Tag Archives: So Say We All

Long Story Short: Super Nerd

We’re all nerds about something. Come to Long Story Short, our monthly improv storytelling show, and tell us all about that one time you geeked out in epic proportions. Just in time for those fresh-from-Comic-Con stories.

Five minute stories, told by you, no notes. Anyone can take the stage!

Saturday, July 18th
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Evolution Fast Food
2965 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 284-6784
$5 suggested donation

Announcing The Radvocate!

So Say We All is pleased to announce that we are now publishing The Radvocate!

The Radvocate is a literary arts magazine committed to sharing the work of new writers, poets and artists. Since 2011, The Radvocate has created zines, live shows and other media to give a platform and a voice to creatives, both local and worldwide. Now, in conjunction with So Say We All, The Radvocate releases its thirteenth issue, but its first as a literary journal.

Through this collection of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, interviews and art, we are setting a new standard for ourselves. Even though this is issue thirteen, this is a new beginning, in which two forces join together to declare their intentions and plant a flag in this place, this medium, and this moment. Join us. Get rad.

Featuring literary work from: Allison Whittenberg, Brandon Marlon, Kiik A.K., Patrick Mayuyu, Grant Mason, Meg Tuite, Mason Green-Richards, Parker Tettleton, Zachary Scott Hamilton, Clay Norvell, Neil P. McDevitt, Alan Semrow, Robin Wyatt Dunn, Alex Bosworth, Ryan Hicks, Johnnie B. Baker, and an interview with Henry Rollins. Edited by Matt E. Lewis.

Purchase Issue 13 of The Radvocate here.

getrad_ad_quarterpage

Also available for purchase here.

Check out The Radvocate on Goodreads.

For more information, back issues, and other content, visit The Radvocate at www.theradvocateisamagazine.com

“I Take You To Be No Other Than Yourself,” by Joel Castellaw

We get to enjoy a lot of serendipity in our jobs at So Say We All, but nothing quite so beautiful as what happened this week: at Thursday’s VAMP, the theme of which was, “Wedding Season,” we closed our show with the beautiful words of Joel Castellaw’s, “I Take You To Be No Other Than Yourself,” and then woke Friday morning  to the ruling by the Supreme Court finally legalizing, with finality, the rights of all people to wed.  We had to share the story with you as soon as possible, so here, in disembodied audio, we hope you enjoy Joel’s story as much as we did. It’s an honor to be able to do what we do. Here’s to love.

Cheers, – Justin Hudnall

VAMP: Wedding Season

Bridal party hook-ups, awkward bachelor parties, and that time drunk Uncle Steve gave a 20 minute toast, you name it. Wedding Season is upon us, and come join us for some relief from the tulle and string quartets as we regale you with our finest and cringe-worthiest stories of state-sanctioned romance.

VAMP Showcase: “Wedding Season”
Thursday, June 25th
8:30pm – 10:00pm
Whistle Stop Bar
2236 Fern St, San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 284-6784
$5 suggested donation
http://www.sosayweallonline.com

Black Candies Editor Ryan Bradford on Why Horror Matters

We recently got to interview Ryan Bradford, editor of Black Candies, our journal of literary horror. Black Candies: Surveillance was recently released (and is currently a Recommended Book at Powell’s Books!) and to celebrate, we are hosting a reading and release party this Saturday night, 6/27, at Low Gallery in Barrio Logan.

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So Say We All: Hi Ryan. Why horror?

Ryan Bradford: Oh man, busting out the big guns first.

Truthfully, I’ve spent so many hours trying to figure this out for myself. I suspect, ultimately, horror fandom is very personal, and there is often an underlying vulnerability to every obsession.

