The Saturday dawned, a bright and sunny beautiful day. At this point, I was still fairly relaxed about the reading and looking forward to the party. My aunt and I went to the local mall and I bought a few presents for my daughter, possibly in my guilt at abandoning her! (Haha, she was having a whale of a time in Disneyland Paris!)
Later that day we sat down to decide which excerpts from Ten Yen True we would read. See that's how relaxed we were, we hadn't even decided that yet, nor had we practised!
I chose Chapter 25 - Tommy. Just 4 pages, how difficult could that be right? Wrong!
As soon as I practised reading, and this just to my aunt, my hands began to shake, my words faltered and my heart started racing.
Could I do this? I began to seriously wonder. I'd had quite a bit of experience with public speaking in my former banking career but that was almost 10 years ago. I am a different person altogether from the young confident career woman I once was.
However, I knew I had no choice, I had to do it, people were kindly coming along to hear us read. Not only that, if Ten Yen True were to become successful, giving readings may well be a regular part of that. My only stipulation, I told my aunt, was that I didn't go first. There were other authors and poets due to give readings so I figured I could slip mine in somewhere in the middle.
As people began to arrive and I was introduced to them, I started to realise just how established some of these writers and poets were. Gulp!
I was in the kitchen, sipping some much needed dutch courage (Merlot) when I suddenly heard my name being chanted.
"Mandy! Mandy!"
Oh no!! They were calling for me to read! I was going to have to go first! My heart sunk and my hands shook as I gulped back my wine. This was it, I had to do it. I walked into the room, ready to face my audience and give what felt like the performance of my life....