I hate reading out loud. I feel like I’m publicly luxuriating in my ability to enunciate fluent English, or showcasing the melodic quality of my voice. Reading to a roomful of people makes me anxious. I buy my 1 and 4 year old nephews books when I visit, which means I must read to them, but I don’t really like it. It makes my mouth tired and I hate when I start to sound nasally. Generally when reading out loud, I feel my persona or whatever vibe I may have at the moment intruding on the text. Reading out loud also makes me feel like I’m showing off how well I can read out loud.
At my author reading on Saturday for my book Mean-Spirited Tales, the words rolled right off, of course, because I know these stories blind. I think I did a fair job of being animated when necessary. It felt like a performance. A lot of people came and there was some interaction. My one good friend was the ring-leader with her laughter and applause. My sister came from Massachusetts — how blessed I am. Fellow blogger Margarita from Serenity in the City came with her husband — what a pleasure it was to meet her! “We actually exist,” I told her. She’s a very attractive woman with a great vibe. I talked to her for a while.
I was overwhelmed in a good way at all of the support that I got. When I got up to read there was screaming and loud applause. The laughter was fun. I often laugh while writing some of my shit, hoping that others will laugh when they read it, but I was surprised even at some of the places where people laughed. I stopped at one point to ask the audience, “That was funny? Okay,” and I laughed along with them.
People called the next day and said they had a good time. Whew! To me it was rather exhausting. Ms. Waiting from The Waiting described doing readings as nerve-wracking — that’s exactly it. I don’t know if I want to do another one. If I do have another reading, maybe I’ll ask someone else to read.
And thanks so much to all of the bloggers who wished me well a couple of days ago. I took all of the well-wishes with me.
Zeus is finer than Socrates
Nah, I’m not one of those people above, except when I was 19 and carried a fat old Sigmund Freud book with the cover positioned outward for people to see. Now I don’t like people looking at the covers of my books actually. On the train I don’t let passengers see what I’m reading, unless it’s Mean-Spirited Tales – yuk yuk.
Reading the Dialogues of Plato, well, half of it, made me feel spiritual. Socrates talked about that energy underneath the flesh. He talked of denying weaknesses of the flesh. Can scholars of Socrates out there tell me how he knew so confidently that after you die you go to a better place?
Socrates also says “In the name of Zeus!” I love that and I’m waiting for the perfect opportunity to say it. Other than that I got dizzy reading it and had to give it up after five months because – I don’t know if you know this but knowing this makes the knowing of the dialogues knowable – Mr. Socrates talks in circles, which is why the book made me dizzy.
Normally I might be able to handle it but I have too much going on between my ears now and that interferes with my ability to concentrate on books like this. Between reading that book I read three other books, including the proof copy of my own book – I tried – I tried to read this book. It was a library book that I kept having to check out over and over since I couldn’t read it in one shot. I finally returned it yesterday.
This is embarrassing but I wrote a post about not being able to read this book in April – APRIL! So I’m off to read the next thing. I’m reading An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England, by Brock Clarke. I tried reading this Arsonist book on the train but looked like a lunatic because it made me el oh el it was so damn funny. It’s well-written too. I hope it stays this way. I hate when a book is promising in the beginning then leaves you hanging. Ta ta!
I was worried that the proof copy of my book would look shoddy. I thought the cover artwork would be washed out, but it’s a very good-looking book. My flimsy free phone camera doesn’t capture the beauty so I didn’t post pictures — the above is just the art from the Create Space site. I have to read it to make sure everything’s there. They did omit the page numbers, which is weird. Mean-Spirited Tales is a hefty book. It’s 6×9 and about 300 pages, and mauve — I hope men don’t mind reading it. As part of my guerilla marketing plan I’ll read it on all the city subway lines, making sure people see the cover. I’ll squint and turn the pages thoughtfully. Really loud I’ll say, “This book is…it’s amazing!”
A thought. I could peddle my book on the train. People make good money selling stuff on there I had heard. “Git ya copy a Mean-Spirited Tales heah!” From a tray supported by two straps on my shoulders, I’d pick up books to hurl at passengers waving money at me from the other end of the car. A portable credit card machine might work. I’d wear an I Love New York visor — oh and I’d have a cigar butt dangling from my mouth. Gotta keep it real yo!
I edited the hell out of my book of short stories, so I was surprised to spot a misplaced modifier a couple of days ago. A few friends read some of the stories before they were published but they were just proud that their lovely friend Sandee had written pretty stories. Grammatical errors and structural defects weren’t on their radar. They read it and said, “Yay! Sandee wrote a book!”
I’ve been a writer and editor at different jobs. While I know it’s hard to spot grammatical and structural errors in your own work, I thought I was up to the task. The editor at Calliope made just a couple of changes to my short story for the sake of clarity, so I was confident in my editing ability.
I fixed the error for the hard copy version of the book. If I hadn’t used all of my book budget money for advertising, I would have purchased an editor, a big, hunky 25 year old who wouldn’t mind working in my apartment sitting on my lap. I’m looking into it for my other book.
Somebody wrote a glowing review of my book on the Amazon site! You can see the review if you click on the book cover at the side here. In case you were wondering, my Grandma Hattie made the painting that I turned into the book cover. I told her the name of my book and she giggled. I read my stories to her. She’s 90. She’s my biggest fan. My sister put effects on it to make it look like that. Sometimes I use the bare painting as the header for my blog post. That’s it up there, a portion of it, huge, looming over my whole page.
My Dad said grandma’s work was folk art. I have three of her paintings hanging on my wall. One looks, I swear, like Van Gogh. If you’ve read a number of my posts you might glean that she’s at the Hebrew Home for the Aged at Riverdale. It’s a reputable senior home in the posh part of the Bronx (yes, the Bronx!) called Riverdale. Some of Riverdales’s prominent residents: Joe Kennedy, Carly Simon and Yvonne DeCarlo. A lot of rich people live there but I don’t know who they are. Yvonne DeCarlo was a good actress who played in some good movies in the 4os through the 90s. But to me she’s always been Lily Munster.