Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Overcoming Your Inner Introvert

By Brenda Moguez

If you're a creative person following a passion, you've come to the harsh realization attracting fans to your own Field of Dreams isn't quite as simple as building it--the it being your blog, your INDY book, your paintings, your poems, or the handmade jewelry you've invested countless hours creating. All Ray Kinsella had to do was build the field, and they came.

From the moment I decided to release the voice in my head onto the page I expected the masses would flock to my site and devour my words eagerly.  It was shocking to learn to write a book wasn't the hardest part of becoming a writer. Writing, as it turns out, is actually the easiest part of being a writer. What was/is the most challenging aspect was/is shedding my natural loner/shy inclination. How to break down my barriers, quite frankly, has challenged me, even woke me at 3 am.
Unlike other closet introverts, I am not enamored with social media. Honestly, there is the issue of time and my lack of it. Social media hasn’t liberated me. I prefer up close and personal intimacies, thrive in the space I inhabit inside of my imagination and absolutely love the quiet time when I am inventing.

I know there are others out there in the vast universe who are like me. We would probably be besties if we weren't so circumspect, but…well, we haven't taken the plunge, batted our eyelashes and said, "Hey, do wanna chat, maybe share digits, even write a blog post together.”  Oh to be so daring, so bold and brazen.  If you are out there and looking for a kindred spirit…

Until I find you, here is a guideline on how to overcome your own quirky self and be less shy:

1.      Allow your inner confident self to shine.
2.      Use your voice to express the thoughts you’re thinking, don't fret if someone disagrees. An opinion, is just that, a person's point of view. Conflict can be creative. 
3.      When nervous about stepping outside of your comfort zone, remind yourself what you have accomplished to date.
4.      The next time you are staring down the Twitter window: Go for it, share your quirkiness with Twitterdom, tell them how you feel about Miss Piggy and Kermit's breakup and Mr. Trump's hair fashion.
5.      Take a deep breath and then let go of what you think you can't do. Also, don't be disappointed when whatever you say or do goes unnoticed. Trial and error, baby. Modify.  Be prepared to edit.
6.      There is no wrong way to be you--the right way is whatever you decide.
7.      Put it out there--tell the world you have a little stage fright when it comes to tooting your own horn.
8.      Confess what you have always believed: Passion is meant to be shared and spent freely, never hoarded or wasted. Share yours, now.
9.      And finally, don't worry, be happy. In the grand scheme of things your reserve is part of who you are and when ready you will overcome whatever it is that holds you inside and your inner self will break free.

What is the hardest obstacle you've had to overcome?

Brenda Moguez writes the kind of stories she loves to read, women’s fiction and contemporary romance, staring quirky, passionate women, who are challenged by the fickleness of life and the complexities of romantic relationships. She’s particularly drawn to exploring the effects of love on the heart of a woman. Her forte is stripping away the protective layers concealing their doubts and insecurities and exposing the soul of her beautifully flawed characters. She's the author of Loving is Good and Nothing is Lost in Loving.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Summer Sales Sortie Part 2

by Marcia Melton and Janet Muirhead Hill 

Part 1 was posted on April 20. After a melting-hot day and one book sale, join our intrepid authors for day 2.
Despite dreams that our booth disappeared in its entirety, we made it through the night and headed back to the park to discover the fate of our booth.

Our optimism was renewed by the coolness of the morning and by finding a parking place a little closer to our site—and our booth, the same lumpy, brown pile we’d left, was still there, though all six of the poles had to be reset. 

The smell of sausage, pancakes, and coffee served under massive trees on the park lawn by welcoming community members cheered us. After a fortifying breakfast, we took time for a quick walk to see the majestic Missouri River and walk along the Fort Benton Levee for a few minutes before tackling our job. Thoughts of transforming the drooping gazebo into a welcoming kiosk display was enough to make a leap into the Missouri look more appealing.

Suddenly, as we stood there gathering our courage and looking out over the wide river glistening in the early morning sun, there came through the cool morning air a single trumpet call—Reveille played from the old Fort. Clear and compelling.  The same Reveille that had greeted the day on the shores of this river for more than 150 years for trappers, steamboat travelers, miners, military militia, roustabouts, ramblers, gamblers, riverboatmen, ladies of the night, ladies of the day – all of them. A call to wake up and start the day. By gum, we could do this! 

And we did! By the end of the day, we’d talked with wonderful people passing by, children imploring their parents to buy them a book, and adult readers and writers who stopped to chat. We’d been entertained by a parade of floats and prancing horses; we’d tapped our feet along with darling children dancing across a portable stage; we’d heard all sorts of music from the nearby Park Bandstand, everything from country swing, to cool jazz, to Bluegrass, to Sousa Marches; and we’d refrained from bidding on $100 pies at an auction near our booth.

By late afternoon, temperatures had again soared and thousands of gnats swarmed out of nowhere, but we lasted every minute to the 5 o’clock closing bell of the day’s sale. We packed up and hit the Montana highway for the long drive home. As we drove along, we calculated that our sales roughly covered our expenses.  We giggled as we decided to save money by using the gazebo again at our next show.

 We considered our first big event of the summer both a learning experience and a grueling endurance test, which we’d proudly passed. We pulled into Bozeman in the dark, gave each other an exhausted hug, and went our separate ways—until the next fair!  After all, we’re writers! Here comes summer, 2016. Are we ready to go again? We wish good luck (and sturdy gazebos) to all the other Women Writing the West!  

Marcia Melton and Janet Hill are colleagues and friends in Montana. Janet is the Publisher of Raven Publishing, Inc. of Norris, Montana, publishing the works of ten authors, and is the author of thirteen fiction books for middle graders and young adults. Marcia Melton has published two middle grade historical fiction titles with Raven, The Boarding House, and Joe Henry’s Journey