The World Champion of Public Speaking 2013 is Presiyan Vasilev of Bulgaria and he was truly masterful.   I actually got goosebumps from his message.

(“To learn more about Pres Vasilev’s keynotes, training, and coaching, visit”)

I watched 2 of the semi-finals yesterday and what a joy it was seeing so many great speakers.  So much talent and wisdom.  I was also somewhat surprised that everyone wasn’t amazing.

I judged alongside the judges and in semi-final 4 I was totally of the mark about the winners but in semi 5 I nailed number 1 and 2.   It just goes to show that you never know and what might be great to me might be crap to you.  lol

So today I had some Toastmasters friends over and we watched the World Championship finals together.  It was so much fun being together and sitting there dissecting everyone’s speeches apart like we were experts.  lol  Also, as a bonus, one of the people signed up as a new member!  woo-hoo!

Presiyan was the clear winner.  But I loved Kingi Biddle in second place too.  What a character!  Must have been a rugby player at some point.   I also thought the hometown Cincy boy Chris Nactrab should have nailed third though.

I also thought contest chair Mohammed Murad was charming, highly entertaining and kind of adorable.  More of him please.

Also, I have to say I am shocked that Las Vegas is getting another World Championship in 2015.  Seems kind of incredibly stupid to me.  They just had one there 2 years ago.  Aren’t there a zillion other places that can do this? And want this?  Like Vancouver for instance?

I mean, personally, I don’t mind.  It will be seriously less expensive for me to go to Las Vegas than England or China or wherever else they could have had it but I thought TM was supposed to be going global here and they come back to a town they were JUST AT????  Makes no sense to me.


So, I guess this is it folks.  This is where we part ways.  Sniff.

Thanks for hanging out with me for 365 days.  You have been awesome.

Writing this blog has been such an incredible journey.  a life-changing journey.  I really can’t put into words what has changed because of this- you’ll have to read the whole damned thing and see for yourself.  I’m a very different woman than I was on August 24 2012.  And I have to say I like me way better now.  I’m ever so grateful for the lessons which have been imparted to me through so many different avenues.  My world is so very very different.

I have met so many new friends because of this blog, friends from Texas, Australia, New York, Ontario and California.  Even people just from Vancouver.

I’ve changed the way I thought and lived and worked because of the extraordinary people I have met through the ambitious goals of this blog.  I have seen miracles and I have been the recipient of much wisdom and love.  I have been abundantly blessed.

So, have you learned anything?

Yes, the relevant question is – what have I learned?

Well, I have learned how very attractive humility is and how I much I benefit from about 50 CC’s a day of it.

I have learned that you can reach out to people you thought might never give you the time of day and turn out to become friends with them.

I have learned that jealously has no place in friendship.  Except for maybe admitting it.

I’ve learned that everyone has a story worth listening to.

I have learned that I’m not as good as I thought I was and I have learned that I am better than I thought I was.  lol

I have learned that I have unlimited potential and I am just beginning to tap that mine.

I have learned how much my family supports me.

I have learned how hard I can work on a project I care about.

I have learned how to listen better.

I have learned how to write better.

I have learned how many people in my District support me.

I have learned how to say “I love you” to someone even when I’m scared to do it.

I have learned that my daddy really loves me and is proud of me.  That was probably the best thing of all.  That was the diamond in this mine.

I have learned that I still have a lot to learn.

Malaysia 2014?

I’m not sayin’ I’m goin’ for Malaysia in 2014.  I’m not sayin’ I’m not.  Whatever happens happens and all I can do is listen to my heart, listen to God and do my best.  The rest is out of my hands.   That’s something else I learned too.

I was holding on for a long time, and very tightly to something I thought I wanted.  But when I asked myself what my desires truly were, I saw that most of them HAD been met through this journey, even though the original goal of becoming the 2013 World Champion of Public Speaking had not been met or even come reasonably close to being met.

When I opened my hand to let go of that dream, God put something entirely different in my hand.  Something that is exciting and scary and satisfying intellectually, socially, and in the deepest part of my heart.

