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It's been a month exactly since I last posted. Ideally, I would be updating my blog weekly with the progress I've been making. I'm just about finished with a pressing project that was suddenly do at work. Nothing like a little work stress to derail me of my best intentions. With the added stress and web programming at work, the last thing I wanted was to come home and be on the computer again. So, I took my kids to the park in the evenings, came back from a trip to NYC, watched outstanding world soccer games, went to a Wild Womyn Writers Workshop, and an Open Mic Night at Back2TheGrind in downtown Riverside. 

Monday Night Open Mic @ Back2TheGrind
It was my first time reading some of my poetry in front of such a large group. There must have been at least 50 people. We filled the basement of the coffee house. I'd been wanting to go for weeks just to check it out, but things kept coming up. Finally, I dragged a close friend along and we drove past our city limits leaving our comfort zones behind. We had every intention to present something that night even though we had written nothing. We got there early, ordered a coffee, and shared one of their yummy sandwiches. We crafted something as we waited in the basement for the crowds to arrive. At night 9pm, we let them know it was our very first time and we signed up. My self doubt crept in several times that night. It was there as I listened to the musicians and poets present, and when I went to the bathroom. "You know if we leave now we don't have to do it" my inner critic persisted, "it's probably filled with clichés". I reminded my inner critic that I sent her off to a Buddhist retreat in the Himalayas, and  then reassured myself that I would be fine. I went up there when they called my name and sat on the chair one leg underneath me as I cleared my nervous voice and began to read off what I had written on a napkin. "I have to own this. I have to take my time and do it right", I thought as I started. I had read my work too quickly at the Wild Womyn Writers Workshop. (At the workshop, we talked about owning our words and not rushing through things.) So this time, I took my time. Line by line I undressed the intimacy of my thoughts in my writing. They liked it. They clapped and cheered. Everyone was very welcoming and supportive. Before I began they had reassured me they didn't bite. I did rush getting back to my seat as if I had just completely undressed and clasped my naked clothes in my chest as I left the stage. I had done it though. And I was hooked. As much as it was exhilarating to present, it was even more awesome to be a part of that night and watch others in there element share their craft. I enjoy being inspired by others. Best of all it's free! It's a coffee house so you do want to be respectful and but there is no cover charge. They plan to start at 8:30 pm to accommodate the growing list of presenters.

Riverside Underground Poetry Organization - RUPO Poetry
Mondays 8:30pm-10:30pm in the basement of Back2TheGrind
3575 University Ave
Riverside, CA , 92501


  1. Glad your hooked!!! You'll have to post what you read.

  2. Congrats on getting through such a well-attended reading; neat looking place!

  3. Congrats! Wish I didn't live so far away!

  4. Hi Everyone,

    I found this neat site that you can search for Open Mic Nights in your area, in case you are too far away to drive to Back2The Grind.

    Thanks for your feedback.

  5. I feel like it would be hard to do as you did. My palms began to sweat as I read this post.
    I commend you for sharing your words in front of a crowd!

  6. I'm glad you didn't back out. And what's
    even better is that you took your time.
    It would have been pointless if you would
    have rushed.

    ..."owning our words and not rushing through
    things" is something we should keep in
    mind. Thanks for sharing that.

    I loved the look of Back2TheGrind.

  7. Good post, I enjoyed it. I left you something on my blog :)


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