Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Say 'Ahhhh'

Rain, snow, slush high 2 degrees

Well, we're back home! Actually, at the office. Just arrived from Montreal and am getting caught up on emails and work. Lots of stuff but not too stressful. Unlike Books and Breakfast at the Omni Hotle in Montreal. God, I hate those things. Probably shouldn't admit it. And there's certainly nothing at all wrong with the events or the people. I just get so nervous. Strange, since I've certainly spoken in front of more people. There were about 300 people there. But I think it's a combination of the number of people, the fact it's in my hometown, and there are other authors there. And we only have 15 minutes. Most of the talks I give are at least 30 minutes. But at 15, I really have to prepare.

So I wrote a speech - then spent three weeks memorizing it. Pacing, reading and re-reading it. Sitting in the bath and pretending to deliver it. Over and over. Until I had it.

I know I could either wing it, or simply read the speech - but this is frankly just too big an event to 'wing' (at least for me) - I'd be really stressed out then. And reading a speech just makes it feel flat and dead.

I'm a big believer in preparation. Not, I hope, insane preparation...but enough to be both effective and comfortable. Strangely, by preparing this much I'm sure I gave the impression of not having prepared at all - of being absolutely at ease and simply making it up as I go along.

But wow - am I ever nervous before hand. As it turned out - thank God - it went well. I of course got all muddled in the middle - but a few moments of babbling (and wishing the floor would open) looked after that and I got back on track.

That was Sunday. Yesterday had four hours of gum surgery. Actually, that seemed a breeze compared to the speech - where I was afraid I'd open wide and say 'Ahhh' for fifteen minutes.

Home now. But back to Montreal Friday, train to Toronto Saturday - giving the same speech to Books and High Tea on Sunday. But oddly, I'm not worried. Famous last words. Now I know I can do it - and I actually enjoy the speech. Just not giving it.

I'll have to get used to this. Or die.

Feels good to be home - but I did have lots of fun on this trip.

Speak tomorrow.

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