As I watched Presiyan speaking today, I felt not a tinge of jealousy or sadness. I just felt joy that he had crafted such an incredible work of art.  I was so happy and so proud of my fellow Toastmaster whom I’ve never met.  I felt so grateful to have been given the gift of his message.  Reach out.  Ironically, I’ve never reached out as much in my life as I have in this past year and so I can attest to the beautiful validity of his message. 

The Weird and Wonderful World of Toastmasters

What a remarkable group we are, Toastmasters.  I think we’re all a little bit strange and kind of on the fringe and I LOVE that about us.  I love that we’re all so different and that all we have in common is that we want to be better and help each other be better and that we love hanging out with each other.  And I love our awesome potlucks.

I love that no matter where you go in the world, you can find a family in Toastmasters, no brag, just fact.  I love that you can go as a guest to any club and you will be embraced and feel like you’ve met a long lost cousin.

I love that my life has been utterly and completely changed for the better by this organization and the people in it.  I love that I had NO idea that would happen when I joined.

I love that there is SO much more joyful work to do and so many more people yet to discover who they can become.

Thanks are not enough.

And so, my deepest gratitude goes to good ol’ Ralph Smedley who started this shindig 89 years ago.  He must have had an inkling of the magnificence to follow.

And my deepest gratitude goes to my fellow Toastmasters, my brothers and sisters around the corner and around the world who dare to reach inside and bravely give so much of themselves – their very hearts- to help their fellow humans be the best they can.  What a truly remarkable gift.

What a remarkable group we are.  Toastmasters.

I love you all.

Toastmasters International

Weird and brilliant and beautiful. What more could you ask for?


We’re almost half way there, time-wise, to the World Championship.  How are things stacking up?  HALF

I have become a better speech writer in the past month than in the entire previous 4 years.   Crazy eh?  “Jaws-The Speech”,  my humorous entry from last fall was alright, but hindsight is SO 20/20, isn’t it?  This past month, with the crunch on, it’s been pouring out of me.  Knowing I can produce like this is like leaven.  I have bits and pieces of ‘pretty damned good’ here and there in my old speeches but speeches of this calibre have to be ALL damned good.  So I am giving it my all, working every WORD, every pause, every look, but most of all, keeping it REAL, while making sure that my family does not suffer.  I have been able to balance fairly well so far mostly because of my adherance to my daily prayer, 11:30 bedtime rule.  Now the entire past WEEK has been an exception to that bedtime rule and I can feel it catching up to me so it is time to return to sanity.  (Easy to say that now- wait till the next great idea pops into my head at midnight)

No matter what happens with this contest, I am also seriously psyched to get to work on my keynote(s) and I feel encouraged, and able like I never have before.  I feel sureness in my bones.  I am not afraid.  My entire attitude is different these days and it is thanks to many people.  Those of you who read this blog mean so much to me.  That people take time out of their day to check on me once in a while makes me feel like a million bucks.  The comments and encouragement I have received are like manna.   There are people who read this blog who are fully expecting me to raise that trophy in Cincinnatti on August 24.  That’s just freaking amazing!!!

There are people who have stepped out of the woodwork to give me their gifts and help me smash the old shell that I have grown out of.  They have helped me  into a new bigger shell, and also to look down that beautiful pebble beach in my mind and see that the beach is littered with even bigger and more beautiful shells I can wear as my spirit grows.  It is SO much bigger than this contest.  As my friend Micaela says “The goal is never the goal.  It’s what keeps you moving forward.”  And oh I am learning that.

Yes, I recognize God’s work when I see it and I am eternally grateful for the lessons I am receiving.

Now, shall we talk about the speech?  After all, it is a speech contest, isn’t it?

The club contest is on March 18, a month from today.

There is good news and bad news.  The good news is that unless I go over time, I will win my club speech contest because it is likely that I am our only competitor in our tiny club.  My stiffest competition, and believe me folks, she is very stiff- remember she kicked my ass in the Area humorous contest last fall- cannot compete.  She has 2 art shows to prepare for and so her greatness will not be challenging me.  THAT is the bad news.

