Friday, October 26, 2012

Reading And Relaxing the Perfectionist

For many people public speaking is about as pleasurable as root canal.  You move to the podium, adjust the microphone, take a deep breath, look out on a sea of faces, and hope it won't be painful; that your inner muse guides you.
What author can avoid public readings if he or she is intent on and serious about connecting with an audience?  So it was that authors in our Women's Writing Circle overcame the jitters and presented a lively and varied tableau of stories and poems in front of a packed audience at one of our local independent bookstores last night. 
For some it was their first public reading.  They had no idea what to expect.  For others, who are published authors, it was yet another opportunity to connect and bring our stories "alive." No matter how experienced you are, it is a bit terrifying, but always gratifying and stimulating.

Yet, what sustains, supports and empowers us is the camaraderie and magic of being in this together.  We broke the silence, relaxed our perfectionist's muscles, stuffed the inner critic in a corner and read in the belief we had something of worth to share.

Our readers' presentations ran the gamut: childhood recollections of a beloved grandparent; a woman's cry to be accepted and not labeled by her sexual orientation; the pathos of being forced by parents to attend charm school as a little girl; the craziness of Internet dating amid the longing for connection; being loved and loving a famous man; coming to terms and reviewing a life of friendships and missed opportunities but finding solace in the spirituality of something as simple as peeling potatoes under cool, running water.

And, so, last night we concluded our first public reading of the Women's Writing Circle here in Chester County, Pennsylvania.  For those in the audience, many of the stories were a preview of our upcoming anthology:  Slants of Light:  Stories and Poems From the Women's Writing Circle, which we are self-publishing and is due out this Spring.

Many thanks to the Chester County Book and Music Company for hosting us.

"The Circle," one woman wrote today, "ROCKS!" 

And, so it does . . .

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