I struggled with the seven deadly sins theme for the Sticky Fingers gallery this week.
Unfortunately I didn't have time to think about, or take a photograph of, all seven deadly sins.
One 'sin' that I've been thinking about a lot is pride. Is it really sinful to be proud? The British don't like to brag about their successes (clearly this is a sweeping generalisation).
You see, something wonderful has happened and I want to take pride in it, but I'm worried that it will look like I'm bragging or being big-headed about it. Is anyone else interested? Does anyone else care? It's important to me though and I am proud, so I will share.
Earlier this year I received an email. This email was sent to anyone that had read at Word Soup, either as an invited performer or at one of the open mic slots. Word Soup is Preston's live literature night. I have been in the audience for almost all of the monthly performances and thoroughly enjoyed them. I even plucked up the courage to read in an open mic slot a couple of months ago. I read a 93 word piece of flash fiction in one breath. As I walked off stage I felt rather unwell!
We were asked to submit a piece of writing to be read at the first anniversary of Word Soup. This piece would also be included in a 'best of' book. I submitted the piece I wrote about my Dad, 'My Old Man'.
To my utter amazement and delight my piece was chosen. Last night I was on the bill for Word Soup. Here I am on the poster. Yes, I know it's not strictly a photograph, but it is a picture of sorts.
Initially I felt like a fraud, a chancer. I felt like I shouldn't be up there. People were going to pay to hear me (and others) speak. Holy Moly.
After some soul-searching I decided that I had every right to be there. I had been invited. I rehearsed my reading so that I wouldn't cry as I read it. I practised reading slowly and breathing.
It paid off. I read last night, on a stage, into a microphone. People laughed in the appropriate places. At the end they applauded and wiped away tears. I was lucky to have Andy and my lovely writing group and writing course friends there to support me.
I was asked if I would like to read at another literature event. Next month the book will be launched - how exciting!
I'm under no illusions that I am now a writer, or that I am special.
Yes, I am proud.