Behind the Scenes

moon and woman

My new novel, Daughter of the Howling Moon is out!  Available from both Amazon and Pen-L Publishing.  So, what’s next?  My book launch of course.

Not to ruin or give away secrets, but I’m busy rehearsing my presentation for the book launch. Right now I’m doubting. I’m sure everything will come off easy and smooth, but what my friends and coworkers won’t know is how many hours I spend making this happen.

First, I had to write down everything I want to say, which is quite a lot.  I usually outline the process.  I learned how to outline in Junior High.  I liked it.  Was good at it.  Most of my school mates hated outlines but for some unknown reason, an outline clicked for me.  Quite a few writers outline their books.  I don’t go this far. I’m a seat-of-pants kind of writer.  But when it comes to presentations and speeches, I make an outline.

The next process is practicing.  Practice makes perfect.  Being an actress I’ve developed my own style of practice. First, I just read what I want to say.  Next, I read it out loud.  Then the real work begins. I memorize it.  Thankfully, I have a good memory.  I can see the words on the page. I stand in front of the mirror and say the words.  I hate this part of it.  I look like a dork standing in front of that mirror.  I can’t help but think, “is this what I look like when I perform?” My face is too fat. My smile too big. My teeth too dingy. Wonder if I can lose 50 pounds in a month?

Then there is my voice. Most people wouldn’t think that I would practice my voice. But I do. Is my tone too strong? To weak? Do I sound sincere? Believable? Do I sound like my character?

No one knows how many times I work on just the right tone and pitch.

Right now, believe it or not, I can’t get the voice of my main character, Bethany Ann right. This is frustrating. Bethany Ann comes through when ever I read, so why can’t I get her right when I perform? I think I’m trying too hard. Bethany Ann will be there when I need her.

Ok. When everything is memorized, I perform. Adding those little gestures and movements that make a great show. I’m working on this.

Sometimes I scream. It isn’t right. Usually I am not perfectionist. But when it comes to speeches, presentations, and performing, I am. It has to be “just so.” Each word has to uttered “just right.” Each movement must be “just right.” It’s a lot of pressure. But if people are giving up their time to come see a show, then by God, I will make it perfect.

So this is what I’m doing. Fretting over words and movements, voice and stance. No one will ever know that one movement, one line, took ten hours to get it perfect. That when I raise my hands in reference to the moon’s splendor I’ve practiced how to lift my hands and how each finger would look.

And that’s what’s going on behind the scenes.

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7 Responses to Behind the Scenes

  1. Jan Morrill says:

    I KNOW it will all come together–your characters will be there when you need them. Haven’t they been there all along? And your smile is “too big???” Are you kidding me? That’s one less thing you have to worry about, because how can anyone’s smile be too big? Quit being so critical of yourself. We love you!

  2. Jim B says:

    Just don’t fret all this stuff. Sorry, your just better at being you (Ruth) (aka my sis), sure you need to have an agenda in mind, but just be you unrehearsed . Just Ruth……..it will all be just fine.

  3. Practice till you’re sick and tired of it, then let go and allow it to flow through you with ease! You have amazing, enviable self-discipline and courage. Can’t wait till December 7!

  4. rgayer55 says:

    You have a beautiful and endearing smile, Ruth. Just be yourself and let it flow.
    I plan on coming Sunday just to see how it’s done. I’ve got something similar booked at the Fay. library on March 8th.
    I figure I’ll just read a few excerpts, rattle a little bit about why I write humor, and try not to belch or fart out loud while I’m in front of the audience.

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