Giving a reading for my novel in progress is always stressful.
For starters, it's a long drive to Fairfield County, Connecticut, where the readings are held because that's where the Fairfield U. MFA program is based. I'm bucking the trend of people who are driving less because of high gas prices. And the weather sucked yesterday. And I usually don't know how to get to the place, since my knowledge of the back roads of southwestern Connecticut is limited, so I have to make sure I have good directions handy.
Then, I actually have to read. I'm always nervous going up to the podium. This particular excerpt was pretty fast-paced so I read it fast, just to see how that would sound. I think, at times, I went a little too fast. Then I get nervous aftwerwards, for reasons that are beyond my comprehension. Seems that should be the time to kick back.
But I guess that's what these readings are for, trying out different things, throwing spaghetti against the wall. Hopefully, people understood me.
And the best part is to reconnect with people. Since I'm in a low-residency MFA program, for the most part I only see my classmates twice a year for the residencies. Plus, now that I'm nearing the end of the program, who knows how much longer I'll see any of these folks?
That, in an of itself, makes the reading worthwhile. Every opportunity is worth taking advantage of.