Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My First Public Reading - Update

So, I survived my first public reading with only a couple of minor mishaps. Well, one minor, the other a little bit more traumatizing. Everything went according to plan; I put together the excerpts I wanted to read, edited them after reading the pages out loud and had one of my good friends read them over too. The day of the reading I printed out the pages and this is where I made a mistake...I didn't clip or staple them together (insert foreshadowing here).

The rest of the day consisted of a lovely late afternoon lunch (seafood chowder), some shopping with one of my best friends from high school who came up for vacation, and a beer at my brother's bar. This took my mind off of the nervousness which was slowly building as the time for my reading grew closer. My friend, Shannon, and I left my brother's bar to head home, meet the hubs, and pick up my pages. I grabbed them off the table and made my second mistake...I didn't check to make sure I had them all.

The reading was held at a small bar in Portland called Mama's Crowbar. The room filled up quickly and I was pleased that so many friends and family had gathered to support me.

One of the authors was sick, so there were just three of us and I was to go last. This was good because I had time to see what the other authors did. During the other readings I sipped on a beer to take the edge off. By the time it was my turn, I was relatively relaxed and confident in my reading abilities.

I only tripped over a few words and it was great when people reacted to something I said. Then the cell phone started ringing. It was one of those awkward moments where if I were in the audience, I'd hate whoever was responsible for not only distracting me, but the performer. Here, I was the performer and I tried to press on, but I could see people looking around the room. Being that I had the microphone, I took control of the situation. "Sorry," I said in a voie louder than my usual. "So, yeah, that's my phone." (This would be the minor mishap referenced at the beginning.) I was the asshole who didn't turn off my phone and ironically it rang during my reading. Fortunately people laughed. If at me, I deserved it.

My favorite excerpt was saved for last and it was just getting to the really juicy part when I turned the page and was back on page one. Yup, I left the last two pages at home on the kitchen table. What could I do, but admit my mistake and shrug my shoulders. People wanted to know what happened next, I left them hanging and the organizer of the event said I write suspense for a reason.

Anyway, I didn't get booed and I made some new friends so overall, it was a good night. Next time I do a reading (oh yes, there will be a next time), I will make sure to turn off my cell phone and staple the damn pages together!

Here are some pictures and a recap of the Scratchpad Reading Series http://www.scratchpadseries.com/recap/the-recap-scratchpad-6/

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My First Public Reading!

I'm one of the authors reading at the next installment of the Scratchpad Reading Series. This is my first reading and I am ever so thankful it's being held at a bar (Hemingway would approve).

Here's a link to details about the venue and the Scratchpad Series, a quarterly event. http://www.scratchpadseries.com/faq/
I'll be reading from End of the Road (working title), a novel I've been working on over the past year. Here's a brief excerpt:

I round the bend and can barely make out the shoulder of the road, which is wider because of a clearing. I decide to pull over until the storm passes. I speed up, but another flash of lightning reveals a group of people standing on the shoulder and I’m barreling towards them. Reflexes kick in and I turn left, over-correcting in the process. My tires hydroplane and before I can gain control, my car punches through the guardrail.

A scream is stuck in my throat and I can’t breathe. My car is suspended in mid-air and I am vaguely aware that my foot is still pressing down on the brake pedal. Don’t let go of the brakes, you’re not going anywhere as long as you keep your foot on the brakes, I think to myself. "Oh no,no,no...NO!” I shriek, wrapping my arms up over my face and head to protect them when the car begins to plummet.