So I’m reading and signing books at the Barnes & Noble in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Saturday, Jan. 23 at 2 p.m. This will actually be the second time I read at that particular store.
Way back in the day, 1996 I think it was, when I was attending USL for my master’s degree, I signed up for the reading series the graduate department conducted. I’m a shameless attention whore and I thought it would be an excellent way to show these chumps my crazy mad writing skills. Then it occurred to me that I might be the chump. Up until that point, my reading had been limited to tiny events as an undergrad where I thought I was big man on campus, one of a few English majors at a school full of scientists (and drunks). I’d never get nervous at those things, partly because I was full of myself, partly because I was full of booze.
But driving into Lafayette — we were living in Opelousas at the time — I was struck by a powerful case of nerves. These weren’t college kids farting around that I’d be reading in front of. These were people seeking advanced degrees in writing. These were published poets and writers. The guy I’d be reading before already had an MFA and was a teacher, not a student. Who the hell was I? No one, that’s who. And this reading wasn’t going down in dank little bar. No, it would be under the bright lights of the Starbucks in a Barnes & Noble. And there’d be no booze to help me build up a little courage. By the time I arrived at Barnes & Noble, it was all I could do not to poop my pants!
But I didn’t. Thankfully. I survived. I think I even did the jerk thing and read two stories–took up my whole 20 minutes. Because people love nothing more than to listen to someone drone on for 20 minutes!
At any rate, I’d be honored if some of you knuckleheads came down to the signing and readings I’ll be doing. One in Lafayette, one in Baton Rouge and one in Brooklyn. I’ll try to keep the reading part short. I swear. Spread the word. Bring friends. Bring family. Bring people who haven’t bought the book yet. I’m a little worried about turnout in Baton Rouge, so Baton Rouge people, bring like three friends with you!
Here are the details.
Saturday, January 23 — 2 p.m.
Barnes and Noble — Lafayette
5705 Johnston Street
Lafayette, La. 70503
Monday, January 25 — 7 p.m.
Barnes and Noble — Baton Rouge (CitiPlace)
2590 CitiPlace Court
Baton Rouge, La. 70808
Thursday, February 11 — 7:30 p.m.
Barnes and Noble — Brooklyn (Park Slope)
267 Seventh Avenue
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215