Dreck and Redemption
March 18, 2009 § 4 Comments
Tonight I’m reading two pieces I wrote for Drash Pit at Bookwoman, a local independent bookstore, with other Drash Pit contributors. I need to leave in 45 minutes and anxiety is rising. So I’ve decided to blog the before and after, hoping to title this entry Dreck and Redemption. I know I’ve got the Dreck – let’s see if Redemption will follow. If not, you’ll be reading Dreck and Dismay, Dismay, Dismay, Dismay.
Wanna keep me company? We can hold hands.
Sunday, I gathered the pieces I wrote for Drash Pit and read them out loud to determine which would be best to read to the crowd (I’m imagining about 20 people); I have a theatre background and have a good sense of rhythm and word flow. To my dismay, none worked – they’re choppy, simple and not coherent as stand-alone pieces.
Also, on Friday I had asked a friend, a professional writer, if she would take a look and tell me which pieces she thought would be best suited for the reading; she frequently performs in public. She graciously agreed and sent me her feedback yesterday. To my second dismay, through her gentle and helpful critique, I realized I’ve been neglecting a critical element of good writing – change, a turning point, a realization. I’ve begun to write academic exercises of description, forgetting the reader needs a surprise.
But double arggh and triple dismay: The other readers are “real” writers and I’m embarrassed in advance. I wish I never volunteered to do this. I wish I was a better writer with years of experience behind me. I wish I hadn’t written such dreck and I’m promising myself I won’t send any out again.
Wish me luck.
A makeshift stage with wooden chairs faced two rows of folding chairs in a colorfully cluttered smallish store. At 7pm, we had six readers and three listeners. An hour and a half later at closing, we had eight readers and about ten listeners. We read pieces alternately, applauded each other, laughed and sighed in appreciation. The loudest applause went to Drash Pit creator Neena Husid for creating a site that inspires and supports all styles of writing and art.
My work was well recieved, and elicited small gasps and solid applause. (An ability to read dramatically probably helped.)
We were a group of creators – writers – and I didn’t hang around long enough to hear any judgement.