Monday, 24 October 2011

My First Speech! . . . plus Revised Cheat Sheet into Publishing

Last week was one of those whirlwind weeks!  A wake-up call!  I realized I had over-done-it this semester . . . BIG TIME!!  So rather than skip a week, I decided to revise my Journey into Publishing Cheat Sheet.  This way I can still eat and sleep, not to mention, my brain is fried like a green tomato.  Too many different classes and research . . . but I won't bore you with that.

Time is the coin of your life.  It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent.  Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.     - Carl Sandberg  (1878 - 1976)

My biggest challenge was my "Introduction" for Speech Class on Thursday evening.  As many know, my hand-held tape recorder is my #1 writing tool, next to my computer, which I planned to use for my speech. So what happens? The wretched thing developes an attitude . . . a horrible clicking that was so loud it drowned-out my voice, and couldn't be fixed.  Solution: buy a new one!  But now everything's digital!  The instructions were 6 pages long . . . and this took more time!

Pleasure and action make the hours seem short - William Shakespeare  (1564 - 1616)

I called Ingrid, the speaker I was to introduce, and gathered information to use in my Introduction.  The writing came easy . . . MEMORIZING was the hard part!  I missed my writing class in Santa Barbara on Thursday morning because I needed more practice.  Once I was fairly confident I knew my material, I wrote notes on a 4X6 index card and clipped it to my olive-green booklet.

That evening, I calmly sat listening to others speak.  I was the last Introducer on the program.  I had my notes and knew my subject.  It wasn't until I got up and walked to the side of the stage, waiting to be called by our Master of Ceremonies, that I began to shake!  It wasn't my hands or my knees . . . it was the upper half of my chest and shoulders!  The WIERDEST thing!!  Anyone else ever experience this?  Deep breathing DID NOT WORK.  Once I reached the podium, I took a deep breath, looked around and smiled sheepishly . . . then switched into automatic pilot.  

My presentation evaluation was complementary, noting I had no ahh's or uhh's.  I had practiced THE PAUSE when I couldn't remember what came next.  It worked!  My only ZING. . . I walked off stage on the wrong side . . . in front of the Master of Ceremony, instead of the opposite side.  This is definitely a NO-NO! 

"We can't all be stars . . . but we can all twinkle!"     - Fay Angus

Next week . . . my REAL SPEECH!  Scary!  This fear is something I'm determined to overcome!  I'm being groomed by Linda, one of our facilitators.  Her first call came Sunday evening at 7:00.  I was to have a "skeleton" outline ready to review.  Considering this was my FULL WEEKEND Counseling Conference (7:00 - 10:00 Friday evening and 8:00 - 5:30 Saturday), and with church on Sunday, I was doubting my ability.  But once I got in the groove, it more or less poured out.  She liked my writing . . . now all I have to do is turn it into a 5 minute speech!  Her follow-up call will be Tuesday evening at 7:00.  By then, I'm expected to have my speech "fleshed out."  Heaven only knows how this will turn out . . .

Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.               - Rodin  (1840 - 1917)


Below is a list of my blogs for those who might be looking for a specific topic: 
     1.  In The Beginning                                                               April 9
          How my book came to be . . .
     2.  This Closet Writer . . . Goes Public                                April 16
           My first writing class - posting my blog
     3.  I Never Planned to be a Writer!                                      April 23
          Blogging - my writing class - my free-lance editor   
     4.  Publicize Your Book . . .                                                     May 1
          Publicizing - blogging - writing class - book query
     5.  Write Your Heart Out . . .                                                   May 7
          Blogging - why I wrote my book - book proposal excerpt
     6. Q is for Query Letter . . .                                                    May 15
          Posted my original query letter
     7.  B is for Book Proposal . . . Part One                                 May 21
          Elements of a book proposal - my proposal table of contents
     8.  B is for Book Proposal . . . Part Two                                 June 12
          More elements of a book proposal
     9.  What Next? . . . Time for an Agent                                   June 19
          Some basic agent information
    10.  Marketing in an Electronic World . . .                             June 26
           First steps to marketing my book  
    11.  Will Self-Publishing be My Only Option?                          July 3
           Posted excerpt from Chapter One of my book
    12.  A Platform . . . Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone       July 11
           Start to develop a platform for my book
    13.  The Marketing Medusa . . .                                              July 28
           JK Rowling's success - more marketing
    14.  2011 Agents . . . What Do They Really Want?              August 7
           Identify agent's most asked for requirements
    15.  What is a Synopsis and Why? . . . Part One                 August 27
           Details to begin synopsis process
    16.  One Writer's Journey into Publishing Cheat Sheet  September 4
           Lists previous blogs and subject matter
    17.  What is a Synopsis and Why? . . . Part Two              September 11
            What to include in a synopsis
    18.  Ebooks . . . A Contemporary "David and Goliath"  September 19
           Show why authors are choosing to self-publish
    19.  The #1 Question: Who is Your Audience? . . . plus Excerpt
             Importance of locating your specific audience             September 26
    20.  "The Moving Wall" . . . An Experience I Will Never Forget!
             An emotional visit that squeezed my heart                       October 3
    21.  Traditional Publish or Self-Publish . . . My Decision plus Excerpt
            What direction I chose and why                                       October 10
    22.  Public Speaking 101 . . . Fight or Flight?                               
           Terror and my first class . . .                                              October 17

