At a writing workshop once, the teacher – who I thought knew and liked me – singled me and said, after I read my contribution aloud:
“I don’t know what that is. On the page you’ve got nothing, but maybe if you read it out loud, or whatever it is you do, it’ll be something.”
People who read me say I have a distinctive voice, and the best compliment ever, unlike “whatever it is you do.” I love it when people say they read something and could tell I wrote it even before seeing the by-line. That’s nice.
But not everyone knows me, knows my voice, so the opportunity to deliver my words with the timing and spacing desired, is kinda what I do. Or like to do, given the opportunity.
Read650: Where Writers Read or hijack the mic for 5 minutes or less
Which is what Read650 does. Read650, the brainchild of writer, producer, and all round great human Ed McCann is where people gather and great writing comes to life. Aspiring contributors submit essays of 650 words on a particular topic, and if selected, then read those words in front of a live audience. It’s storytelling at its finest. I auditioned the first time at the suggestion of writer friend Jersey Girl Kathy Curto, who thought I’d be a good fit, and surprise-surprise, she was right.
I got in, and read an abbreviated version of my essay about giving condoms to teenagers and am now forever knows as the Condom Mom in the circle of established real-writers. And I do mean real writers, as the substantial bios of the fellow writers at Read650 is impressive, none of whom have “whatever it is you do” as their tag-line.
I’ve read at Read650 three times, been rejected three times, so if I were a New York Yankee, I’d be an all-star, or at least highly desired on someone’s fantasy league. I’d love to be someone’s fantasy.
One of the essays, A Meeting of Firsts, won the CT Press Club award for best speech, which may have been creative license on my part for submitting it under category “Speech”, but hey, now I’m an award winner. So take that writing workshop teacher.
When Read650 introduced the topic LIBRARY, I immediately thought of my smartypants friend Cindy Carlson, librarian at Sandy Hook School and a helluva a writer. She shared an incredible, real-world heart-wrenchng story: The Commitment to Findability, and wow.
This is amazing on the page, but even better at the mic.
This year I was selected for a special event, commemorating Stonewall+50, and raced from Buffalo New York (NSNC) writing conference to downtown Manhattan, to climb on stage and read on with LGBTQ Stories of Power, Pride and Progress. I barely made it, but didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share an essay about growing up in the antique business, and how my mom taught me to mind my own business:
Next up, Read650 presents (the topic) CARS, and as the daughter of a self-proclaimed and proven gearhead it was hard to choose what to write about, but I chose well and will be at the mic again Sunday, October 6 3pm at Ossie Davis Theater, New Rochelle Public Library.
Read650 presents CARS: Sunday October 6 3pm New Rochelle Public Library
If you’re free, come listen. You’ll be impressed by the talented storytellers, and I’d love to see a friendly face in the audience. And if you’re a writer, or reader, or storyteller, consider submitting to Ed McCann. He’s created an incredible literary event, one I’m forever honored and humbled to be both accepted and rejected from. Send in your 650 words. You never know.