Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Surreal Reading

On Merdeka eve, I finally had my second book reading. The lady running the show had been trying to get me for months already, my work or something else always got in the way.

I had look forward to it. Mr Designer was supposed to pick me up and accompany me. However, late morning, he called and said he had to baby sit his 2 kids. But he would go to the venue straight and meet me there, since I couldn't afford to be late. Okay, the place was 5 minutes away from my condo, it was no big deal.

Fate had it that at 2pm, it started to pour. In fact, it rained so heavily, with thunder and lightning. It was getting scary. I had to cross the road to get a cab, and definitely I'd be drenching wet. So, I called him and said I'd wait for him. Eveybody would be late in this weather. He said his ex-wife was taking much longer that he thought. She was not picking up his calls either. He said he'd bring the kids to fetch me, drop me off and then go back to the mall with them. Ehm, that sounds like too much trouble for me, and I hate being dependent. Hence, I assured him repeatedly that I would get there on my own.

Yeah, I got a cab. The taxi driver scolded me for letting my wet umbrella touched the seat. Excuse me, how else do I put it? I got in in a hurry. The place was located quite deep in the alley, the bungalow right at the end, in fact. When I stepped down, the rain had slowed to a drizzle. Wow! The place took my breath away.

It was a cosy art studio with a beautiful garden, pond and fountain. The building design was kind of unique. Work of art in progress lied all over. It was so tranquil. I really love it. I felt my cluttered mind clearing away. And I forgot about my wet long skirt:)

6 authors had been invited to read their works. I chose to be number 6, the last one. This way, the audience would get to watch a combination of outstanding and amateurs readers before my turn, so my lack of experience would not be so obvious.... or so I thought. Also, Mr Designer said he'd come as soon as he could, so later was better. We were given a choice to read standing up or sitting down.

The first author read well, passionately, he wrote serious Merdeka stuff. The second author was even better. An Indian guy who wrote Malay literature, his pronounciation and his voice was crystal clear. The third one was an expatriate who admitted sitting there was more scary than facing his 2 leg- operations. Even he was alright. Next was the founder herself who read her new unpublished fiction and poetries, I think. Yeah, full feeling and drama. After that, an expatriate journalist who had written in several countries. He was feeling damn comfortable, reading controversial religious stuff too. And finally, me.

Man! I started off by telling them that it was only my second time. First time was during my book launch last year. So, I was nervous. I chose a fairy-tale piece inspired from my hotel-life. Yeah, my surreal short story, 'A Peppery Affair'. I did not have to hold the microphone but I had to hold my book. Unfortunately, it trembled in my hands, showing clear signs of nervousness. That didn't happen during the launch. I guess the long wait must have done it. Despite practising, I still think that I was 1 or 2 notches below the others. Man, they were good. Don't get me wrong, I solely mean their reading performance, not too sure about the writing itself, hehe...

I would love to catch a few more of the monthly reading sessions in the future for better exposure:)

For my previous writer's stories, please see:

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