Last night, I went to the first rehearsal for the St. Louis Listen to Your Mother show. This is how I envisioned it:
Each of us would get on stage, one by one, in front of the microphone, and read our piece, while the rest of the group sat in the auditorium and served as the audience. When it was my turn, I would keep my fingers crossed that I didn't trip across the floor or knock over the music stand. We'd get some feedback. We'd get to know each other a little. And then we'd get headed home...
That is not quite how it went. All of us sat on the floor on the stage--in a circle--while we took turns reading our stories. Some made me tear up. Some made me chuckle. They all moved me. While we passed a box of tissue around--several times--we all thanked god for waterproof mascara.
The women I was sandwiched between both took their shoes off. As I listened to each tale, I occasionally glanced down at their toes. Those two women had beautiful feet. Their toes didn't resemble a desert scene. They were healthy-looking. Their toenails looked perky. (Since these ladies are both decades younger than I am, their toenails haven't gotten thick and yellow, to the point that they look more like hooves than nails.)
(I did everyone a favor and kept my shoes and my socks on.)
Sharing your story takes courage. Baring your soul takes bravery. For the next month or so, I'm going to bask in the camaraderie and courage that swirl around these women.
And if you are in the St. Louis area and would like to hear some incredible stories on May 10, get your tickets soon. (They sold out last year.)
By the way, a writing friend and one of the founding members of the notorious WWWP writing critique group, Tammy, just got some fabulous news. (Tammy writes the kind of prose that makes some writers in her critique group hate to follow her. Sometimes we scratch each other and pull each other's hair, vying for a spot before Tammy, so we won't have to paddle behind in her wake...) She is one of the six (count 'em--6) finalists in the Reader's Digest 100 word essay contest. This is a competition I didn't even contemplate entering, because I can't imagine (me) writing anything of substance in just a few words.
If you're from the typewriter era, read Tammy's post and travel back in time.