A couple of evenings ago, I went over to The Jade Lounge in Portland to hang out with Dena Rash Guzman, Yuvi Zalkow, Julia Clare Tillinghast, and Parker Tettleton as part of Timothy Gager‘s book tour for his new novel, The Thursday Appointments of Bill Sloan.
We had a grand time. Despite the noise in the kitchen and the uncharacteristically limited beer options that night, I do dig The Jade Lounge as a reading spot — it’s so wonderfully dark and intimate and kind of jazz-loungy — and the company was terrific. Everyone there is a talented poet or fictioneer (that’s not a word but it ought to be), and I sold a few books and got loads of kind compliments on Hagridden. And in a weird coincidence, the guy who walked in during my reading, just looking for a beer in one of his favorite bars, turned out to be one of my former students! He hung around afterward to tell me how his degree is coming along (he’s nearly finished, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he does next, because he’s a talented artist).
As is usually the case in dark bars, it would have been pointless trying to get a selfie with the audience, but my wife managed to snap a couple of decent photos of me, as well as Timothy Gager and Parker Tettleton (who, I discovered, studied with Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin, two of my favorite writers — and favorite human beings — and Tom Franklin blurbed my novel, so I feel like Parker and I are practically related).
Parker blogged about the reading and added one of the goofy group photos we did afterward. Timothy also blogged about the event, where you can find even more photos of our shenanigans (including his napkin-note telling the noisy kitchen staff to shut it!) as well as some genuine praise for my beloved hometown. (Thanks, Timothy!)
Stay tuned for news of more Hagridden events, gang! I’ll be down in Salem, OR, in a couple of weeks. But that, as they say, is another story post. 🙂