From my collection.

From my collection.

It’s funny, looking back, at how much I worried about the live Morbid Curiosity events.  This is my recap of the release reading for Morbid Curiosity #9, at Borderlands.  The piece was originally written 5/15/05 and published on my LiveJournal at 6:40 a.m.

Last night was the first time I’ve hosted a reading that I didn’t feel sick with worry beforehand. I was pretty sure that there wouldn’t be anyone there, maybe 40 people including the 10 readers, and it would be a cozy little evening. We could all draw our chairs up into a circle.

Since I didn’t have the magazines in time to send them out to the local calendars, MC didn’t get any features in the weekly papers. (Maybe there’s not a direction connection here, but there feels like one.) We didn’t get any mentions on the radio (that I caught anyway) or in any of the daily papers. I didn’t get a chance to flyer Valencia Street. The only promotion at all was done through Squidlist, Craigslist, the Borderlands newsletter, and my panicked last-minute mailing on Friday. Oh, and LJ.

And we still had more than 100 people turn up.

Damn. Where did they all come from?

The readers rocked. Will Walker warmed everyone up with his funny story about his failed attempts to kill small animals. Jude Gibson riveted everyone’s attention by telling about the aftermath of her brother’s suicide. RuthAnn Spike read her sobering story about corresponding with a murderer. Beth Touchette-Laughlin told her sweet, funny adventure in the medical system. Then David Booth admitted he’d been scammed by an online personal ad. As they were reading, I realized that four of the five of them were people I’d met through the Writing Salon.

We took a break and people pitched me some ideas I hope to see for Morbid Curiosity 10. I always love that part of the experience.

Dorian Katz started the second half off with her account of the night when her face was slashed. Inspired by Rozz Williams’ niche at Hollywood Forever, Lilah Wild contemplated what she would leave behind. As Allegra Lundyworf recounted her “Grandmarama,” I had to fight tears so as not to smear my makeup. I’ve heard her read that story twice — and read it half a dozen times myself — and it’s still powerful. John Dohmeier combined Catholic school, rotten fruit, young love, and growing up without parts of three limbs. And people laughed liked they needed to. Then M. Parfitt brought us all back to normal in the end.

It was a great night, maybe the first when I didn’t lie awake for hours agonizing over some stupid thing I’d inadvertently babbled or some element that didn’t go as planned. Maybe, after doing this for 8 years, I’m beginning to relax about it. Maybe in another year or two, if the magazine keeps going, speaking in public will even begin to be fun.

Thanks to all the readers, who made this night special.

About Loren Rhoads

I'm the author of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die and Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel, as well as a space opera trilogy. I'm also co-author of a series about a succubus and her angel. In addition to blogging at, I blog about my morbid life at
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2 Responses to Mobbed!

  1. coastalcrone says:

    Congratulations for a great evening! (I agonize in the middle of the night too!) Sleep well!

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