Thursday, April 19, 2007

To Read or Not to Read?

That’s not really a question. Of course I’m going to read. It’s just that the idea scares me.

You know how some writers are real hams? Dave Barry comes to mind. I saw him read once, and he clearly likes the spotlight. He even gives commencement addresses. Daniel Handler seems to be another who puts on a good show at readings. Someone recently told me that Barbara Kingsolver is very funny in person, as well. All these authors seem like the kind of person for whom the isolation is the hardest part of being a writer.

Then there are those who really don’t mind spending hours at a time in front of their computers not talking to anyone.

I’m not exactly Emily Dickenson or anything like that, but I am much closer to the latter model. I hate the part in meetings where you have to go around the room and introduce yourself. Toasts frighten me. Oral reports depress me. Once someone asked me to say grace and I refused. Not on any religious grounds. I just choked.

This comes up because apparently one of the other women whose story is in Best Women’s Travel Writing 2007 is organizing a reading in Napa. I don’t know if it’s going to happen or not, but the publisher has put all of us local authors in touch with each other, so it may.

And this is a good thing. I can do it. I gave a reading at a wedding once, so I know I’ll get through it. Part of me is actually excited.

Just nervous.

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