Yesterday, a dear friend called to remind me that I had a lecture in the afternoon at a Williamsburg library. Fortunately, I remembered to attend THIS lecture!
The 50-mile drive on I-64W was uneventful, which is a little miracle unto itself. I left two hours early, just to be safe.
Moments before the start of my Penniman lecture, I was sitting just outside of the meeting room and ruminating. Not good. I realized that lecturing had become quite hard these days. Before The Bad Thing™ I absolutely loved lecturing.
Minutes before the lecture began, I developed a severe case of the shakes and was light-headed. I was a hot mess. It seemed as though I had two choices before me:
1) Walk out of the building and simply accept that my lecturing days were over, or,
2) Take a couple Valium so that I could calm down enough to perform.
As I sat there debating my options, I saw an old friend walk toward the meeting room. I called out his name, and he came over and sat down with me. I told him I was thinking about going home, and he said all the right things. He was an angel that appeared at just the right moment.
I survived the lecture and there was a good crowd. Many attendees said very nice things. I’m grateful for every word. One woman purchased five books. That was wonderful.
After the lecture, my “angel friend” and his wife invited me to join them (and another couple) for dinner. It turned out to be a perfect evening.
As to my future as a lecturer, I’m still deciding. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make the Penniman book go mainstream, as my #1 goal from the beginning was (and is) to share the story of the incredible sacrifice and bravery of these Penniman workers.