I have had short stories published in the last two Level Best anthologies, Dead Calm and Thin Ice. Tonight I am going to be doing a reading at the Trident Bookstore in Boston (on Newbury Street, 7pm) with two other writers. Mark Ammons (one of the other readers, and a Level Best editor) wrote to me on Sunday, and said that this is being billed as a reading, not a panel, so I should be ready to read for 3-5 minutes and talk.
I can talk. Though an introvert by nature, I push beyond my comfort zone on a regular basis. I teach. I run theater town halls. I facilitate conversations. I can talk.
But a reading. I’m not going to lie, I am a bit of a wreck. Here’s why.
I need to find a section of the story that stands alone, and makes sense. This story, “Her Wish”, is one that I care a lot about. It was inspired by a friend, and her battle with cancer. I don’t want people to dread reading the story; it also has humor, and is a caper.
I need to read it aloud. As I said, I can talk. But I am not an actress, and reading aloud scares me. Especially reading my own work.
Now, I am doing my best to pack the room with friends. I suspect that will help. And I am thrilled to be doing this event, and to be in the company of Mark Ammons and Adam Renn Olenn. I will do the deep breaths, practice this afternoon, and it will all be fine.
I’ll post in my comments later, and let you know how it went.
J.A. Hennrikus is the Executive Director of StageSource. She is a mystery writer who has her story “Her Wish” published in DEAD CALM, an anthology by Level Best Books. She is a huge social media fan, and tweets under @JulieHennrikus. She wrestles with allusions of athleticism, is an avid theater goer and a proud member of Red Sox nation. Her website is jahennrikus.com