The first time I read publicly was for a Writers at Work reading at, I believe, Skylight Books. I can still see Terry sitting in the front row, raising her eyes slightly, then pulling her hands apart while slowly gathering her fingers as a way of suggesting that my reading would be much more effective if I could find some way to speak half as fast.
About a year after that reading, I was standing in the Hollywood library waiting to check out a book—this was before it could be done electronically—when a man walked up to me and asked if I’d read at Skylight Books the year before. Why yes I did! I said, proudly. Well, keep writing, he said, because I really enjoyed the piece you read that day.
I floated out of the library, having passed into some new state of being where I now experienced myself as a writer.