Going On The Account: Going Out A Youngster…?

I can’t recommend enough going to hosted literary readings.

There’re plenty of reasons to do so, good obvious reasons.  Like hearing the works of people you may know and would love to see done live by the writer.  Or being introduced to new writers in the most direct way possible.

And if you yourself are crazed enough to want to go through the torture of putting words to paper that aren’t your “to do” list, it’s a great way to run into other folk who are doing maybe some of the same stupid things you are because you have a craft to work.

And sometimes, it may take a turn you’d never expect…

Last Tuesday, I attended the monthly New York Review of Science Fiction Readings.   It’d been a while since I’d gone to an event, and I really wanted to be with other writers.  Amazingly, for what’s at its heart a solitary pursuit, there’s a need among writers to reach out to others in the order now and again, for as many reasons as there are items on the list of distractions to grouse about when they pop up and keep your word count down.

One of the things they had there was a table of free works, items the organizers shared with attendees.  And I, wanting to share my own work, had a few ad cards to leave on the table…

That pile of crud all over the streets? Here’s part of the problem…

Oh don’t look at me like that!  The sad truth is, one of the requirements of being a writer is being willing to draw attention to yourself and your work.  If you can’t bite down just hard enough to avoid grinding your teeth (and needing a dentist that your insurance can’t afford) and steel yourself to the task, expect your works to be undiscovered during your lifetime.  And while it sorta-kinda worked out fine for Phillip K. Dick, that’s not what I’d call a career aspiration…

Any event, cards in the table, literally, right.  And things got off to a good start with Aaron Rosenberg reading from his novel TOO SMALL FOR TALL, followed up with a Q and A about his work.  It was turning into a pleasant evening, going as planned.

Until the second writer scheduled called and cancelled at the last minute due to car trouble.

And suddenly, with a big hole in the program and because of a few ad cards out front, I was Peggy Sawyer before Julian Marsh…

So, one WiFi password later, I gave a reading of the first eight chapters of RED JENNY AND THE PIRATES OF BUFFALO.  Really, I had seconds before I knew I was going on, and thankfully I did not screw up that badly.

So what’s the big takeaway from this?  Not the obvious ones, like being willing to put up when you need to, especially if you’re going to share some cheap advertising…

Rather, it’s that you really should try and go to hear authors read their work.  It can be a fulfilling experience, a chance to get to know the person behind the page a lot better.

And you never know what you may get.  Literally…


My thanks to Jim Freund, host of the New York Review of Science Fiction Readings, for being willing to take a risk with me

One thought on “Going On The Account: Going Out A Youngster…?

  1. I love going out to book launches and other such things listed in the newsletter of my local Writers’ Guild. I don’t often have the time, though. Good thing you were in the right place at the right time! I might just have to drop by these events more often, in case serendipity smiles on me, too! I love your business cards, by the way. They really are awesome! 🙂


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