Tag Archives: San Diego

Black Candies: A Sweet Night of Horror at Verbatim Books

Come celebrate our journal of literary horror, Black Candies. We have been publishing the finest of creepy writing and dark fiction for five years now. We’ll be at Verbatim Books in San Diego (North Park) on Saturday, August 27th for a reading from the archives.

featuring stories from:
Rory Kelly (See Through)
Julia Dixon Evans (See Through)
Wade Pavlick (Surveillance)
Justin Hudnall (Post-Apocalypse)
Rachel Taylor (Gross and Unlikeable)

That’s right, we’re gonna tease you a little with a “Gross and Unlikeable” selection, from the book of women-only stories and art coming at you this winter.

With your host and founding editor, Ryan Bradford.

Black Candies: A Sweet Night of Horror
Saturday, August 27th at 8:00 PM
Verbatim Books
3793 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 501-7466

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VAMP: Token is Thursday, August 25th

Our next VAMP storytelling showcase is coming up in less than two weeks! Join us at the Whistle Stop Bar in South Park for VAMP: Token on Thursday, August 25th at 8:30 PM.

Sometimes we feel special, unique, and important when we are different from the masses. Sometimes it makes us feel lonely. Sometimes it makes us feel oppressed. Sometimes we are, quite literally, oppressed. And sometimes we seem to be exactly like everyone else but still don’t know how to fit in. Sometimes we feel like we’re just being brought along to be the token [(the list is endless)].

Tokens, in the literal sense, are symbols, representatives, and gestures. Come hear some stories about symbols — people or things. Come hear some stories about being the only one, for better or for worse.

Featuring:
Alejandra Lucero Canaan
Alix Sharp
Emma Lee Whitworth
Jahleh Ghanbari
Jennifer Boots
Lizz Huerta
Michael Billingsley

Produced by Nadia Mandliawi and Trissy McGhee

VAMP: Token
Thursday, August 25th
8:30 PM
Whistle Stop Bar
2236 Fern St
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 284-6784
$5 suggested donation
www.sosayweallonline.com


If you like what we do at So Say We All, please consider supporting us and becoming a member. Details on our membership page here: http://www.sosayweallonline.com/become-a-member/

Our August Shows

August is for stories: the nights are balmy and it makes us want to be entertained and to entertain each other. Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a round-up of our offerings for this month!

Long Story Short: Death and Taxes
Saturday August 20th, 7 PM, San Diego Writers, Ink

lss death and taxes

Have you been to Long Story Short lately? We’ve been rocking our new venue, the marvelous Ink Spot at San Diego Writers, Ink in Liberty Station. Long Story Short is the show format that started it all here at So Say We All. Moth-like, true stories, no notes, 5 minute time limit, and anyone can sign up to tell a story. It’s like open-mic night but no Jewel songs. (Unless you have a story about Jewel).

August’s theme is “Death and Taxes.” Come tell us about the certainties in life, or come listen to stories from your community.

Long Story Short is every third Saturday at 7 PM at San Diego Writers, Ink. $5 suggested donation at the door. Sign up when you get there!


VAMP: Token
Thursday, August 25th, 8:30 PM, Whistle Stop Bar

token

VAMP is our monthly curated literary storytelling showcase, held each month at the Whistle Stop Bar in South Park. We bring you true personal narratives on a theme. August’s theme is TOKEN. Come hear some stories about being the only one.  Stay tuned for the line-up.


Black Candies: A Sweet Night of Horror
Saturday, August 27th, 8 PM, Verbatim Books

blackcandies aug 2016

As we labor away on the innards of our upcoming Black Candies women-identifying issue: Gross and Unlikeable, coming this winter, we can’t help but think about our journal of literary horror and dark fiction’s impressive history. And we wanted to share some of that with you! There are three editions of Black Candies published by So Say We All Press: Post-Apocalpyse, See Through, and last year’s Surveillance.

