Reading Not Writing

In September 2008 I was thrilled to have a short story published by Hidden Brook Press in a small anthology about Grandmothers, called Wisdom of Old Souls.

The first launch was September 29, 2008 in Chapters in Kingston and about 15 authors were present along with some family members and partners. One even came from Chicago. Some authors attended but did not read. Evidently they only write.

I was asked to read last – alphabetical and also because my old photograph was on the cover and I got to mention that in my preamble. The story was very short only 300 words so, when I was asked to read, I was able to read the entire story with time to spare in the 5 minute slot. Nervously, I waited, listening to all the others read their stories. By the time my turn came, I felt quite composed and easily told a bit of the background and read my story. In the audience were mainly writers, the publisher and friends but a few Chapters’ customers wandered by and listened. I received a lot of feedback from other writers about the photo in particular and how much they enjoyed my story.

This book launch was followed by another one a few weeks later at the Stellar Literary Festival in Oshawa. Held under a tent in a park on a drizzly Saturday, this reading attracted only a handful of diehards, friends and writers. Still, it was a good experience to stand up in front of an audience again and tell my story.

A few weeks later WCDR along with the publisher of Hidden Brook Press held another launch at the Whitby Library. The room was packed with about 100 people: writers, family, friends, WCDR members and library patrons but only 8 – 10 readers. Again I was excited but not nervous as I read my story again unaware that my writing teacher Allyson and friend Cheryl had crept into the back row. The audience was particularly warm and receptive. You could have heard the proverbial pin drop as we read. Several aspiring writers came up to me and asked me how I had achieved publication of a story! I replied: “I just sent it in.” There is an apparent gap between those that write and those that get published. I believe the difference is only in having enough confidence to send it in.

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