For me, I’ve dealt with anxiety most of my teenage and adult life. Even in benign social situations, I experience physiological effects: sweating, increased heart rate and clenched jaw. It wasn’t until recently that I was able to recognize these symptoms as anxiety, which, as a therapist told me, is a body’s reaction to fear. Or, basically, I was constantly experiencing fight-or-flight symptoms, despite the fact that I wasn’t being threatened. Reading horror or watching horror, on the other hand, provides this little nest where these symptoms feel normal. It feels like I can be myself, where my anxiety doesn’t feel misplaced.

But I’m also kind of a horror snob, or, at least, very particular about it. I think if you look at the majority of horror books or movies, you’ll see an overbearing grotesqueness. I wanted Black Candies to be an antidote to all the gaudy stuff I was reading and watching. It sounds pretentious every time I say it, but I’ve always wanted Black Candies to be intelligent horror—full of subtlety, wit and nuance. I couldn’t find a lot of online or physical print journals that were satisfying those needs, so I decided to make one.

SSWA: Do you remember what sorts of things you were reading/watching when you started Black Candies four years ago?

RB: I think I read Blake Butler’s Scorch Atlas, Joey Comeau’s One Bloody Thing After Another, and Nick Antosca’s Midnight Picnic in a row and those books were dark and gross without being indulgent or typical. They also had serious emotional stakes that weren’t used as plot devices—which is rare in horror and dark fiction. Those were huge inspirations to Black Candies.

SSWA: Your themes are always a bit unexpected. What grabbed you about “surveillance”? Why did you want to curate a surveillance-themed issue?

RB: Good horror has always been a tool for addressing social issues of the time. I mean, look at George Romero movies—you can pretty much trace the history of American unrest through the “of the Dead” series.

So, I think like everyone else, I was freaked out when the Snowden bomb dropped, but it was also a moment of instant revelation: “Surveillance. That’s going to be the theme of the next issue.” It’s a fear that we all share right now to some extent, and I wanted to create something that we could all connect to.

SSWA: Do you primarily find authors who identify as horror writers?

RB: Not really. I just want people who can be dark. In fact, I think some of the best stories come from people who aren’t necessarily horror writers, but are given permission to tap into their dark side. It’s exciting when writers scare themselves at what they’re capable of writing.

SSWA: We feature a lot of women writers in Black Candies. Is this intentional?

RB: Yes, it’s intentional. I’ve found that women are often underrepresented in horror, and wanted to create a platform where they could not only have a voice, but be as gross, dark and unlikeable as they want. I still think there’s an attitude, even among the liberal literati, that can’t abide a woman writing ugly stories.

SSWA: What will non-horror readers think of these stories? or… Is this book accessible for people who traditionally do not think of themselves as horror fans?

RB: As I said above, I think “Surveillance” is a universal anxiety right now. Even if you’re not a horror fan, these stories should strike a nerve in you.

SSWA: And what about serious horror fans?

RB: If you’re a serious horror fan and you don’t like these, well, come at me, bros.

SSWA: There’ll be a live reading from the book this weekend, at the book release party. How does a story transform for you when you hear it read out loud? 

RB: It’s great to see how a story transforms when an author reads their own work. As I mentioned above, some of these authors don’t usually write horror, and when they do, it can be an exhilarating/terrifying experience for them. When you push that further and have them read this ordinarily-taboo piece of writing aloud, it can become a spectacle of emotion. Does that sound sadistic? Maybe.

SSWA: What’s next for Black Candies?

RB: I’ve always wanted to have an online Black Candies, so that may happen in the near future. Also, Black Candies-flavored Doritos.

Read about how Black Candies: Surveillance is a Recommended Book at Powell’s Books in Portland here!

Join us at Low Gallery, 1878 Main Street, at 7pm on Saturday, June 27th for our Black Candies: Surveillance Reading and Release Party!

Purchase Black Candies: Surveillance here.

Black Candies: Surveillance! Recommended at Powell’s Books!

Thanks to the diligent vacation-sleuthing of So Say We All’s cofounder, Jake Arky, we discovered that our recently released Black Candies: Surveillance is a recommended book at Powell’s Books in Portland!

