My First Reading, ca. 1993/1994

Digging through some old boxes, stumbled onto this little pamphlet. Way I remember my first reading, it was for this story “West Texas Dirt” I’d won an award for, in 1994, the last year of my undergrad work at Texas Tech. I guess I must have done this one too, though—with a friend I’d go onto MA-land with, Ashley.

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Bill Wenthe was the real draw, of course. As he should have been, and still is. Dude writes some solid poetry.

Also, I was so sure that that “Breakfast for Two” story was my first-ever publication, that I looked up my first-ever pub, and, sure enough, I’m wrong again:

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Back then I was still getting by without a middle name, too. How I ever did it, I don’t know. If I had it do all over, I’d pick a more stage-name kind of thing. Nothing too ostentatious, just . . . like “George RR Martin,” say; that’s a middle space between the first and the last names that really makes you remember the whole thing. Also? He says that he feels that’s when his career really took off—when his name got memorable like that. I dig how Billy Idol came up with his name, too: his elementary school teacher writing onto his work that “Billy is idle.” And, David Bowie, man. IS there a cooler name than that? Okay, Axl Rose, maybe. But “Axl Rose” feels pretty made up. “David Bowie” feels like maybe just good luck, like being born to the right family (never mind that luck was actually that The Monkees were already on the scene, using Bowie’s real name up). And, “Stephen King.” When I was first starting out reading? I thought “King” was a name he’d kind of earned. Like, everybody just kind of agreed that, yeah, he was the king of this domain. Turns out to be the case, but seems he was born with that, too.

Anyway, just wanted to snap a couple pics, as this stuff’s sure to get lost. I dug that Mind Purge up THIS time, sure. But it’s already falling apart pretty bad. Can’t imagine it’s not loose-leaf completely, the next time I need it. Could be it’s the last one in existence, too? I mean, I can’t imagine there were more than forty or fifty of these printed up, better than twenty years ago . . .


Author: SGJ