Monday, November 28, 2016

Coming Attractions

Hello, everyone. Hope one and all had a lovely, drama-free holiday.

In my last post, I stated that today I would be sharing some news, making a big announcement, something like that. And I am. It's just...I feel as though I should preface the big announcement by saying that it's a big announcement for me. For anyone else, it probably wouldn't be. It'd be more of an "Oh, by the way" afterthought, or something, but for me, it's a Big Deal. In large part due to the fact that what I am about to tell you terrifies the living daylights out of me. The dead daylights, too. (If there is such a thing.) All the daylights are terrified out of me.

But it's happening anyway.

Because as my good friend, Eleanor Roosevelt, once said, "You must do the thing you think you cannot do."

What is this terrifying thing, you may be asking yourself. Well, I'll tell you. It's this:



Recognize that name in the middle? (You may recognize other names, as well. I don't know.) You know what it means?

This Saturday, I will be making a public appearance.

You know, as an author. Not just me going out to buy groceries or anything like that (which is terrifying in a completely different kind of way...). Neither is this public appearance one of those events like the signings I've done in the past where I can blend in with other authors and only make eye contact with the people who actually approach the table under which I'm hiding. No, this event will require me to stand up in front of an unknown number of persons, and actually talk to them. About myself. And my work.

And I am terrified.

You, of all people, should know how terrible I am at talking about myself. Or, I could have just stopped after 'talking,' couldn't I? Because, really, unless I'm talking about my love for the collective works of Joss Whedon, or Gilmore Girls, I am about on par with Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel. Only, not nearly as articulate. And when I am talking about my love for the collective works of Joss Whedon, or Gilmore Girls, I become an incoherent fangirl who sounds like she's trying to communicate with dolphins.

And I cannot do either of those things on Saturday. (At least I don't think so. Right?)

Hence, the terror.

To the best of my knowledge, I will have approximately fifteen minutes to fill. After which time (provided I haven't already fainted), I will take questions. That I will be expected to answer. And do all of this in a way that won't make me sound just...really stupid.

Not sure how I will pull any of this off, but I imagine that it will involve me spending mucho time practicing in the mirror, the shower, the car, and probably other locations, too, over the next five days.

Just as soon as I figure out what to talk about.

Any advice?


Thanks for stopping by today! See y'all next time...

30 comments:

  1. Good for you, MJ!

    Maybe you can work Joss Whedon and/or The Gilmore Girls into your talk? :)

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  2. Oh wow, this is awesome!!! Congratulations! I totally understand the terror, but I have no doubt that once you get started you will totally rock it. I was scared to death before my first speaking event and almost canceled, but then I ended up enjoying it! I think talking about our books and writing ends up being easier than we expect because we are talking about something we love.

    Good luck!!!

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    1. In the past, I've become terribly tongue-tied when talking about my books and writing. It took me almost a year to admit to my writers group that I had even written a novel. And if anyone of them show up on Saturday, they'll finally find out what it's called...

      I sincerely hope you're right—that I'll end up enjoying it. But right now, I'm just hoping I don't completely embarrass myself.

      Thank you!

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  3. That's awesome! Well done for doing it. I'd be nervous too, but you'll have 4 other people alongside you, which makes it so much easier. Remember to enjoy it, and tell us all about it next week! :-)

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    1. I am planning a post-public speaking post. I do hope I can share tales of my rousing success. And not the sad story of how I totally fainted after projectile vomiting on the audience. Fingers crossed! :)

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  4. Fabulous! I totally relate to the being terrified feelings. Just the thought of doing something like that makes me want to crawl under my desk and hide. Every opportunity to talk about Joss Whedon is an appropriate one. Maybe you could read an excerpt? That would fill some time, and then people would get to hear a bit of your awesome story. Good luck!

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    1. I don't know that I like the idea of reading an excerpt. I'm not sure I could do it in a way that would be interesting for anyone listening. It would fill time, though, so perhaps I will consider it if I can't think of anything else.

      Thanks!

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  5. That is great! I've never heard of this forum before. I'll have to see when they do a theme I can enter. Though, I truly would be terrified. And I don't have any tips to help you. I do like Christine's advice. You could start by reading an excerpt then discuss it. And talk about your writing, etc.

    I'll have to see if I can go to this to see you. :D

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    1. Huh. I think I may have stumbled up on a flaw in my telling-people-about-this plan...

