Nerves, Not Rhythm, Are Gonna Get Me

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Oh my gosh, you guys! Tomorrow night is the poetry/prose author/writer event I’m participating in, and I’m so freaking nervous. I am scared out of my mind, not that you’d know it. On the outside I am calm and collected and going about my daily routines like nothing is happening tomorrow night. But inside, I am freaking out. The last time I got up in front of a crowd was in my speech class in college. I actually liked that class and did enjoy it, but I never got over nerves before having to get up in front of people. The one thing I keep reminding myself, though, is that I won’t know most of the people who show up and they won’t know me, so if I make a complete fool of myself, I’ll never have to see most of them again. It’s different from high school in that I knew those people, had grown up with them, and knew they’d probably laugh at me and it’d be a horrible reminder of my screw-up.

The thing about it is that because of the stage fright I would memorize anything I had to present in front of a group of people, and then practice it over and over until I had it right.That way I knew I wouldn’t make any mistakes when I had to get up in front of people. But it’s been a little under 20 years since I’ve had to speak in front of a crowd. Nerves…stage fright…yeah. I think I’m actually in anxiety mode right now. It’s a dark place. I have no idea what I’m going to read yet. I’ve gone through everything I’ve written and the first thing that I think is “it’s all crap!” Everything sucks, and I’m going to be standing up in front of people expecting something brilliant or moving, and I’ve got crap. I’m not Shakespeare or Frost or, heck, I’m not even Maya Angelou. Yep. Shoot me now and put me out of my misery.

Now, I know not everything I’ve written is bad. I know I’ve been getting positive feedback from people. But my brain is freaked, y’all. I don’t even want to think about what I’m going to be like tomorrow night as it gets closer and closer to my having to read. I keep praying, just don’t let me have to go first. Anything but first. See, I know going first would get it done and over with, but then I have no idea whether or not I’ve screwed up. So, let someone else go first so I can relax and see that I’m not going to have food thrown at me, or be booed at. More than likely what will happen is that I will read too fast because I’ll be so nervous. That’s actually an easy thing to remember not to do, or so I think. I know it’s going to be the last thing I think about tomorrow night. What also might happen is I get a case of the giggles. That’s what happens to me when I get nervous sometimes. I start giggling and can’t stop. Say one thing funny to me when I’m nervous  and I’m a goner. I think I’ve gotten better as I’ve gotten older. It used to be really bad. However, I could be completely wrong. There’s just no telling how I’m going to react tomorrow.

Everyone keeps telling me I’ll be fine, and I’m sure they’re right. Nothing is really as bad as you make it out to be. I know it will be fine. I really do. I’m sure I’ll get through it and be okay, and no one will be horrible or mean. People do have better manners than that. Just wish I could tell my nerves that. Maybe I’ll have a small drink before I leave the house. You know, to calm the nerves. Yes? No?

Anyway, if anyone is in the area and wants to come out and see how freaked out you can make me I’ll be at:

Half Price Books

5803 Northwest Highway

Dallas, Texas 75231

The event is from 8-10pm, and I’ll be one of six authors/writers reading. I do want to thank Larry Atchley, Jr from my writing group for putting the event together and inviting me to participate in it. Despite my fear, I am looking forward to it. I’m getting way out of my comfort zone here and that’s a good thing. One of my goals has been to push myself out of my comfort zone as often as possible, and this is a very good start. I think I’m supposed to be reading 3-4 poems and one short story. I’m still not sure what I’m going to take but it won’t be crap, I promise. I can’t vouch for my voice, however, or the giggles. Just bear with me and I promise I’ll try not bore you. Well, if I get the giggles that definitely won’t be boring. So, here’s to stage fright and nerves and to NOT getting the giggles. Wish me luck, y’all.

P.S. Don’t know how many of you are into this kind of thing but I am a supporter of Nerd HQ and the Nerd Machine. They are a pretty awesome group led by Zachary Levi and they need help raising money to fund this year’s event. The money you give is spent to put the event together, and during the event they raise money for Operation Smile. If you click on that link it will take you to the Operation Smile site where you can find out more about what they do. Nerd HQ is a pretty awesome thing. If you don’t know much about it you can click on the link I will post under this or on the badge to the right. Please help. All they ask is just $5. That isn’t much. So, please help if you can. Your money will not directly go to Operation Smile, so if you would rather donate to that organization directly you can click on the link above and donate on their site. But what NerdHQ does is put fans and celebrities together in a completely different way at the San Diego Comic Con and it’s a pretty special event. To date NerdHQ has raised over $415k for Operation Smile. It’s a great thing they are doing. It benefits everyone to help. Thanks for listening.

Nerd HQ 2014