Recovering from a post-Bodega after party at a different bar and a full work day, I had taken a nap. I’d woken up from that nap when JoAnn text saying “I’m at Franklin Park. You here?” Adult naps are dangerous! I legged it but the train was delayed, of course, so I got to Franklin Park at a reasonable 9.30 for its 8-10pm show. Though last time it had started late and I counted on this time being the same.
I was right and I found JoAnn talking to Alex, who hosts the Southern Writers Reading Series at Happy Endings Lounge. It was one of those city quirks, much like the one that drew me and JoAnn together. I thought JoAnn and Alex had just met that night but they’d had met before and would randomly bump into each other at readings from time to time. The last time that happened was 6 months ago and now here they were again.
Alex said how he didn’t understand why lots of fiction writers didn’t come out to events like this. He said he understands being on your own and just writing, but why wouldn’t you want to be out listening to and talking to other writers. He basically just breathed the mantra of the literary movement me and my MA girls started.
He said he felt left out as one of the few males in the room that wasn’t wearing glasses. I’m glad he picked up on a detail like that, I swear some people I spotted last time as quite “stand-out” were wearing the same things as last time. So far, this dude got a big thumbs up in my book. Especially as he was telling me and JoAnn about chocolate coffee shots at this chocolate shop near his apartment and how the brunch at Bodega is really good. So we formed a pre-brunching-coffee-shot plan for the next Bodega reading night.
A few days later we checked out Alex’s Southern Writers Reading Series. Alex and “threw up" confetti, threw snappers on the ground and adopted a fake Southern accent. It was a cozy space and a cozy reading, though I did feel like I was missing out on something. I got the impression that most of the readers knew each other and were possibly working on the same creative writing degree as Alex. But it was still cool to see him in his element as a host. And I guess all those tricks worked to keep the audience’s attention.
Two weeks later, we were at the same space but this time for the How I Learned Storytelling Series which was amazing! We happened to catch the anniversary show, but I have a feeling it's always that good. I realized that there is a different between reading and storytelling and added 'mastering storytelling' to my ever-growing list of writer improvements.
We met a guy from Jersey who said he makes his living as a drummer. I asked what the secret is to getting paid for doing something you love. He said when he’s making money he’s careful not to be too extravagant and when he’s not making money he’s got to hustle to find his next gig, network and do whatever he can to survive, as well as have a little hope and faith that things will work out. I’ve heard this recipe from many people, I guess now all that's left is for me to try to put it into practice.