A couple of months ago at a Bartlesville WordWeavers writers group meeting we were told about the Listen To Your Mother-Oklahoma City project. If we wanted to participate we needed to submit a piece, anything that had to do with motherhood. Men were encouraged to enter as well. If the piece was accepted, we would be extended an invitation to audition. Some of those auditioning would go on to be cast in the live performance in May to read our work and our performances might eventually be uploaded to the LTYM YouTube site sometime after the performance.
Did I have a story that I could tell, in something other than my normally long story-telling style? Well, I decided to give it a shot.
I wrote and read the piece out loud to my only children still at home---my dogs. I was so taken back by their response---whining, barking, jumping up and down at my feet; I rushed to submit the piece. Sitting at the computer after I hit the send button, I realized my four-legged children were continuing their antics. Then I realized it was past their dinner time. I immediately began to have misgivings about my submission but couldn’t find the un-send button in my email program. (I am computer challenged at times.)
I was really surprised several days later when I was told my story had been accepted and I was scheduled for an audition in OKC. It was great timing because I was going to be in OKC visiting my son that Sunday. Then a week before the audition my son called to tell me there had been a change in his plans.
I was sitting firmly on my Pity Pot feeling miffed and depressed considering possible solutions when my friend, Jennifer McMurrian called to ask if I wanted to ride to OKC with her for the audition. Well, that knocked me right off my Pity Pot. I was excited all over again. There were forms I would need to fill out, and the LTYM directors needed an additional copy of my manuscript.
I read though the manuscript again and I wasn’t happy. I did a little tweaking leaving it basically the same. Then I used the timer to make sure I was within the time constraints. I had just edited, cutting the piece down, how had the reading time increased? I edited out some more.
Finally, it was the night before the audition and I re-read the piece yet again. There was the part about….should I edit that out as well? I had a piece rejected for publication last fall (they accepted some of my other work) because I refused to edit out an expletive. (Hey, it was the character that said it, not me.) I can be stubborn and often regret it later. So I edited yet again--- I was now within the acceptable time constraints.
I went to bed; I could not get to sleep. The last time I remember looking at the alarm clock the bright red lights indicated it was We weren’t leaving until noon, I could sleep in. But a little before I was making a b-line trip to the bathroom. In the next two hours I made five more trips. Did I have food poisoning? No fever, no chills. I decided to attribute it to nerves and looked on the bright side; I must have lost at least ten pounds. I prayed for more nerves before , if I had already lost ten, I only needed to lose about twenty more pounds to be at my goal weight.
Jennifer arrived precisely as scheduled and we headed out. Once on the road my stomach started giving me fits again. Bless her heart, Jennifer was very understanding, either that, or she was really worried about her car seats. Anyhow, she promptly found a public restroom.
We arrived in OKC with an hour to spare. Within ten minutes my picture was taken---the earlier ten pound weight loss was not apparent--- and I was in front of the producer/directors Heather Davis, Misti Pryor and Julie Bohannon. I shook. My stomach would not settle. I read. I cried. (I didn’t expect that.) I apologized for my lack of smoothness and explained my last minute edits and why I made them. The three women all did their best to make me feel better and thanked me.
I waited while Jennifer, I was sure, sailed quite professionally through her audition. We went to a late lunch at Earl’s
. I asked the waiter if famous authors came
into the restaurant frequently. He said,
“Not that I know of.” So I introduced him to Jennifer and she introduced me. We were having a blast. The waiter gave us some complementary
ballpoint pens. (A whole other story.) Rib Palace
Shortly before we arrived back in
Heather called on Jennifer’s cell. It was in speaker mode. We had both been selected for OKC-LTYM
2013. But the way Heather told me meant
so much. They were the sweetest words, “Barb, we want your ass back!”
Friends, family, Meandering Mental Musings blog readers and PolicyMic followers, I encouraged all of you to attend LTYM 2013. If you are not in the OKC area to see our performance, please support the LTYM production in the city nearest you. Ticket, location, and time information can be found by clicking on the LTYM link on this blog.
I hope to see many of you there.