Join Leanne Dyck's exciting author journey. Leanne is writing picture books for children, a novel for young adults and short stories for you. Every Sunday evening, she shares book reviews or articles about writing or glimpses into the life of an author with dyslexia or one of those short stories. For a list of Leanne Dyck's published work please visit the publishing history page. Please help nurture this blog by visiting, commenting, subscribing and sharing.
Byron sat in a reading chair flipping the pages of his paperback. He must have gotten to a really good part. I set my suitcase on the bed, dug out my clothes and laid out my outfit—dress, blazer, earrings. I’m going to look so professional. I ran my hand over the sleeve of my blazer. Just like an author. I’d even remembered a small purse to stow my author reading. And the herbal remedy for my anxiety… And the herbal remedy… I searched my purse. I don’t have… I don’t have… Breathe. I emptied the entire contents of the suitcase. It’s not here. My heart jumped from my chest to my head and tired to pound its way out. My entire body became one, big sweat stain. I can’t… I can’t…
“What’s the matter?” Byron’s words attempted to detach me from the wall.
“I don’t have my rescue remedy and I can’t… not without…”
“Oh, we’ve come all this way. We're here and...”
I knew what he was going to say. 'you're going to read.' He’s so heartless.
“And besides, you’ll be fine.”
“Fine? Do you really think so?” Will I be? Yes. No. Maybe. How can I be? I’ve read to audience before. But… but… My mind was so full that I barely heard his question.
“Of course. How long is your reading?”
“Five minutes.” Five minutes! I can’t read for five minutes. I’ll trip over my words. I’ll say the wrong word. Then they’ll know. They’ll know. “They’ll all know that I’m dyslexic.”
“What’s you’re reading about?”
“And you’re worried that they’ll learn you’re dyslexic.”
“Yes.” Brief pause. “That doesn’t make sense. Does it?”
“No.” He held me. “The audience will have read your story. Everyone will know how hard reading is for you. They’ll all be pulling for you.”
“Do you really think so?”
“Yes, of course. And besides, if you make a mistake no one will even notice.”
If I make a mistake? There’s no if; there’s only when. When I make a mistake everyone will laugh. They’ll all laugh and they’ll know that I’ll never be one of them. I’ll never be a writer. They didn’t choose my story because it’s good. They choose it because they feel sorry for me. Well, I don’t need their pity. I’m just as good as everyone else. And I have to prove it. I have to be prefect. I can’t make any mistakes. None. Negative thoughts haunted me as the hours slipped away. I tried to eat but I just wasn’t hungry. I tried to practice my reading but it just sounded so dumb. So, instead, I raced around like a crazy person—had a shower, dressed, brushed my hair, put on make-up. Ignoring the tornado, Byron’s nose remained in his book.
“Are you ready?” I asked.
“What? Already? It’s only 7 o’clock,” he told me. “We still have an hour.”
“Yes, but what if we get lost? And… And…” I can’t be late.
“We won’t get lost.”
“How can you be so sure? We’ve never gone there before. We don’t know Victoria. We could get lost. Just because it’s not your thing you think it’s not important but it is important to me.”
It didn’t take him long to get ready and we were out the door. Victoria was no match for Byron. He easily navigated the streets and soon we’d arrived at the Orange Hall on 1620 Fernwood. Next Monday: another installment of my serialized story 'Magazine Launch' This Thursday: What the 'S' stands for... This Friday: The Importance of Pacing in Writing Fiction by Jack Meyers