It’s thrilling and terrifying to read new stories. You make yourself vulnerable. You share the characters who have stolen your heart with a room full of strangers, and hope that the characters’ journeys will move the audience, too. Reading aloud makes my stomach clench. The butterflies inside it aren’t merely fluttering- they’re beating their wings in protest. One of my sisters, a champion baton twirler, was at one point involved with a beauty pageant for girls of all sizes. I have never been a pageant fan, but I remember what my sister used to tell the girls, that it was their moment to “sparkle and shine.” When I read, it’s my moment to let my short fiction sparkle with hope or burn with intensity. I hope that I can push past the nerves, keep my voice slow and steady, and shine.
I will be reading tonight at 7 pm at Brasil café in Houston as part of the exciting Writefest literary festival. Hope to see you there!