Tag Archives: Kill Your Darlings

April 6th: Vouched ATL Presents Review!

10 Apr

On Friday, April 6th the Over the Top tour made its pilgrimage to Atlanta! It was grand!  It was amazing! If you weren’t there- you wish you were! Once again we found ourselves at the Goatfarm, but this time at the Warhorse coffee shop. Our readers were: Jesse Bradley, Tyler Gobble, Melysa Martinez, Christopher Newgent, Amy McDaniel, Brian Oliu, and Matt Bell. This time we were lucky enough to have Jesse Bradley film the readings, so if you weren’t able to make the trip to our little corner of earth, you may indulge second-hand via the world-wide web.

First off was Jesse Bradley himself! Here’s a handsome picture of him in romantic lighting.
Jesse says ‘y’all’ like a boss. You probably want to hear for yourself. WISH GRANTED. 

Next up was the charming Tyler Gobble. He is so freaking charming you don’t even know. He is so charming I’m doing everything in my power to steal him for Atlanta. Look how awesome he looks. Look how awesome he is when he reads out loud, some new stuff and some of his portion of The Fullness of Everything.

Then, my beloved Melysa Martinez. Holy Moses she is so awesome. Not only does she hold Atlanta in the palm of her hand, but then she reads and she holds us in the palm of her hand too. See? 

After Melysa we all had to catch our breath. Everyone was so in love with everyone. There was a lot of shaking of hands, hugging, laughing, and drinking.

We came back for the home stretch. Christopher Newgent! Vouched Founder and all-around swell guy who happens to be my best friend. Be jealous. Here’s a picture of Christopher being super excited. Who can blame him? We were all having so much fun. Here’s Christopher reading

Amy McDaniel is the loveliest of lovely things. Just look at her!

Amy is, has been, and will always be completely enchanting. She read a small part of a bigger thing. We all were at the edge of our seats! I can’t wait until she unleashes the bigger thing in its entirety. Here, be enchanted. 

Brian Oliu was up next. He read some from his portion of The Fullness of Everything (Tiny Hardcore Press), and  a bit from his latest release Level End.  (Have you seen the packaging for the gold edition?! It’s in a DVD case and includes CD filled with an ebook file, an audio recording of Brian reading his work, videos of boss battles, etc.! We were all like WHOA!) When he was finished we all felt like we had defeated Ganondorf. 

Speaking of champions: Matt Bell was our final reader. He had us howl like wolves when he read. It worked!  By the time he had finished reading everyone in the audience had started a mental countdown for the release of Cataclysm Baby. Honestly, he knocked the wind out of everyone as well as rocked our socks off. We were all barefoot and breathless when he finished- it wasn’t weird.

April 6th has made its mark as one of my favorite days of 2012 so far (definitely my favorite day since AWP this year).  I cannot thank our readers enough. You were all so splendid! Thanks so much to Jesse Bradley, Brian Oliu, Tyler Gobble, Christopher Newgent, and Matt Bell for making the trip to Atlanta. Thank you to Amy McDaniel and Melysa Martinez for sharing your words with us as well as your elegant southern hospitality. Thank you so much to the Goatfarm for allowing us to read in such a beautiful space. Thank you to everyone who helped me promote the reading: Gina Myers, Kory Calico, Bruce Covey, Jamie Iredell, Blake Butler, Matt Sailor, Laura Carter, Jenny Sadre-Orafai, and Deisha at Bang! Arts Management and Promotions, and others.  Most of all, thank you to our wonderful audience for participating and supporting our readers with such fervor (& for howling, Roll Tide-ing, and SPRING BREAK!-ing).

I’ll be setting up the Vouched Atlanta Table at the next chapter of Write Club Atlanta: Death & Taxes, tomorrow at Push Push Theatre at 9pm. Come and say hello!

Awful Interview: Melysa Martinez

4 Apr

Melysa Martinez is a total badass. She’s a badass the way that Sarah Connor is a badass, and that comparison is not to be made lightly. Granted, she hasn’t had the opportunity to go out and slay any T-1000’s yet, but there’s no doubt in me that she has what it takes.

Between her column Are You Shaved with Creative Loafing, her work with Kill Your Darlings , and her work appearing  in places such as LA Weekly After Dark, Nerve.com, and CBS Radio Melysa Martinez is a very busy lady. I couldn’t be more excited to have her on the line-up for the next Vouched Atlanta Reading. You should come and hear her. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be in her good graces for when Judgement Day comes.

So, Melysa. Why do you write?
I write because I need the release. And because I don’t want to forget. Nor know how to shut up.

Did you ever read anything from the Goosebump series? If so, which book was your favorite? If not, were there any book series that really resonated with you? Maybe Boxcar Children, Julie of the Wolves, or Encyclopedia Brown?

