You Are It!!!

images_068You hear your name called and cannot believe, ‘YOU ARE IT’, the next month’s speaker at your writing club. Your throat tightens, sweat pours down your neck, and you look around for something to use, just in case you can’t swallow.
Instead, you smile and wave your hand. You do not trust your voice at this point. After the current meeting, many people walk up to your table and congratulate you. You hear, “So glad it’s you. I couldn’t talk much less make sense. Others come by with more remarks: I didn’t know you gave talks, you are always so quiet,” and another mentioned “My knees would be shaking so hard I couldn’t stand up.” She just doesn’t know my knees are knocking against each other under the table as she speaks.  The Program Chair announces your topic is on writing, and we need to hear more about your new book.
This helps some, you do know your book from the beginning to the ending, cut speaking you’ve never done. You take a deep breath and smile. AT least you have a month to work things out, like your talk, your voice, and your fear.
In one month, you can put all of this together, starting now. You practice with a tape recorder and listen to yourself. You talk too fast and the words run together. No one could understand a thing you are saying. When on replay, your voice never changes pith and the words fall out dull and sometimes slurred.
In the second week, you slow down, and since it is your book and you know the characters, your voice takes n their attitudes and their voice. Soon you find yourself having fun with your characters and the audience will enjoy them too. Do not forget body language and move with your characters. So, you screw up, laugh at yourself and the audience will laugh with you.
Look at your audience. People want to think that you are looking at them and not everyone in the room. Give them the best you can with a sincere attitude, honesty, and smiles.
Have fun and your audience will have fun. Now you know you can write and have turned a new page in your book–speaking. The best part, you are still standing behind the podium with the mike in your hand. Do not wait for the audience to applaud, turn the tables and applaud your audience.

HAPPY WRITING. HAPPY SPEAKING. HAPPY FANS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LISTENING

images_377

This is a skill a lot of us still have to study. How many times do you hear one thing and reply before the speaker is finished? It goes back to learning the basics of being a good conversationalist. Listen. Listen. Listen.
As writers, we will sometimes be asked to read and talk about different writer’s article, manuscript, short story, or poem. This is what we do when we critique. You must be fair, clear, concise, and think before you speak. These words came from the heart and though we might not agree, a gentle answer will help more than the writer. It will also help you, as another writer and reader. Be friendly and look for the good things the writer has to say.
Friends have all kinds of problems. We have friends, who are bubbly all the time, and then those who can only talk about negative feelings. We are not all alike and we have to keep an open mind. Be authentic when talking with different people. We all have problems, but we do not need to share them with everyone. Sometimes, negative feelings and talk bring our spirits down. This is when listening can benefit the person and where you need to stop and think before you speak. Try to be affirmative and not criticize.
Be respectful of another person’s point of view and keep an open mind. It is the various friends who enter our lives that make everything interesting. If you are listening, face to face, look at the person and not around the room. This signals full attention on the other person and lets them see your compassion. If you are on the phone, keep your voice soft and gentle. This shows you are listening.
During our lives, we will run into many different types of communication. All we can do is listen, show respect for the other person, and keep our minds open. I remember a statement from eons ago…We have only one mouth to talk, but we do have two ears to hear.  LISTEN…LISTEN…LISTEN…THEN SPEAK.

LAUGH A LOT

images_185
 Laughter cures. Problems are more manageable when you have a smile on your face. This makes things look smaller and when problems shrink, life looks a little better. A smile on your face also makes others wonder what you have been doing, or what you are planning. Stop for a few seconds and look around you. This could be at your friends, co-workers, family members or strangers. How many of these people you see are smiling? Everyone has so much stress in their lives, they have forgotten how to smile. No, not the little attempt, but a big lip-smackin smile that covers all of the face, eyes included.
Then you have to be able to laugh at yourself. When this happens, other people will either join in or shake their heads at your behavior. Laughter has a way of helping other people see a different side of life. Even babies enjoy watching laughter and soon are able to do this on their own. They learn their own voice, the wave of their hands, and the happy face of their mother, father, brother, sister, and even the dog. Soon, the baby learns of the noise that comes from their mouths and the fun begins. Giggles are another sound that a baby learns and practices quite often.
As we grow older, we forget about a lot of the practice we’ve had and all of a sudden — no laughter. We become dull, uninterested in a lot of life, and wonder what has happened.  WE FORGOT TO LAUGH. What’s wrong with laughing at every thing we can. It is a healthy attitude that gives us a full life and we are lucky .
Have you ever noticed a pet respond to laughter? They do, just as other people respond to our positive attitudes. You have a new pet and it listens to your speech and mannerisms. Oh, yes they do. When you are happy and smiling, your pet feels the warmth and gives back in their own way. They are attentive and become attached to the routine you established with them. They are some of our best friends.
Still, there is another area of life that needs smiles, laughter and hugs. How about our grandparents, aunts, uncles, or the older generation of our families or friends. Loneliness becomes the better part of their lives and  we can brighten their days with a smile and laughter about ‘the old times.’ When there is laughter, there is no age limit and one size fits all. Do yourselves a big favor and Laugh. Laugh A LOT. Laugh at everything. It’s free, non-fattening, great stomach exercise, increases the lung capacity and makes everyone feel better.
Happy You. Happy Laughing. Happy Times.