I doubt I’ll ever join Toastmasters – and I have been invited by friends to do so. I really am not keen on public speaking and I would rather stay behind the scenes. But when the local writers group I belong to, Fermanagh Writers, organise public readings then I do my bit – though, as secretary and organiser, I always schedule myself near the end of the rota and hope that we will run out of time before it’s my turn…
Last week we had not one but two public engagements: All Ireland Poetry Day and FLive, the Fermanagh Arts Festival. So I spent more time in the spotlight than I would choose to do but it was fun and I love to see people enjoying our writings (they did look like they were enjoying it – really!).
For All Ireland Poetry Day we ventured into Erneside Shopping Mall and read our verse to unsuspecting customers in the centre’s restaurant. Let me tell you, it does take nerve to walk into such an establishment and start reading when you know that your listeners are not expecting it and may have little or no interest in poetry. For an account of our adventure check out Fermanagh Writers’ blog post.
Last Saturday at FLive we had an audience that was more prepared for our presentation and they seemed to enjoy it. I doubt the free wine had anything to do with their enthusiasm…Our members’ readings ranged from humorous looks at Fermanagh life to thoughtful explorations of social problems in modern society. Where did my work fit in on this spectrum? Well, I contributed a gentle, romantic story that ended happily. I don’t know what put me in that frame of mind – we still have to get through Halloween and Christmas before Valentine’s Day. Will my romanticism and optimism hold out until then? Who knows? But let’s not worry about that for now. If you’d like to hear more about our FLive afternoon click here.