Monday, February 1, 2016

the author as speaker: preserve & share your memories

PRESERVING & SHARING YOUR MEMORIES—my talk Feb 9 at 1:30-3:30 at Chartwell Ridgepointe, 1789 Primrose Ct., Kamloops. It’s part of a Kamloops Adult Learners Society [KALS] series: . I’d love to see you there if you’re in the vicinity, but I wonder what new mistakes I can make.

I’m learning from mistakes as I speak on topics relating to my 1940s-era Saskatchewan Mennonite novel CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS. I spoke at a local library to a packed room, but blew the opportunity to sell books by not putting copies out for people to look at though I had read aloud from the book during my workshop [topic Story-writing Strategies]. Duh! How could I be so stupid? After the workshop I did put out copies and told participants: “Now we have tea and cookies, and my book.” Again stupid. I didn’t tell them they could buy it or how much it cost. Several people came to talk to me after the workshop. However, I didn’t give them a chance because I got locked into a conversation with a man who came to tell me about the book he was writing. I found him intimidating so I didn’t break off the conversation as I should have after a few minutes. The upshot: lots of people came to the workshop and nobody bought the book. My fault, at least partly.

Another example of bungling: I spoke at a church social event. This time I put out copies of the book and sold some during the break. However, I didn’t use the half hour allotted to my talk simply because I wasn’t aware of what time it was. I didn’t look at my watch because that can be distracting for listeners. I had practiced the talk at home and it took half an hour, but I guess I did it more quickly at the event. So I missed the chance to say things I would’ve wanted to say if I’d thought I had time. After my talk, the presider needed to put in time in various [albeit useful and inspiring] ways because I had been too brief in my comments. What I should have done at that point is ask him if I could speak for another 10 minutes or so. I didn’t think of this till later. Obviously I have things to learn. But learning is part of life, right?



Elma Schemenauer CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS: 1940s-era novel about love, Mennonites, faith, & family. Set in Vancouver & rural Saskatchewan. Order from Chapters online or Borealis Press  . More info at  . Book trailer at .


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