Skunks & Books

Posted on 10 September 2012

On Saturday, after going out for lunch with my visiting brother and sister-in-law, I summoned all my powers of persuasion and managed to convince everyone to head out to the Skunk Fest. Yes, a skunk fest, and yes, we saw many skunks: Fat skunks, baby skunks, brownish skunks, white skunks, skunks on leashes, skunks in cages, skunks riding around their owners’ shoulders, men dressed in skunk costumes, and so on. There was even a blond raccoon tossed in for good measure.

So now, when I tell you that the Writers Group 8 reading later that night actually topped a skunk fest, you better believe it was good. The crowd hunkered down in the basement at Mac’s Backs for a varied evening of writing. We had poems about working life, muses, small towns in Ohio, and the phenomenon of being allergic to yourself; fiction about marital bliss and magical real estate and disastrous weddings; and one funny and touching essay about temporary marital discord and the desire for a do-over. Some of the material was completely new to me, while others I definitely recognized, and maybe even identified a few edits made following our workshops.

I read my short-short story “Wedding Season,” which was published in the Winter 2011 issue of Flyway. Aside from learning that I somehow still have two errors in the story (including my accidental use of the the word “balcony” instead of “banister” which I never, ever noticed, and surely never would have if Peter didn’t point it out at the end of the night), this reading really drove home how lucky I am to be in such an experienced, diverse, and supportive writing group. (Poet Susan Grimm offers her take on the reading.)

Here’s a photo from the reading. It’s thankfully taken from the very back of the room so you can’t see just how red my face was in the rather warm basement:

And here’s a skunk for good measure. You’re welcome:


6 responses to Skunks & Books

  • Sarah W says:

    Skunkfest sounds like so much fun!

    So does Writers Group 8—I wish we had one in our area.

    • Skunk Fest truly was an experience. I learned much about skunks, like: they use litter boxes, some can get very jealous, they are good at getting into your cabinets/fridge, they can live to about 20 years, they are hyper like a toddler, etc. I don’t think a skunk would be the pet for me (or for my cats…) but this made for a fascinating afternoon.

  • Lisa Golden says:

    I’m relieved to hear you’ve more or less marked skunks off your list of possible pets. I was, of course, thinking of the cats and their needs, wants, desires.

    How wonderful to be a part of a supportive writers’ group and to have a place to share your work. This is another reminder that when we move, one of the factors I must include in our list of wants is an active writing community nearby.

  • Paul Lamb says:

    That skunk looks a lot like my dog. He’s black and white too, he’s hyper, he can be jealous, and sometimes he stinks. (Well, not really that last point. He’s remarkably clean for a dog.)

    I’m glad you’ve found some fellowship and shop talk. I’m not sure I would thrive in a situation like that, but I don’t begrudge those who can.

  • Lyra says:

    Of course you went to a skunkfest! That is sheer awesomeness and that picture at the end, so cute. But any animal that is compared to a hyper toddler, no. No. NO. NOOOOOO!
    Phew, I feel better.
    I am so glad that your reading went to well. It looks like it was a blast. Yay you!

  • Downith says:

    My kids are fascinated by skunks, I think in part because they are rare to non-existent in the UK. Although, apparently domesticated skunks are legal pets over here but it’s illegal to move their stink- o- meters (technical term) which makes no sense at all.

    Yay you on the reading and your writing group does sound great.

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