Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Library Happenings and Secrets of Public Speaking

Most people, at most times, go to a library to see books. But on October 5-6, 2018 some folks had a rare opportunity to go to the Puyallup Library to see book authors! I happened to be one of about 30 local authors who were honored to present our work during this event. 

The Puyallup Library is gorgeous inside and out, and has a long history. The very first library in the area was created in 1877 by Eliza Jane Meeker, wife of Puyallup founder Ezra Meeker, before the town even existed officially. In 1880, the Puyallup Library Association was created, and they were able to hire the first librarian. In 1913, with a grant from Andrew Carnegie, a new library building was opened. Thanks to the donation from the famous Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist, in total 2,509 libraries were opened between 1883 and 1929 all over the world, including the US, the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Serbia, Belgium, France and other countries (read more HERE). The Carnegie Library in Puyallup was replaced 50 years later due to the bowing of the second floor (books are heavy!). The rest as they say is history. I thought it was quite an extraordinary story, and it seems the library continues doing extraordinary things, such as the Local Author Festival, part of the Festival of Books where nationally recognized authors are invited - this year, Jeremy McCarter, a co-author of Hamilton: The Revolution; and Craig Johnson (you might be familiar with the TV series Longmire based on his books, now available on Netflix). You can read more about the library HERE and see a photo album from the festival HERE.

I had an opportunity to present a 10 minute talk about my work from an improvised cozy little stage. To be honest with you, I used to think that I wasn't a good public speaker - it used to make me very anxious to present in front of people. But I don't feel this anymore. I realized that I actually have a gift of engaging people, and even though I feel nervous, I don't get paralyzed by fear - rather, this nervousness fuels me. Quite possibly, it works for me because it usually isn't a huge audience - rather a small group of people. But the most important I think is the fact that I feel passionate about the subject and I know what I'm talking about. I think that when I was young, I thought that it was important to have a precisely prepared speech and memorize all the words and phrases. Now I realize that while it is important to think over what you want to say and maybe write down a few important points of your talk, the speech itself is an improvisation because it just has to be in the moment, so it is fresh and genuine! The outcome will depend on the particular audience, atmosphere, or mood so to speak. I am definitely not an example of a smooth talker, but I have so much fire in me, so much love for my subject, that it guides me. I just have to relax and trust it - just go with it, really. I had a couple of occasions lately when I spoke publicly, and I now feel that I've passed one of the biggest fears I used to have. (Wait till I have hundreds of people in my audience and a mic...oy!)

It was a wonderful day! I really enjoyed meeting other authors, readers and library staff. I learned some things, and both Justin and I felt it was a great experience. Other than compliments on my talk, I also received many compliments on my dress! I bought it a while ago, and it waited for a perfect occasion. What can be cozier than cute little sheep grazing in colorful hills? And what better occasion than the Festival of Books? I couldn't find my tights, but fortunately it was a gorgeous sunny day, plus we spent a bigger chunk of it in a warm library. But I did have my boiled wool jacket with me for a chilly morning and evening. The enamel butterfly brooch that landed on the collar earlier this year, was patiently waiting for a new outing - and it complimented the dress colors beautifully.

Sorry for the radio silence lately. I have some photos to share, but don't have extra energy for blogging at the moment, and Instagram as well as Facebook have to wait. I am learning so much these days. I have the whole new career to explore! You'd think it should make me anxious, but it doesn't. I feel excited, a bit wobbly and uncertain, but also fired up - I feel very much like a child again, like the whole big wide world lays in front of me. Not in the sense of being on the top of the world or anything like it - I feel like a wanderer entering a huge forest, with the unfamiliar things and unknown creatures inhabiting it, some seem friendly and some intimidating, and I don't always know what path to take because I don't know where the paths lead, but I am open and curious, and wild horses won't drag me away from this forest because my gut feeling tells me that I'll find my destiny in there. Wish me good luck!

Is there anything that you have been overcoming lately? 
Please share, I'd love to hear your stories!

Dress - Eloquii 
Boots - Ecco (last year)
Boiled wool jacket - secondhand (by Lands' End, purchased years ago)

Linking with Visible Monday

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  1. This is the perfect autumn look.
    I love your dress, it's kinda vintage. Lovely my dear.

