World Fantasy Open Mic Reading

I’m freshly returned from World Fantasy and though I keep trying to settle down enough to write about how amazing an experience it was for me, I keep failing. There is so much to say and I don’t know all the words. Suffice to say it was mind-blowing.

One part of the conference which was particularly amazing for me was the open mic poetry reading Carolyn Clink put together. Yes, the same one I was just talking about a week ago and admitting how I was too big a wuss to participate.

The week-ago me was wrong.

I went to the reading and I participated! I read a very short piece, a haiku in fact, titled “Lovers” that was originally published in Star*Line. I was -so- nervous. I could barely breathe and I’m not sure exactly how my knees held me up, but I did it. I did it because I figured it would be easier to suck up my nerves and fear and do it than it would be to live with my self-condemnation for years and years to come for being too scared to do it. So basically, because it was easier in the long run.

I’m so glad I did, though even now my fingers get a bit shaky when I think about it. I honestly don’t know how big the audience is because I seriously had tunnel vision the whole time, but I heard someone say ‘This is a bigger audience than I would have expected at a poetry event.’ so that’s good.

Best of all, after I read no one booed, in fact, there were a few chuckles, so I guess I enunciated my words okay.

That was one heck of a way to get my poetry-reading cherry popped though. The people reading were:

  • Joe Haldeman
  • David Lunde
  • Colleen Anderson
  • Rhea Rose
  • Eileen Kernaghan
  • Rhonda Parrish
  • Carolyn Clink

Yes! That really is my name on the same list as all those amazing poets! *swoon*. So I’ve done it. I don’t know if I’ll ever manage to find the courage to do it again, but…ah hell, who am I kidding? I’d totally do it again, and again, and again…and hopefully better each time. Just…not any time too soon. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “World Fantasy Open Mic Reading

  1. I’m so glad you decided to read at the open mic, Rhonda. The next time will be easier — maybe even fun! — and if you were nervous, I didn’t notice at all.

    Eileen

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