Sunday, May 22, 2016

Just Writer Things: Reading

So this week, I was invited to do my first reading under the auspices of being a Published Author. My local arts council has a writer's salon once monthly, with an open mic first, and a published author to round it out. This month's published author became ill and had to cancel, and they called me!

It was an interesting experience, and a positive one. The crowd was somewhat small, and seemed very receptive, overall. I read the entirety of "The Lion and the Dragonslayer" (published in Mosaics 2). I'm not sure how long it took me, but it was long enough that I could feel when I was rushing myself and try to slow it down. I stumbled over words sometimes, but so did everybody else, so whatever. I was also, once again, reminded of the value of reading one's work out loud as an editing tool. Mostly, there are a few words I would've cut just because of redundancy or clumsiness, and I left some of those words out in the writing.

I also really understand the value of WATER. About halfway through I became acutely aware of my thirst, but I had not previously grabbed a bottle of water and didn't want to interrupt myself so I soldiered on. The podium was also somewhat small, and I was already somewhat leaning on it (not the best approach) and also resting my paperback copy on it (this worked out better, but I really need to get contact lenses again. I kept having to reposition my glasses, and I know that little gestures like that when one is on stage seem like terrible fidgets).

There was a little Q&A afterwards (which I took a bottle of water for), which was interesting. I was able to confirm I have had more "The Lion" stories planned, actually. I'd only ever finished one other, but I should read it back ove and edit it, and finish others. Definitely something to look towards for information, as time goes on.

All in all, I was very happy to be invited to read, and very happy to do the reading. I thought it went well, and that everybody stayed engaged throughout my little adventure story.


  1. That sounds awesome! I've yet to do a reading in public - the one time I was scheduled to do one, it wound up being canceled. (Probably for the best, since...well, we know my chosen genre. I don't know if I would have gotten through it without dying of intense blushing.)

    1. With your chosen genre, I think a certain kind of attitude may be needed to get through readings, though I'm not sure what. The super casual sort, the assertive sort? I do not know, but it would be interesting to find out!

  2. Congrats again, Jen! I get you here - on this reading...

    I've done two for a couple book clubs here in my area and you're right about pacing, and keeping water - although...I think like you said, taking a sip of water would almost seem "fidgety" unless you can find the perfect point/break in the story to do so. It would be easier for me since I read a little from four different scenes and could take a swig just before starting a new one.

    Either way - it sounds like you did GREAT!

    1. Thanks, Donna! It was a lot of fun, and I think the practice I've gotten at my writing workshop was really very helpful (our typical format is to write and then to share).