Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Gathering Up My Courage

Sorry for the blog silence. I just got back from my trip to Victoria a few hours ago and feel like I am miles behind in everything including my blog.

The trip over to Vancouver Island was uneventful. Not only did I have enough gas, I also had a reservation (this was an authentic reservation, unlike Shetland where we pretended to have one), so I wasn't worried about getting a spot on the busy Friday sailing.

While I was waiting in the line-up to board I noticed the lady in the car next to me was knitting. Being a double introvert, I'm not the kind of person who usually strikes up a conversation with a perfect stranger. I do, however, make exceptions for fellow knitters. We had a quick conversation about the fingerless mittens she was making for her granddaughter and I assumed that was the end of that chance encounter.

Shortly after that it was time to drive on the ferry. That turned out to be quite the experience since I was first in line, which meant I was the first to board. This also meant I got one of the coveted spots at the very front of the ferry. The view was gorgeous, and I didn't leave my vehicle the whole time except to pop out and take a couple of pictures (the ride is an hour and a half long). In case you are wondering how many cars I was competing with for one of those front three positions, this ferry holds over 400 vehicles.

A sample of the view I had from my vehicle!

Just as we were pulling into the terminal on the Victoria side someone knocked on my window. It was the knitting lady. It turns out their car was the one next to mine. She wanted to know if I was from Vancouver Island, and when I told her no she filled me in on where all the good knitting shops in Victoria are. I thanked her and rolled up my window.

Then I remembered that I had some Ting Ting bookmarks and her granddaughter was eight years old, so, gathering up my courage, I went over to her vehicle and knocked on her window. I told her I was going to Victoria for a book launch, and thought she might enjoy the bookmark. She thanked me and rolled up her window.

A few minutes later there was a knock on my window. It was knitting lady, and she was quite excited. It turns out the mother of the granddaughter she was knitting the fingerless mitts for is Chinese, which means her granddaughter is half-Chinese. She told me she would definitely be buying the book for her. As I rolled up my window I was really pleased about the whole thing, not so much because she was going to buy the book, but more because the book was going to find its way to someone who seemed to be the perfect recipient.

Friday afternoon Jenny Watson, one of the other authors involved in the book launch, came over to Karsten and Diana's for tea. I was a bit nervous about meeting her, but it ended up being a lot of fun. We compared notes about our journeys on the road to getting published. She couldn't believe I had had the nerve to phone the publisher, and I couldn't believe she had ignored the publisher's calls for a week thinking they were from a telemarketer.

Friday evening Diane Morriss, the owner of Sono Nis Publishing, hosted a dinner at a great little restaurant in downtown Victoria. More courage was needed on my part since social functions involving people I don't know is not one of my strengths. As usual, I worried about nothing. It was a lot of fun, and I especially enjoyed finally getting to meet Diane in person.


The next day was the book launch, an event I had been both dreading and looking forward to. The problem is this. I have a horrific fear of speaking in public. I'm living, breathing proof that there really are people who would rather attend their own funeral than get up and talk in front of a crowd (crowd being loosely defined as a gathering of more than three people). Writing and public speaking are two completely different skill sets, sort of like knitting and crochet. I can make a complicated cable sweater, but couldn't produce a granny square if my life depended on it.

In the end there was a compromise. It was agreed that I wouldn't do a reading. I would just get up and say a few words. Even this seemed like more than I might be able to handle, so I decided I needed some help. Yes, I shamelessly, or perhaps I should say shamefully, took Lucy up with me. I figured she would steal the show, and even if I was a blethering idiot she would more than make up for her ridiculous grandma. It turned out to be a brilliant plan.


The event was an enjoyable experience once I got rid of that microphone. There were plates of goodies, which in my nervous state I forgot to take a picture of. People bought books, and I even signed a few copies.


Here's the really neat part. Just as things were winding down I was approached by a lady holding out the copy of Ting Ting she had just bought. It was the lady from the ferry!


I'll tell you about the rest of the trip in my next post, including an update on this little munchkin.


38 comments:

  1. Oh, I hoped you two would connect again as I read about the ferry - yippee!

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    1. Wasn't it a great ending to the ferry lady story? :-)

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  2. It was lovely to meet you Kristie! And helped me get over my own nerves about the dinner and the launch :-) How neat that the woman from the ferry came to the launch!

    Jenny

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    1. It was great to meet you too, and I look forward to seeing you again next time I'm in Victoria. I envied you your courage in getting up and reading at the launch!