The area competition is on April 13 and Division is a week after that on April 20.

Two weeks after that,  May 4,  hail the District finals in Nanaimo.  I haven’t even bought tickets for it due to a massive economic crunch right now.   If I get to District finals, we will make the money appear magically from our credit card.  (I’m also missing my yearly spiritual retreat as well –  I got Rich Hopkins instead.  My spiritual director will not be impressed but I will promise to go in the fall.)

So, I have to win all of those contests to make it to the World Semi-finals on August 22.  And come up with the most magnificent piece of work I have produced since my daughter to win the big prize on the 24th.

I’ve been studying the winners for almost a year now.  I’m waiting for my dvd to arrive of the top 3 from 2006-2010 so I can see what separated the best from the rest most recently.  I’ve studied nearly every relevant program that LaCroix has ever made, including his excellent work with Craig Valentine, I joined World Champions Edge and downloaded all their best talks, I’ve studied Avery and his speech technology, I’ve hired Rich Hopkins,  the best man for the job to coach me.  I am doing everything I can think to become the best speaker I can be.  I’ve even become a lector at my church and am delving into the deepest spiritual issues of my life with my life coach and dear friend Micaela Pennell.   If there are some things that YOU can think of that I am not, I am grateful for your advice.  In the end, I am going to be a different woman than the one who began this journey and I am going to be a hell of a lot better than I was.  The fact is, I already am.  Hard work is freaking AWESOME.

The most important thing about this process right now?  I am having FUN.    Woo hoo!

Back to work.  🙂

Besides my husband of course.  *disclaimer over*

Going to see the man today.  That’ right,.  Darren LaCroix, 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking and the man who inspired me to go big.  For reference of exactly WHO Darren is to me and why he means so much, see my SECOND EVER post.

I have really been stuck in the mud about what I am going to talk about in my Big Speech and I suspect am WAY overthinking it.  I am hoping this event will help kick me into gear.

I also plan on helping Darren sell his products after the event most of which I have. They are gold, I believe in them, therefore I am happy to help.  I wouldn’t do it otherwise.  Nobody can outsell me when I believe in the product.  (I need to re-read this later and remember that I AM MY PRODUCT.)
Even better than that, I’m staying overnight with my Opus Dei spiritual director whom I haven’t seen or spoken to in weeks and that is overdue.  I am excited to tell her about the progress I am making because of the small changes I have made  in my earlier bedtime,daily prayers and consciousness of my potty mouth.   It is going to be an excellent night.

English: Darren LaCroix

English: Darren LaCroix (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Spent a lot of today trying to figure out what I want to say in The Big Speech, what my message is and I am feeling challenged.

I know what my keynote speeches are going to be about. They will be for a different audience and the content will be appropriate for them. I will be able to speak freely and at length.

My challenge for The Big Speech is that much of my life is inappropriate for Public Toastmasters Consumption. It’s not exactly ‘family viewing’ type of stuff, you know?

Darren LaCroix, 2001 World Champ says my message has to be me.  My experience, and what I have learned from it, how I got there.  I get that. So how do I tell these things to a TM audience?

Exactly 10 years ago tonight I was working at a strip club in Brampton, Ontario. It was my last night as a dancer.  Ever.  I didn’t know this for sure, but somehow, I knew this.  I even remember going into the club dressing room that night and having a conversation something like this with one of the girls.  I remember she was very tall and looked down at me as we conversed in the mirror.

“I’m going out to Vancouver tomorrow.”

“Oh yeah? Where are you gonna be working?”

“I’m not going out to work. I’m going out to quit.”

“What are you gonna do?”

“I don’t know yet, but I met this really amazing man a few months ago and I’m going to be with him. I’m not coming back.”

“Oh you’ll be back.”

“No I won’t. I won’t be back.”

I said it with certainty because I knew it.

