Okay, granted it was only in the program book for a local library event, but it’s a start. Last night, I joined five other members of my Cape-based writing group and eight other writers for the Brewster Cultural Council’s Literary Night.
I chose the graduation scene from my work in progress to read as I think it conveys major themes of my novel: women in medicine, women’s inspirations, aspirations and achievements, sexism, family relationships and friendships, history and a hint of romance. The slot provided for a tight five minutes which required further editing of the excerpt to make it under the wire without reading like an announcer at the end of a prescription drug TV ad.
I was third on the list to read and even though I forgot to bring my glasses to the podium with me, I think I did well. Jim videotaped for me. I only caught a slight stumble when my eyes blurred. Lucky for me, I had practiced so many times I had just about memorized the three pages. Plus, my glasses are bent out of shape and keep sliding down my nose. I would have been more self-conscious constantly pushing them up.
My wardrobe selection depended on a poll I put out through social media yesterday morning. My new-found cousin gave me three costume jewelry necklaces which came from our grandmother’s house. We have to assume they were hers. I cleaned them up and placed the black and clear glass beads (the number one pick from the social media poll) over my head and off I went with a new green mock turtleneck. The necklace looked great, although the sweater was not the best choice. I need to remember public places on the Cape after Labor Day cater to the retirees – heat in the library must have been set to 75 degrees.
#amwriting #amediting #writinglife #amresearching #historicalfiction
Here is a short one-minute clip of the five minute excerpt. What do you think – does it whet your appetite to want to read more? Stay tuned…
Deemed a “a novel and interesting occasion”, the first graduation of the Woman’s Medical College had attracted a reporter from The Pennsylvanian. With over two thousand celebrants crammed into the Hall, the reporter focused his attention, and subsequent article, on the boisterous crowd of five hundred male medical students who attended and the detail of fifty police who were sent anticipating a riot by the men. The eight women graduates in 1851 were a mere footnote in his article.
Today’s ceremony was quieter. There were no unruly guests. There would be no printing of their names in the columns of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Eliza and her classmates would enter a medical society unnoticed, with footfalls as soft as the fifty classes before them. From receiving a diploma, to delivering a baby, to performing a life-saving surgery, their endeavors would always be marked as quiet triumphs.
© Janis Robinson Daly, 10/25/19
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