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  3. I so enjoyed meeting you, Kristie, and being part of the group book launch. What a great story about the ferry lady connection. How wonderful that you made the exception for a fellow knitter. I posted a photo of one plate of those goodies here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=547045758720425&set=a.547045652053769.1073741842.458075317617470&type=1&theater
    Karen

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    1. Same Karen - I enjoyed meeting you as well! Thanks for the link to the picture of the goodies. You did a much better job than me taking pictures. In fact, I think the restaurant picture might be yours. I hope you don't mind me using it on my blog. :-)

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  4. Sounds like a wonderful launch, congratulations!! I love the story of the woman from the Ferry, how awesome she came to the launch. I feel similarly about microphones and speaking (unless they are children, I don't mind children - lucky since i'm a teacher) even the idea of speaking to adults makes me sweat!! xxx

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    1. Isn't the ferry lady story great? Interesting that you are okay speaking in front of kids. I'm the same way!

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  5. Wonderful story. Congratulations on the book again. And holy cow is that baby cute.

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    1. Thanks Mary Lou! As far as the baby goes, you can see why I took her up front with me. She's a show stealer! :-)

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  6. Babies and books and ferries and knitting. And chance encounters and re-encounters. This post has it all.

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    1. It really did cover a lot of territory, and there is more to come!

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  7. That was a lovely post.....and well done you for finding a way to conquer your nerves.

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    1. Thank you Helen! I wouldn't say I totally conquered my nerves. It was more like a baby step in that direction, helped along by a baby. :-)

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  8. I'm so happy for you, Kristie. You're really achieving success with your book and you're conquering your fears. This is a time of serious personal growth, I think!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Jennifer. I'm not sure I am quite to the place I can say I have conquered my fear of speaking in public, but it was a good start. :-)

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  9. Kristie - I think you had better get used to talking and networking..... I loved this post....and was so glad that the Ferry Knitting Lady and you hooked up again!

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    1. Hmmm...I wonder if you are right about needing to get used to it. The coward in me says "I hope not!" :-)

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  10. What a lovely post .... I really enjoyed reading it. I can empathise with the public speaking bit. I can do an assembly for two hundred children no problem, but hate leading a staff meeting for my colleagues. Congratulations on overcoming your trepidation!

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    1. Thank you Kathy! I wonder why it is easier to speak in front of children. It holds true for me as well. I would love to hear any theories you have about it.

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  11. Wonderful story. And may I say, you and Lucy are looking good!
    -- stashdragon

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    1. I'm glad you liked the ferry lady story Stashdragon. It's hard not to look good when I'm holding Lucy. She's better than wearing make-up. Ha!

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  12. I can appreciate your apprehension of approaching strangers and doing public speaking, I find it difficult too although I do find it easier since blogging! I'm glad you had a helping hand from Lucy! I'm glad it was a success and love the story about the ferry lady. That looks a wonderful view from the boat too.
    Sarah x

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    1. That's interesting that you find it easier since you started blogging, Sarah. It makes me wonder if I would have approached the ferry lady in my pre-blogging days. ??

      The view from the ferry was unbelievable, but even better on my return trip. I should have some pictures in my next post.

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  13. Well done you and as usual your granddaughter is so cute

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    1. Thanks Sue! I think anything short of fainting, which wouldn't have been brilliant given I was holding Lucy, qualifies as a success. :-)

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  14. It's always a good idea to have a ringer on your side--Lucy is a natural! But even with that sort of help, it's still hard to get up in front of a crowd like that. I know everyone is proud of you! I'm glad it went so well, including the ferry ride. With the car windows being rolled back up so often, I found myself wondering if the nice lady you met on the ferry is a bit of an introvert too. :)

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    1. That's what I thought, Rick. Even if I couldn't get out a single word, all would be forgiven if I had Lucy with me. And you might be right about the ferry lady being another introvert.

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  15. I love how this chance encounter turned out to be so meaningful. i bet you were fantastic, I love that you took Lucy up with you. I am not fond of speaking in public, I give you a lot of credit.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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    1. Now I just need to figure out a way to take Lucy with me the next time I have to speak in public. :-)

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  16. Fantastic Kristie! A book launch, how exciting! I've ordered your book - I know a certain 9 year old who will love unwrapping it on Christmas day. You wouldn't know this but my Husband is of Chinese heritage so she will enjoy the chinese connection too.....and most people would rather die than speak in public so you are definitely not alone on that front!!! Mel x

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    1. Thanks so much for ordering the book, Mel! I hope your daughter likes it - she is the perfect age to read it. You're right - I had no idea your husband was of Chinese heritage. That should make the book an even better fit!

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  17. Just catching up here - I've been so busy! - so glad the book launch went well - personally I think taking Lucy up with you was a neat and highly permissible solution ;) (She really does have to be the cutest munchkin ever! ) But I giggled all the way through your Shetland tale!

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    1. If only you had been with us that fateful day I'm sure the whole thing would have been avoided. A different driver with way more sense would have made all the difference. :-)

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  18. Oh dear, I'm so far behind on reading your posts again. But I'm thrilled to see you at that table with all the other authors -- how wonderful for you! I'm having so much fun watching you experience the milestones of a first-time author: a book launch party and signing books -- how cool is that?!

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