I thought I was over stage fright. Really. In college, I took a public speaking class. This, combined with a dunk in the deep end of elementary education taught me how to get up in front of a crowd without sweating, stuttering, or fidgeting. Years later, as a librarian, I’ve grown accustomed to presenting to students. I’ve been doing it for so long that I don’t really think about it anymore–I just engage with the students, and we have fun.

So when I agreed to do a live reading of one of my short stories, I thought “ain’t no thing.” But as I watched the man in the cowboy hat before me read his poem, my palms started to clam up and my hands started shaking. When I finally got up to read, I hid behind my piece of paper and mumbled, stumbling over various words and phrases. The people up front liked my story, they said–but the ones in back probably couldn’t hear a thing.

Even though it was a bit humiliating, I’m glad I did it–part of being a published author (if I get there someday) is standing up in front of people and reading what you’ve written. Sometimes, this means baring your soul. And that can be petrifying. But if you practice, practice, practice–as I plan to–then–ain’t no thing.

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