IMG_8222(writers usually only eat “recommended” books)

Good news for you: you can pick up the book locally AND cheer on some of the local contributors as they read their stories out loud, just for you. Come join us on Saturday, 6/27, at 7pm at Low Gallery in Barrio Logan for the official Black Candies: Surveillance Release Party and Reading.

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Check out the event on Facebook here.

Read more about Black Candies: Surveillance here.

Jake’s (super rad) short story, “#DEATHIES” appears in the book. Thanks, Jake, and thank you Powell’s!

 

Working with Samuel Abel for INCOMING Radio

As a part of our fundraising campaign to support Incoming,  we’ve been asking our veteran writers to say a few words about their work with So Say We All. This week, however, we wanted to hear a little from one of our steadfast volunteers and teaching artists who has worked extensively with these veterans. Today’s entry is from Kym Pappas (who is so much more to us than simply a performance coach) about her work with Samuel Abel (you can hear Sam’s story today on episode 4 of Incoming on KPBS radio at 12:30). Here’s Kym:

A few sentences about working with Sam… or a lesson in showing up and staying present, even when you’re scared.

I agreed to work with Sam before I read his story. I felt honored to be asked to be a part of So Say We All’s latest adventure and any time my schedule allows me to get in the room with people brave enough to speak their truth, I am down. On January 26th, I read Sam’s story… and I almost backed out because I was afraid.

I am an actor, a director, a teaching artist, and sometimes I write things. In my own work, I am all about asking big uncomfortable questions and digging into personal histories in order to get to the emotional core of things. We all need a space to get honest… to get ugly… and I do what I can to create a safe place for people to do that. When I was entrusted with Sam’s story my fear was that I could not make a space safe enough. Here is a man telling us the reality of life during and after war. How do I ask someone who is living with PTSD to dive into the details with me, knowing full well that this could be triggering? What kind of safety is there in that?

Upon meeting Sam (and after initial pleasantries) my only choice was to be as honest with him as I was about to ask him to be with me.

I think it went something like… “I cannot say that I know your experience… I cannot even imagine… but, I was diagnosed with PTSD when I was 12 and I know what it is to live haunted. If at any point this gets to be too much or if I say something stupid, just let me know.”

Once that was on the table we jumped into who we are and where we come from. I was gifted stories about the infamous pool parties with the margarita machine.  Then we dove into the piece at hand. The conversation began with, “Why this story?”… “Why now?”… We talked about splitting the self… We talked about the air, the light, the weight… We created a scale, 1-5, “Where are you now?”

The word “moist” happened. I hate that word. Sam loved that… and he took every opportunity to use it against me. We laughed a lot. Sam has a really great laugh.

Sam and I talked about living; about the things we take for granted… or no longer take for granted. I thanked him for showing up honest, for letting us in… because although this is Sam’s story, there are many men and women… they are our friends and family… who understand this story all too well. Sam and I shared some of the things we carry in this life… we talked about how we hope the sharing helps others feel less alone.

And then he let me take a picture of his hands.

Thank you, Sam.
–Kym Pappas

To support So Say We All in continuing this work with veterans and other groups in our community, and so that we can keep making new episodes of Incoming, please visit our Fundrazr and donate.

Listen for Sam’s story on KPBS today: the episode featuring Samuel Abel and Liam Corley airs on Friday, 6/5, at 12:30pm on 89.5 FM or stream at KPBS.org, wherever you get your podcasts, or as a standalone episode on KPBS’s website.

VAMP: Parasites

Symbiosis can be a beautiful thing. Until it’s not. The flora and fauna of our blood and guts (and colons), our interpersonal relationships, and our cubicle mates all walk a delicate balance between helpfulness and sucking the life right out of us. Come join us for stories of parasites both microscopic and human-sized! It might not be THE grossest show we’ve ever done, but it’ll probably come close.

