Today I gathered my kit and went to the Oceanside Library to nest with the other authors and poets in hopes the mother eagle would return with a morsel by someone buying a book. Fingers plucked and pull pages open, some ah'd at the covers, but to no avail. I came home with all the books I left the house with.
Then the time came to give my 10 minute speech. My blood sugar level had flat-lined. My old fear of eyeballs staring me down rose its ugly head again. I had forgotten to bring my glasses that allow me to read at a distance where my face wasn't buried in the page. I had planned to sing a song too and the distance issue was bothering me as well. Oh well, 10 minutes go by fast.
I mounted the stage, did my talk, nose on page, and was about to sing my ditty, when the host said, "We have time, tell us about what you're doing. Do some Q&A."
Ah, okay. What to talk about...ramble, ramble... "Okay, now sing your song," came from stage left. I don't think people realized, my song was pertinent, it was about Author Day, it had a purpose, it just wasn't a random tune to fill the last 5 minutes of my time slot. Actually it was, but I though the crowd would like the irony. Problem was, the song needed to be dedicated to one of the romance novel writers to connect the meaning and allow the song to work, but alas, they had all gone home by then. Note to self: get scheduled earlier next year.
At that moment I realized my throat was as dry as the Great Mohave Desert and the sound that came out was like fingernails on a blackboard. Two bars into the song I realized the guitar's B-string was playing in a gamalon tonality about a quarter pitch off. The cacophony ended soon enough and my 10 minutes were spent, I retreated to my perch to gag down a half bottle of water.
The song was a parody on the song "Killing Me Softly" instead of "...with her song," it was "...with her book,etc." It was fairly witty. The crowd was truly appreciative and got what I was doing.
I really don't know why all of a sudden speaking in front of fellow authors frightens me so much. Maybe it's the editors that you know that are among them that are poised to criticize and ridicule to flex their superiority.
I ended the day a wreck which should have been a quiet day of listening to boring speeches about things I've heard about over and over to lull me into peaceful slumber, but instead left me wondering why I continue writing at all. I envy the proud couch potatoes that can sit for hours gazing at sport events one after the other, killing an entire day. No, I wouldn't trade places. Any anguish I might have suffered, even at my own hand, just makes me a stronger writer. So Author Day was a great day.
I feel better, much better, after a couple of beers and an ice bag on my head.