Verbatim Books is a new used and rare bookstore in North Park, and is emerging as a fantastic supporter of the arts, literature (duh), education, and community in San Diego. We’re so excited to be pairing with them for this reading, and hope to have many more like it.


Get some literature, hear some stories, and maybe tell one of your own!


If you like what we do at So Say We All, please consider supporting us and becoming a member. Details on our membership page here.


(featured cover image courtesy of Matthew Baldwin)

 

The Radvocate Fourteen: Coming Soon!

The Radvocate #14 is almost here. We’re pleased to announce the publication date of this fine literary magazine: September 6th. Stay tuned for teasers, where to buy your copy, and details on our upcoming release party and reading.

Featuring work from: Karl Sherlock, Joe Baumann, John Vanderslice, Anthony Martin, Jamie Sullivan, Meggie Royer, Caroline Taylor, Emily Green, Scott Sherman, Laura Preble, Allyson Whipple, Sara Morrison, Juleigh Howard-Hobson, Janet Joyner, Eric Raymond, Lois Harrod, Dania Brett, Harley Lethalm.

Cover Art: Matt Parchinski

Editor: Matt E. Lewis

Welcome to the fourteenth issue of The Radvocate. What started in 2011 as a poorly-xeroxed cry for artistic solidarity in the form of a zine, morphed into an open-sourced platform of expression. A like-minded community of artists was formed: poets, authors, artists, photographers, columnists, videographers, journalists, and many more joined together from all over the country to make the eclectic issues a reality. In those flimsy paper copies, the soul of The Radvocate was forged, an irreverent but proud spirit which carries on to this day.
 We can’t wait for you to enjoy this literary magazine. It’s a great and mighty book.


rad-14COVERspine

If you like what we do at So Say We All, please consider supporting us and becoming a member. Details on our membership page here.


The Foundry #2: Almost here!

The Foundry, our fiery new literary reading series, returns Saturday for an evening of readings from some amazing writers. We are looking forward to hear Scott McClanahan, Juliet Escoria, Uzodinma Okehi, Jim Ruland, Jean Guerrero, and Aaron Burch read to us, Saturday, 7/30, 7:00 PM at Tiger Eye Hair in Golden Hill. It’s gonna be smokin’.

Over the past month, we’ve featured these writers here on our site, and we hope you enjoyed getting to know them, browsing their work, or reading some interviews.

Here’s each feature in a handy list.

PEN/Fusion Prize Winner Jean Guerrero reads at The Foundry No.2


Aaron Burch Reads at The Foundry No. 2: An Interview


Uzodinma Okehi reads at The Foundry No.2


Juliet Escoria Reads at The Foundry No. 2


Jim Ruland Reads at The Foundry No. 2: An Interview


Scott McClanahan reads at The Foundry #2


That’s the round up! It has been a joy to work with these writers to prepare for this reading: not just talking to them about their work and running interviews, but actually reading their brilliant writing. It’s been a killer binge-read sesh. We really look forward to sharing all of this with you. Hope to see you tomorrow, Saturday 7/30 at 7:00 PM at Tiger Eye Hair, 811 25th Street, Suite 105 San Diego. Bring your people. Show ’em how we do lit in San Diego.

foundry2


If you like what we do at So Say We All, please consider supporting us and becoming a member. Details on our membership page here.

VAMP: Villains is on Thursday!

Come join us for our next VAMP Storytelling Showcase! It’s this Thursday, 7/28, at 8:30 PM at the Whistle Stop Bar, 2236 Fern St. We’re excited to show off a bunch of brand new performers as well as some old timers we haven’t seen on the stage in a long time.

This year, we wanted our Comic-Con season show to be a little more… sinister. Stories about the bad guys, the meanies, the villainous. The ones we never saw coming and the ones we thought would be the problem and ended up surprising us. And sometimes we have to admit that we are the problem.

