On Sunday, we had a second ladies-only Open Mic night at my synagogue for women here in L.A. Despite it being Oscar Night, the evening of a big community bar mitzvah, and the height of cold season, we got a decent-sized crowd.
The participants were awesome. The youngest was in her twenties, I think, and the oldest was 68! The audience was just as diverse. More people I didn’t know already came this time, so I think that word-of-mouth is getting around.
We had two poets this time, which was different from last time and welcome. Someone else did a spoken-word piece about dyslexia. I told a couple stories. There was music, rap, an art talk, and even flamenco. (The best part was the encore, when a flutist popped up from the audience and volunteered to play for the flamenco dancer…and then they performed beautifully! They hadn’t even met before that moment!)
A nice bonus: I’ve recruited the poets to our writing group…I’m hoping they come to our next meeting.
Then, earlier today, I was walking down the street and bumped into a pal from my teaching days. She wanted to know how to submit a story to a magazine. I walked her through it, then said, “Don’t worry about being nervous. Just send it in, and you’ll be ahead of most other writers. It’s okay if you get the jitters…I still get the jitters, especially if I send a piece in to a place I’ve never been published before.”
My friend laughed and looked so much more relaxed. “You get nervous? Really?”
That made me feel a little weird, like PEOPLE ACTUALLY THINK OF ME AS A SUCCESSFUL AUTHOR. That’s cool, but definitely freaks me out a bit.
Maybe I should have warned her that I still get rejection letters, too. 🙂