On Tuesday I read at Short Fuse Leicester. It was a fantastic night. I had an easy three hour train journey, allowing me lots of time to relax beforehand. I went for a curry with my friend Jen, who recommeded Kayal, saying its food was very different to what I'd find in Brighton. I ate an incredible mango-based dish which I'm still craving more of a couple of days later.
Leicester's Y Theatre is a lovely, plush venue with by far the biggest stage I've read on. The theme for the night was Sweetbread, Bitter Bread and Polly had chosen six interesting (if somewhat grim!) stories. I particularly enjoyed Bead Robert's story about clocks, which sparked some interesting discussions about pigs on our table, and Jo Cannon's story about grief. Headlining was Tara Gould with her story Little Birds, and Tara gave one of the best performances I've seen from her.
One of the things I love about reading my work out loud is that it can draw out aspects of the story that aren't obvious on the page. Particularly when reading a first-person piece, the line between writer and characters can become clouded. The night was particularly interesting for me because I was reading in front of my Mum for the first time. I'm not sure what she made of her son reading a story about bondage, but she said it was well-read.
Another great thing about nights like Short Fuse is getting to meet other people who are interested in writing. I knew a few of the people there from online such as Jo Cannon, who I workshop with, Damien Walter who organises the Literature Network site I blog for and Lydia Towsey, one of the other bloggers.
It was a fantastic night and I hope to be there again before long. The next Short Fuse Leicester event is in May and features a short-story from poet Jean-Binta Breeze. Thank you to Polly and everyone else who made it such a lovely night.