Lesson learned . . . or my two cents

This week I learned that Tom Carey, a classmate from my writing class, had graciously developed a sample cover for my book, which I never got to see . . . instead, I was home memorizing my speech.  Tom is an artist and a photographer, who generously offered to put some ideas on paper.  I'm sorry I missed the showing, Tom.  I didn't know you had time to do this yet and I'm anxious to see what you've created.  Hopefully, I'm better prepared this week, so I can attend class.  Thank you so much!!!

Visit Tom @ to sneak a peek at his artwork and photography


  1. Nancy, I'm so impressed with all you've taken on this semester. Wow! Sometimes jumping in with both feet, while shocking at first, can be utterly invigorating. Hope you know their socks off with your speech!

  2. You have done a tremendous amount of hard work and deserve great success! I applaud your tenacity and courage. Elizabeth.

  3. Nancy, I do sympathize with you, but I give you major kudos for sticking with this. You certainly are courageous.

    One tip about the following: "MEMORIZING was the hard part!"

    Try this: I think it might help you if you just make sure you know your material or what you want to get across very well, make a list of major points or key words (to keep by you, in view) and don't memorize. Not being able to remember one word can throw you off. This method focuses on major concepts and ideas.

  4. Congratulations, Nancy, on getting through! I'm thinking the lessons and confidence from doing something that scares all of us so, will be an asset for the rest of your life.

  5. Becky - Your words are always so encouraging. I did jump in with both feet and have learned a great lesson. Think before you leap! Next semester I plan to put most of my free time into getting everything in place for my book launch. Still lots to do and check out. LOL

  6. Dear Elizabeth - How kind you are! I thought writing a book was hard, but "all this other stuff" can be mind blowing. It's scary and hard, but also exhilarating. It makes one feel truly alive!

  7. Hi Nancy - one of many :) I don't know if I'm courageous or free. I had so little control of my life for so long, that once I broke the binds that held me . . . I now am free to do anything as long as it doesn't hurt another.

    I'm still walking a fine rope with the speaking. I can talk freely from keywords . . . the hard part is "being timed." This is intimidating, whether it's 3 minutes or 5 minutes. I must learn how to do this with grace.

  8. Goddess - Thank you, and I agree. I continue to try to step beyond the point of comfort because I know it will eventually lead me to a better place. This journey I'm on has been incredible and fulfilling. My fear I left in the past, in the present, things are scary, but for good. LOL

  9. I am in awe of your process and your bravery. I can't remember my speech class (college) but suspect I was dreadful. I do have to talk in a speech like venue all the time for work, but that is ease peezie compared to talking about myself. This sounds terrifying, In the midst of my own madness I decided to take a poetry class, which is proving to be a heck of a lot of work and require more time than I have, but I needed something creative to do while I work through my rewrite Writers are crazy with all that we do. I love you list of steps above, and have copied it for future reference. Every week, even if you don't have enough time to eat and sleep, you're getting closer to your goal. This is exciting, yes?

  10. Sweet, Brenda - Yes, it is exciting, but there's so much I don't know. Sometimes I feel so unqualified to be doing what I'm doing. Then my stubborn streak kicks in and gives "me" a good talking to, motivating me to jump back in, feet first. And I know you understand with the load you juggle. Always love your insight!