Third Reading

Reading three at the Vanne Café seemed, by most measures, a success.
When Adele and I arrived, four customers were on site. Three departed before the event began; one stayed – and fell asleep.
The reading drew a couple dozen people, not counting the late arrival wrapped in a parka, carrying his possessions in a giant Target plastic bag and a carton previously used to ship raspberries, who commandeered a back sofa for himself. Two attendees were café regulars, who’d been to both previous readings; a woman, who’d come to mine, returned with two freinds; one of the readers drew five friends and/or relatives; and the other the rest. The mike was again a problem for we are mechanically challenged to begin with, but the hook-up for viewing illustrations on the café’s flat screen wall TV was a success. Both readers sold copies of their books; the pricey beer and wine moved; and the barrista’s tips were ample.
I guess the sexual content of the readings raised eyebrows – particularly on the adult daughters of Reader One – but I heard plenty laughs and saw many smiles. If I’ve learned one thing from these readings, including my own, it is that writers seem to think more highly of their words than do those hearing them. Audience attention spans are limitied. Less is more.
My co-promoter suggests we have a pianist lightly cue people when to leave the stage.