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Saturday, July 16, 2005

Taking Risks

Not risks in my writing. I write my characters and if it takes a risk to be true to them, then I take it. It's only after the fact that I start worrying about this. No, I'm talking about my pushing my own personal envelope. I'm shy. Very, very shy. I always feel awkward around people I don't know and sometimes even around people I do know. I don't do many book signings and I'd never dare to speak in front of a group. And yet I've agreed to do all this.

It started in May when a local bookstore contacted me and asked me to sign. Fortunately, it wasn't alone, but with two other authors. It was my first signing in my own home area. Before this, I'd only done the RT book fair and the RWA literacy event. This signing went pretty well. I sold a few books, a woman who was visiting from California came all the way to the bookstore just to meet me, and I don't think I embarrassed myself--at least not too much.

Because this went relatively well, I volunteered to take part in a book signing at Barnes & Noble at the Mall of America at the end of September. Through a Crimson Veil will probably be in the stores by then since it has an Oct 4th release date and I'll get to sign my new baby. At least there'll be 7 other authors there, so I won't be sitting alone looking pathetic.

This month, however, has really presented me with chances to step out of my safe little cocoon. And I keep accepting them! GAH! First, I was asked to be part of a panel at the RT Convention in Daytona next May. I wasn't even sure I was going yet, but it only took a little persuasion for me to say I'd do it. I'm sure the panic attack will set in at some point, but it hasn't yet. Again, safety in numbers. I'll be with other authors.

My next opportunity to push my boundaries came when I was asked by the vice president of my local writing chapter to do Journey of a Novel before one of our chapter meetings. This time I didn't even need to be persuaded, I just said "sure." I've already started mildly hyperventilating when I think about this. I keep telling myself, not only will this be good practice for RT in May, but it's a chance to talk about my book to people who won't run the opposite direction. :-) My poor coworkers. And since I'll be talking about TACV, I'll have my blog entries to fall back on. I posted fairly often on how the book was going. But you want to hear the really incredible part? The VP said that she'd had lots of requests for me to do Journey of a Novel. Me. That just floored me.

That's it so far, but I'm sure the universe will present more risk-taking chances for me because it seems as if this is the next part of my journey as a writer and as a human being. To stop keeping myself safe and dare to sound like an idiot in front of lots of people. The really funny thing is that years before I was published--years before I even started Ravyn's Flight--I was in my meditation group and our leader wanted us to look at our future. First, she took us five years forward, then ten years. And in the ten year one, I saw myself giving workshops on writing. I laughed about that. No way was I ever going to speak in public. Guess the laugh is on me, huh?

MN Weather Report: 81 degrees. On our way to 96 degrees with a heat index over 100.