I love giving book readings. Something strange tends to happen. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but as soon as I start reading, the room gets very quiet. Within a few sentences, the people seated in front of me seem transported, as if they’ve somehow left their bodies behind.
I can tell they didn’t mean to. They weren’t planning on it when they came. Like any discerning audience, their demeanor was one of wait and see. But swiftly, simultaneously… they all agree to give in to the story.
Within moments, I find that their collective consciousness has become suspended in a delicate netting crafted of nothing but my words. Their thoughts and their imaginations are in my hands. For a moment, I feel afraid. This is a great burden, a great trust.
And then I feel honored. I have been gifted with one of the most beautiful elements in the living world: Imagination. This is my domain. I’ve lived here my whole life. I know what to do here.
Gently, I lead the minds of my audience through a world that’s partly real, partly imaginary. I shape my voice to tease life out of ink on dead paper. And when it’s time to conclude the telling, I return these fascinated minds back to their owners, unharmed—but apparently not unchanged. The room seems to breathe differently when the telling is done.
Every story touches every listener in a different way. And while I feel as if I’ve left a gift with each mind that was entrusted to me, I myself can’t even say what exactly that gift was. Only the recipient knows. And there is magic in this secret exchange.
If the written page is the only way in which you’ve ever experienced the Mailboat story, I highly encourage you to come to one of my readings. It’s an entirely new way to experience the story.
If you have a friend you’ve been meaning to introduce to the story, bring them with. All the better! Afterwards, you can discuss whatever gifts you felt were translated to you during the telling. All journeys are better with a friend. Take it from someone who spent far too long walking alone.
My next reading is at the Burlington Public Library on March 9th. (Be sure to pre-register here.)
But you can make a reading even more personal and request me for a private event—you, a group of your closest friends, and a shared experience you’ll think of and talk about together often.