(Originally posted on the website Heron Flight)
Originally posted on the website:
Last night I went to an open mic event at a writers group in the Hudson Valley in New York. It’s a monthly event. This is the third time I’ve been there to read. The meeting is held nearly 80 miles from where I live. But with all the driving I’ve done in my life, 80 miles is a mere jaunt across town. I like the virtual anonymity of the group. No one knows me. No one remembers my name. There are at least 20 or more writers who sign up to read each month. Some are very good. Some show signs of promise. Some… well you end up wishing that a few would run out the back door and dive into the chilly Hudson River. Each reader is allowed five minutes. They say that everyone gets 15 minutes of fame in their life. I drive over an hour for 5.
Participating in the Hudson Valley writers group (and another group in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania) has become part of my better writing strategy. It has been good to brush shoulders with several talented published writers. The encouragement and feedback after reading is also helpful. For instance, even though no one remembered my name, a few did remember that at last month’s meeting I read a piece that I wrote in 2004 while my father was suffering with cancer. It was called “It’s Not Like the Movies.”
My opportunity to read was nearly foiled last night. As I entered the town in which the meeting is held I looked at the passenger seat of my car and realized that I forgot my reading material at home! In my hurry to get out the door and on my way, I forgot to grab the folder with my printed article. My heart sank and I almost jammed on the breaks in the middle of the main street. But a thought came to my mind. I remembered that the writers group has an office in the building where they meet. They would most likely have internet access. Backup copies of my writings are stored on a top secret web server. Thankfully, I uploaded the latest revision of the article I intended to read. With a little luck the group’s director would allow me to use their computer to access and print the article. Luck was with me and I was able to print it. Ah! The wonders of modern technology! Forget your papers at home and they will meet you 80 miles away in a matter of minutes!
The article I read is titled “Adam.” Some of you might remember it. I wrote it at 4 AM after sitting in a New Jersey bar all night. One thing I noticed just before I got up to read last night was that this article was originally written on February 14, 2003 – Valentine’s Day. How appropriate! For those who would like to read it again and for those who did not read this article before, I am including it here. I remember when I first wrote this, one good friend of mine emailed me and asked, “Are you okay? That was pretty intense!” I told her then, “Yes, I’m okay. It’s the other guy in the story that wasn’t.” Funny how life goes. At this time in my life, over the past few months, I’ve become “the other guy” again in certain respects. I’ve become “Adam” to a certain degree. If you ask if I’m okay, I’ll still say, “Yes.” But I might not be able to answer so quickly and confidently right now. I guess what I should say is, “I will be okay.” These things have a way of working themselves out.