Last night, Frayn and I read at House Wine here in Austin, Texas. It was a fun outdoor reading with a good crowd and the host was Tyson Midkiff, who also runs a series called Whiskey Rebellion (“Where we drink as much as we can tell and try to read,” he says). Unfortunately, two of the evening’s readers had to cancel–Elizabeth Crane was sick and Alex Lemon couldn’t make it from El Paso. Too bad since I’m a big fan of both of those folks, especially Alex, who I’ve never met before and whose memoir, Happy, I just finished and loved.
The night started off with a dramatic air battle between a hawk and a bunch of grackles. The grackles were actually bullying the hawk as it flew overhead. Maybe they were protecting a nest or something. One grackle tried to headbutt the hawk out of the air. I didn’t know what a grackle was but I was told they’re like pigeons, but dumber and more squawky. Click here for more information on these fearless, witless creatures.
Our host read a story and was followed by Jeff Chan, who read about staging a fake fight on a radio show.
My lovely lady and travel companion, Frayn Masters, then read a story from her new iPad. She wasn’t trying to look like an asshole, she explained. She just wasn’t able to print up her story beforehand. As our surroundings got darker, it proved to be a useful tool, its screen illuminating her face like someone telling a campfire story with a flashlight. It was great.
I wrapped up the night with a few bits from ACP, getting a nice response and even selling a few books. Internet lit star Tiff Holland was in attendance and it was fun to talk to her for a good spell also.
After the reading, we went across the street and got some delicious cheap burgers (and fries and vanilla shake) from a place called P. Terry’s. It was tasty (don’t worry–we’re going out this morning for those breakfast burritos or whatever it is people keep raving about).
We drove around town a little and parked by the capital building, which is huge (not surprising, I guess, since this is Texas). There was a big crowd of young, attractive bike riders gathered on the front steps taking a group photo. We wondered if they were going on a naked bike ride. It probably would have been a pretty sexy naked bike ride (not like the ones you usually see–sorry, naked bike people). Overall, it does seem like people are maybe more attractive than usual here. More fresh-faced. Earlier, at the reading, I had commented about how most of the girls ordering wine looked to be about 19. “I’m sure there are some fake IDs going around,” said Tyson.
After a good night of aimless cruising, we took our rental car (a white Toyota Camry) and headed back to our friend’s place (Amelia Gray, thank you for letting us stay here while you’re in New York!). Her cats, Turk and Pub, clamored for my attention as I rested on their reclining chair and Frayn played around some more with her new iPad.
We’re heading to Houston later this afternoon and reading tonight at Kaboom Books with Ryan Call and Kirby Johnson.
Did I mention it was hot and humid here? And apparently it’s storming in certain areas. Hope we don’t get blown off the road. More tomorrow, I hope! We’re staying at Gene Morgan’s house in Houston.