Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Readin', Writin' an' Ramblin' (Now with Bonus Oscar Picks!)

Last Saturday I re-entered the arena with my very first author appearance at the library here in Hillsboro, Oregon. (Arena? Yeah, it was a real Thunderdome) To say it went swimmingly would be both an under and over statement. That's me alright. Under and over, around and through.

Over-wise, it was a small (nay, minuscule) affair with only a handful in attendance, most of which I filled myself (totally grateful for all family and friends that showed).The library events director, the person who helped put this together, said that author readings tend to have very small audiences and that I shouldn't take it personally, which I didn't. She seemed to be pleased that anyone showed at all, which I also didn't take to heart.

From the under-side, I have riding on a cloud ever since. Maybe it's not Cloud 9, but a cumulus not the less, billowy enough for a comfortable trip around the ego. My nerves were pretty much shot going into this day. There has been the inherent fear that I just don't have it in me anymore because I've waited too long to get my own show on the road. I seemed to have forgotten who I was, almost as if I was running away from the real Scott Cherney. Maybe that's why I turned my talk into a near retrospective, a dip into Lake Me and hopefully not delivering my own eulogy. What's closer to the truth was what that day represented to me in general. I told the "crowd" that I was proud to be a part of the library not only that day but to have my works, my books on a library shelf. It's all about validation and for the first time in awhile, I felt comfortable being in my own skin. The road to find myself had led to the Hillsboro Library on Saturday, February 27, 2010. Nervous? You bet your ass I was nervous. I had no one other than my wife to express my trepidation and even that I kept to a minimum. When Grant-Lee Phillips visited Portland in January for a concert, I expressed my anxiety over lunch and felt rather embarrassed that I used my friend as a therapeutic backboard. I mentioned it on the dreaded Facebook and fortunately I know a lot of great people who gave me some much needed encouragement even though I felt so insipidly needy about mentioning my stage fright at all. But hey, I had a lot riding on it. The stakes were my very existence. Fine. I made a u-turn into overstatement again. So sue me. It's my life. I know what it all meant. Part of me actually wanted to fail so i could go back to my non-existence, but fortunately, the real me prevailed and won the day.

I done good.

To paraphrase from my own book PLEASE HOLD THUMBS, since Saturday afternoon, I realized I wasn't dead to the world after all. I am alive.

Now it's time to move forward.

For you completists out there here are my obligatory Oscar picks for this year:

Best Picture: Avatar (Better pictures: The Hurt Locker, District 9 and Up, but Avatar is such an all-around cinematic achievement it could pull out the win, despite the fact that Hollywood really doesn't like James Cameron)
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges (No contest. Kudos to former Palace Showboat Player Jeremy Renner for his nomination)

Best Actress: Meryl Streep (Could be Sandra Bullock, for some unknown reason)

Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz (That's a bing0!)

Best Supporting Actress: M'onique (That's a Yahtzee!)

Best Director: Katheryn Bigelow (Fingers crossed on this one, but could be a slam-dunk, perfect for this tall drink o' water)

Best Adapted Screenplay: Up in the Air (Booby prize for the former front-runner)

Best Original Screenplay: The Hurt Locker (Sorry, Quentin)

Best Animated Film: Up (Where was Ponyo in all this?)
See ya!

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