Despite how involved Girls Write Now is with its past and present mentees and mentors, there was no way I would have imagined myself and Vani back at a CHAPTERS reading. We’re the pair who showed up with instruments and songs and always ended up having to change around the seating and sound that had been so carefully orchestrated for I don’t even know how many days before. I thought GWN would be happy to be rid of our special arrangements.
I’m only half joking by the way. I was and still am flattered to have been asked back to GWN to emcee the second CHAPTERS reading of 2012. Upon entering John Street Church the familiar feeling of a roller-coaster dropping made itself present in my stomach. I had to remind myself that I wasn’t even reading! This isn’t my CHAPTERS. Then I made the mistake of telling myself I got the chance to go up and speak in front of all those people three times. Pair that with not wearing my regular jeans, hair in my face, boots with a little heel and it was enough to make me a nervous wreck.
Still, it was so great to hear the mentees work. It made me miss GWN workshops. It got me thinking about how I don’t write as much since I graduated from GWN. I missed hearing from old pros like Kat Jagai who read an excerpt from her novel Monochromacy. It was such a pleasant surprise to hear from Shyanne Bennett, a first year and unfortunately last year mentee, because of Vani and me. I remember it was Vani and I who told her about GWN, and it put a smile on my face to see her there. And last, Danni Green. Her, Dear Kanye Jan 14 could not have been more eye opening. She delivered it with such fire and intensity she had me transported back to my own college application days. Like Danni, on top of the common apps and the supplements, I too had to fill out forms and such trying to explain to strangers why I can’t enter my father’s finances. I remember thinking how it would affect my acceptances and fearing the worst. I got into three amazing schools. Danni, I don’t doubt the same for you!
All of the girls who read were really great. I know from first-hand experience what it takes to get up there and read…or sing. For me it takes a lot of yelling inside of my head to pull it together. And a whole lot of looking at my mentor. But, seriously, I enjoyed every minute of it.
The guest author Deborah Gregory was an added bonus! She was so awesome. She was friendly, funny, and overall fit what Girls Write Now is working towards.
I just want to thank Girls Write Now again for having me back. I said recently to my sister that GWN is the only way I would ever go back to high school.