The donkey with one (only) hind leg …

Last Friday morning I delivered the first of my scheduled library author talks.

This is the point at which you’re supposed to cry “Oh! – now  I get that silly title!” …

[expectant pause]

You don’t, eh? – you have no idea what I’m talking about …? Sighh … OK, we’ll leave that and move on.

In truth, I was a bit nervous about this first one, and I can readily explain it by saying that no-one had told me any of the following:

  • what the library users would be expecting from me
  • what the people running the library ditto
  • whether or not there is some accepted protocol for these events

and that trio of unknowns was quite enough to bring on a mild sweat. If you’re wondering “Why on earth wouldn’t she ASK someone?”, the answer is pride. Vanity. Whatever. I couldn’t bring myself to go cap in hand and let anyone know how totally ignorant I was of all this kind of thing. I decided I would wing it, and wing it I did.

It was … coo-wul. That’s the briefest thing I can think of.   🙂

I took some dot-point notes and my oven timer (!) because I reckoned no-one would think to provide me with the wherewithal to keep track of the time I was taking – and how right I was! … there wasn’t even a clock on the wall! – and prepared to … well, talk.

I talked. And talked. Some of the ladies were really quite old – I mean, much older than I! – and once or twice I saw their eyelids begin to droop; so I ratcheted up and spoke directly to them for a bit, and they didn’t drop off after all!

And at the end I asked them if there was anything unsaid they’d come wanting to hear, and they shook their heads and chorused “No!” and declared it really interesting! As even the really oldies were standing without looking as if they’d just woken up, I reckoned all was well. I can now proceed in the knowledge that I have at least some idea of what I’m doing.

For those who still can’t work out the post’s title:


  1. It did give me some pointers for the 28th, Jackie: for instance, they had no interest at all in looking at a marked-up manuscript, and I’d thought they’d really like to see one! But all the better for me – won’t tote it, next time (and it’s heavy!). 🙂


  2. Good for you MR. And it was a Hornsby, very close to my old Sydney stamping ground. Ku-ring-gai was actually our library, but I went to Hornsby Girls’ High School.

    I can imagine being nervous, and unfortunately I know more about that sort of pride than I should. My husband is the opposite and doesn’t care how silly he looks as long as he gets the answer! Anyhow, I bet you wowed them. Did they give you a cuppa afterwards?


  3. Well, they’d better offer you a glass of wine and then coffee and cake. That’s what we do at our bookgroup – so authors, of whom we’ve had a few, join in. Forutnately we haven’t met one yet who doesn’t enjoy a tipple.


  4. Unimaginable that any person (young or old) would not be absorbed in your library talk.
    Well executed – can’t wait to be able to attend the next one.


  5. 45′ talking and then 15′ Q&A. The questions were, it is to be admitted, few and far between; but I padded my answers out and they swallowed the lot. 😀


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