The advice I need to take to heart in order to make my readings better, according to my reading coach, Holly, is to sort out my breath and slow down. My breath is bad apparently! It comes from the chest and not the diaphragm. Not good. She very kindly gave me my first reading aloud lesson last night, in return for a delicious dinner made by John, and I couldn't believe the difference it made to my reading style in a very short space of time. By no means ready to get up on stage but a marked improvement.
So, now I have to write and practice delivering my three minute pitch for the Get Writing event, which is only 2 short weeks away now, and then she's coming back for one final coaching session just before the big day.
In the meantime, I will also put it into practice at my next writing class when I read out my homework. I went to the first class of Shaun Levin's Reading to Write course last Wednesday where we looked at short stories by Lydia Davis, which were far removed from the prescribed beginning, middle and end that most creative writing classes focus on.
It got me thinking in a different way and we had to write a piece that, instead of being in the first person 'I', was in the plural 'we'. It added a whole new dimension and I now have a little story idea ticking over in my head based on that piece and inspired by a story Holly told me last night, about a quanrantine in a hospital ward. More to come on that.
I also spent the day at the Urban Writer's Retreat last Sunday and got another 6,300 words of Gone in first draft. Two brand new chapters and expansion of two others. Writing my synopsis seems to have spurred me on and I'm feeling on a bit of a roll. Must get the first draft finished by April, I am a deadline needer so I have finally set one for this. So I better meet it now, or else.