A few months ago, at my primary job, I was called into a meeting whose topic was horror stories. You see, here in my adopted town, each year we have a celebration known as “The Ghost Walk”. People come from all over to walk through Old Towne and hear ghost stories dating as far back as the revolutionary war. It’s a lot of fun for people of all ages. However; some folks in our community have expressed opinions that the watered down, stale stories are getting quite old.
The outcome of these opinions was to develop a two night event where local writers would read an original ghost story. These stories were to be geared toward an adult audience. The meeting was a bit… tense. Not because of the other members there but because I have a strong view of how this sort of thing should be handled. When I expressed my opinions and told the others that I wanted to bring in a pal of mine to help raise awareness and use his connections to the local horror community I was met with a brick wall of negativity.
I explained how getting known genre writers involved would be advantageous to promoting this free public event. How the horror fan base works and the following that some writers have. These words fell on deaf ears.
When I left the meeting, after endless moments of discussion about vetting writers and their stories and how to locate up and coming writers, I had an idea. An idea for a story and an idea on how to bring in my friend to assist.
I wrote the story and called my pal. Now, first off, the stories are basically flash fiction and have to be about ghosts. If you ever read any of my fiction then you know I usually have a strange take on the subject matter. The story I wrote has the same feel as all my other tales. Meaning, you don’t know what it is you’re getting into at first. My pal, he was a wealth of knowledge and offered a great many ideas. We set up a meeting, talked things over and then shared our ideas with the powers that be.
That’s when I got frustrated and pretty much walked away from the whole project. But, I was not dissuaded enough to forget about my story and the submission. Nope, I wrote it and submitted it. When I got an email that told me I had been selected as a reader I was a bit surprised but I also felt a bit of vindication.
This week I received another email giving me the date and time for my reading. My first public reading at an event that as of this writing has not been advertised. So, maybe I’ll be reading this tale to an empty room. Or, maybe the room will be filled with just writers who will pick apart my tale. Or, the room could be filled with friends, family and strangers. Any of those situations are fine with me. I’m not afraid to stand in front of people and talk. I am concerned about goofing up the words I’ve written though.
What I mean to say is, I can speak in public easily. Reading in public is a completely different beast. It’s not scary so much as it is a pain in the ass to track the words and make sure your brain doesn’t skip over what is written. I suppose I should practice. Maybe even try to memorize the words over the next month. Nah, that’s not really my style. I’m a fly by the seat of your pants kind of guy.
Lastly, if you’re interested in coming out to the readings then by all means feel free to do so. Come watch yours truly either make an utter ass of himself or succeed in something he’s never done before. The readings will take place on October 18th at the back of the Portsmouth Arts and Cultural Center starting at seven pm.
I hope to see you there.
Have a great week.