OMG! Goosebumps!!! YES! But, actually, now that I think about it, only in memory did I love that series. I don’t remember any details. Honestly, my favorite books/series when I was a young girl were: Sweet Valley Twins, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, anything by Judy Blume, and, for some reason, I was obsessed with Mark Twain and dead set on reading Adventures of Tom Sawyer in the first grade. I remember struggling to read it and having a dictionary on hand. I don’t think I finished it. But at the top of the list of faves was Anne Frank. She was my idol. I wanted to grow up to be just like her: vulnerable, strong, and hungry for more.

Oh man, I loved Anne Frank’s Diary as well. It made me over analyze/critique all of my diary entries. Did you keep a diary when you were younger? Did it have a key? Was it full of secrets?

Without a doubt, I had a diary growing up as a little girl. Several, of course. Actually, my mom just shipped all my old diaries (age 7-13ish) to me about a month ago. It was an extremely surreal experience, to reconnect with old emotions. I remember being such a happy little girl — and I was — but the diaries recount details I’d forgotten: insecurities and feeling ugly and not liked by the “popular” boys; rating how cute the boys were in my class on a scale of 1-10 (hypocritical?); old clippings from newspapers and magazines regarding gay rights; articles about the women’s movement; dreams of taking over the world with my words. Really, I guess not much has changed about me since then. Haha.

I think it’s good that we stay somewhat consistent in character throughout the course of our lives. Don’t you agree? Also, who was ranked #1?

Definitely. I mean, obviously we all evolve as we grow older, but sometimes, as we age, we see people/friends/etc. who seem to not like who they are and seem to strive to become an idea of something, instead of embracing who they are deep inside and who they are meant to be. There was a while there, sometime around high school and college, where I used to tell myself to shut up when it came to men. I know I can be overwhelming sometimes, and can be heavy with my opinions, and talk a lot, but then I realized one day that I never wanted to be with people who don’t love me for who I am, obnoxious or not. As for who was #1: Christopher Weihe. He had olive skin and blue eyes. He was my “first boyfriend” back in junior high. We later became best friends. He was sweet and smart and we used to make crab cakes from scratch together late at night. When I left Puerto Rico, he would go over and visit my mom and take her to lunch. Can’t beat that kind of friendship.

Personally, I’m very glad that you came to that realization! You’re awesome. Christopher sounds like he was too. Gotta love a guy who brings your mother lunch-total winner!
Are you a cat person or a dog person? Or do you prefer horses?

Can’t do cats. I recently hung out with a guy who had cats and thought to myself, This will never work. I’m not putting my dog out for a man and his pussy. I’m a dog person. They’re affectionate. (Not saying cats cannot be.) I pretend I’m a hardass because I amuse myself (easily), but I’m affectionate, and I like that my dog will come and hug me after a long day. Horses are awesome, too. I used to ride every Sunday in the rainforest in Puerto Rico after church when I was a little girl. And I took equestrian classes. Animals overall, even the ones I don’t really dig, are awesome in my book.

Wait… you used to ride horses in a rainforest after church? That sounds magical. Tell me more.

Haha. Yeah, it was awesome. I am agnostic, but was raised in the Catholic church as a child. Every Sunday my parents and I would go to church, followed by a visit to the bakery across the street for some Cuban sandwiches and Puerto Rican pastries, and then we’d drive to the coast and go horseback riding in the rainforest. Vegetation everywhere. Going through rivers and tall palm trees all around. Then we’d go to the beach, and wrap up the day eating delicious cod fish fritters and roasted pork and fresh coconut water straight from it’s shell. Those are some of my favorite memories.

Two questions stem from this: 1. What’s it like being the most interesting woman in the world (for serious)? 2. Was growing up in a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel (that was set in Puerto Rico instead of Columbia) as awesome as I always imagined it would be (very awesome)?

Hahahaha. Well, let’s not go crazy now! I’m not all that interesting. In fact, I have made it a point lately to step more outside my comfort zone and not just immerse myself in my usual interests. But yeah, Puerto Rico was a great place to grow up. Nothing quite as magical as Marquez, but it’s a lively place, and despite my parents relatively strict ways, they allowed me freedom to explore and trusted me. The drinking age is 18, although not enforced, and back in high school our parents (at least mine, and seemingly that of most of my friends) trusted us to go out at night and play. Overall, we were all good kids. We kept out of trouble. We just wanted to party and laugh.

Speaking of party…how pumped are you for the reading on Friday the 6th? What are you most excited about?

I AM SUPER PUMPED! Hmmm … what am I most excited for? I think I’m most excited about meeting the readers coming in from out-of-state (Christopher Newgent , Tyler Gobble, Brian Oliu, Matt Bell), and seeing Jesse Bradley in person again since forever ago. Apparently a lot of us are whisky peeps, so something tells me things will get rowdy — before, during, and/or after the reading. And just the reading, in general, is something I’m looking forward to. Hearing people’s words and thoughts and emotions, and sharing my words with them as well. I love that Atlanta has an abundance of readings going on. It really makes me proud to call ATL my home, sweet home.