This week I was honored to be one of the featured readers at the Fishtrap Fireside series (check out Fishtrap at fishtrap.org). It’s always a little unnerving to stand up in front of people you don’t know–and even worse, sometimes people you do know–and read something intensely personal. I really should write more fiction, probably, but it’s the memoir that seems to grab people, so that is what I read. I read an essay called Beautiful in Nevada, which in slightly different form, received a place in the High Desert Journal nonfiction contest in 2011. It’s about a man named Bill with a traildragger J-3 Cub, a small desert town surrounded by high mountains, and the different ways that seasonal gypsies such as myself saw life as opposed to the locals who were just trying to eke out an existence. It’s close to my heart. I still remember us flying off that dirt airstrip, Bill pointing out wide veins in the earth that he was certain contained gold, and seeing the land in a completely different way. It was how I began to see the places I flew through in my seasonal life differently as well.
The reading went well; I kind of love doing this even though I am often frightfully nervous. The three of us who read had very different styles and so I think it was good for everyone. Plus, there were brownies.