Have you ever walked out of a conference or seminar after seeing a particularly good presenter, and felt inspired, moved and motivated by the power of their delivery and their message? At the Toastmasters’ International Speech Contest finals (District 70) last May, I had the opportunity to see not one, or half a dozen, but eleven such speakers: ten contestants vying for their chance to represent the District at the World Championships of Public Speaking, and 2011 World Champion Jock Elliott, who was the keynote speaker. Following are some of the inspiring messages I took home that night.
From idea to draft...
In an age where everything happens instantly, it seems unbelievable that a novel would take a decade and a half from conception to publication; but that is how long Exuberance took to finally find its way into the world. The idea of it began with a short story, which came into life fully formed (sometime near the end of last century; before September 11, before the advent of social media, before iPads, iPhones and iPods), and developed into a chaotic first draft that was later discarded. The idea lay dormant for five years, patiently waiting while I faced a number of life-changing events, and it woke up again as soon as my new life settled down enough for me to start writing the daily ‘morning pages’ recommended by Julia Cameron in ‘The Artist’s Way’, in 2003. It was on those morning pages that the characters finally began to speak to me, each one in their own distinctive voice.
Bel Vidal - Débutante novelist (author of Exuberance), blogger,