It’s been another hot minute, you know I know. But I’ve been attending to other duties as assigned and this week it was all about hanging out with the founder and managing editor of Red Hen Press and the LA Review. It was/is a big deal and personally a fantastic experience.
What an opportunity to get so much uninterrupted time with a person I admire so much both for what she’s built with her independent press but also for what she’s achieved personally with her own work and writing. There’s no other way to say it— it’s extremely impressive.
Heights that in my delusional moments I aspire to. Heights that she made me believe were possible through our many conversations. And also a serious reality check about the amount of work it takes and the simple fact that there will be people that will not like you.
I got a little taste of that with this last issue of my own little journal but her experiences have been next level. (Beyond next level actually).
Needless to say I have a pretty serious professional crush, and I wanted to impress her. Whether I did or didn’t, it was wonderful to learn so much from her and get to connect on several more personal levels.
Then there was the reading, Friday night where she invited me to also read and that was a trip! Now I’ve read live in the MFA program and on Zoom a few times but for me THIS was next level. Like reading on stage live at a public event in front of an audience who are there to hear authors read from their books.
Though I’m close to the finish line (pun intended) with my book, it still sort of feels like a nebulous thing… hazy, real but not yet touchable and therefore not yet real.
For sure not a book I could grab and hop on stage and read from. No… I had to pick poems and print them on my printer at home before heading out for the day.
In a way it was great that the days preceding this event were fast paced because it didn’t leave a lot of time to think about it and freak out.
But you remember that advertising slogan, never let them see you sweat? Yeah.. that’s me. I admitted to Kate I was nervous (and Chad and Dave—the moderator and other author too) but for everyone else, I was cool as a cucumber. (At least I think I came off that way).
After the reading there was a Q &A and that was a trip too. Reading from a paper is one thing but impromptu speaking is something altogether different. But I did that too and it turned out OK.
I’m truly still processing it all and have a lot to work through but hopefully little by little I’ll chip away at it. But I can say this for certain.. I feel the urge to write now. Not necessarily more about my experience but other things that got stirred up in my head. Things that now feel more important or that never occurred before. I have Kate to thank for that.. and reading her book too.
In a way, my friend Annie was right when she suggested that I wasn’t writing because I needed to get out and move about the world more. It’s true, I hide a lot. It’s safe. It’s easy. I gravitate towards hiding because it’s my nature.
But in my heart I know I’m my own worst enemy sometimes and this is just more proof.
I need to challenge myself to reach for next level. That’s where I will continue to find the fulfillment I crave.
But first… I’m going to enjoy what is left of the weekend with my husband and keep coming down from this week’s adventures.
(Not too far down though cuz I don’t want to lose thoughts of the new writing ideas I have).
Anyway. More to come.
Peace and love,