DimeStories has a new leader and a new location in Laguna Beach.
Michele McCormick, a psychologist-turned-author and a Laguna Beach resident, will be minding the three-minute time limit during the once-a-month open readings, to be held on second Sundays at Salt Fine Art starting this Sunday.
McCormick says she's been hooked on the format since DimeStories began in Laguna about two years ago.
McCormick's reading of an encounter with a Kenyan wise woman and her initiation into "womanhood" in a Kenyan village is posted on the DimeStories website, along with other compelling three-minute prose works. She also read at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.
"I love it," McCormick said of the open readings, where nervous participants wait their turn at random. "It's playful, fun, and nerve-wracking. We have attorneys, professionals, and students. The stories have a huge range and diversity."
McCormick pulls names out of a tin can, and when the speaker reaches the three-minute limit, she rings a chime. "If you go over the limit, you get a booby prize," she said. The stories are about 500 words more or less, depending on how fast the reader can get through them.