Best Saturday Ever!! Many thanks to the South Florida Writer’s Association (SFWA) for asking me to speak on Character Development and Associated Complexities, at their August meeting on Saturday, August 6th.
You know, there’s a lot to be said for belonging to a writer’s association. I met so many talented authors, poets, and writing contest winners there. Having so much talent in one room was mind-boggling! Some authors have had several books published, and some are newbies to the association. All are happy to help one another find the courage and determination needed to complete the writing projects they’re working on, celebrate their successes, as well as the trepidations associated with being a part of the ever-growing literary world.
According to the South Florida Writers Association, their purpose is to provide fellowship, education and information among writers; assist in establishing and supporting high literary standards; and encourage and promote interest in literary achievements in the community. Well, they certainly lived up to those standards on Saturday.
The room was literally filled with writers. I squared my shoulders and confidently walked up to the podium. Ok, I was hoping my knees weren’t knocking as I walked past them. After all, who was I to stand before them and speak about writing? What could I possibly say that they hadn’t thought, or heard, or said a million times before? Getting closer to the pulpit, I nodded appropriately at some of them, and made eye-contact with others. I had this icky metal taste in my mouth as I stepped up to the mic.
I lifted my gaze into the audience, where many pairs of eyes were fixed on me. But as I started to speak, the magic began to happen. I could feel the strength in my words, and the confidence that oozed from my pours came from believing in what I was saying. Some sat with their arms crossed, listening intently. Others nodded in agreement at what I was saying. I felt like a new day had dawned.
Even as I continued to speak, there was a word forming in my head, and I waited for it to surface. It was too subtle and elusive yet to name at the moment, but I felt it reaching towards me through the other sights, sounds, scents, and the colors in the room. Then suddenly there it was… Acceptance. No, that was too small a word. Fellowship. Yes, just like the SFWA website said. I realized that in those few minutes, I had become one of them.
Nearly overwhelmed with the thought of it, I actually felt rather giddy; my eyes were keen and bright. As I abandoned my fear, my new, clearer and exalted perception of my audience gave me the courage to forge on. I was very happy, and very honored that they all came to hear me speak.
My thanks to Liz Hernandez for taking pics of me. And thanks to Steve Liebowitz, and Phyllis Teitelbaum for their presentation on presenting your work in front of an audience. Because of their advice, the usual pre-presentation butterflies in my stomach flew right out the window!
A very special thank you to SFWA President, Margarita Muina, and Program Director, Jonathan Rose for presenting me with such a beautiful plaque. Awesome!!!
Tags: authors, book reviews, Books, Bring Your Characters To Life!, children's books, Creative Writing, key note speaker, mystery book, poets, Presentation, Published Author, Reading and Writing, readings, What Do Your Characters Look Like?, writing advocate, writing association, writing contest, Writing for Publication