So, Saturday I attended a signing at the public Library in Long Beach, CA, my hometown.
It wasn't the first book signing I've attended, but it was the first time I've had to speak in public.
I was not excited--let me tell you. I was panicked and stressed the eff out. I do not do well in public groups. I'm not exactly a shy person, but I'm just not comfortable around new people or crowds. I'm just awkward and dorky, y'all. I just. Am. Always sort of have been.
So, for days I stressed out about the excerpt I needed to have ready. And then I stressed about the content--as we were asked to read "clean" passages.
Jesus. Effing. Christ.
I think there are two clean passages in the entirety of See Jayne Play! She's a hooker. Hook-Er. This is Erotica...
But I managed to find something remotely "clean." and tried to settle my nerves until Saturday came.
My nerves returned Friday night, tenfold. I just knew... knew I was going to yak in front of all those people, or just flat out pass out and die.
The only thing that helped was knowing that the other authors were just as nervous as I was. We had a small pow-wow in the group regarding the panel readings and I thought, okay, I'm not the only weirdo in the batch. It'll be okay.
And you know what? It was.
I did shake, though. Like a motherfuckin' leaf.
Pretty sure I cleared my throat about eight times as well, but just pushing through it, tackling something that is such a huge fear of mine was so freaking awesome. It was liberating, and now I know, I can do that shit again. However, I do have to admit that the drink my friend took me for at lunch helped. I probably couldn't have done it without the two pints of Rock Bottom IPA I had twenty minutes before showtime, and definitely couldn't have done it without the massive support from my fellow authors and new friends.
Part of the journey for me is firsts. Putting pen to paper for the first time, check. First book cover, check. First book release, check. First five-star review, check and check. First one-star... fucking check. First book signing, check. First public speaking gig, check.
I'm getting there, and there will be many more firsts along the way. I'm scared, I guess, but mostly, I'm really excited. If I can sit next to Raine Miller, so confidentially reading passages from her bestseller in a British accent and walk away with my shoulders back and head still attached, well, that's pretty kick ass.