The University of La Verne’s creative writing department’s “Fall Fiction Series” kicked off last week with a Facebook Live event featuring Margo Cash and Taylor Croft, who read their original pieces before a virtual audience of 12.
Cash, who graduated from the University in 2012, read two pieces during the livestream, a full story then a short excerpt from another work, titled “Blood.”
“Blood” was written in an essay format – like a prompt which the character in the story ignores. Cash said that her goal was to confuse the reader, and that is how she hoped to draw the reader in. She said the story goes on to where the main character’s classmates talk about her, once she shares her essay. And then it comes back full-circle, when another character realizes that she also has the same obsession with blood.
Her second reading was her story titled “Nights Like These,” which followed the point of view of a character named Caleb, who refuses to acknowledge the fact he has a terminal kidney disease. He instead focuses on how he feels around his relationships, particularly with a woman named Katie.
“This story originated through Katie’s point of view, and I started writing through the other character’s point of view as well, but Caleb’s was the best one.” Cash said.
Taylor Croft, senior creative writing major, also read two pieces.
The first short piece was called “Cemetery,” which centers around a narrator that goes through a cemetery and describes what he sees. Croft made sure to be descriptive in the narrator’s eyes, and focused on how the narrator feels bad not being able to do anything for the people that are buried there – being forgotten.
The second piece was called, “Things Never to do When Going Through an Abandoned House.” This was written sort of like an instruction manual for the reader. Croft was once again very descriptive, especially when she wrote about a man and the rats that were in the house.
“I actually watched a bunch of YouTube videos of people going in abandoned houses and really looked at the fact that they saw a bunch of rats that lived there and saw a man that would write very creepy notes,” Croft said during the question and answer session that followed the reading.
Cash who works in the admissions office for the Claremont Graduate University said she has recently been able to get back into her creative writing because of the pandemic, and work-at-home mandates.
“I was drawn back into creative writing, because I admire the way writers can develop a small scene and make small moments very interesting,” Cash said. “I love that you can create a moment that can be weird but also memorable and share that with others.”
The creative writing program has been hosting undergraduate readings of fiction and poetry for several years, said program chair Sean Bernard.
“I hope by doing this livestream event, it gives current students a sense of being a real part of the literary community.” Bernard said. “Giving readings to live audiences makes the reality of our work more immediate, more part of the world.”
Upcoming readings for the Fall Fiction Series will be at noon on Nov. 6 and Nov. 12.
Lilliana Perez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.