Featuring:
Anastasia Zadeik
Craig Oliver
Edward Deull
Esther Woodman
Lauren Cusick
Leo Dekelbaum
Sarah Mo

The VAMP Showcase: “Parasites”
Thursday, May 28th
8:30pm – 10:00pm
Whistle Stop Bar
2236 Fern St, San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 284-6784
$5 suggested donation
http://www.sosayweallonline.com

Brent Wingfield and So Say We All

As a part of our fundraising campaign to support Incoming,  we’ve been asking our veteran writers to say a few words about their work with So Say We All. This week, we asked Army veteran Brent Wingfield (you can hear his story this Friday on Incoming on KPBS radio). And as we like to say on Incoming, we’ll let Brent tell you the rest:

Ever since returning home from war, I have struggled with both making sense of the things that happened to me and with relating my experiences to others.

The amazing people behind So Say We All have helped me to have the courage to “show up on the page” and to overcome the simple mistakes  that were sabotaging my confidence as a writer. They brought their know-how, experience and patience to the table, and helped me hone my story into something tangible, something real.

So Say We All has helped me push through my pain by giving me a voice and a new modality of overcoming tragedy: through writing and story-telling.

This new found ability has helped me to bridge the gap between my experiences and the means to express them, which means that those experiences no longer have a stranglehold on my life.

War may have left its mark on me, but I now feel empowered to leave my mark on the world…

…thanks to So Say We All.
–Brent Wingfield

To support So Say We All in continuing this work with veterans and other groups in our community, and so that we can keep making new episodes of Incoming, please visit our Fundrazr and donate.

Listen for Brent’s story on KPBS this week: the episode featuring Brent Wingfield and Alex Flynn airs on Friday, 5/29, at 12:30pm on 89.5 FM or stream at KPBS.org.

A Message from Kurt Kalbfleisch for Memorial Day

As a part of our Incoming fundraising campaign, we asked veteran Kurt Kalbfleisch to say a few words about his work with So Say We All. Kurt is a joy to work with, and we are so honored to have helped him tell his story. And, as we like to say on Incoming, we’ll let Kurt tell you the rest:

As I sat down to write a few words at the request of Julia Evans, Program Coordinator for So Say We All, Pandora chimed in with the theme from Band of Brothers. Of course it did. It’s the perfect music for this Memorial Day weekend, and the perfect music to accompany the grateful words of this particular veteran-writer to her and her organization. It’s particularly fitting because perfect music is an important part of my experience with So Say We All.

Like every sailor before or since, I am a teller of stories. Give me an audience of one, and I’ll figure out a way to share a sea story. So I joined the SSWA Veteran Writers Workshop last summer knowing I had some stories to draw from.

That is, until Renee St. Louis, our facilitator, explained that the theme would be “Homecoming”. I didn’t think I had any good homecoming stories. I am a sailor, so of course, I have come home more than a few times, but never experienced the kind of greeting given to so many of my shipmates. Renee helped me find my homecoming story.

Since then, I’ve told that story in an auditorium and in an empty storefront. I’ve told it in a room of college students attending a lecture series. I’ve told it in a quiet room, just me and a microphone.

SSWA set that one to music, perfect music, and got it on the radio.

Every time I have interacted with So Say We All, I’ve come away feeling like a writer. Not just someone who puts words on a page, but a no-kidding writer. The kind who has reserved parking at the library. The kind who tears his hair out dealing with editors. The kind who has his name on signs at SDSU including him in that lofty group known as “living writers”. The kind who gets to have dinner with other writers and listen to their stories. The kind of writer who inspires perfect musical scores. A real frakking writer.

That’s what So Say We All means to me. I am grateful.

–Kurt Kalbfleisch
Memorial Day, 2015

To contribute to So Say We All and help support our work in the community as well as Incoming production, visit our Fundrazr.

To listen to Kurt’s story on Incoming, visit http://incomingradio.org or http://kpbs.org/incoming