To escape a horrible math teacher, who, despite being 55 years old and wrinkled, dressed up like a Playboy bunny every Halloween, I dropped out of Calculus and signed up for public speaking, in 11th grade, if memory serves. I spent high school mostly mute, never really speaking in class, after speaking too much (I thought; not sure if I actually did or not) in middle school and before. In public speaking, I spoke very quietly without ever making eye contact, I spaced out and forgot where I was. I think I got a C+ in the class.
Many years later, I’m still soft spoken, but I have relearned how to look people in the eye.
Tomorrow night I’m reading at a book release party in Denver; Fast Forward Press is releasing their 6th anthology of flash fiction, and I’m lucky enough to have a piece in it. And so, public speaking again. I haven’t read any of my writing publicly in quite a while. Or privately. I think I’m going to wear my late grandmother’s second wedding dress; she passed recently, and I’d like to have something of hers with me tomorrow night. Something of her poised spirit.
I’ll tack up some photos of the reading, maybe even video if it goes well, in a few days. It’s at The Mercury Cafe at 8, so, anyone reading this in the Denver area, friend or foe, please come. Foes, recall all I just wrote about painful social anxiety; please, no hecklers.
(0ne week later or so: the reading went very well. Here’s a link to me on stage.)