BARBARA ALFARO is an author, actress, playwright, essayist and poet. Her work has been dazzling readers for several years on SCRIBD where her colorful book covers and sensational style have drawn thousands of readers.
Q) My favorite story from your memoir, Mirror Talk, (http://www.amazon.com/Mirror-Talk-ebook/dp/B003Z9K4AY) is when you accidentally broke the fourth wall while acting on stage one night, by crossing your legs and kicking that guy in the audience. Have you kicked anyone else lately?
A) No, but that doesn't mean I haven't wanted to. Now, that I think of it, I've only kicked someone once before, when I was in grammar school. Always small and skinny (I wanted to be tall and statuesque but that's how life is) I was being bullied by another girl on the school bus. It was a peculiar thing but every seat I took on the bus turned out to be hers. "You're in my seat," she'd bellow as she pushed me out of the seat. When I told my mother what was going on, she said, "Next time, kick her in the shins." Next time came. I did. The girl never bothered me again. I'm not advocating violence of course but I do know action is preferable to being shoved. This may be why I self-published two books last year: a poetry book called "Singing Magic" and the memoir "Mirror Talk." Excerpts from both books can be read at http://www.Scribd.com/BarbaraAlfaro and just a few weeks ago I began my first blog http://barbara-alfaro.blogspot.com.
Q) I wanted to ask you a question that has the words BIG BOOBS in it, you know, so that Google will rank us higher. But I can’t figure out how to make that work! Besides, you are such a lady - a lady who has written about almost everything, including the Catholic church, wonderful relatives, men who are jerks, the theater and analysis. Your work makes me laugh, cry but most of all, feel very at peace. And now you Blog too! I can’t stand it! What else have you got up your linen sleeve?
A) I’ve written two children’s stories, “Robin’s Song” and “The Looking Girl.” I’d love to see both published but as I’m not an artist, the books would probably need to be picked up by a traditional publishing house with its own illustrators. Right now, why, I can’t say, I’m trying my hand at fiction. I just seem so much more comfortable writing essays and poetry but what the hey! One of my first forays into fiction is a first person narrative of a robot who reads Proust. I imagine when I feel more comfortable writing fiction I may write a first person narrative of a human. The short story is called “Irresistible Impulse” and it and the children’s stories can be read on SCRIBD.
//BUZZER NOISE AND SOUND OF TABLE BEING TURNED//
Q) Okay, so my first question for you, Laura, is this: I’m such a fan of your writing. I wasn’t surprised when SCRIBD selected you to represent them at Litquake. How did you prepare for that event?
A) Last Fall, I was invited to read from my novel, Finding Clarity, at Lit Crawl, as part of A TEAM OF AUTHORS FROM SCRIBD. The thought left me panic stricken. So I took my act on the road. I found a schedule of OPEN MICS in San Francisco and hit as many as I could, perhaps 9 in all, in order to get comfortable reading my work in front of strangers.
Q) And from what I heard, there were some real strangers at these events, some of which were in some real skanky dives. What kept you going?
A) Oddly enough, it was the strange factor that made it all accessible and doable. There were people at these cafes, bars and gay clubs who, if I had to guess, were drug addicts, hookers, homeless and schizophrenics. But man, they were up there, taking their turn, reading their material and most of all, sitting motionless and listening to my work, giving me fantastic eye contact, undivided attention and warm applause. The point was to HEAR my own words and how they flowed on the page. These wonderful, crazy, eccentric, funny, and in some cases, simply awful writers welcomed me. So by the time I was reading in front of a really sophisticated, standing room only crowd at Lit Crawl, I was ready. I knew my words. And I’ll always be grateful to those Open Mic audiences for that. I really had the time of my life during those weeks.
//BUZZER NOISE AND SOUND OF APPLAUSE// Thank you for joining me on Quick Take Tuesday, dear Barbara Alfaro! And I can’t wait to see what you’ll have for us here for Feature Friday!