Tonight is my first fiction reading at Borders. I would think I would be vomiting in a bucket and shaking in the corner clutching my Yoda doll. However, I am freak-aly calm.

I have done poetry reading before (in which I raced through the poem and ran back to my seat faster than a kid running from a clown). I have read my flash fiction before (in which my voice cracked and I ran through the piece leaving no one with an idea of what I wrote about).
Just last month I did my first creative nonfiction reading. I was very nervous about that reading. I almost got in a fight with some dude at a bar before the reading because he made the mistake of looking at me as my foot was bouncing up and down and I was fidgeting in my seat. Truth be told, if I saw someone acting like I was before my reading, I would have looked as well. I also would have made some comment about how someone needed to go pee. What can I say, my humour stopped progressing after 5th grade.

But I think my nervousness really comes from the genre. Creative nonfiction is basically one’s heart laid bare (Thanks Joyce Carol Oates for such awesome titles I use in regular speech). I have no where to hide and no characters to do my bidding. my piece is me. That is a very scary thing to read to a bunch of strangers-your heart. Also, I was so afraid the people I guilted into coming with me would hate what I read and been embarrassed of me. Truth be told, I do think the one person who came with me now hates me and would like to see me go a la Plath and find the nearest gas oven. But, I wrote about something that is very important and precious to me. I wanted the world to understand the greatness I see and for that I will not ask for forgiveness.

After I read the piece, I was very well received and I felt better. But before I read it, let’s just say I was glad I knew where the bathroom was and the fastest route to get to said bathroom.

But tonight is fiction. With this genre, I am not put on display in the way the world I created is put on display. I am just a mere reporter of events and not an active participant. If they hate the piece, if the piece bombs, it just means the world I created was not developed well enough. I am not being personally judged. That gives me great comfort.

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