No Trees Felled, But a Terrific Evening

If you read this blog last week, you know that my story “The Art of Fiction” was read last Friday at Stories on Stage in Sacramento.  What a wonderful evening–and I’m not saying that just because my story was featured.  Of course that was a treat.  But what really made the evening special?

Interesting, friendly people gathered in a room on a warm valley night to be read aloud to.  Valerie Fioravanti welcoming us all as if to her own living room.  Terrific performances by Pam Metzger and Benjamin Ismail.  Meeting Julia Halprin Jackson, soon to graduate from the UC Davis graduate program in creative writing (where I studied sixteen years ago), and hearing Julia’s terrific story “Big Dog.”  Picking up some of Julia’s postcards with 100-word stories on them.  Reconnecting with a friend from college whom I hadn’t seen since 1984, who came to the event with her husband.  Meeting Tim Foley, editor of the literary magazine Farallon Review.  Dark chocolates with sea salt sprinkled on top.

On my way to I-80 west and home, I drove past sweet Victorian houses (complete with large trees and lawns) and fantasized about moving to midtown Sacramento.  Images of walking to story readings every month in a summer sundress floated through my mind.  Homemade lemonade anyone?  It’s amazing how quickly those grass-is-greener fantasies take root, isn’t it?  And yet nothing felt fantastical about the warmth and community spirit last Friday evening at the Sacramento Poetry Center–people who care about words gathered to celebrate the primal pleasure of hearing stories read aloud.  I drove home wearing a smile. Stories on Stage, thank you.

Click here to watch Pam Metzger read my story “The Art of Fiction.”



About lindseycrittenden

Lindsey Crittenden is the author of two published books: THE WATER WILL HOLD YOU: A SKEPTIC LEARNS TO PRAY (Harmony Books, 2007) and THE VIEW FROM BELOW, a collection of short stories (Midlist Press, 1999). Her personal essays and articles – on topics such as prayer, the pitfalls of too much California sunshine, and visiting a group of lifers at San Quentin – have appeared in The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, Image, Real Simple, Bon Appétit, East Bay Express, Health, and Best American Spiritual Writing. Her fiction has won national awards and has appeared in Glimmer Train, Bellingham Review, Quarterly West, and other publications. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, she graduated from UC Berkeley, moved to New York City as soon as she could, and returned to California for grad school. While in the graduate creative writing program at UC Davis, she discovered (much to her surprise) the fun of teaching. She lives in San Francisco and teaches at UC Berkeley Extension. She has completed a novel, and is writing new short stories and a (very early stages) nonfiction exploration of spirituality & sex.
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4 Responses to No Trees Felled, But a Terrific Evening

  1. valfiora says:

    Thanks, Lindsey. You made my working Saturday afternoon! (Aren’t google alerts grand?).

  2. peggiwood says:

    Lindsey – reiterating my comments that night — loved the way your story unfolded! Eager to read more of your work.

  3. peggiwood says:

    Lindsey – reiterating my comments that night – – loved the way your story unfolded! I am looking forward to reading more of your work.

  4. Sacramento feels closer than ever! Cheers to you both, Valerie & Peggi!

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