Updated: Nov 16
Last week, I hosted The Reading Attic's October Open Mic night!
I have not done a live reading in a long time, and it was so much fun to be able to read in front of people again.
Here is a recording of me reading from my novel Mothers of the Missing Mermaid.
One of the treats of this event was I was able to read to my husband. Hubs is incredibly supportive of everything I write -- anyone who follows him on Facebook can attest to that -- however, because of outside circumstances, he has never been able to attend any of my readings. When I read live in Louisville, he was in Atlanta making sure our kids made it to school. Same issue when I read in Florida. While we could handle the distance during our marriage, we missed out on a few of the little things. At my previous readings, friends and mentors congratulated me and took me to dinner. At the end of the evening, I was always alone, calling him to recap the event.
But last week, he got to be in the room. And at the end of the evening, we got to leave together. We stopped off at two different Wendy's because apparently they are no longer "open late".
When I had finished my segment, Hubs asked me, "Is that character your mother?"
And I had to admit that, yes, she was inspired by my mother.
He said, "Because I can, like, hear your mother's voice when you read her dialogue. Like it's eerie. I almost wish I didn't know her because it was taking me out of it."
He also said I did a good job. He was Super Hubs last night.
But in some of the downtime, I started to read another section for him, one I didn't read to the group because it would have been too out of context for strangers. With Hubs, I could take the risk. I read him the section where Kate is trying to buy a birth certificate so she can go to school. I read the section, with a whole new crew of voices and personalities -- less so much the character and setting he would seem to recognize -- and while I read, I could hear him chuckling at all the funny parts.
Which is all I ever really want. One of my daily goals is to say something so clever that Hubs laughs. Some days I only get a knowing smile. Some days, I get a chuckle. The golden moments is when I get a full laugh, one that usually takes him by surprise, because doesn't like to give it up so easily.
Another treat was a friend of mine, the poet Yolanda Franklin, attended the event and read some of her poetry. Seeing Yolanda read was a treat because she was so comfortable reading her work -- not at all awkward like I was -- but a few teen girls came in and listened to her read. Always the educator, Yolanda explained all the references in her work, and gave the young women a list of poets and books to read for their homework. We also encouraged them to read some of their own poems. I kept thinking that if my teenaged country-ass had wandered into a poetry reading because my friend said it would be fun and heard this magnetic poet who not only read their amazing poetry but also offered me a list of things I should read to become a poet myself, I would have worshipped that woman. I would have followed her into the desert. I was almost jealous of those young women for having that experience so young.
The Reading Attic is an adorable store. Be on the lookout for other upcoming events at that location and others in the community!
Read Books. Wear Boots.