Saturday Book Reading
*Chews off fingernails…*
Back in 2005 in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I was going to read a few essays from my then upcoming book. I was more nervous than Marcia Cross folding a t-shirt because I’m following some heavyweight authors. They had won awards, they were college professors who wrote about Central American refugees and spirits dancing, and then there I was, telling about the time I cracked a confetti egg over a news anchor’s head on live TV.
Years before the Latino Book Festival, I spent hours the night before preparing my speech. Right before me was Stella Pope Duarte. She shared wild, hilarious memories about growing up in South Phoenix. The crowd roared with laughter, and there were so many people listening, that many had to stand because the chairs were all full. Next, she told her story about how her deceased dad came to her in a dream and told her it was her destiny to write a book. She had an office job at the time. She took his word and became an award-winning author through Harper Collins!!! And the end of her talk, people were sobbing and crying. They ran up to hug her in hopes of nabbing a bit of her energy. She is an A-list speaker!
I was up next. I quickly assembled my pages, took a deep breath and bent down to pick up my purse. When I came back up, the place was cleared out, as if someone had dropped a stink bomb. There were a few people in chairs, like maybe 4. I vowed to give it my best shot. I was going to tell them how I had my own story of Chicana struggle too! I grew up in a white community and was disconnected from my culture! I was a middle child with an honor student for an older brother and an adorable little sister who was 10 years younger than me. Anyway, when I stepped up on stage, the podium where Stella had pounded her fist on? It was gone, as was the mic stand. The tech guy ran up and handed me a hot mic that I had to hold in my hand as if I were Kathy Griffin at the MGM Grand! I started in with my story, but those four people looked totally uninterested. I realized (duh!) they were just sitting to rest their feet. However, there was one lady who kept smiling at me, so I gave my speech to her – only to discover afterwards that she didn’t speak or understand English. How about that?!
It was the night prior to the event and I decided to light a candle so that the net day would go better than my last reading. I vowed that it would not be a repeat performance. I lit that candle so that at least one of my family members whom I had dropped hints to about it the event (complete with address and time) would come out to see me for once at an event and maybe even clap for me, so that I wouldn’t look like an idiot. I definitely did not imagine I could handle four bored people again.
Here are the authors that also participated in the event:
- Roping Reynosos
- Stella Pope Duarte
- Carmen Martinez
- Kathy Cano Murillo
- Margarita Cota-Cárdenas
- Carl Hayden Robotics Team/Club de RobóticaAdios for now!
peace, respect & glitter.
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