A glass window does double duty, holding a Deep Carnivale sign while reflecting an attendee and the out-of-doors.
On Saturday, Sept. 27, I joined Aisling Press & friends at Deep Carnivale, a literature festival held in historic Centro Ybor.
"More than 70 local poets, playwrights and authors will show up in Tampa for readings, book signings and spoken-word and hip-hop performances," said the St. Petersburg Times on Saturday. "And how cool is this? A poetry lounge for teens. Plus, plenty of kids' activities, vendors and live music. Expect the celebration to fill all four floors of the Cuban Club and spill out into the street."
Spill out into the street it did. We took up the whole block.... (cont.)
Taken from the steps of the Cuban Club. The Aisling Press table is above the cargo bed of the white pickup.
Bo Savino, K.L. (Kathy) Nappier, and I staffed the Aisling Press table, next door to Glenda and Tony Finkelstein and directly across from the Cuban Club. The festival took place on a sunny day with a few light clouds and enough of a breeze to keep us refreshed in 87-degree weather. (With highs below 90 degrees, we are now firmly rooted into fall.)
Bo's on the left, I'm on the right -- followed by a close-up of my corner of the table.
In addition to copies of Deviations: Covenant, I had copies of the anthology Riffing on Strings: Creative Writing Inspired by String Theory (which includes my story "Arachne"); a display copy of Electric Velocipede (which includes my story "Hermit Crabs"); and flyers for the forthcoming anthology Unspeakable Horror: From the Shadows of the Closet (which will include my story "Memento Mori"). You can now see the book trailer for Unspeakable Horror below, and also at Dark Scribe's website.
Bo and Kathy.
Tony and Glenda.
Michael Darling, who was stationed around the corner from us.
Other folks at the festival.
The musical duet Juniper, performing in the Hillsborough Community College courtyard.
Artists and writers sign-in.
The Cuban Club, exterior. And some interior shots:
In addition to original music played in the HCC courtyard across from the Cuban Club and children's events in the HCC Ybor Room, the club itself provided five performance spaces: the Theatre for fiction and theater; the Cantina for mature audiences; the Ballroom and Lounge for poetry; and this venue, the Lobby, for fiction.
I get a bit into the text as I read from Covenant. My T-shirt is from OutWrite '98, a GLBT writers conference sponsored by the Bromfield Street Educational Foundation, which Mary and I had attended in both '98 and '99.
Kathy reads from her supernatural thriller Full Wolf Moon.
The Cuban Club's stained-glass window. The top sign to the right reads, "This floor: Poetry Lounge."
A quiet corner, early in the day.
This was my first visit to Ybor City, and I figured it was just the place to sample my first Cuban. The sandwich was both delicious and packed, providing me with both lunch and dinner.
Some shots of surrounding buildings:
The street sign reads, "N. Avenida Republica de Cuba," otherwise known as 14th Street.
I took this last one from the steps of the Cuban Club.
My trip down had one hairy but blessedly short-lived stretch, when a glob of thick fog whumped down onto the road less than halfway into my almost-two-hour drive. "The white line is your friend" definitely applied here, referring to the white line at the road's right edge. I could glimpse a couple feet of that for the sake of orientation. Otherwise I was blind, with my defroster on full, my fan blasting, and my window open. Honking the horn is a good idea, too -- ***makes a mental note for next time, if this ever happens again*** -- but I was driving on mostly empty roads at roughly 8 AM. No shoulder, but more than once I considered pulling off the road, which meant driving down an embankment. I chose to crawl instead, listening for any signs of approaching traffic. As soon as I found a decent place to pull off the road afterwards, I fished out my shop rag and made my windshield spotless.
The trip back home was a piece o' cake.
Speaking of horror -- here's the book trailer for Unspeakable Horror: From the Shadows of the Closet:
Covenant, the first volume in the Deviations Series, is available from Aisling Press, and from AbeBooks, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Territory, Borders, Buecher.ch, Buy.com, BuyAustralian.com, DEAstore, eCampus.com, libreriauniversitaria.it, Libri.de, Loot.co.za, Powell's Books, and Target. Deviations: Appetite is now available for pre-order at Barnes and Noble. The Deviations page has additional details.