Back in August, a librarian at a local high school asked if I’d visit her class, and I immediately accepted. They were working on a unit dealing with fear and what makes a nightmare, and she asked if I’d discusss my books and writing process. The visit was scheduled for the week before Halloween – a perfect time to discuss fear and nightmares. The problem? It’s been several years since I’ve done any kind of public speaking – more like a couple decades when I did HR training at a hospital – so saying I was nervous is an understatement. But I told myself it was a group of teenagers, and I’d be discussing books. Honestly, I could talk to just about anyone when it comes to books. Several days before the visit, I began working on my presentation. I emailed the teacher and asked about the number of students – thinking I might take some bookmarks to hand out – and figured the number would be somewhere around thirty. Wrong. Two hundred fifty-six. The whole sophomore class. I wish I’d had a picture of my face when I read that email – no doubt it was a look of sheer terror.
I prepped and prepped that week – then threw out 80% of my presentation and started over the day before the visit. But guess what – the dread of speaking to that many people was worse than actually doing it. Since we were talking about fear, I confessed up front how nervous I was speaking to them. Afterwards, four students who were genuinely interested in writing came up and asked me questions. I was thrilled to speak to them one on one about books and writing. It turned into a fun day, and I’m glad I set aside my fear of public speaking and did it.
A couple months ago, I mentioned Son #2 and I did the Ancestry DNA test and promised to update you. Our results came in, and some were pretty surprising. Fifty percent of mine was England and Northwestern Europe, which I’d expected, but 28% was Scottish. Didn’t see that one coming. My son’s showed both of those, but the surprise was the 26% Sweden and Denmark that came from hubby’s side. He had no idea. My MIL has claimed for years there was Italian on her side, but it sure didn’t show up in the DNA. I know over time these percentages can change, but we had fun doing this. If you’d like to try it, Ancestry regularly has the kits on sale.
We’ll have both sons and a couple friends who we consider family here for Thanksgiving on Thursday. Hubby always fries a turkey – if you’ve never tried it, I strongly recommend correcting that oversight ASAP. To all my American friends, hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!