Sunday, August 07, 2005

Okay, I did it again. Took off without saying I was going to be gone for awhile. But it just seems like I'm always in a rush and never remember to do stuff like that until I rolling down a highway. I remember traveling at work and I would always forget to set the automatic message responder or change my voice mail message to indicate my time away or whereabouts. Well, when I was working, it might have been different. I didn't necessarily want to be found so....

Anyway, just got back from the third annual National Book Club Conference in Atlanta and it was off the chizzle (is that right?)! There were 600 people in attendance, authors like Terry McMillan, Walter Moseley, Bertice Berry, Grant & DeBerry, BeBe Campbell, J. California Cooper, and, um...Cherlyn Michaels! LOL No, I wasn't a perticipant (at least originally). But I did fill in a spot earlier today for the self-publishing panel and talked about my book and my journey. I still haven't mastered public speaking yet. I'm really going to have to work on it. I was next to last to speak and while everyone else was speaking, I was telling myself that this was nothing new. Nothing I hadn't done before. So relax. Just relax. So what do I do? I get up there, ramble and stumble over words because I don't know what to say next (well, in all honesty, I didn't expect to speak and had nothing prepared...but that's beside the point). My voice starts shaking and I remain that way until people start to ask questions. Now, I can stand there and have a conversation and talk to a crowd of people without feeling nervous. It's the talking about me and my book while everybody is quiet and staring, that I have a problem with. Because they're all staring at you and you don't know what they're thinking. Are they thinking, "Man, how did she write a book or get a book deal? She's boring as HELL!" Or, "Okay, okay, enough already. Tell me something good!" You just don't know what the audience is thinking. But, I managed to get through it and aftwards, quite a few wanted more info on my book (hopefully so they will pick it up when it's released) and/or to talk about publishing. I LOVE talking face to face with authors who are about to self-publish! :-)

The conference was AWESOME!!!! I've gone every year and each year is always better than the last and this one was no exception. I love going even if I'm not a participants. It's basically a gathering of bookclubs around the country, and authors. There are author sessions and panels, book club and author awards. Lunches, dinners, and an awesome time. It's great mingling with readers who are just hungry and salivating for new authors. It's the one time that I don't mind the sensation of feeling like a pork chop in someone's eye. And everyone is able to mingle with all the authors there. They hang out with you and cruise the hallways and partake in discussions about books, writing, the weather, flu vaccines, or whatever. This is like the best conference and I love going. It's also very inspiring. You always come away pumped up and ready to write and put out your next book. That's what I'm feeling now. Gotta get this manuscript finished. I set a new goal. A chapter a day because I've missed so many days of writing due to travel. It's still do-able because I did it for a while when writing the first book. Anyway, I'm feeling good and ready to roll again.


Marcus Harris Mon Aug 08, 09:19:00 AM EDT  

Great to hear that you're energized, Cherlyn! I'm glad you went down to the Conference and got your own personal "groove" back. Keep up the great work. I can't wait to see what you come up with next.

Also, don't worry about the public speaking thing. For a select few, it comes naturally, and for the rest of us (present company included) it just takes time. Trust me, the more you do it, the easier it gets.

By the way, what's up with the whole "feeling like a pork chop in someone's eye" thing? Maybe I should start eating pork again . . .

Cherlyn Michaels Mon Aug 08, 10:12:00 AM EDT  

Hey Marcus,
I know what you mean. And I hadn't done any public speaking in almost a year. I didn't have time to prepare, so everything was off the cuff. I'm planning on working on it though.

And, um...eating pork chops again. Naaahhhh! I don't want to be responsible for that! LOL Especially since I've been working on being a vegetarian, I don't want to encourage anyone to indulge. LOL But yes, that devouring feeling is good in the perspective of book lover to writer. LOL you're funny.

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