Lloyd and I had been conducting our ‘relationship’ over the phone for about 2 and a half months- he in B.C. and me in Ontario,  3000 miles apart.  Although I didn’t really know him, he had shared enough of himself with me so that I felt I could trust him, as I had felt the very first night we met.

Lloyd had done something for me that I hadn’t experienced in my entire life.  He respected me. He did it through his actions.  One night when we were talking on the phone for one of our hours-long marathons during Christmas break, he told me that ideally, we should wait until we were married to be together intimately.

That suggestion literally made my heart flutter. I had to catch my breath and I grinned like a fool.  My poor brain though!  My brain couldn’t begin to comprehend it because I assumed values like that were not only dead, but better off so. I’d never met a single person in the world like that.  I didn’t really think they existed.

I couldn’t deny what that suggestion did to me though. It told me that I was more to him than I had ever been to any man before him.  He was different and it gave me hope.  It changed my heart.  It made me more brave.

Those last few weeks before I left for BC were amazing and incredibly difficult. Lloyd and I spoke at length about spiritual issues.  I was a practicing pagan who was slightly opening the door to a fellow named Jesus.  Lloyd was a Christian who wasn’t living the life he wanted to live.

I also found it increasingly difficult to dance for anyone as I felt I was betraying Lloyd but I had lingering doubts in the back of my mind and wanted to make as much money as I could just in case it wasn’t what I thought it was.

At the same time, my dancing on stage was the best it had ever been and I felt utterly electric. I knew it was going to be my last week and I was going to be the most miraculous dancer anyone had ever seen. I dug deep and gave away my soul every time I performed.

Now I wanted my last night as a stripper to be something of a celebration of the end of what I considered to be a legendary career. Born on July 4, 1986 and dying on Jan. 19, 2003, the caricature known as Red Hot Paula Scott was one of the best dancers in Canada and I wanted her to be acknowledged. I felt I deserved at least that after all I had done in and for the business.  (I had been the chair of the Exotic Dancer’s Alliance of Ontario and the editor of its newsletter for a few years also.)

When I look back now I’m relieved it was so anticlimactic. I needed for it to be because it can be easy to romanticize this job, especially with distance and time. It’s a good thing I recently went through those dozens of micro cassette recordings to remind me of just how much general crap I had to deal with, how often I got wasted, how often I cried and how much I hated what I was doing.

However, there had been some changes happening in me since the night I met
Lloyd, my future husband and His good buddy Jesus and I was recognizing different values. Something was happening to my spirit. On what I was certain would be my last night, I actively tried to recognize the value of relationship, the value of time, and the value of love as a verb that did not involve sex.

There was a young man named Harry who had been in the club once earlier in the week. He had invited me to join him, he bought me a drink and began to tell me the story of he and his wife’s breakup. I eventually asked him if he wanted a dance and he said that he didn’t but that he would pay me for my time sitting with him. (A dancer’s favourite score.) He was so incredibly sad that it was painful to sit with him. He truly felt that most women were
rotten (or so he said, anyway) and that they were just out to get what they could from men. (Kind of ironic since that’s basically the way I felt about 99.9 % of men at this time.)

Well Harry came back to see me on my final night. I scribbled the following that night on a piece of paper which I still have:

Sat. night 9:45 p.m.

Harry, the East Indian guy came back. Third man to come back to see me this week- he was sad, so very very sad.  Still a mess from the breakup with his wife.  I had quite a long discussion with him.  He was aggressive about wanting to give me money – my intuition told me that it was to confirm his suspicions of the “evilness” and the “taking” nature of women.

He asked me several times “What do you want?” (In terms of money.)

I said  “I want you to take care of yourself Harry.”

He was quiet for a while, then he thanked me and tears were forming in his eyes. It was worth losing the money to restore a shred of faith in humanity.  I’m ok.  I don’t need more than that.

And here’s an actual glimpse into my world that night.  This is a direct transcription from my tape.  Bear in mind that I was still 11 months away from sobriety at this point.

