Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Whew, It all went well

JoAnn Arnold

Before I start AGAIN, I have to tell you that I have already written this, saved it and needed to make one correction and BOOM, I lost the whole thing and was out of the blog. AEEE!!!. Oh well, I shall try again.

What I want to tell you is that my presentation at the CEU Women's Conference, in Price, on Friday, went very well.

I know that most of you know where Price is but I wonder how many know where Castle Gate is . . . or was? Castle Gate was a small town that you would pass by as you were starting up Price Canyon. It got its name from two cliffs on separate mountains that were separated by the road between them. But as you traveled the winding road up or down the canyon, the cliffs gave the appearance of opening and closing, bidding you farewell as you left and welcomed you when you came home. The cliffs have since been blasted away and the town torn down for the sake of the coal beneath it's gound.

The trains traveled through Castle Gate early in the morning, mid-day and late at night. Their sounds were soothing, and to this day, whenever I hear a train, I think of Castle Gate and the wonderful memories.

Now, to get to the point at hand, the conference. I had studied, worried, worked and prepared for weeks, having to remind myself to breathe. but it wasn't until I read something in a book on writing, which incidentally I borrowed from a friend and have since returned it, so I'll have to paraphrase what I read.

It went something like this. "To promote their work, authors have to speak at events which brings great stress and often times takes the author to his/her bed." (There was more that I can't remember - though it was very well said.) After reading the full paragraph, I felt much better knowing I was not alone in my stress.

Well the day came and I stood in front of the audience of women and I remembered to make eye contact, to smile, to remember, to enjoy the moment, and to laugh. Oh! it was fun. (And to think of all the suffering I went through to prepare . . . but I ask myself, did all that worry and suffering make me a better speaker? I will never know).

I talked about my books and sold many books. I had several paintings on display - not to sale because I didn't want to sell them. But I enjoyed watching people stand and enjoy them, talk about them, discuss them and say good things about them. (It was a lift to my small ego).

All went well and I'm so glad I accepted the invitation to speak and to be a part of this CEU Women's Conference.

Before I conclude, I want to add one more thing. While preparing for this speaking engagement, a thought came to me. I think so many times we are hard on ourselves, expecting to be perfect in the achievement. But the day we reach perfection, if that is possible, I believe we would lose interest in the art. It is the stretch, the challenge that awakens the creativity and the curiosity that lies within us. We want to always be learning, always be growing, and we never want to grow up.

One more thing before I end. I have to share this poem my little granddaughter sent to her Grandpa and Grandma Arnold.

There once was a bee who lived in a tree,
And then met a very nice flea.
They played all day in the hay,
And then they broke the knees.

Deep insight from the creative mind of a child.

Have a good day.


Gregg said...

Congrats to you! Sorry you lost it and had to redo it. That has happened to me and I feel in my case I never can say it a second time like I said it the first time.