Invite your friends on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1418311621519738/

Featuring:
Anna Gasaway
Fidi Mwero
Hunter Gatewood
Jake Arky
Jason Bechtel
Justin Hudnall
Patricia Dwyer

VAMP: Villains
Thursday, July 28th
8:30 PM
Whistle Stop Bar
2236 Fern St
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 284-6784
$5 suggested donation
www.sosayweallonline.com


If you like what we do at So Say We All, please consider supporting us and becoming a member. Details on our membership page here: http://www.sosayweallonline.com/become-a-member/

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Scott McClanahan reads at The Foundry #2

The Foundry is our new literary reading series, just launched this spring. Our second installment is this month, July 30th, at the delightful Tiger Eye Hair in Golden Hill. Our readers for Number 2 are Jim Ruland, Uzodinma Okehi, Juliet Escoria, Jean Guerrero, Aaron Burch, and today’s feature: Scott McClanahan.

scottScott McClanahan in a three piece suit

In a recent feature at The A/V Club, here’s how they introduced Scott:

Scott McClanahan might be today’s best-known indie press writer. He also makes short films and his readings are some of the most engaging pieces of performance art to ever hit your local bookstore. Perhaps best known for Crapalachia: A Biography Of Place (Two Dollar Radio) and the more recent Hill William (New York Tyrant), McClanahan’s short-story collections function as pseudo-memoirs with a crackling electricity rarely found in literary fiction.

The first time I met Scott, a few years ago, he was visiting San Diego with his wife (fellow Foundry reader Juliet Escoria), and he performed a reading organized by the great Matt E. Lewis. I had never read any of his work, but his writing’s legacy is significant and I knew enough about it to have some level of anticipation. However, during the reading, there was a football game on the bar’s TV screens, and let’s just assume it was a Chargers game, just to properly set the scene. Irritated yet?

I felt somewhat unsettled and without purpose at the event: I wasn’t working or reading, I came alone, and everyone else had already sat down with the people they arrived with. I just kind of stood nervously off to the side in the back, barely able to hear the readings over the low-grade noise at the bar.

When Scott took the stage, maybe a ref made a poor call and the Chargers fans at the bar booed. Maybe they were booing at us, trying to appreciate literature instead of their sports. But their noise was no longer low-grade.

And then Scott sang.

Partway through, he climbed down from the stage, mid-reading, still reading, and passed out homemade fudge (which connected to the story he’d been reading), and even took his offering back amongst the football fans. He chanted a refrain, no mic, in the back, by the bar, by the Chargers fans, and the entire place fell silent. We’d all stood up by now, passing the container of fudge around. Nobody sat with their pre-packaged friends. That no-purpose, adrift feeling vanished and I felt part of something: Not just inspired but responsible somehow. To this day, I wonder if I imagined this experience, or if memory has colored it in a more profound light than it was in the moment, but that day is Scott McClanahan to me.

Unfortunately for our tastebuds, there’s no tie-in with fudge in his latest book, a graphic novel freshly published this month by our darlings, Two Dollar Radio, one of the finest and gutsiest small presses of our day.

I read The Incantations of Daniel Johnston in a single day, carrying it around with me and reading it whenever I could sneak a minute. McClanahan’s writing is so propulsive that I flew through it faster than I probably should have, given how intricate and compelling each Ricardo Cavolo illustration is. It might be the kind of book we all read twice. At least.

 

Incantations is sometimes troubling, sometimes comforting. It seems to both tackle and encourage our collective curiosity, myth-like, of Daniel Johnston’s life. The illustrations are grotesque at times, but the story reminds us something both forgiving and unsettling: This could’ve easily been you.

Shortly before the book came out, Buzzfeed ran a sample of the first few pages. Take a look here.

scott excerpt

As for Scott’s non-illustrated fiction, here’s a short story we love, published online at Guernica: Psychiatrists and Mountain Dew. This story kicks off his brilliant short story collection Hill William.

