In Memory Of: Mopsy Matthews

mopsy-photoOne of our Albuquerque DimeStoriers passed away on January 25, 2016.  Mopsy had become a semi-regular attendee (in between her international travels) at our monthly open mic events and a couple of her stories had been selected as a Best Of.  Mopsy had also been attending my Monday Writers drop-in group.  I hadn’t seen her in a while, and when she didn’t reply to the invitation to participate in the Anniversary Showcase event for this year, I emailed a follow up, assuming she was on another adventure.

Sadly I received the news of her death from a family friend.  From her official obituary:

Dr. Elizabeth T. Matthews, known to her friends as Mopsy, died from complications of a sudden cardiac arrest on January 25, 2016. Mopsy was born in New York City, spent her early childhood in Riverside, Connecticut and London, England, and went to high school in Rome, Italy. She attended Wellesley College and the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Mopsy met her beloved husband Bruce Trigg at Albert Einstein College, in the Bronx, where she did her residency. – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/abqjournal/obituary.aspx?pid=177530642#sthash.V5VwaaDq.dpuf

I didn’t know her well, but I was getting to know her, and very much enjoyed her writing, and her participation in both Monday Writers and DimeStories. She was enthusiastic and exuded joy.  (How can you not with a name like Mopsy!)  Here are the two stories she read that netted her a Best Of “award” from DimeStories. Take a listen:

“Treasure” by Mopsy Matthews (from December 2015)

 

“Letting Go” by Mopsy Matthews (from May 2014)

 

Duke City DimeStories Anniversary Showcase 2016

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DUKE CITY DIMESTORIES CELEBRATES SIXTH YEAR ANNIVERSARY

EVENT: DimeStories Anniversary Showcase

DATE: 3 p.m. Sunday, February 21

LOCATION: Bookworks, 4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW Albuquerque, NM 87107

Duke City DimeStories, Albuquerque’s only open mic for prose, will celebrate its sixth year with a showcase of DimeStories selected from the best of the past year’s monthly events.

Authors who will read their 3-minute stories include: Kim Adonna, Jess Atcherly, Dee Cohen, Tish Fredrickson, Steve Howe, Marsha Johansen, Terri Klein, Jennifer Krohn, Maria Leyba, Marilyn Licht, Kempton Lindquist, Mopsy Matthews, Merimee Moffitt, Lisa Myers, Lata Nadig, Micah Palmer, Andy Paquet, Susan Paquet, Kraig Pickel, Georgia Santa Maria, Sarena Ulibarri, and Efrain Villa.

About Duke City DimeStories:
Hosted by Jennifer Simpson and Andy Paquet, Duke City DimeStories monthly open mic events take place every third Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Source, 1111 Carlisle Ave. SE (south of Central at Anderson).

Tips for Reading at a DimeStories Event

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Select the proper piece of PROSE. It should be a story 500 words—or less. Really, you don’t have to use all three minutes. Nothing wrong with leaving your audience wanting more…. Edit with a razor. Look at every word. Does it belong? Does it contribute to the meaning? Is there a strong narrative voice? Vivid imagery? Practice reading your work out loud. Can you read it (without rushing) in three minutes? If not, go back and cut more words out.

Stand up straight. Seriously, this is important as it will allow you to breathe better utilizing your diaphragm to its fullest potential.

Breathe. Don’t forget to breath. Besides being really embarrassing to pass out from lack of oxygen, if you breathe throughout your piece, you’ll avoid those awkward gasps between paragraphs.

Know the microphone. Generally you’ll want to be about 6 to 12 inches away and slightly off to the side, but some microphones require you to be right up front and close. If there is no microphone, make sure you project your voice—this is where standing up straight and breathing will come in handy.

Speak slowly, clearly, and vary your tone and rhythm. This will create interest, and allow your audience time to process what you’re saying. Pause. Create a space for your listener to visualize.

Look up. Your audience wants to see more than the top of your head! Make eye contact. Smile….

Don’t be THAT reader, the one who reads and leaves, or the one who shows up only to promote their latest book.  Instead, be a good community member, one who respects fellow DimeStoriers and listens to their stories. And even though as writers, we are mostly a bit socially awkward, take a chance– be the one who hangs around and welcomes new folks.

Have fun!

December 2015 DimeStories

San Diego DimeStories took place on a cold and rainy night the 2nd Friday in December at  the home of San Diego Writers Ink down in Liberty Station—  you’ll hear the planes landing at nearby Lindbergh Field in the recordings… but the sound of those planes didn’t stop the readers from sharing their stories.  The Best Ofs include:

Lawrence Johnson, “The 3rd Floor”

Cheryl Sonstein, “Confessions of a Caregiver”

David Latham “I Sorry So Sorry”

 

Brad Davidson’s “Merry 4th of July” was a crowd favorite, and though it went over by 15 seconds!  we’re posting it anyway in the spirit of the holiday season:

 

There were so many good stories in Orange County (every 2nd Sunday of the month! at LCA Wine)  that they couldn’t select only three!

Nicholas Thurkettle, “Change of Venue”

Liz Zuercher, “Mrs. Schlobaum’s Christmas Cookies”

Niina Satola, “An Open Letter to the Wasp Trapped on the 71v”

Pam Tallman, “A Christmas Gift”

Louis Rodriguez, “The Trustifarian”

Anna Yamamuro, “The Tree”

 

And on a cold night in Albuquerque ( winter does come to the Duke City–it’s not Phoenix!) we gathered at The Source for hot wassail, tamales, and various goodies to share stories. The Best Ofs included:

Karen Fausnaugh, “Love Analytics”

 

Kim Adonna, “Blue Pants that Glitter”

 

Mopsy Matthews, “Treasure”

 

Heard in Albuquerque: December 2015 News

November’s Duke City DimeStories featured some amazing creative stories and the three favorites were:

Kim Adonna’s “Casette Tape Poem” 

 

Terri Klein’s “Food Thief”

 

Jess Atcherly’s “If Only I Could l Meet Oprah” 

 

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, however, I’m posting the other stories, which includes Susan Paquet’s call-and-response story and the second installment of Micah’s dragon story.

