Thoughts before public reading
So there you are gripping your book, literary magazine or print out of the pages you’ll read to a group of People Who Come to Readings. You are listening, you hope seeming wholly attentive, to the previous reader or else waiting out your own introduction. You might be a) quite calm, breathing deeply and so forth. Or b) entertaining yourself with some thoughts. Like:
- Is there time in the next 30 sec. to change the setting to something more/less contemporary?
- How about changing the plot? Point of view?
- How about changing the genre, say from historical fiction to sci-fi action?
- Add a vampire? Steamy sex?
- Or humor. Can I remember any jokes right now? No.
- Read it it over, that’s always good. Oh no, there is an extra syllable in this sentence. Doesn’t scan. But if I change the word then . . .
- Why did I wear this? Is there time for plastic surgery?
- Is the necklace distracting? Maybe it should be more distracting.
- How much context does the selection need? Who cares?
- Look at those people texting.
- I bet Famous Writer XX doesn’t do this.
- I bet s/he does. So what. I’m here now.
- I’m sweating and nobody else is. Now they’ll notice.
- Look at that, a word repetition between lines 7 and 23. Will anybody notice?
- Is that a typo?
- Another person texting. And those two talking.
- Hum, not bad, especially this part here, but oh no, what about . . . [back to the top of concern #1]
- Breathe, smile, walk to the podium. Here goes.