Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscars, Schmoscars. I want to write about The Marsh!

Yesterday's Writing Mamas Spoken Word Event at The Marsh in San Francisco went FABULOUSLY.

It was an intimate enough setting -- a dark little local theater in the Mission district with a hundred seats and about 3/4 of them filled -- and every single essay was wonderful.

I had two girlfriends there (Amy and Renee), and they admitted they were a little skeptical (my friend Amy's father is a much-revered, published writer and she has a critical ear for writing), but they were completely engaged the entire 2+ hours! They laughed out loud (often) and even cried when moved to do so. And, beforehand, they were sweet enough to tell me they were nervous for me, and that they felt like I was their child, ready to risk something -- so I felt loved and supported tremendously. But, then, after I'd finished, they were impressed and excited and wild for me, took me out for margueritas and chatted freely and happily about how the event ranked as one of their favorite activities in months -- they only wished they'd invited all their girlfriends. So, it was really, really fun.

Writer Jacquelyn Mitchard was there (from Wisconsin -- how funny that the only two Jackies I've met are from WI, and they're both adorable). She sat through the entire show, and I didn't even know who she was until she read, but I'd spotted her as this incredible, bright presence in the audience whom I could tell was having a blast. Then, when she got up (last) to read, she told us she felt like she was among her peers, and that any of us could be published. She then gave us her email address and asked us to email her, b/c she'd sat through the reading thinking of a publication for each of us to send our work to. I already wrote her this morning. (Oh, and she mentioned my essay at a private salon last night, referring to when her children chose their last name. She also signed my book, and when I said it was Anjie with a J, she said, "Oh, yes.. Anjanette!" Yeah, I could've died, reduced to a sappy little teenager.)

I'll post the version of my essay that I read, but I have to say, the essays my peers wrote were phenomenal. Topics ranged from poking fun at Marin mother culture and mother's clubs, to becoming a closet potty-mouth after becoming a mother (that one was absolutely hilarious), to tending to a newborn baby with profound heart defects on Thanksgiving day, to offering the perspective on motherhood on the other end of the spectrum (from our 72 year old member).

Dawn Yun (the Writing Mamas founder) is still working on the proposal for the anthology we hope to publish.

2 comments:

Jan & Mike said...

My prayers were answered. That you'd edit where needed and go and enjoy the moment as you read your thoughts. It sounds like it was such a momentous occasion - with an audiance of possibly critical friends, colleagues from your writing group and the 'guest writer'. Looking forward to hear of her input on publishing your work.
You don't surprise me at all - as a fellow 'genius'.
Lovingly,
JJJ

bigshare said...

ANJIE: How exciting! I loved your piece about the event; it sounded like so much fun. Fabulous that you were able to share it. I was thinking of you and wondering how it went...
I'm so GLAD it went well for you. What fun! Whoa...she knew your name; it's unusual (thanks to your dad), little Nancy. Well, can't wait to see it published. She sounds like one incredible person...so encouraging!
I'm proud of you. I really like the revised piece...It flows.
Love, Mom