Second last show (but I thought it was my last)- 12:30 a.m.

“Well, I’ve done what’s probably my last show ever- did the Beatles, of
course. And um, well I knew it was gonna be anticlimactic up there since
the place is dead but I kept reminding myself “No, no, do it for you, do it
for God, do it for people who care- even the ones who aren’t brave enough to
admit they care,” and there are SO many of them. Most of them actually.
Sad sad state of affairs.

Hmmm. I’ve had four glasses of wine, and I’m debating whether I should have
a fifth. *laughs*

I still have an hour and a half to kill and I really can’t afford it but I’m
probably gonna- sounds like an alcoholic to me. *laughs*

(sarcastic voice) Maybe I’ll join Lloyd at his AA meetings, we can go
together, how charming.   *laughs* (Lloyd had just informed me 11 days prior that he was getting sober.)

Yeah, I’m sure he’ll be real impressed with that……… Awww f***.

Anyway, I was just kind of… you know, the thing is, as a D.J. you should recognize things that are different and special and promote them and…’s been a 15 year career for me and this is the last day and ummm ….. I don’t think it’s cool that he didn’t acknowledge it in any way, shape or form at all. …….And so I will be rewarding him in kind. (Talking about my tip, or lack thereof for him.)

(So, it looks like although the money thing wasn’t as important to me, the
recognition thing was important enough for me to have taken retribution!!!! LOL!!)

Back to the tape 2:00 a.m.

(Imagine a slight drunken slur in all these words)

Hey, it’s almost 2 o’clock, they let me go early cause there’s nobody here.
But GUESS WHAT? Come on people, guess…. guess who had to do last show
tonight….Come on!!!! *laughs*

That’s right. Me.  Big surprise. So what did I do? I finished off with Tori Amos.

I thought my Beatles set was going to be my last set so I gave myself away to the people and it was brilliant….but oh….. the people’s response was kinda disappointing,  kinda poor!

Although I could see them wantin‘ to jam, they were just CHIC-KENS!

But ah, this time around, I found out like 5 minutes beforehand that I had to go on stage again and I said

“Oh.  S’gonna be Tori then.”

So I finished off with Tori to “Don’t Make Me Go To Vegas”, “Sweet Sangria” and uh….song # 11.  *laughs*

And I was there.  


And then I was done.

And then I walked off stage and these guys asked me if I would like to “join their table” and I said
“No. No, I don’t want to join your table.”

And that’s all she wrote folks.

End of tape

Man, that part makes me laugh.  I can remember that final interaction and I was thinking “F you buddy.”  But I never said it.  I just wanted to get out of there and go see my man in B.C.

Now you see, GOD, in His infinite wisdom knew that I would cling to a memory of a great sendoff like a baby to his teddy so I am sure that He engineered that unremarkable evening for me and I thank Him profusely for that. For there have been some times since I quit when I have missed some things.

Mostly though, I miss the chats in the dressing rooms. Those were the most real of times. In the dressing rooms I saw people laugh, cry, sob, throw chairs, punch the mirrors, punch each other, secretly put flowers in someone’s locker, get high, hug, make out, attempt to steal, accuse someone else of stealing, scream, read, do homework, do taxes, do makeup, talk to their kids on the phone, get news of the death of a loved one, seek God, curse God, pound the floor in frustration, console, conspire, sing, eat, get drunk, pass out, philosophize, do crossword puzzles, despair, and hope.

And it’s not really the business I miss. It’s the girls. It’s those women.  Those women that so often are left behind in the world. The women who don’t think they’re worth waiting for, who don’t think they’re worth much more than any monetary value. The women who shaped my life from 1986 to 2003.

I always wanted to go back for them.  I hope to one day.

Now isn’t that a great story?  And I’ve got a million of ‘em.  And they are part of my life and part of what shaped me.  So the question is, how do I make that palatable for Toastmasters Speech competitions and do I even try?

I’m reaching out towards my faith again, I feel it reaching back for me.  I’m not saying I’m good, I am saying I’m hopeful which is the most important thing.  Without hope, we are all lost.  Without hope, I am useless.

