I did it! My first real reading--and I didn't die.
I have been living promotion for the Author Fair put on by my library for the past few weeks and had been able to ignore the fact that I was going to have to get up in front of people. Then, all was in order and it hit me. I started worrying. I cried. I lost sleep. I thought of plenty of good excuses to get out of it. Luckily, after one night of that I decided I wasn't going to worry about it anymore. I lied to myself. I said it would be okay; that I would enjoy it. I even told myself I was excited. No negativity was going to penetrate my fantasy reading!
So, today I sat on a pillow in front of the fireplace surrounded by children(a group of my kid's friends I had somehow had the foresight to gather, otherwise I would have been reading to a room full of adults and might have had to use one of my excuses). I started with some talk about the library with the kids and asked them a question and boom--I was interrupted with an announcement about the bathroom. Yeah thanks.
I went on. I was prepared and was going to get through this. "You're not loud enough," rang out from the crowd. I talked louder.
When I started reading I suddenly sounded very strange. Oh no, I think, I'm losin' it. I'm not going to make it through this. What am I going to do? My kids are here thinking I'm amazing. There's all these people...
Wait. I'm not losin' it, I am speaking into a microphone and everybody can hear me. Yes I know, that's the point of a microphone, but I have really tried to stay away from those things my entire life. It had been snuck right in front of me. Which is a good thing or I may have had to chuck the mic back at Steve. But, he knows me well enough to know that sneaking a microphone in front of me is the only way to go. It was too late. I knew I had to ignore the evil mic or suffer a most heinous consequence.
I read on, waiting for the last page. Would it ever come? The chapter really isn't that long! What's the deal? When will it end. Aaargh!
I can honestly say I loved reading those last few lines.
I even remembered after reading to show the kids the pictures for each chapter of the book and tell them about the illustrator, tell them there is a peanut butter cup recipe in the back, and invite them to come color some coloring pages from the book. Then I thanked them. I really thought I was losing my memory, but I guess it's there when it really counts. I only used my cheat cards once, after the bathroom incident.
So, I guess it went okay. I was glad when it was over. And after being up there by myself the author question and answer panel didn't seem like such a big deal, especially since I wasn't asked any questions. At this moment I feel like, hey, maybe I could do that radio interview. I learned today that I at least know more about publishing than the average joe and more than some people who write even. But ask me tomorrow, and I'm sure I'll be far from wanting to do any of it ever again. Unfortunately, I have to, so I am going to remember the positives, even if I have to make them up. I think lying to myself was quite helpful. I'll have to do it more often.
The best thing about the whole day? My six-year-old wanted to talk about the fun he had today. And the "funnest" thing he did all day was watch me read my book. And my daughter is so proud. They are the real reason I made myself do this. I tell them it's okay to get up in front of people. It's okay to be nervous. I'm glad I was able to show them as well.