something accomplished this morning!

by grace on March 11, 2018

after writing stuff on this site since may of 2004, almost FOURTEEN YEARS, i’ve finally come up with an “about me!”  yaaaay for me!   so try to take a moment to read it, but only if you feel like it.

i’m feeling excited about things today, because i gave another “gracetalk” last wednesday, and then on thursday morning i thought about it and had an epiphany.  i don’t have epiphanies very often, and if/when i do, i usually forget them or sink back into my general inertia about things.  but i have a good feeling that maybe this time it’ll stick, because i’m still enthused and it’s been three whole days already, a long time for me.

after i did my very first gracetalk, way back in 2004 (that was really a monumental year for me, i suddenly realize), i was enthusiastic about doing them, and did another two right after that.  but then i didn’t do another til new year’s eve of 2006, and then i waited til new year’s eve 2012!  a six-year break.  hmm, not so great…and then i did another one new year’s eve 2013.  i did one more in april 2015, i’m pretty sure, but it was a talk for a women’s event called “girls’ night out” and i didn’t call it “gracetalk,” but i still talked a lot.

when i was in the second iteration of  performing in the hilarious play”dixie swim club,” this on at new salem in the summer of 2016, a woman e-mailed me, asking if i’d talk at a meeting of her group, the petersburg women’s club.  she said they were booked for all of 2016/17, but was i interested in doing one in 2018?  and i thought, gee, that’s a million year away, but i agreed.  then last july she wrote to me again, and we set the date, march 7th, 2018, once again this seemed like such a long time.  last august i had to come up with a title, and i chose “a walk on the wild side: a grand hiking adventure in wales in ireland.”

and that’s all i did about it until january, as far as i recall.  and then it was OH NO I’D BETTER GET TO WORK!  as i started to write i quickly realized that there was no way i could tell the story of our trip in the 30 alloted minutes, so i pared it down.

and here’s where the epiphany comes – i memorized all the other gracetalks, which caused me a great deal of stress and worrying and anxiousness.  trying to remember all that stuff, it took a toll and i think that’s partly why i took those long breaks in between.  that and my lack of motivation.  but this time, i decided i’d read it.  i rehearsed a few times and felt pretty confident.  i was a little concerned that people would be bothered by the reading, but i think i made it seem like i wasn’t nervous (i was more nervous than i thought i’d be), and they were entertained and laughed and stuff.

so i got up too early the next morning, thursday, and it suddenly struck me that THIS IS WHAT I SHOULD BE DOING.

last summer i did this “storytellers guild” thing with my friend erica, who is wise beyond her years and has created this interesting guild, but the great thing i got from that was reading stuff instead of memorizing it.

when i did my very first gracetalk, my friend phil helped me and thought of it as a one-woman show, but then i by the time i did it, he felt it was really stand-up comedy.

but now, i feel that i can continue forward cause i don’t have that burden of all the memorizing.  stand-up comics always memorize their material, but they’re always honing it and doing it over and over and over again.  that’s not what i want to do; part of the joy for me is to write, and there’s so much i want to write/ should have written, that i don’t want to do one thing over and over.  i kind of think it’s more like the late, great Spaulding Grey, who performed autobiographical monologues.  i went to see him in Pasadena, in a big auditorium to a packed house.  he just read from his notebooks, but his stories about himself were engaging and funny.  so i think that’s more like what i want to be.

except i’ll continue to have photos, plus videos – i created some videos for most of the “gracetalks,” which was fun, but i can also use videos i’ve already shot.

maybe down the road i’ll do some of the talks more often and will want to memorize them, but like i said, huge breakthrough, no burden of memorizing.

mom, kevin and i went to an early dinner after the talk on wednesday, and kevin’s idea was that i should approach the Queen Mary II and see if i can be a speaker, since i talked a little about sailing on the ship.  I think that’s just a tiny bit unattainable right now, but so that can be my long-term goal.

my immediate short-term goal, beside writing more stuff, is that i want to be comfortable stopping to take a drink of water during a talk.  i know i did this in previous talks, but on wednesday i suddenly got incredibly parched.  kevin had supplied me with a great music stand with an attached water bottle holder, and i had planned to use it, but then i panicked and didn’t know when i could possibly stop.  i did manage to open the bottle at some point, but then i never took a drink and managed to complete the talk without coughing.

so…short term-goal, drink water.  long-term goal, perform on the QM II.

and right now, lots of work to do…

ok then,

mrs. empowered at least for the moment hughes.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Robert Dugger March 11, 2018 at 4:54 pm

I read your new about page, very nice. I hope you continue to pursue your writing, it sounds like you have a passion for it that you have never entirely explored. Good luck.

Robert Dugger


grace March 13, 2018 at 5:43 pm

thanks, robert!


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