San Miguel Writers Present “Works in Progress”

By Carole Schor

San Miguel is a creative haven for artists, musicians and writers. One of the most popular Literary Sala events is the annual “Works in Progress,” showcasing local writers reading five to eight minute excerpts from works in various forms—short story, novel, novella, nonfiction, memoir, essays and poetry. “Works in Progress” will be held in the recently refurbished second floor auditorium of Bellas Artes on May 8 at 5pm. Join us for an inspiring and entertaining evening.

San Miguel Literary Sala presents
“Works in Progress”
Ten writers read from their current work
Thu, May 8, 5-7pm
Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramírez “El Nigromante”
Bellas Artes
Hernández Macías 75
100 pesos (50 pesos for Literary Sala members)
Includes wine reception

Gabrielle Brie is a fine artist, writer and poet who uses a keen sense of visual detail, southern wit and an authentic adolescent voice. Gabrielle’s memoir, “Tap Dancing on a Hot Skillet,” is a coming of age story about growing up the oldest child in a transplanted New York Jewish family of six in the Deep South of the 1950s and 1960s. Using a combination of personal stories set against a backdrop of films and music (from Elvis to the Beatles), along with historical events such as the Civil Rights movement and Vietnam, Gabrielle has created a scaffolding by which to hang the evolving angst of the sixties contrasted with the naiveté of the fifties both at home and in the United States.

Doug Robinson is a jazz musician and San Diego native who has lived in Mexico since 2007. From an early age, he expressed himself through music and lyrics and eventually enjoyed parallel professional careers in music and creative advertising. Now, after fantasizing about writing for a decade or two, he has completed his first novella, “A Thousand Words,” which invents and then addresses a new technological form of fine art fraud. Robinson continues to develop ideas for his next story, hoping to invent or uncover the tale needing to be told over all others.

Maia Williams is a lifelong foodie, bibliophile, literary groupie, lover of art, architecture, poetry and travel, an episodic writer and recovering CEO. The first (and only!) poem she submitted appeared in the Kent State University Literary Journal. For several years, Maia authored monthly leadership and business columns for North Carolina’s most prominent women’s magazine and for a professional trade association journal. She will share a few poems from a collection she calls Wind Song and Falling Water.

Mark Saunders is the author of Nobody Knows the Spanish I Speak, the funny and entertaining book about dropping out and moving to Mexico. An award-winning playwright, screenwriter and cartoonist, Mark will be reading from his work-in-progress sequel to Nobody Knows. The Duke of San Miguel is about his return to San Miguel and his amazing dog, Duke, an 85-pound apricot-colored Standard Poodle. Mark will read “The Pre-Memoir Memoir.” “Writing a memoir requires a lot of recollection, but what happens when you can’t even recall what you had for breakfast?” he asks.

Mittie Babette Roger’s travels have taken her to the jungles of Ghana, the lakes of Bolivia, the rainy knolls of Romania, the beaches of Greece, the castles of France, the mountains of Peru and throughout Mexico. A traveler to the core, she agrees with Robert Pirsig’s quote, “I’m happy to be here, but still a little sad to be here too. Sometimes it’s better to travel than to arrive.” Her new novel, Born of a Mother’s Rib is a mother-daughter story seeking to define both individuals independent of their relationship. While traveling through three countries, Lily and her daughter, Casen, struggle through culture shock and ideological differences, only to find they share more than blood; they share the mystical experience of dreaming.

Nathan Feuerberg will read “Ritual,” a work of fiction from a short story collection titled Mr. Zebra. Nathan received a BA from The American University of Rome, an MS in Creative Writing from The University of Edinburgh and an MFA from The University of New Orleans. His fiction has appeared in literary journals such as Rio Grande Review, Danse Macabre and 34th Parallel, as well as the 2012 anthology, Sol English Writing in Mexico and the recently released anthology, St. Louis: Missouri Ghost Stories.

Arlene Krasner finished her book Kosher Sutra in 2013 (shared at last year’s Works in Progress) and immediately started on a new book, Entertaining Food, a collection of essays about entertaining. This year she reads The B&B Experience: A True Nightmare, in which she tells us why, although you might love staying at a Bed & Breakfast, for the owners and managers it can truly be a nightmarish experience. Krasner has written food articles for “Sally’s Place” web site and taught a workshop on food writing at the 2014 San Miguel Writers’ Conference.

Frank Thoms has been a lifelong teacher/consultant and is now a writer who is eager to improve schools. Frank will read from “Teaching That Matters: Engaging Minds, Improving Schools: Opening Letter,” designed to intrigue readers to enter into this important conversation. Frank writes because he believes it is important to hear from the voice of a dedicated teacher, a voice offering a philosophy of teaching emerging from innovations in the classroom, a philosophy that invites rather than accuses, encourages rather than criticizes and offers creative choices rather than puts forward mandates.

Karen Sweetland will be reading from her book, Breaking Free, the story of her life as a military dependent from the dual perspective of a family member of a military office and the former wife of a POW. It is the story of breaking free of the domination of that life, and the unusual and interesting events along the path to said freedom.

Austin Patrick McBride recently arrived in San Miguel looking to improve as a writer and a thinker. His work, Ace, is the fictitious autobiography of the esteemed Dr. Martindale Everest IV, who has spent his career searching for a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, only to find himself experiencing symptoms of early-onset dementia, giving him insights into the disease from the inside out. Faux-historical documents trace his decline as the degenerative nature of Alzheimer’s sets in and produces a confusing mixture of delusions and reality, cameos from pop-culture icons, struggles of helpless isolation, frightening conspiracy theories and other psychotic episodes, the darkness of which are softened by the generosity and impact of his loved ones.

Attendees will be given a same-day voucher from Literary Sala sponsor, Vivoli Café (across the street from Bellas Artes), for a complimentary glass of wine with dinner, along with up to 2 hours of validated parking (at the valet parking stand just south of the Bellas Artes entrance).


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