Had a guy named Jim Ruland ask to be my "friend" yesterday at literary social network GoodReads; so I ended up checking out his online projects yesterday afternoon, as I often do in such cases, and would you just look at what I found! Turns out that Ruland is the organizer and host of a regular series of live literary events in Los Angeles, known under the intriguing title of "Vermin on the Mount;" shows are held at the Chinatown venue The Mountain, for which Ruland recommends that "you park in the shady-looking lot off College and walk past Hop Louie's." What's most impressive about the show, though, is the sheer caliber of writers that Ruland has convinced to participate, with past shows featuring such CCLaP friends and favorites as Bucky Sinister, Joe Meno, Mark Frauenfelder, Todd Dills, Todd Zuniga and Xeni Jardin.
And hey, by the way, Ruland's no one to sneeze at either; his own work has appeared in such publications as The Believer and McSweeney's, Esquire, Opium, the Village Voice and more. He has a personal site where you can learn more if you want, and especially about his latest book of stories, Big Lonesome. Anyway, the next Vermin on the Mount show is August 26th and will feature Pushcart Prize winner Katherine Taylor, as well as first-time novelists Ron Currie Jr and Michael Fitzgerald (whose book Radiant Days is being read by me as we speak, in preparation for a review of it here at CCLaP next week). If you're in southern California and are available that evening, I highly recommend you stop by this free (free!) show. You see all the cool people you meet at these literary social networks? I'm tellin' ya!