Loch Awe in spring - Photo courtesy of Neil Donald Photography






Monday, 5 October 2015

EXPERT? MOI?

When I first started writing - and being published - I had no idea what sort of journey it would take me on. I assumed writers sat at the keyboard and wrote and publishers got on with, well, publishing. I had no idea back then that I would have to sell my own work to a certain extent. The experience that opened up a whole new world to me was when I was in a charity anthology for breast cancer research and was invited to W H Smith in Cardiff where Carole Matthews was the biggest name at a book-signing. I remember being in awe of such a well-known author and I had to pinch myself that I was in such company. But book-signings led to talks in libraries and book groups. The first talk I ever gave I typed my speech in triple-spacing and Times New Roman 20. I read it aloud over and over again at home, timing it to fifteen minutes. On the day I more or less knew if off by heart. I was in good company that day - Margaret James and Jane Bidder (aka Sophie King) and was happy to let them answer questions from the audience.
I progressed to jotting down ideas and talking, ad lib, between prompts. I've heard Jane Wenham-Jones speak for half an hour without a single note to prompt her as to what to say and without a single um and er. Again I was in awe. But I am - unlike Jane - not a natural public-speaker. At various conferences I've sat and listened to a panel of experts answering questions from the audience. Obviously they have no idea what questions they are going to be asked, and they have impressed me with their instant, intelligent, professional answers. And I've thought - I could never do that! So, it came as a bit of shock that I was asked if I would be on the panel of experts at a prize-giving for a short story competition. My instinct was to say no. But in my head I could hear my dear old dad saying, 'There's only ever one first time for doing anything. The second time it's with experience.' As many reading this blog will know I'm profoundly deaf and have a cochlear implant so I'm going to have someone sitting beside me fielding the questions from the audience, and repeating them to me. Trisha Ashley is the big name on the panel this time.
And as lots of people will be looking at me I will need to boost my confidence by wearing something that stands out from the crowd.
So, time to dig out my flashy jacket, take a deep breath, and tuck another writing-related experience under my belt.

16 comments:

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    1. Ooooh, thanks for popping by, Cathie, and for asking me. I know you'll be my 'ears' on the day.

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  2. You will be fine. It is always great to meet people, sit with other experts and do something as important as giving out awards.

    Good luck.

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    1. Thanks so much for this, Stella. It never ceases to amaze me that the older I get the more experiences I seem to have through writing - thrilling really!

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  3. Linda, you're too modest. You're an extremely talented writer and well deserve the 'expert' tag. And you'll be fine... :)

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    1. Aw, shucks, Jennifer ..... thank you, she says blushing.... :)

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  4. I know exactly how you feel, Linda. I recently gave my first Library talk. I hate listening to myself speak - is that a benefit of deafness ... or just another hurdle to cross?

    You'll be terrific!

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    1. Ah yes, the deafness .... I have to remember to put rise and fall in my voice. My darling daughter is often in the front row at these things and waves a discreet hand in her lap, up and down, to let me know I've forgotten. And she grins from ear to ear the whole way through which makes me smile, too . .. :) I'm sure your talk went well, Jenny.

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  5. You'll be fine, Linda. Love the jacket, by the way.

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    1. Thank you, Mary - I've been known to loan the jacket out for a box of Thornton's!

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    2. I'll bear it in mind, Linda - though the travel costs to fetch and return it might be prohibitive!

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  6. You'll be great Linda. And like Mary, I love the jacket. Onwards and upwards!

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  7. That jacket will win the day, Linda, not like you need any help!

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    1. Ah yes, Jane, take everyone's mind off what's coming out of my mouth, maybe ....tee hee,.

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  8. What a great post (and jacket!) Linda...don't know how I managed to miss it first time round....

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