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  2. you already have good luck!
    because you already have found your magic forest - this is much more then most people experience in their life. and you´r found some wonderful places in that forest, lately the meadow full of flowers that is that book fest in the library.
    and a scary beast turned into a friendly - congrats and chapeau to your public speech!
    (had this beast too, but i too found out that if you burn for something the words will find you and your spirit will infect the audience)

    OOOOHHHH! THAT DRESS!!!! wonderful! exactly that kind of cool coziness that i love! and it has all your colors in it!
    and bare legs in booties are cool to - cool in the sense of chic of cause ;-) (if bum & feet are warm, calves can stand a bit of chilly air)
    did you see the secret twins in the background - the woman in the plissé skirt and the man with hat?? :-D

    hugses and much love to you - dear natasha!!! xxxxxx

  3. You look so gorgeous Natalia! You have so much luck and it is wonderful to see you with your books :)
    A very huge hug and much love Tina

  4. Oh Natalia, such a great thing with THAT dress! And your boots, I like them so much. But best of all, beside the colours, is your personal impression which was described by yourself. Wowww! It`s just so outstanding. Send you love, Sunni

  5. What an amazing print on your dress, I love it!!
    I so envy you your ability to speak in public, it absolutely terrifies me. I'm delighted you're so busy and getting so many opportunities to promote your book. xxx

  6. I'm so glad you are finding your way in the forest, Natalia. I really love that metaphor! I will be at the edge of my chair, waiting to hear which paths you will be taking and which wonders you will find. As for your dress, there are simply no words for it: it is utterly magical. I love everything about it, its earthy colours, the zig-zags, the pleats (for twirling!) and of course, the sheep! Well done on overcoming your fear of speaking in public. Like Vix, it really terrifies me. But maybe it is something you can learn, and isn't half as scary if you're passionate about your subject. Really proud of you, Natalia! Hugest of hugs xxx

  7. I have this very dress. I always get compliments on it when I wear it. You can see it in this post:

  8. Gratuluję!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!pięknie się tam prezentowałaś:))Pozdrawiam serdecznie:))

  9. I've been overcoming living with chronic pain (and constant mild fever) lately. Sometimes I'm really positive about my health problems, and they have certainly taught me a lot, but often I also feel defeated and I just can't believe that it's possible for one's health and test results to be pretty bad for almost a decade, especially since I always took all the meds, had all the operations and did what was supposed. It feels surreal that nothing is helping and I'm getting tired of being positive all the time. I think sometimes we need to take time to feel whatever we need to feel, because while positive thinking is certainly good, being happy all the time is just not possible. Going through different emotions and states is just part of life, and sometimes difficulties are something we just need to go through to get where we need to be. But on the upper side, I've started working in the education sector again. Fingers crossed I manage to keep this job. I think that we often expect life to be smooth sailing, when even things that are right for us can take both time and patience. Starting a new career path can always be a bit stressful even when it's something we really want to pursue. Perhaps we just need to be patient, keep fighting for what we believe in, and trust it will all work out in the end.

    That dress is so pretty! It's simply perfect for you. Good luck with everything!

    As for the subject of public speaking, I completely agree with you. It's important to be in the moment and connect with the audience. I'm not a natural born public speaker, but I've gotten better at it with time. I think that people who end up being the best public speakers are often the ones who initially struggle with it. Just like with everything, it's a skill that can be improved.

  10. That dress is absolutely amazing, the print and colors are fab and it fits you so nicely!.
    And it's so lovely to see you rocking in the local library (local libraries are always Fabulous Places!) and talking and enjoying all this new world. I'm glad that you're becoming a good public speaker, making the most of nervousness to boost your skills!. I think that talking about something that makes you feel enthusiastic, sharing this feeling, makes a difference!, actually you're so involved that forget about yourself and just talk!. Obviously, it's different when you have to talk to a big audience, to talk on a micro! But you're going to do it well, for sure!

  11. Beautiful photos and great look and book stand. I love your butterfly brooch!