I’m a bit outspoken. Ok, maybe more than a bit.
Sometimes I get self conscious about it. Not in the moment you understand. While I’m talking I’m having a great time. After a conversation ends however, in the privacy of my neurotic mind, I always wonder if I’m one of those people. You know the type, the ones who think they’re funny but who others actually just deeply want to rid themselves of. (I know, totally a balanced thought.)
However, this weekend at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference (SiWC) I had two experiences that made me like my extroverted nature.
The first experience was having a friend tell me that they admire how I can leap into conversations and connect with people easily. For some reason it’s a compliment that I not only believed (a hard thing for me to do) but one that I was proud of. Yay me.
The second experience was during the Power Editing class with Robert Dugoni.
Early in the class Robert (who writes murder mystery thrillers) told us if you’re writing a murder mystery then in your first chapter (ish) someone had better die. Good advice.
Then later in class he described a time when he had to change the first chapter of a novel; a woman waiting in a doctor’s office for a breast cancer diagnosis. Then he challenged us to tell him why he had to change the chapter. What was wrong with it?
In response I yelled out, “No one killed her breast”.
Robert laughed. (The whole room laughed.) Then he said,
“You’re funny and everyone in the room loves you for it… No one killed her breast, that’s the first thing I’m telling my wife when I get home.”
It’s never a bad day when a famous author tells you you’re funny. But wait, it gets better. Yesterday he walked by me, caught my eye, pointed and said
“Hey, it’s the breast lady.”
Ok, maybe not the best nick name ever, but Robert Dugoni knew who I was. (In a good non-stalker way.)
NB. I also got some great advice about Riveted at the conference. I can’t wait to get home and write up a storm.
Another benefit of attending SiWC is talking to great creative people who have interesting stories to tell. One attendee told me a story about how, when he was in college, someone from his fraternity had lured a cow onto the upstairs floor of a rival frat.
A cow? Yep a cow, but wait (again) it gets better. They then discovered a little known cow fact. While cows are fully capable of going up stairs, they suck rocks (read wont) go down them again and the frat had to build a cow ramp for the descent. Awesome.
Why share this? Because it inspired me of course. You’re the frat house that finds itself in possession of a second floor cow. What would you do?