Monday, September 10, 2012

A luncheon talk and some spiffy bling

Yesterday it was my great privilage to speak to the opening luncheon of the Women's Ministries at my church--about 80 women. They are embarking on a mystery reading program this fall and thought it would be fun to begin with one of their own. I felt honored. Given free rein to talk about anything I wanted, with books as the theme, I talked about my writing from the age of ten on. As all writers can imagine there were lots of trials and tribulations and a lot of funny things that happened along the way--like the time I won the best juvenile novel of the year award from the Texas Institute of Letters and the woman presenting said, "Good old so-and-so (I have no idea of his name) who usually wins this award didn't enter this year, so it  goes to Judy Alter." There was laughter at that and a lot of other stories I worked in along the way.
Speaking doesn't come easily to me, though everyone says I do it well. They just don't know the agony I go through beforehand. I made my friend Betty listen to this one in the car Friday on the way to Granbury, and she pronounced it interesting and funny, so I was somewhat reassured. She said she'd listen on Sunday to see if I forgot anything I'd said on Friday--guess not since she didn't complain.
Afterward several women said they thought they knew me before, but now they knew a lot more about me. Hmmm--didn't think I revealed any secrets. What Betty said was, "I never knew you went through all that." I think readers don't recognize how much rejection and discourgement writers face on the way to a career. I hope I was able to present it with humor and optimism.
My daughter Jordan was there as moral support and a help when I was signing books. I know most of these ladies, but the best of us can have memory lapses while signing--I was grateful the church plastered big name tags on everyone.
About a week before this a close friend called to say I needed to look spiffy for the luncheon. "Spiffy?" I asked. She explained she didn't exactly know what she meant. Maybe Jordan would know. Jordan decided the only seasonal spiffy in my closet was the bright purple I'd worn to church the week before, so I bought spiffy in Granbury. If  you read the previous blog, you know about my buying an aubergine (okay, eggplant) top with a ruffle and a bit of bling--a lilac and silver long but skinny kind of thing you can fling around your neck in various ways. I'm never good at that flinging stuff nor am I really the ruffle kind--my retirement wardrobe consists mostly of jeans, capris, and big shirts. Spiffy with bling were the subject of much discussion at the luncheon...and even at a lunch table today where one of the ladies had read the earlier blog.
The chuch has a WILD Women book club. That name always threw me--I don't quite associate Wild Women with a church--but it turns out that's an acronym. The group raises money for the Heifer Interntional project, so WILD stands forWomen in Livestock Development. They'll discuss Skeleton in a Dead Space on the 18th, and I'll go back for that discussion.Then they'll move on to Julia Spencer-Fleming so I'm in good company.

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