A writers’ organization I belong to, The Writers Room, hosts readings by its members on the downstairs stage in the Cornelia Street Cafe every third Tuesday each month. I’ve always been so scared to read my work, I guess just because I feel silly reading my own words aloud to an actual audience — I was even hesitant in class once, to the befuddlement of my teacher… But this year I decided just to bite the bullet, and signed up to read from my novel. My reading’s not until June — I scheduled myself that late partly because that month’s theme, “Our (Fore)fathers: (Dis)respecting,” is the closest fit with what my excerpt is about, and partly to give myself plenty of time to freak out! So, I figured I’d go every month until then to see what the atmosphere is like, how the readers actually read (of course I’ve gone to umpteenth readings before, but always got so absorbed in the content I never thought to watch closely how the writer actually went about giving an entertaining read), and to support my fellow writers so they will in turn support me Tonight’s theme was on the holidays, and the readers were novelist Eric Zeisler, novelist and screenwriter David Evanier, and this very witty fun poet, Rachel Rawlings. The event was hosted by Stan Richardson, who is on the mike in the above pic. Of course each reader he introduced tonight had a list of writing accomplishments pages long — the first guy I think had won about five major awards and had attended several really prestigious writer programs and retreats, the second co-wrote a bunch of screenplays with super famous people and had about 10 books published … Oooh, what’s Stan gonna say for me??? “Ladies and gentlemen, Tonya Plank, a total wannabe with absolutely nothing published!” (I’ve been told law review articles don’t count in the publishing world). No, seriously, Stan was, fortunately, a very funny guy, who cracked a lot of jokes — after Eric read, interrupted several times by the heat cranking on, Stan proposed we give a round of applause to the plumbing system which was apparently needy for some recognition. I think (hope) he can lighten the situation, calm my nerves at least a bit, and hopefully come up with something goofy to say in my intro that will make people more sympathetic toward me than ridiculing, please please
I’ll definitely be posting hysterically about this more as the time approaches, but until then, WR readings are every third Tuesday of the month, and I have them all posted under My Upcoming Events, on the right-hand section of the blog!