I have been stepping back from my Catholic faith this year, knowingly, unknowingly, afraid, ashamed, I don’t know.  Afraid of being judged.  Always that fear, fear of judgement no matter where I’ve been in life.  It has steered me so.  Fear is a poor place upon which to build.

My heart has, for the most part, not been in my faith since, oh, I’m guessing at least last March.  Maybe longer.  There have still been some spectacular moments but I have largely ignored Opus Dei, the formation that has given me so much wisdom and strength for the past 5 years.  I used to read daily devotions from Father Francis Fernandez, they lined up with my life so often, gave me such deep wisdom but alas, I am freakin’ LAZY.  Nothin’ noble about that.  I am also selfish and prideful.  Once, twice, three times a lady!

Still reading my journals and I am up to 2009 and what revelations are in my past!  How is it that I can NOT remember so much of my life?  It is good to revisit those paths.  Everyone should keep a journal.  There is wisdom in me, I just have to look back for it.  I am learning, re-learning a lot.  I am re-membering my past.  I am re-membering who I have been, who I am.  Putting myself back together as I see me.  This is ALL happening for a reason.  God even uses my selfish desires to be a big shot to show me what I need to see.

I prayed a rosary today.  My first in a very long time.  Maybe almost a year.  Being a convert, I’ve never been crazy about the rosary because it takes sooooooo lonnnnnng.  And I am so selfish and lazy.

But when I do, and I really let my mind go to where God wants it to go, there are always revelations, there is always wisdom. There is always love.  I actually prayed it in my daughter’s room since Lloyd was sleeping and my little altar is in my bedroom.  She has her own ‘altar’ and it is much more simple and true than mine.  I used her rosary too.  I felt like a layer of the onion had fallen away when I finished.

I also remembered through my journals how much fun I had when I first joined Toastmasters.  How excited I was when I realized that I had a true talent that God could use.  NOt that I knew what it would be used FOR, but that didn’t matter.  I remembered seeing Darren LaCroix for the first time and thinking “I can do that.”

The past 2 days of reading just 2006-2009 have given me more ideas for speech topics than the previous 15 years which says a lot about the quality of my life and my intellect prior.  It is also reminding me of what is important to me, what has WORKED for me and what stupid things I STILL do and need to banish from my life.

Now I feel like I am riding a wave.  It is scary because it might not go where I want it to go but I gotta tell ya, it feels infinitely superior to standing on the dry shore with sand in my mouth.  I am shakily riding a wave of faith and if I can subject my will, which has been the great challenge of my life, I know it will take me where I need to go.

Three letters.      P.M.S.

In all honesty, if one can survive the emotional hurricane that is pre menstrual syndrome in the Howley household, the rest of life is a cake walk.    I don’t know how bad it is for other women, but for me, about once every three months, I kind of lose my mind.  Today is one of those days.

At 1:30 I just said to Meg “Ok, home school’s done.  Go watch tv.”

“But we haven’t done math or science yet mum.”

Albert Einstein

“That’s ok.  E will still equal MC squared tomorrow.  I need some chocolate.  Where’s your Hallow’een candy?”

(No, we’re not studying Einstein’s theory in grade one.  Saving that for third grade.  Ahem.)

I actually had to take into account my cycle when I was competing.  I knew when I’d be PMSing which is the hardest time for me and I knew I had to compensate for it somehow.  Joy is harder for me to come by during this time, just ask my family.   If I get more alone time, it seems to help.  (They don’t seem to want to hang around with me then anyway so it’s all good.)

Of course there is the motherhood situation.  Last week we had a member bring her 4 year old to the Toastmasters meeting because she couldn’t get a sitter.  This week, I’m doing the same thing for the same reason.  My 6 year old daughter has been to so many Toastmasters meetings she can seriously put together a better Table Topics speech than many newbies.  She also knows how to behave herself.

