I did my first public fiction reading yesterday. About 40 people were forced to listen to nearly half-an-hour's worth of self-pitying drivel about the horrors of working in the information economy and they apparently liked it well enough to not walk out.
Actually, it's part of my thing-in-progress (novel, probably, if I have the guts, novella if I decide to punt after mining the easy stuff) and the material went over well, lots of laughs, and the like.
What was interesting was how nervous I was for the 3 or 4 hours leading up to it. I've certainly spoken, even performed music or theater, in front of ten times as many people without giving it a thought. It must be a measure of how much this book means to me that I was really concerned that strangers wouldn't like it.
June called me yesterday at work to say that the fig tree in our backyard had fallen over. The trunk basically looked like it had snapped off at the ground. The thing took our cable with it, so we had to get TimeWarner out to restore my beloved Road Runner.
This tree was over 40 feet tall and must have been 25 years old. When we bought the house, the figs on the tree were ripe and we would stop by the house and walk around it, peeking in the windows, wondering if we would be able to afford it. We would eat the figs from the tree and they tasted to us of the good life. In some ways, we bought the house because of the tree and looked forward to the figs each summer.
We had talked in recent years about maybe taking the tree out--it was too big for our small yard and June wanted to try other things, but we just didn't have the heart to take it down. Now that it's laying across the backyard, waiting for its date with a chainsaw and a chipper, Emma is lobbying for us to plant some other kind of fruit tree in its place.
Can't believe Ray Charles is gone. I had two Ray Charles LPs throughout college which I played to death, "What'd I Say" and a Greatest Hits package. Just about the best singer I can imagine. While everyone else is remembering Reagan, I'll be thinking about Brother Ray.
Yea! Finally got a new violin for myself. Nothing better than a new instrument to get you energized about playing.
Emma is already playing a Scott Cao, although in the student series. Eventually, she'll get this one and I'll be so good by then that I'll get one of his custom fiddles.
So, most of the people I work with were just too young to remember living in Reagan Country, but I sure do. And to watch the world suddenly move towards beatification of this lunkhead--good god! It must be nostalgia for someone who at least seemed presidential. This article in the Nation puts it into better perspective, I think.