So when's the last time you let someone read you a story? Or a poem? Or a really racy bit of fiction? And I'm not talking about listening to uTube rants or documentaries on the CBC.
For a lot of us, our last "read to me" moments occurred in childhood, which I think is a shame. There is a very interesting kind of intimacy that springs up between an adult reader and an adult listener when it's done in person. A friend of mine and her husband used to read to each other from a series of novels every night before bed, which I found charming, but apart from that, I don't know too many folks who read aloud to others or get to be on the receiving end of a reading.
Luckily for me, being part of a Writer's Collective has given me many opportunities to listen as authors read their works aloud, and to read my stuff to other folks. (And no, they weren't tied to their chairs.) The WC (which D sometimes refers to as "The Borg Collective" - although we're much more attractive and really don't want to assimilate anyone) is part of Kitchener Library's roster of programmes, and I think I've been with them for 6 or 7 years now. My group rocks - we get along extremely well, despite our wild melange of styles: Victorian historical romance, travel writing, Christian fiction, poetry and children's literature. All of us have been published in anthologies, or the Globe & Mail/National Post, in magazines, webzines, etc. We've won awards and accolades, and one of our members had her first book come out just last week. I'm not trying to toot our WC horn - frankly, I think a great deal of our success as writers has come from the support and helpful criticism of our membership in the WC.
This Wednesday, we're joining forces with the other groups in the collective for a night of readings. The Library has even been kind enough to gather our writing together and bind it up in Anthology. How cool is that?
I used to be pretty good at getting up in front of a crowd and delivering speeches and presentations on a variety of topics; that teaching degree + endless years of being a corporate trainer allowed me to get up in front of as many as 200 people without batting an eye. But I'm out of practice at the whole reading aloud thing these days, especially after working from home for two years. Consequently, I'm a wee bit nervous about Wednesday. Likely it won't be a big crowd, and after the first few breathless sentences I usually get my rhythm; but with Baby pushing on my diaphragm and my blooming belly too big to fit into anything remotely flattering, I'm skeptical about just how well I'm going to deliver...so to speak. I guess that as long as my water doesn't break up at the podium, I'll consider it a success.
If you're looking to be read to, c'mon down to the KPL at 6:30 on Wednesday. Sadly, I'm not reading any of my racier selections this time, but I'm sure you'll have a good time all the same. With all the variety of writing styles, there will be something for everyone.