Empty Chairs & Things

The marvels of modern life.  I had a reading last night from 7:30 – 8:30 at A Different Light in West Hollywood.  This morning I was at work – in New York – at 11:00 a.m.  Jets don’t help; they ensure we can be exhausted all the time. 

Four events in four days in Southern California:  San Diego, Long Beach, USC and West Hollywood.  Attendance numbers at each event weren’t high, although now that I think about it, all totalled, I had the chance to speak to and meet over 80 different people on this trip, plus all the friends I was able to see between events.  Still, staring at empty chairs is the perfect setting for a fabulous pity party. 

So, back at work this morning, trying not to feel sorry for myself, I listen to NPR’s podcast of the Feb. 12 “Fresh Air” episode.  (I listen despite the fact that THEY WON’T HAVE ME ON THEIR STUPID SHOW!) 

Well, Terri Gross comments to her guest that when she speaks to groups, her gaze goes right to the person in the audience who’s sleeping.  The guest laughs and says at his last show, his fellow actor couldn’t stop obsessing about the person in the fourth row of the balcony who glared at the actors on the stage throughout the entire play.  Terri said, “I should be thinking about the people who’ve gone out of their way to come hear me speak, but…” 
Mark McKinney plays Richard Smith-Jones in 'Slings and Arrows.'

WOW.  If Terri Gross and her guest feel that way, guess it’s just a natural human emotion and nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about.   And she’s right, just the reminder I needed. (Ain’t it funny how God and her universe have a way of keeping us in check?)  Over 8o people took time out of their busy schedules – on a BEAUTIFUL sunny Southern California weekend / week after a winter of rain – to sit in uncomfortable chairs indoors to hear me read pages from my novel.  I’m honored and thrilled at the opportunity.  And everyone who was there asked great questions and inspired me to keep doing what I’m doing. 

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