My first public reading tonight!

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I write because I need  a place to sort out all the words dancing around in my head that I am sure would make a complete thought if I could just organize them into a sentence. We are all in this same journey of making sense out of the words of our days. Making sense to make peace and to make joy.

And one of my essays, 1197 words organized into a logical order, edited, reorganized, word swapped, flipped upside down and inside and out was hand delivered to the contest organizer in June.  Apparently, the judges liked it. It was chosen as this year’s top 10 in the Literary Contest and will be published later this fall in an anthology to be sold at bookstores.

Tonight, I read those 1197 words to a crowd of literary junkies. I am wishing it was a fiction piece – about someone else doing something great. Instead, it’s a personal piece. Very personal. And it’s about me.

They’ve determined that I am spunky enough to kick the evening off so I read first. I set the tone for an event that I have never been to.

And as I anticipate those 1197 words, written and soon to be spoken, I am amazed at how many details it takes to stand there and speak. My daughter, as prearranged, will be picked up by dear friends after school to hang out with their middle daughter and of course, might as well, she will spend the night. So this morning, at 6:30 am, we were packing pjs and toothbrush into her backpack. Our son, will need a ride to his soccer game and a ride home, where he too will hang out until my reading and nine other readers are finished.

My husband has to get a mountain bike ride in and I need to go run (to sort it all out) and we will breathlessly meet up sometime an hour before the event, smile and walk in.

All these details, swirling around, creating more words to swirl around in my mind, needing order and understanding.

These are the details that I observe, daily, ponder during my runs and our hikes and organize into sentences that are helping to shape me. It’s good stuff, all these words and details.  It’s good when the details are just words and it’s good when those words line up and form thoughts that change me. And maybe change you.