We can’t promise fudge at this Saturday’s Foundry reading, but we can promise no football game on any TVs (sorry?). Come join us 7/30 at 7:00 PM at Tiger Eye Hair in Golden Hill to hear Scott read, along with Aaron Burch, Jean Guerrero, Uzodinma Okehi, Jim Ruland, and Juliet Escoria.

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Scott McClanahan wrote The Incantations of Daniel Johnston and The Sarah Book. He lives in West Virginia. You can buy his books here: The Incantations of Daniel JohnstonCrapalachia, and Hill William.


If you like what we do at So Say We All, please consider supporting us and becoming a member. Details on our membership page here.


by Julia Dixon Evans
cover image by Juliet Escoria

Uzodinma Okehi reads at The Foundry No.2

The Foundry is our shiny new literary reading series, just launched this spring. Our second installment is this month, July 30th, at the delightful Tiger Eye Hair in Golden Hill.

Today we feature Uzodinma Okehi, a writer I had never read until Aaron Burch let us know he was coming on tour with him. I quickly picked up Uzodinma’s book, Over For Rockwell, published in late 2015 by Short Flight/Long Drive Books.

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Uzodinma Okehi, a little bit ago

Over For Rockwell is an intense and vivid novel, as we follow his character, Blue Okoye, across the globe doing his best not to fail at being an artist. When Blue is not drawing comics but knowing he should kinda hits below the belt. Uzodinma’s writing is powerful, irreverent, and vulnerable. Here’s a sample of his fiction, “The Deuce,” a segment of Blue Okoye’s strife, published in The Adroit Journal.

 I blew off Jackie, I told her, forget about the coupons . . . Two-for-one dinner-date, Brooklyn, select restaurants, twenty-eight bucks, and what’s that gonna buy me? Forget the first hour, which is easy. That could be testing out pens, looking for my ruler. It could be putting on socks, on then off again, too hot, or stretching, still not drawing, at the table, my chair, against the springs, I’m tense but I’m bouncing.

And here is a rad interview with Uzodinma at The Rumpus.

OKEHI: […]Cities always, at some point, fail to meet our expectations. Same way people do. At some point you realize you’re struggling to keep that mythology alive. You either project your frustration, your disillusionment, on that person, on the city, or you can turn back, you can choose to reinvest that belief in your own strengths. In the book, Blue goes to Hong Kong, believing, typically, that all he needs is a change in scenery to turn his life around. From college in Iowa City, to Hong Kong, then to New York, only to be confronted again and again with the same issues that seem to be rooted more in his personality than any specific city or place.

As a writer, as you know, it boils down to you in a room, in front of the computer…

Come hear Uzodinma read from Over For Rockwell at The Foundry, coming up Saturday, July 30th at 7 PM at Tiger Eye Hair in Golden Hill. Uzodinma will be joined at the Foundry by many other greats: Aaron BurchJean Guerrero, Juliet Escoria, Jim Ruland, and Scott McClanahan.

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If you like what we do at So Say We All, please consider supporting us and becoming a member. Details on our membership page here.


by Julia Dixon Evans

Jim Ruland Reads at The Foundry No. 2: An Interview

The Foundry is our shiny new literary reading series, launched beautifully this spring. Our second installment is this month, July 30th, at the delightful Tiger Eye Hair in Golden Hill. As we approach the show, we’d like you to get to know the readers a little bit, and today we land on one of our heroes, Jim Ruland. Jim will be joined by many other greats: Aaron BurchJean Guerrero, Juliet Escoria, Uzodinma Okehi, and Scott McClanahan.

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We love Jim’s writing. It’s intimate and obscure at the same time, delivering the fringe in oddly palatable and approachable ways. One of our favorite pieces is Cat Party, published this spring at Shadowgraph Quarterly.

