First of all, if you haven't yet bought my book during the pre-publication order time period, tomorrow is the last day. Go here to order. Remember that poetry makes a great present. The holidays will be upon us soon. Plan now!
Careful readers might remember that I first developed the idea of a reading at a wine shop at this post. Last night, that idea became reality. It went beautifully, for the most part.
Before the poetry reading, I had the poets over for dinner. What a great dinner! Why don't I do this kind of having people over to dinner thing more often? It didn't take a lot of planning: meat to throw on the grill, a pasta salad for any vegetarians, steamed broccoli, a bottle of wine, iced tea for the non-drinkers, and we've got dinner.
I was worried that we might be late to our own poetry reading, but I needn't have worried. We decided to start late anyway. One thing I didn't anticipate: of course everyone wanted to buy a glass of wine, but there was only one person working that counter, and so we decided to wait for everyone to get their drinks and get settled.
And then we did our reading, which went well. We had about 25 people in the audience, all of them friends. A few people wandered through the wine store, but unlike wanderers in a book store, they avoided our poetry reading. That was fine, of course. I had some delusions of winning new fans, but it was not to be.
One thing I didn't anticipate was how echoey the store was. The acoustics weren't great, and I'm not sure that a microphone would have helped. But our audience members could move up closer, so that was good. I did get some video, but the audio is so dreadful that I likely won't post it.
We did get an invitation for another reading, but it wasn't from the wine store (although to be fair, I think the wine store would be happy to host us on any slow night). A friend of one of my fellow poets runs a children's theatre, and she'd like us to do a witch-themed reading in October. Since we all write poems inspired by fairy tales, we said, "No problem." I love it when the arts nourish each other. And as a former drama geek, I'm happy to go to a children's theatre troupe (which is really a teen theatre troupe).
Lots of people lingered, and it was a lovely evening. I'm not sure what I was so worried about before the reading. As usual, I fret for nothing. Does that help me the next time? No, I soothe myself by saying, "You always fret and it's always fine." But the gnawing in my stomach doesn't go away. I'd like to get to the point where I'm not just noticing my emotions, analyzing them, saying, "Ah, that's what's going on." I'd like to get to the point where I'm not indulging in these unhelpful emotions, when I just circumvent them, when I've actually learned from the past. A self-improvement project for the last half of my life, I guess.
So, for those of you who sent me good wishes, thank you! It worked out! I wish you all could have been here. And of course, should you ever find yourself reading in the South Florida area, I'll be in the audience, enjoying your poetry and lifting a glass. Miami Book Fair, anyone?
A Weekend at Chautauqua
1 month ago