Softening the Edges

Yesterday I joined a group of fabulous authors who are local to the Northwest for a panel style reading / discussion. We convened at 1:30pm at Another Read Through, a small, woman-owned and run business located in a very trendy, hipster area of North Portland. If you’re in there area, drop by and check it out. Notice the little linky link up there that you can click to take you to the website.

As I mentioned, it was a group reading event. I was one of five. The rest of the panel included Lori L. Lake, Karlia Stetz-Waters, and the wife and wife writing duo of Kate McLachlan and Tonie Chacon-McLachlan.

As some of you know, I am not a fan of doing readings. No, that’s too mild a statement. I avoid readings because the process takes every minor (and not minor) flaw in my writing, magnifies them, and lays them out for everyone to witness. And invariably I get flustered and lose my place and then I stutter a bit. And if I’m really, really lucky, I manage not to swear.

It’s…well…as I said, it’s something I avoid.

So, why did I agree to the event yesterday? Well, here’s the thing, I didn’t realize what I was agreeing to. I thought I was signing up for a discussion panel and found out too late that I’d actually agreed to do a reading.


Because it’s close, Tara went with me. And then when it was over, she sort of shook her head and said, “You come across…kinda…brash.”

Well, yeah, I AM kinda brash. so, I just looked at her.

She followed up with, “We gotta fix that.”

And that’s when I realized two things: First, I’m going to be doing a lot more readings in the future. And second, I shouldn’t invite Tara unless I want her to turn me into a project.

I anticipate a lot of recorded practice readings and the two of us watching them in slow motion as she points out everything I need to fix.

Welcome to project Softening the Edges. I’ll keep y’all posted about the de-brashing of my personality.



  1. Oh, Jove, I sympathize with you on this. I HATE readings. I don’t think I sound brash; rather, I think I sound monotone and dull. It’s something I’ve been working on, too. Having said that, I find that the more readings I do, the easier it gets. Slowly but surely, I’m getting over my fear. I used to be completely terrified–my heart would race, I would get dizzy, and my mouth would dry out. I’m not saying that still doesn’t happen, but it’s not as bad as it used to be.

    You can do it, Jove. I have faith in you. Now, let’s roll the video tape!

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