So Say We All’s production director (and Foundry host) Julia Dixon Evans had a little chat with Jim recently.

jim only RulandTinWhistle Jim Ruland: pretty talented his entire life

JULIA DIXON EVANS: Jim! Thanks so much for agreeing to read at The Foundry, and for all your support in general. You’ve been a friend and volunteer of So Say We All far longer than I’ve been around. Tell me how you got involved?

JIM RULAND: I went to San Diego Animal Control and saw Justin Hudnall huddled in the corner. The rest is history.

JULIA: You’ve collaborated on some phenomenal co-writing projects lately: Giving The Finger, and My Damage. Co-writing seems like an incredibly daunting undertaking, mostly because I imagine you and your cowriter sitting together in someone’s dining room, typing and reading out loud together. I’m sure that’s not the case, but were both of those projects similar in how the work and the writing got done? That is, did you spend a lot of time on-location, getting your hands dirty? And is it still as lonely as typical writing can feel?

JIM: No, it’s not lonely at all, because you constantly have your subject in your ear. The backbone of the book comes from recorded interviews so the first step is getting the subject’s voice down. I’ve been writing for punk rock zines and interviewing bands for most of my adult life. Collaborating feels like an extension of that. I think that’s why so many journalists get into these kinds of projects. It’s a combination of access and know-how.

With Keith Morris, we spent a lot of time together because he is 100% committed to the project. We went to his old haunts in Hermosa Beach, Hollywood and Chinatown. He read each draft with laserlike editorial focus. We ate a lot of tacos and drank a lot of coffee together. To be honest, I’m going to be sad when it’s all over.

JULIA: What would be a dream co-writing assignment for you right now?

JIM: Raymond Pettibon. Not that he needs a collaborator. Raymond did the artwork for My Damage and my name is right there on the cover so I don’t think the universe is taking any more of my requests. 

JULIA: Back to loneliness. (Of course). In your novel Forest of Fortune, which is excellent, you follow the arc of three characters: Pemberton, Alice, and Lupita. And every single one of them seems so lonely. Even in the 24/7 world of a casino or a city after dark, you write very desolate characters. But they each have a confidant, a companion, and sometimes that does very little for their loneliness. In a bigger picture, isn’t that part of the appeal of a thing like gambling, of a thing like a bar: together, alone/alone, together? 

JIM: Casinos are very lonely places. People don’t strike up conversations with each other the way bar patrons do. It would be very hard to sit in a bar for three hours and not talk to anyone. In a casino? No problem. Although card games like blackjack and poker are very social, there’s nothing social about a slot machine.

JULIA: I loved your TNB Self-Interview. It’s equal parts depressing and encouraging. Your journey from starting out to publication truly took 20 years? And at what point in that was Forest of Fortune born? How did you keep at this? I understand that there’s some novelty to this interview, but the interviewee gives off a sense of true inevitability. Inevitable writing in the face of inevitable failure. That’s amazing.

JIM: Thank you. It did indeed take me 20 years to publish a novel, but I had many other successes and setbacks along the way (I won an NEA, published a short story collection, got fired by my agent, drank waaaaaay too much, etc.). Forest of Fortune was born after I’d completed my third novel and my agent invited me to explore other opportunities. I’d been working at an Indian casino for two and a half years and decided to finally write about it. I knocked out a draft in 2008 and in early 2009 I lost a friend to a drug overdose. That was a very potent reminder that our time here is finite. After I got sober and put my house in order, so to speak, I went back to work on the book. I’ve been turning and burning ever since.

JULIA: You and I recently discussed your [unpublished] collection of short stories [note: one of these stories appears in So Say We All’s dark ficton/horror anthology, Black Candies: See Through]. Tell me a little more about it. How is your short work — and this collection — different from your novel, Forest of Fortune

JIM: Cat Sitting in Hollywood is a linked collection of stories that draws on my adventures as an amateur cat sitter during the time I was commuting between San Diego and Los Angeles. After working in the casino for over five years, I was seeing LA through new eyes and writing these very odd stories. As much as it pains me to admit it, I owe a debt of gratitude to Ryan Bradford because his solicitations for Black Candies helped me see that these stories I was writing were all variations on the theme of cat sitting.