Dee Cohen, “Mabel and Jack”

Karen Fausnaugh, “Wrestling”

Blake Magnusson, “Everyone You Never Knew”

Micah Palmer, “Dragon Problems Part 2”

Andy Paquet, “Adventures in NICU”

Susan Paquet, “Thanksgiving”

Jennifer Simpson, “Family Project”


 

NEWS:

Next Open Mic:  Thursday, December 17 at 7 pm.  We meet at The Source, 1111 Carlisle Ave SE, in Albuquerque..  Bring YOUR 3-minute story!

Coming Soon:  a regular column on DukeCityFix.com “Heard in Albuquerque:  3-minute stories”.

DimeStories November 2015 News

Upcoming Open Mic Events for DimeStories

San Diego, CA:  Friday, November 13 7:30pm

dsocLocation:  The Ink Spot, 2730 Historic Decatur Road, Barracks 16, Suite 204, San Diego, CA

Cost: $5 donation at the door is requested…  and if you’d like to contribute a little extra towards food and wine, that’s much appreciated!

Albuquerque, NM: Thursday, November 17, 7pm

Location: The Source, 1111 Carlisle Ave SE (in the same compound where the original Michael Thomas Coffee is located, one mile south of Central)
Cost: $3

Costa Mesa, CA: Sunday, December 13, 5pm

Location: LCA Wine, 3315 Hyland Ave., Ste. H , Costa Mesa, CA
Cost: $5

The DimeStories open mic series has been going strong since 2004 in San Diego, an additional chapter opened in Orange County a couple years later, and one in Albuquerque in 2010. DimeStories have been heard in New York, in L.A. at the LA Times Book Fair, and on the the radio.

DimeStories in print (selections from the DimeStories anthology celebrating our ten year anniversary) have been included in the Queensferry Press anthology, The Best Small Fictions 2015

This is a great community of writers, committed to sharing the best in short prose. It’s a supportive environment, worse that will happen is you’ll get applause :-)

Bring your 3-minute story, and bring a friend (because listening is fun too!).

DimeStories represented in The Best Small Fictions 2015

bsf2015_frontcoverTwo DimeStories were selected to be in this new anthology from Queensferry Press, The Best Small Fictions 2015: “By Heart” by Dee Cohen and “Mama Says” by Casandra Lopez.  Both stories  were originally published in   DimeStories: California, New Mexico, and Beyond!  a celebration of 10 years of DimeStories. 

From Queensferry Press:

It takes many small things to make something big. Fifty-five acclaimed and emerging writers—including Emma Bolden, Ron Carlson, Kelly Cherry, Stuart Dybek, Blake Kimzey, Roland Leach, Bobbie Ann Mason, Diane Williams, and Hiromi Kawakami—have made the debut of The Best Small Fictions 2015 something significant, something worthwhile, and something necessary. Featuring spotlights on Pleiades journal and Michael Martone, this international volume—with Pulitzer Prize–winning author Robert Olen Butler serving as guest editor and award-winning editor Tara L. Masih as series editor—is a celebration of the diversity and quality captured in fiction forms fewer than 1,000 words.

I am so proud of Dee and Cassie. Their stories are being published along with other great stories.  You can order your copy directly from the publisher.

August 2015 DimeStories

Here’s a roundup of some of the best DimeStories heard during the month of August:

From Orange County DimeStories (they gather on the 2nd Sundays of the month) we have these great 3-minute stories for August:

For more details on the Orange County DimeStories, and to listen to more great stories, check out the Orange County DimeStories Archives–>


The Albuquerque DimeStories chapter meets on the 3rd Thursdays–here’s the best from August:

For more details on the Albuquerque (Duke City) DimeStories, and to listen to more great stories, check out the Duke City DimeStories page–>

DimeStories from Albuquerque May 2015

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Susan (left) and Andy (right) at the book launch for Apricots and Tortillas, stories about growing up in Albuquerque

We had a small but mighty group of DimeStoriers for our May gathering.  Here’s what you missed:

Best stories:

  • From our new emcee, Andy Paquet, “DimeStory Interview”
  • Dee Cohen, “Long Island Sunset”
  • Susan Paquet, “Biologist PhD Type”
  • Georgia Santa Maria, “Life on Snob Hill”
  • Lata Nadig, “The Trinity”
  • Maria Leyba, “Lessons in Driving”

Listen to the stories

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Audio from Albuquerque March 2015

We’re finally getting on track with audio stories for the Duke City DimeStories.  Here are the recordings from the March DimeStories Open Mic.  Thank you all of your patience. Everyone shared some fine stories!

  • Lata Nadig, “The Autobiography I Keep Meaning to Write”
  • Tish Frederick, “Birthday”
  • Robin Kalinich, “Elegy in Orange”
  • Eirik Gumeny, “Parking Garage”
  • Alberto Lopez, “5th Century B / Text Message to a Friend”
  • Jennifer Simpson, “On the Road to Chicago”
  • Susan Paquet, “She Just Can’t Stop”
  • Dante Berry, “Plenty”
  • Maria Leyba, “Please Don’t Recognize Me”
  • Matt Wagner, “Everything is a Learning Experience”
  • Andy Paquet, “Moment of Temptation”

LISTEN–>

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