So, on August 3, 2018, I was invited to participate in a book reading, hosted by Glen Binger and The Working Artist. The event was called, “Stories By The Sea,” and the reason said event was so fucking cool and dear to my heart, is because all who participated were – in one form or another – native to my home state, New Jersey.
I’d been invited last year by the wondrous Mr. Binger, but unfortunately had a prior engagement to attend. See, Glen has tenacity and sure puts on an entertaining show. When I was asked to attend this year’s event, I was honored and immediately added it to my e-calendar, then swiftly began preparing a chapter to read out of Voudou Juice.
As the big night approached, sure, my mind raced, and I asked myself, “But, what if they don’t like me?” I had also prepared like a motherfucker, thanks to my trusty assistant, Christopher. Not that what I prepared came out the way I had intended, BUT, that’s another story for another night… and par for the course, right?
And, truth be told, I was also a bit nervous, because, sure, I’d spoken with Glen over the years, but didn’t exactly know anybody else, except for those I’d connected with over Instagram. OK, I’m 35, but adults get nervous, too, alright?
There was this one fella, now that we’ve met in person, I’m proud to call him my friend. He’d been attracted to my online profile and writing ramblings… we’d connected almost immediately. Arthur J. Willhelm‘s the name, and writing poetry is his game. He was the first person I met formally after parking around the corner from The Working Artist. I felt like we’d known each other for ages.
So, OK, let’s now cut out the rest of the formalities, and skip to the good shit… After about 30 minutes of mingling, the event started, and each person read aloud for up to 15 minutes. The amount of talent in the room that night was immense… poetry slams, hot verbiage and tempered feelings poured out of each person’s mouth, one right after the other. And shit, the support we showed toward each other was a sight to behold.
Then, at about 8:40PM, after the last of us got up onstage, we went back to the meet and greet portion of the evening. Strangers even came up to me to say congratulations and told me what a great job I’d done. Then I, in return, passed positive vibes back to my fellow creatives. Truthfully, the ones I’d met that night, they’re going places. And, I can’t hardly wait to gather with them again next year.