I walked to my chair, aware of the twenty or so pairs of eyes on me, my heart beating like a drum in my chest.
As I took my seat, I coughed nervously and perched my book on my lap so that nobody would notice my trembling hands, and began to read.
The chapter I was reading is an emotional one and I really wanted to show case it to the best of my ability. To really do it justice.
At first my voice was barely a few notches up from a whisper but as I continued to read my words, I felt myself relaxing into it and allowing the emotion to filter through my voice.
There was one thing that concerned me though. Earlier when I had been practising, I had kept faltering over one word, 'silhouetted'.
Not a difficult word at all, and not one that I had ever had problems saying before!! Haha! However, I knew that word was imminent so I focused, focused, focused.
And I did it! I inwardly breathed a sigh of relief as I completed my reading to a round of applause, good wishes and compliments from the group.
I felt elated! I wanted to read again, but it felt good to know I could now sit back and enjoy the work of the other writers.
What wonderful work it was too, I felt very humble being amongst such talented people and have since bought some of the works of the poets that read.
The rest of the evening was perfect, we had some drinks and food and lots of laughs.
I went to bed feeling quite proud of myself. I was looking forward to the book signing we were to hold at Boyd County Library the next day and I fell asleep, smiling contentedly.