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What does one wear when speaking in front of an audience, in a darkened auditorium, about comparing their sex life to a bit of sausage?

A few weeks ago I was asked to present a piece of my work from my writing course to an audience of fellow students, their friends and families, and the university staff. It was up to me to choose a piece to read, but my tutor very persuasively suggested it should be my blog piece: ‘When you have fillet steak each night do you sometimes feel like sausage?’ I agreed. Reluctantly.

Why did I allow myself to be talked into this? I thought and immediately began to regret my decision. ‘What about a nice piece of romantic fiction?’ I pleaded. My fellow students rehearsed their respective works and I practised mine; it was unanimous they all agreed that it had to be the ‘sausage’ piece.

The big night arrived. I was at home relishing the final fleeting moments before the impending humiliation. What does one wear when speaking in front of an audience, in a darkened (thank god) auditorium, about how they see their sex life as a bit of sausage? One of the attractions of becoming a writer for me initially was the anonymity. I already have my pseudonym at the ready for when I publish that elusive first novel. Now I would be forever known as ‘that woman that wrote about the sausage’.

So there I was at home, reading my piece out loud for the fortieth time, while selecting my outfit. Would a red dress be appropriate? No, I thought as I recalled a male friend’s thoughts about the intentions of a red dress. I am respectable wife and mother-of-two and therefore was aiming to appear friendly yet professional. I settled on black pants and a demure coral-pink shirt.

My husband begged to come; I had told him I was reading an excerpt from my novella: a chick-lit piece about a midlife crisis. ‘No honey, I would be nervous if you were there. It’s better that you don’t come.’ I lied, picturing his shock when everyone in the audience realised that my piece was about our sex-life!

The reading went well, the audience actually laughed and in all the right places (or was it at me?). I realised that it is not only the words that resonate with the audience, but also the (ahem) delivery!

When I returned home, my husband asked how my reading went:

 ‘It went well babe; they laughed in all the right places. I’m starving, any leftovers? I asked.

‘Great, I knew you’d be fine. I’ve saved you some sausages and mash from dinner, I’ll go and heat them up.’ he said.

Click here if you wish to view the piece I read out: When you always have fillet steak do you sometimes crave sausage? 

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