Happy Belated Birthday to Queen Victoria (I’m only two days late), and thanks for the day off last week. My man and I have decided that Mondays off are much better than Fridays off, because you get to enjoy them longer when you realize (every day) that it isn’t Tuesday, it’s Wednesday etc. So do enjoy your Memorial Day week this week!
I gave a reading on May 13th as part of my library’s Writer’s Collective Evening of Readings. It was a huge success in terms of the number of people who came out to hear us, and the polish and remarkable diversity of writing–some poetry, some essays, and stories from the whole gamut of genres.
For my own reading, I chose the opening of The Colonial and the Cottontail, which as you may know by now, is part of the Northern Roses and Southern Belles Civil War anthology coming out this July from The Wild Rose Press. The story I think went over very well. Actual laugh out loud laughter, and what sounded like more than polite applause at the end. Me, personally, not so much I’m afraid.
I don’t think of myself as shy, and strangely if I was sitting down I’d have been fine, but I cannot stand in front of a group of people and look around at them. Yes, we had a podium so I had something to hang onto, there was a microphone so I didn’t have to yell, and the room wasn’t that big.
And the thing is, I’d practiced. I practiced the reading itself, and knew I had plenty of time. I practiced looking up from the page and finding my place again quickly. I even practiced looking up and smiling (just in case they didn’t realize a particular part was supposed to be amusing). And not only had I practiced, but I’ve done this sort of thing several times now. I knew I’d be shaking, and was prepared for that. Still, once I got up there, my eyes were glued to the page. Throughout the reading my brain said, “look up!” My eyes responded with, “no damn way.” My voice and reading ability didn’t fail me, and I’m quite proud of my story. Only my eyes let me down.
So, any suggestions? Is this just me or have others experienced something similar?