If anyone’s ever doubted that I do love the warmth of a spotlight, let me be assure you – I do, I do!
Last night was the official launch of Wild Words, an anthology put together by the Writer’s Community of Durham Region. I was honoured to have my short story, Bittersweet, selected as a contributing piece. We had a great night last night, with a sold out crowd for the readings.
What fun! Besides listening to some fabulous writers read their work, I got the chance to stand up and read myself. It’s an opportunity I love and never turn down. A captive audience that has to listen (or politely fake listening) to your words for 5 solid minutes? It’s glorious for one who likes attention.
I was nervous for only a moment, when I realized my oldest daughter, Heather, was in the crowd and about to hear me read for the first time. I got a jitter, maybe two, then told myself she been hearing my stories her entire life, and I was being silly. After all, she couldn’t be a better cheerleader – she might as well have pom-poms stitched on her cuffs. She has my gift of enthusiasm, and sat smiling away as I read. It made me happy. I’m lucky to have a grand cheering section with my family and friends.
The best part of the night though, was signing the books. This was something new to me. As I’ve said, I’ve had the opportunity to read my work on many occasions, and I always feel a rush of energy, a surge of excitement doing so. But I’ve never had a book to sign. That was something new, and VERY exciting. I beamed each time someone I didn’t know asked me to sign their book. (you mean you aren’t related to me and you want my John Henry – how cool!).
I may be addicted. Sure, I’ve practiced the loops and curves of my “autograph” on the steamed up shower many times. Like the theory of “The Secret”, I believe if you put it out there, good things will come. So I already had perfected my stage signature. I’d already thought about cute little bits I could add, little bits of wisdom that I could place above my name. I’d planned it about the same time I started writing my first novel. (I think it’s important to dream and if you’re gonna dream, it might as well be big!) But, I didn’t expect how lovely it would feel. How much it would serve as a driving force to push me forward.
More than ever, I want that book deal. I want the agent. I want all of you to come out and have drinks, and eat candy, and listen to me read (maybe at my own, I’ll even get 15 minutes!!). One day. For now, I’ll do as a wise Wayson Choy advised me to do – work hard, be patient, and be brave.
Two out of three ain’t bad…right?
Thanks to WCDR, the Wild Words Committee and all the Judges for your hard work!