Monday, May 17, 2010

Round Two

This is a short but necessary blurb about tonight's reading downtown with the Writers in Stuttgart.  With nine reading tonight there was quite a spread of diverse pieces and tones, voices and images conjured.  I must say it was a rather packed house and I do believe we delivered.

We learned from Karenne the history of the English language in cool verse that made the educational the utmost fun.  Claire introduced us to a chapter from her longer work-in-progress, entitled Jack, that left us wondering what new vice he's found to quiet his demons.  Jim entertained, improvising with the Starbucks emblem hanging in the window, acting out his version of a Greek tale to which anyone whose work is never done can relate.  Then it was my turn, and with what felt like a bright red face, I quickly introduced myself, tested the mic volume, and did my best not to speed through.  Cindy shared a story about Germans traveling to Greece, and we all laughed at the cultural nuances therein.  Liz kept things light and funny with another story about her very opposite from her Schwabish husband, and the adventures of neat freak German meets (and marries) loud, American slob - her words, not mine.   Christine lead us through the intermingling worlds of two women, one living here in Germany as an ex-patriot American, and the other still living back in Haiti as a Peace Corps worker, experiencing January's tragedy.  Her work is fiction but based very much in real life, and hers.  Ken wowed us with two short pieces of poetry, and I found myself utterly lost - and loving it - in his amazing imagery.  Ending the evening was a quickly thrown-together song by Tiffany, thanking those in attendance and inviting them back again next year, same time, same place.

The kind words from my friends in the writer's group, as well as those from people I do not know made me blush.  I loved it!  It amazes me that I can stand up in front of real life people and speak into a microphone without passing out from the nerves.  Public speaking and I have never been close, but I think these readings are igniting in me the desire to get to know this long-feared, for lack of a better word, thing.  Not only did I not stutter or totally lose my place while trying to make eye contact during my reading, I was actually so bold as to gesture with my hands for emphasis, albeit a little stiffly.  I think I might have even enjoyed standing up and sharing a piece of my writing self with the quiet and focused faces stretched out before me.  Very weird.  Very exciting, too, since the very thought of such things is quite out of character for me.  Yea for personal growth!

Walking in tonight I was overcome with stress and jittery nerves, but by the time we left, I felt completely revitalized.  The affirmations a writer receives at such an event, especially one attended by good friends, are heart-lifting.  Thank you, Sara and Diane, for making the trip downtown on a Monday night to be a part of the audience tonight.  Thank you for your support and your words of encouragement and the pride you take in me, as your friend, as I pursue what I love.  Seeing your faces in the audience kind of wrapped around me like a fuzzy, reassuring blanket as I stood alone in front of you all.  And thank you, Chris, my partner in all things and my best friend, for supporting me in so many ways, and for showing up every time.  I'm so grateful that I found you, and more so because I'm aware of just how lucky I truly am.  How many people have what I've got at home?  I will always try to deserve that.

The mush is almost over, I promise...I love all of you guys so much, and it means the world to me that I matter to you, because you are such fantastic people.  I am a very fortunate person to have you in my life, and to get to be a part of yours.

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