I had a blast being a featured reader at the Short Attention Span Storytelling Hour … or Thereabouts event last Wednesday, Feb. 25. This is the first time I have been a featured writer at a reading, as opposed to participating in an open mic. It was a thrilling experience, and I look forward to reading again, whether as a highlighted speaker or as an open mic participant.
Hosted by Writers of Central Florida … or Thereabouts (yes, that’s really the name of the Meetup group), the reading was held at Stardust Video & Coffee in Winter Park, FL. Feb. 25 was the first time I was at the venue, although I have been a member of the group for over a year.
Two other featured individuals besides me were Tim Rumsey and Katherine Starbird. Tim, a well-known local tale weaver and a member of Storytellers of Central Florida, opened the night with his tales. Katherine, author of “The Jaguar Key” and Reenie Gyse.” Tim opened the night with his stories, and it was a joy to listen to him. Katherine read, and she did a great reading of a wonderful story. Then it was me, reading the first five pages of “Eve the First: A Fairy Tale Revision.”
Writers of Central Florida or Thereabouts meets every Wednesday usually at nighttime, but the third Wednesday has a daytime meeting in addition with the nighttime one. The writers exchange writing and creativity advice and share stories they have written. Members are also willing to give insight into others’ written works. I’m not quite sure when the group was established, but I know that its Meetup page was set up in June 2013, so it’s a young group.
Here’s how the Storytellers of Central Florida website describes its purpose:
Storytellers of Central Florida is dedicated to preserving and promoting the art of storytelling. Members range from novice to professional and include a variety of ages and cultures. If you have stories to share, want to learn storytelling, or simply enjoy listening, you are invited join us to hear and share polished tellings as well as works in progress.
After the featured speakers, local writers read their works in the open mic segment. Local writer and Writers of Central Florida and Thereabouts Chet Hall MC’d the event.
Storytelling — to be able to weave an entire picture without reading from anything — is an art form in itself. It astounds me that people have such a gift for doing that. I’m just getting comfortable reading from paper in front of a crowd, so storytelling is still a long way of a goal for me to accomplish.
The next open mic of the Short Attention Span Storytelling Hour … or Thereabouts is Wednesday, March 25, at Stardust Video and Coffee.
Find Writers of Central Florida or Thereabouts on Facebook and Meetup.