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12 February 2006

SARK's Succulent Pajama Party Recap Part 2

Saturday Games: We did these as kind of a breather from being cooped up inside

~ Hokey Pokey - because, really, that's what it's all about. We did this outside. Thank God the walls were high...and only the SWIHA people saw us.

~ Thank you, I know this - We had a certain amount of time (I don't remember how much) to go around and tell someone what you're good at. It could be anything, from "I make great oatmeal raisin cookies" to what you do for a living. The person you told had to say something like "Wow, that's amazing" or "Really? Fantastic" and then you respond, "Thank you. I know this." In a sense, you were tooting your own and receiving validation. In truth, I'm not used to tooting my own horn, and felt self-conscious (okay, silly, really) saying that "I'm a Young Adult fiction writer and the owner of a small press". The women I told that to thought that it really was impressive, but actually saying, "Thank you, I know this" felt foreign to me. But it was fun.

~ Simone Says (Sort of) - I say Simone because it was more relevant to the situation of us being all female. I say sort of because it was kinda like that game, but with a little ditty in between. Karen would say something like "Hands out, thumbs in, elbows down" and we had to imitate the words and then sing "a-doodly-wop-a-doodly-wop-a-diddly-diddly-do". Or some such nonsense. And then she would add more stuff. So we would do the stuff at the beginning, then the new stuff and then the song. Just something fun and silly.

Saturday Night: Dinner was fantastic. Salad, sauteed veggies, rice, salmon (eww, gross) and a chicken soup? type concoction that was served in little hollowed out croissant bowls, rolls. And the dessert! OMG! It was spread out so nicely that I had to take a picture of it. We had a choice of little individual banana cream pies (eww, gross again because I don't like coconut) or a raspberry flavored mousse inside a Nestle chocolate...thingy. During dessert, Karen got up and sang some songs. Songs that we could get up and dance to, needless to say. Because, after having such a wonderful meal, we all had to dance it off. We also had some talented women in our group, one of them being 15 yr old Alexis. American Idol worthy, I thought.

Sunday - This day was the final day. We ended at around 1:30pm, all of us women in a huge circle, singing another inspirational song of Karen's. I'm really going to have to buy one of her CD's, because I was hearing empowering music all weekend. One of the main exercises we did that had to do with creating a Micromovement Wheel.

It's an activity anyone can do way to keep your creative dream moving. You draw a wheel with 8 spokes and in the middle circle, you put a creative creative dream, then choose micromovements that correspond. Keep in mind that micromovements are 5 seconds-5 minutes in length. In SARK's book--Make Your Creative Dreams Real: A plan for procrastinators, perfectionists, busy people, and people who would rather sleep all day-- she uses knitting a sweater as an example of a creative dream; and all the 8 sections have a corresponding movement: #1 "Saturday 4pm call Valerie for patterns or online resources", #2 "Wednesday 11am, cut out pictures of sweaters I like in magazines" and so forth. You get the gist. So, all of us did our wheels and then some of us volunteered to share our dream.

My creative dream is public speaking. I have this...anxiety..about speaking in public. In my previous update, I touched on the reason. The next thing I know, SARK has pulled me up on stage, in front of almost 100 women and hands me the microphone. She stood next to me the whole time, held a comforting hand against my back and encouraged me to share my creative dream. For a second, I froze up. For reals. I had the microphone in my hand, opened my mouth to speak...aaaand nothing came out. Not one sound. Not even a HOLY-SHIT-I'M-TOO-SCARED-TO-SPEAK squeak. I just looked out at all those women and just...froze up.

"Take a deep breath," SARK said. And maybe the clapping and enouraging cheers from the women helped (I've been with them for 2 days, after all), but I was able to say "I have this anxiety about speaking in public. So, tomorrow morning, before I go to work, I'm going to look in the mirror and do a 30 second intro." I did it! I spoke in front of almost 100 women and didn't pass out, stutter...or fall off the stage. I'm gearing up for a book festival in August in which I will be given 25 minutes to speak. That's what I'm preparing for and I know it's going to be a totally different atmosphere than it was here. For one, I'm not going to have a room full of women yelling enouragement. Or SARK at my side telling me to take a deep breath. Hell, I have no idea what I'm going to talk about for 25 minutes, or even if I should cheat and make flash cards. I'll think of something and hope that it'll all go smoothly.

Being a writer, I have my superstitions: no one can read the ms until it's completely done (which kinda makes it hard for me to be a part of a critique group), no reading of other books while in Writing Mode, etc. And I believe in signs: when I get writer's block, I put the book aside and wait for my characters to talk to me. Several years down the line, I want to try my hand at writing adult romance. Currently, I don't feel ready to tackle that yet. I'll know when I know. My toes say that I'll be speaking publicly a lot about my books, my business, etc. That's a sign to me. A sign that I'll hopefully, eventually, overcome my anxiety and make more sales.
posted by GeminiWisdom @ 4:30 PM |


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