Before I left for vacation, I basically just sorted everything into two mental piles: things that needed to be done before I left, and things for later. Then I got back and realized that "later" was here.
So, in that spirit of completely ignoring things coming in the future, I managed to sign myself up for my first and second public reading back to back. On Tuesday, I read a chunk of a short story to a thesis forum at Harvard, and then last night I read another chunk of that same story at a New and Emerging Writers series (see pics here).
I've always hated the idea of reading aloud. I talk fast in general, and even faster when I'm nervous, so I've done very poorly on presentations in the past. I took a speaking class in college, which helped a bit, but not enough to stick with me in the years since graduating.
But these times I managed to do well! People said I didn't speed read, and had decent inflection. The best part was that I didn't hate being up there. I was nervous, but not sweating-through-my-shirt nervous, like I've been in the past. I do need to work on staying up there for more than 7 minutes though. Both times I cut my reading way short because it seemed I had been up there forever when in reality it was less than 10 minutes...
A shout out to Fat Charlatan, who lovingly accompanied me to the first reading as my moral supporter (and read beautifully at the 2nd). And to Poetmom and BostonErin who organized the NEWS reading as a way to get new writers' voices out in the community.