My talk included wishing for the death of an elderly woman and the apparent arrival of her ghost

A couple of weeks ago I participated in the Books on the Nightstand Retreat, which I’ve written about previously. Nine authors came together with about one hundred readers to talk about books.

On Saturday morning I conducted a one-hour session on the decisions that authors must make in the process of publishing a book (ironic since I had been forced to decide upon two offers for my next book as we drove to Vermont), and then later in the evening all nine authors came together to speak to an audience of well over one hundred people on a topic of our choice.

The organizers of the event, the illustrious Ann Kingman and Michael Kindness, recorded these 10-15 minute talks and have been releasing them as part of their Books on the Nightstand weekly podcast.

This week’s podcast includes my talk.

I have yet to listen to the recording.

My original plan that evening was to speak to the group about my books, read a short passage from Unexpectedly, Milo, and tell an amusing story from earlier in the day. But I changed my mind as I rose from my chair and approached the podium and instead spoke about the writing and the need for more people to write in today’s world.

Since it was fairly unprepared, I am afraid to listen to the results. Every unrehearsed “um” or “ah” will be like a thousand tiny cuts into my soul.

I am a bit of a perfectionist, despite the absolute lack of perfection in almost everything I do. I live a life of perpetual dissatisfaction, but I don’t typically have to re-live my failures.

So I may avoid listening to this week’s podcast altogether.

Still, I think the talk went well despite my unprepared state, my wish for an elderly woman’s death, and the apparent arrival of her spirit mid-talk. If you are interested, you can listen to the podcast on the Books on the Nightstand website or download it from iTunes and perhaps become a regular listener.  And I did listen to the other author featured in the podcast, Ellen Meeropol, and she is most certainly worth a listen.