I don’t like to bring her too often though because I don’t want members to feel censored by the presence of young and tender ears.  (I usually ask her to play in another room until the meeting is over.)

I remember one time Meaghan came to a meeting, someone was reading from the Interpretive Reading Manual and of course the “f word” was in that passage.  I can’t ask people not to read things that are important to them because there might be young people there who shouldn’t be there anyway.

Funny, Meaghan still talks about that day.  “Hey mom, remember the time Marilyn said the f word at Toastmasters?”

Last minute situations seem to come up for moms.  Do they come up for dads too?

Anyway, that is still a factor I believe, in the lack of women competing at the highest level.  The bottom line still is that we are taking care of the kids and kids refuse to adhere to schedules.  They will throw up whenever they need to, break their arms during the annual gala that you worked 6 months to put together; they will get a new allergy that takes 7 visits to the doctor to discern and 4 more visits to the pharmacist to find the right remedy.

As far as I know, women are still doing the bulk of this work although I do acknowledge that things are becoming more fair.

On the other hand, I have wondered, how have the MEN done it?  None of them were unemployed prepping for the World’s as far as I know.  I would estimate at least half of them had families to care for while they were prepping so they had to figure out a balancing act as well.

It all comes down to discipline.  Nothing great can be done without a tremendous amount of discipline.  Without eliminating the fluff from your life so you can concentrate on the task at hand.  Without CONSTANT reminding of the goal, of what needs to be done to reach that goal.

This down time is good for me, necessary even but it feels dangerous.  It feels perilously close to inertia.  Yes, I am working on my Cincinnatti Championship Collage.  Yes, I am presidenting my club.  Yes, I am prepping for the Youth Leadership Program.  Yes, I am listening to Create Your Keynote, but….

Ok, writing this down was a good idea.  There are a few things in that list.  Plus all the home school stuff I’m doing (except today).  I guess this really ISN’T inertia is it?

No silly.  It’s P.M.S.

Time for chocolate.


And in an ever so casual by the way…….

2000 World Champion of Public Speaking ED TATE asked me if he could use THIS POST

in his new blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I said I’d think about it.

Yeah, right!




So I’ve decided NOT to give a speech on Wednesday.  I need a break for now.  I know that I do.  I spent several hours last night writing but none of the things I wrote are things that I want to share right now.  I also can’t stand the thought of just slapping something together.  I probably worked harder on “JAWS -The Speech” up to Division level than I did on both speeches to District level last year.  I am beginning to appreciate what kind of work it takes to put together a memorable speech.  Slap dash ain’t gonna cut it for anyone.

Also, writing last night, writing very personal things, was so enjoyable.  Writing a speech is so different in that you have to use language in a very concise way.  There is a great satisfaction in figuring out how to say that same thing in less words but writing for self or for reading is so indulgent, weighty and satisfying.  I miss doing it.  In a way, I’m doing it here, but alas, you folks don’t get everything here.  I’m frequently weighing what to say here because of the medium and the message.  I also factor in people’s privacy.  My deadliest stuff goes in my personal journal where I am my messy, hopeful, haughty self.   I’ve always had BOOK in the back of my head.  For years.  In fact my dad told me once this year that he always thought that’s what I’d do.  (My dad has told me a lot of stuff this year now that I think of it.)  At the end of this year’s journey, on August 24, 2013, that will be the next step.  It will be TIME.  And it will be done.

Next up is:  I’ve got Darren LaCroix‘s “Create Your Keynote by Next Week”  sitting here but I have no intention of doing this in a week.  I just don’t work that way.  I’m analytical.  I like to examine things and understand them.  I can’t just DO them.  So I’m going to start the process and enjoy it.  And see what happens.

Also thinking about asking certain people if they are interested in coaching me.  Taking time with that too.  This needs to be thoughtfully and prayerfully done, methinks.

I will also be doing a clarity session with my Texas Toastmaster Micaela Pennell next week.  I am ever so grateful for the gifts God brings into my life and the way in which it is done.  I know I am being loved.

I think this is the time to simply be Paula for a while.