      The society has done a fair number of events like this. So far I've attended romance, mystery, and military genre talks, and later in December is a historical fiction forum. I've enjoyed attending and meeting the local authors—even if it meant ending up on my own panel...

      I'm really uncomfortable with the idea of reading an excerpt, so I'm thinking I'll talk about my writing journey/evolution of my novel, but hopefully in a not-boring way.

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  6. You're going to wow 'em! This is so exciting. We need pictures and reports and all the news.

    One thing I've done in presentations is "recite" an opening passage or one that I'm particularly fond of. I never "read" from my book. I'm with Erik Larson who hates reading his work and thinks it's deadly dull for an audience. But that's just the two of us. :-)

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    1. Pictures? No, there won't be pictures, will there?

      I think I feel the plague coming on...

      And I think I agree with you and Erik Larson on the excerpt reading. The audience will just have to listen to me ramble. And take delight in it. :)

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  7. That's awesome! Yes, you're going to wow them. Not my favorite thing to do either, but it's not the worst. Remember, they ask about your writing, it is something you're an expert in. And if you don't know the answer, make something up - they'll never know.

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    1. It's something I'm an expert in. I will have to practice saying that in the mirror, too. :)

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  8. :D That's so wonderful! I can totally understand why it's terrifying (I would be too). I wish I could go and see you. And that I had some advice besides "Good luck." Which I suppose isn't really advice...

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    1. Oh, I'm sure there will be a YouTube video of Dolphin Girl come Sunday morning you can watch. :)

      And 'good luck' may not be advice, strictly speaking, but it's still nice to hear.

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  9. Be yourself and take your wonderful sense of humor with you. At all the public appearances I've done, the crowds are really friendly.

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    1. All the forums I've attended as a audience member have been really friendly, too, so I'm sure the trend will continue. Unless my writers group shows up and heckles me as threatened...

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  10. Good luck! If it was me, it'd be a HUGE thing. I'm terrified of doing something like this and haven't gotten the courage to yet.

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    1. Thanks, Patricia. I'm thinking that my teaching experience got me to actually say yes. I keep telling myself that if I could stand up in front of a group of angry teenagers every day for two years, than I can certainly manage fifteen minutes. Right?

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  11. Good luck! You can do it. Remember, you know your work better than anyone else does, so you should be able to talk about it.

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    1. Yes, I should be able to. That is true. What happens most often, however, is that my tongue refuses to form words. Perhaps if I do a few shots before it's my turn to speak...

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  12. What great exposure! Now you just have to figure out what you want to talk about. 15 minutes really isn't that long.

    Okay, so you don't want to read an excerpt. Perhaps you could talk about how your editing is going (or rather not going). Some of the stuff you post here is comedy gold, and if you could just find a way to talk about that process... Well, just spitballing here.

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    1. It really isn't that long, but I have a hunch that it will feel like forever.

      Perhaps I could talk about writing sarcastic haiku about my old day job. Something about finding inspiration in unlikely places?

      It just kind of feels as though any process talk I gave would have to be titled, "How Not To Write A Novel." Which, if one does it right, could maybe be kind of funny. Perhaps I should look into that, then. :)

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    2. I like the "how not to write a novel" idea. Because those usually turn into some good tips (probably of the "don't do this" variety, but that's still useful).

      But I LOVE the sarcastic haiku idea.

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  13. Yay! I'm so proud of you. It's hard, putting yourself out there, but so important to an author's life. Audiences for these things are usually kind and supportive folks. They're not out to undercut you with vicious questions or anything. They're either readers or writers or want to be. In other words, they're our people!

    If it was me, I'd be asking what the other writers intend to do, so I can either steal their ideas or make sure I do something different.

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  14. How amazing and terrifying! Woman, if my brother wasn't coming into town on Saturday (and yes, I have to pick him up from the airport), I would totally be coming to see you! (And drag the family to the beach.)

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  15. WOOT! That's great! I'm glad for you, even if you are terrified. I'll pass along the advice given to me (after I had already done my talking) - Make eye contact with audience members. Best of luck and I look forward to reading about how it goes.

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  16. Public appearances of any sort terrify me, too. So, I completely understand why this would make you anxious. Keeping my fingers crossed that this event goes well for you!

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