The reading went very well. We had, according to the library’s count, 27 people, which is an excellent turnout considering that I’m pretty much an unknown, especially here, and can’t draw a big friends-and-relatives crowd either (though the few friends I do have were pretty thick on the ground, which I appreciated). Aronne’s reading was remarkably assured considering it was her first, and was well-received I think, and then I read for about twenty minutes, probably. It kind of seemed to go on forever. I feel good about it, though – I am not naturally a good public speaker, and have had to work at it to be even competent, and am always thrilled when I think I was entertaining in addition to not embarrassing. I got some laughs in the appropriate places and didn’t cry during the one touch-and-go bit about Alan that always kind of tears me up (page 36 for those of you playing along at home).
After the reading, we did a little Q&A, which was actually pretty surprising. I expected more mechanical/etiquette questions like, “If I get rejected but the editor says they liked it except for the ending, can I rewrite the ending and send it back?” but instead got more emotional/experiential questions like, “do you think it’s better to approach writing from a DIY perspective or through the traditional route?” and, “who are some of your favourite writers?” I liked that.
We had an intermission, when a lot of people left, and then an open mic, which was sparse but interesting, and then Aronne and Becca and I went out with the frightfully well-read organizer, also an Aaron, and a couple of his friends, who, because this is Murfreesboro, were already known to Aronne and Becca, and talked about things literary for awhile and then more generally over pizza. It was a good night.