they decide to do another one soon. In the meantime, we can all return to our ominously blank screens...

(Photos courtesy of Rebekah Anderson Fitzgerald, Dane Fitzgerald, and Debut Lit.)