99 Words...and a little bit more
Clearing her throat, she looked up from the notes lying on the wood. The audience didn't see her suck in a few deep breaths. The confidence butterflies flittering around in her stomach found a place to land. The words came easily, projecting her strong voice that had found itself somewhere along the way. When had that happened? Where was that other person?
“Thank you all for coming.” Applause erupted
The two-room school was not big enough to house the community that came out to support such activities; however, it was plenty big enough for practices. Grade 1 to 3 in one room and 4 to 6 in the other.
It was during those early years that schools within the district were encouraged to send students to Williams Lake for a competition that was held there each year. Going to Williams Lake from Lone Butte was a journey in itself; but going there to recite a poem, on a stage, in front of people and judges, was terrifying. I do not remember the outcome, which is probably for the best.
In my tween years, my love of horses took my confidence to a new level. High school rodeos, gymkhanas, and even rodeo royalty. Who would have thought? I have to say that it was still not easy for me to get up in front of people to talk, or go into a room full of strangers, but somehow I still managed to do some silly, crazy things—with confidence.
When I launched Moon Rising: An Eclectic Collection of Works, I did, what I thought at the time, all the things needed to let people know about the book. What I hadn’t banked on was the cold sweaty hands and butterfly stomach when I stood at the front of the room, in front of my peers and guests. I was terrified.
I am still not crazy about being the centre of attention in a crowded room, or anywhere else for that matter. However, I have gotten over the urge to run in a different direction when I am asked about any of the eleven books I have published, or the writing process that got me to where I am today, or about things I know about just because I do.
I often wonder where that little girl has gone. That makes me smile because my answer is always nowhere. She surfaces every so often and between the two of us, we get through what we are facing. She says it’s okay to be silly. She encourages me to step outside of the quiet, humble, person. She encourages me to tell stories with confidence. She reminds me to let where I am from, guide me on the journey to where I am going. She is, and always will be, me.