JULIA: Your reading series, Vermin on the Mount, is as vibrant as ever. I think one of the reasons I asked you to read at The Foundry is because I love hearing you read, but it seems the only chances I’ve had to see you read the last few years are in different cities, for AWP. Do you find that, as a sort of San Diego gatekeeper figure for other people’s work, helping get it out into the world, you are more inspired and empowered to create your own work? Or are there some consequences, like lower productivity, too much multi-tasking to write?

JIM: I wouldn’t say I’m a gatekeeper. Far from it. I think VAMP [So Say We All’s monthly curated literary storytelling showcase] does a far better job of showcasing San Diego’s literary talent. If anything, I play a small role in bringing writers from outside of San Diego to our city. Vermin on the Mount, which is about to celebrate its 12th anniversary, continues to inspire me. When that stops being true, I’ll stop doing it.

JULIA: I love that you always ask your Vermin readers this, and as a fledgling member of the well-t-shirted Legion of Vermin myself, I wonder if it’s all right for me to ask this of you: (to quote the great Jim Ruland) “What’s the most unusual experience you’ve ever had at a reading?”

JIM: A long time ago, a reader at Vermin on the Mount in Chinatown, through a combination of nerves, alcohol and white powder, was so wasted she could barely get through her reading. She thought every word that came out of her mouth was absolutely hysterical. At first I was horrified for the reader. Then I thought I was going to have to gong her off the stage. Finally, I just sat back and enjoyed the performance.

The strangest part was when the show was over she sat down next to me and asked me all kinds of questions about my family. The kind of conversation you have with a really thoughtful acquaintance. To this day I have no idea which part of her show was an act.

JULIA: And what are you working on next? What are you reading?

JIM: I’m working on a bunch of stuff, including a novel set in LA in the near future that I’ve been drafting in fits and starts since 2012 but is finally coming together, and a couple of collaborations that I can’t say too much about other than I’ve been reading nothing but commercial fiction this summer: thrillers, mysteries, spy stories and crime novels. I’m finally reading San Diego writer Don Winslow and wondering why I waited so long.

JULIA: Thanks so much, and we look forward to hearing you read on the 30th!

JIM: De nada!  


Come hear Jim read alongside Aaron Burch, Jean Guerrero, Juliet Escoria, Uzodinma Okehi, and Scott McClanahan at The Foundry, So Say We All’s new literary reading series. The Foundry #2 all goes down on Saturday, July 30th in Golden Hill.

The Foundry, No. 2
Saturday, July 30th at 7:00 p.m.
Tiger Eye Hair
(by the new Golden Hill Dark Horse Coffee)
811 25th Street, Suite 105 San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 798-3996
$5 (all ages)

Jim Ruland is the author of the award-winning novel Forest of Fortune and the short story collection Big Lonesome. He co-authored My Damage with Keith Morris, founding member of Black Flag, Circle Jerks and OFF!, which will be published by Da Capo on August 30, 2016. Jim is the books columnist for San Diego CityBeat and writes book reviews for the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Jim’s work has appeared in numerous publications, including The BelieverEsquire,GrantaHobart and Oxford American, and he runs the Southern California-based reading series Vermin on the Mount, now in its twelfth year.


If you like what we do at So Say We All, please consider supporting us and becoming a member. Details on our membership page here.

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Because of friends and artists like you, we’ve been able to help people tell their stories and tell them better on the stage and page, through college classrooms, radio, theater, and more for over seven years and counting. Now we want to bring your voice to an even wider audience, and to do it we need your help. So Say We All is asking you to become a monthly supporting member today. It’s the best way to give, and will help us grow like the hearty little succulents we are!

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