Last night I went to the inaugural Inky Fingers Open Mic at the Forest Cafe. It was a great event, with guest poets and authors interspersed with some fantastic and brave open mic performers.
A man in wonderful red trousers read a lovely story about a gender-confused salmon and an eel. He used a beautiful image at the end of the salmon tasting the salty tang of a red egg and realising he missed the sea. I really enjoyed that.
Guest Poet Laura Hainey read some of her work, and it was funny and rhythmic and wonderfully Scottish.
After that, everything gets a little bit fuzzy, because it was announced that there were a couple of free slots on the line up, and did anyone want to be put on the reserve list? As it happened, I had a few short stories in my bag because I’d just met up with a friend from my course to talk about our work. So I sat there for a bit longer, wide-eyed and heart pounding. Could I really do that? Could I stand up in front of all these clever-looking people and great writers and read something I only wrote last Friday?
By this point I was so terrified that I knew I’d be disappointed with myself I didn’t go through with it. So I stood up and, before I could change my mind, put my name on the reserve list. I stopped drinking beer, just in case, and sat there having a miniature nervous breakdown for the rest of the evening, until he did call my name, and I did have to get up in front of a room full of kind strangers and three very lovely and encouraging friends, who cheered very enthusiastically before I’d even started reading.
It was a lot of fun. It was terrifying. I feel euphoric! Highly recommended. Whoop.