Day Three: Bella Y Tour Ft. Lauderdale, or, The day of the dreaded reading finally arrives

Yes, I was nervous, had been in a strangled anxiety grip for months. My plan was to practice, practice, practice. Every day. What I did: well, procrastinate, of course. Then as the countdown of just a few weeks came up, I accepted that it was actually going to take place and that I’d better get myself ready. So, I made everyone I know listen to me practice: my family, my wonderful neighbors across the street, my book group. I got some excellent feedback and refined the text of the reading a bit more (since I had four minutes to read I had to edit my selection so it would have a mostly complete narrative arc).

We arrived at noon to get settled in and have a tour of the archival side of the Stonewall Library and Archives — they have a great collection and it is well worth a visit. Gradually people began to arrive. Everyone was very friendly and enthusiastic. I hung out near the entrance with Dillon saying Hello as people entered.

Pretending like I'm not nervous
Pretending like I'm not nervous
Still pretending I'm not nervous
Still pretending I'm not nervous

And finally, it began. I  was blown away by Katherine Forrest’s kind remarks introducing me. She did a wonderful job moderating the whole event. I will have more video clips of her and the readings by Dillon, KG and Karin up as soon as I can.

And a still shot if you don’t want to bother with the video — taken by  Ari — thanks Ari! I had a few errors but I was mostly calm once it finally got going and I think it went well.

Reading ADR photo by Ari

Afterwards, we signed books and met and chatted with readers.

Signing after the reading at Stonewall - KG Macgregor, Katherine V. Forrest, Amy Dawson Robertson, Dillon Watson

kat and Ari from the Bella Forum drove all the way from Missouri. And they brought all of the authors an art piece that they’d made.

ADR and kat and lovely necklace

That’s kat and me with the gorgeous necklace she brought me. A closer view below along with the great mug hand turned by Ari. Thanks ladies!

Necklace from kat -- thanks kat!Mug from Ari -- thanks Ari!

This is just after the reading back at the Shuck N Dive — I was completely exhausted and ready to head back to the hotel to collapse.

After the reading

But first I needed to fortify myself with oysters (and beer).

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