Sometimes nights are pleasant; sometimes nights are memorable. Sometimes – they are undeniably seared into the landscape of your future.
That’s what the night was at the Jack Kerouac House – a searing, unforgettable launching.
It was my goodbye reading at the JK House Saturday night. About twenty-five people on hand. Wine, cheese, cut apples, green grapes, sweets made of caramel. And a supportive, encouraging, responsive crowd.
I read a few short pieces I had written here, or edited here, and then a chapter from my new book-length manuscript. I tried to hit a lot of notes, strike some relevance. I pray I accomplished that. Think I did.
But, about this “landscape of the your future” of which I speak.
Performing at readings is not writing. It is just that, performing. There’s a rhythm you have to recognize, a pulse you have to take, so that you offer what you think you must and allow it to be received through the windows of what your audience wants. It’s tough work. I don’t always get it right. Even when I do, I’m doubtful that it is as good as it can be. But what I am sure of from the reading the JK House Saturday, is that the stories told and the questions asked and the hearts and souls touched (including mine) were all very real. And with that, I go forward. I move ahead, take what the night gave me, and write more, create more, find new themes, discover more inquiries, and deliver more stories. Writers always need places, good places from which to jump. Saturday night I leapt from the steps of the Jack Kerouac House with wings.
Thanks to all.
I will soon relinquish the chair that sits at the desk in the small room where Jack wrote The Dharma Bums to the next writer, the next lucky soul who will also find a nuturting venue, a supportive cast, and a place from which to jump.