Before I went to go see a reading from Patricia Jackson-Colando I walked around most of the festival for a little bit, just to get an idea of what it exactly was about. I was impressed. It was a great celebration of all different kinds of books from science-fiction to biographical. In this day and age when everything is digital and not many people go to book stores and feel the pages with their fingers, it is refreshing to see that not everyone has given up on physical books. I talked with a few of the people that were running the booths and they told me that most of their customers relied on digital books and read them on their tablets. I admit that I most read off my IPad and computer now but I still enjoy to read from an actual book. I find that it feels more authentic.
After walking around a little bit I went to hear Patricia Jackson-Colando speak at the “Ten at the top of the hour.” I looked her up online just to get somewhat familiar with her and I found out that she is a speech pathologist and public speaker. She has also written for several newspapers and magazines. She read part of an anthology that she wrote (to be honest I forgot the title of it). The very first thing that I noticed was that she is very confident speaking, which is not unusual considering she is a public speaker. I think this is something that I need work in because I am not a great public speaker. I tend to get too nervous and am constantly thinking about the audience and wondering if they are enjoying my writing. Her writing seemed so easy-going, almost effortless. It was a love story about a naive young girl falling for an older man. She later said that it was partly based on her own life and that a lot of her writing contained elements of biographical fiction. One of the best things that I learned from this panel was to not take my writing too seriously. There are times when I try to force a story and end up starring at my computer for what seems like hours trying to come up with a good line or plot point. Then I end up putting something in that seems obtrusive. Pat talked about how she takes a lot of breaks. Unless she has something good to add, she does not write. She just goes on with her day and occasionally thinks about her story and what would benefit it. Then once she figures it out she sits back down and continues to write. I believe that his method would work for me and I am going to try it next time that I write a story. Even though Pat and I have different types of stories that we write, it does not mean that I can’t learn different ways to write. I am glad I listened to her and I think it will benefit my writing.