Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Standing in the spotlight

It happened almost four decades ago at the Arena. My daughter was about three years old and she loved her little square suitcase style record player. She played the same songs over and over: Supercalafragilisticexpeialidocious (excuse the spelling). I can hear her singing, "A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go dowwwwwwnnnn." She loved Mary Poppins.

When it was announced that Julie Andrews was coming to St. Louis for a stage performance of Mary Poppins, I bought tickets. The show sold out right away. We were offered floor seats. That meant sitting ON the floor, not a chair. But that was fine by us. Up close would afford a better view of the performance.

Just before Mary Poppins was to glide across the dimly lit arena high above the crowd on a wire, there was an announcement. "At all times children are to remain seated." I clutched my little girl on my lap. Suddenly, the ceiling was illuminated and Mary Poppins holding her umbrella, wearing a flowing black dress and cape, came gliding down-down-down...and that's when my little girl broke loose, darted off my lap and ran across the Arena floor shouting, "MARY POPPINS! MARY POPPINS!"

I had to make a split second decision, run after her and stand in the spotlight, or stay in the shadows and tell her dad to go get her.

Back then, I would do anything to stay out of the spotlight. I nudged her dad and he grabbed her and brought her back. My little girl upstaged Mary Poppins. It was her fifteen seconds of fame. She shared the spotlight and the applause.

Are you afraid of the spotlight? Would you rather stand in the shadows? You can't get your work or your name out there if you don't shine the light on yourself some of the time. I used to be embarrased to post writer brags. I would sit back and observe at meetings, because I doubted anything I had to say would matter. Conferences? Not me! I figured I couldn't measure up to the pros. But you know what? They were all beginners once, too.

These days I still do not like to brag. I am humbled by my successes and my ability to write. But I do put myself and my work out there. And you should, too.

Dianna Graveman is looking for stories on "Moms to Be" Anyone have a tale to tell about their pregnancy experiences? She would like to read them. It could lead to possible publication for you. And then YOU will share the spotlight. (Submission details above for the Not Your Mother's Books.)


Sioux Roslawski said...

What a wonderful slice-of-life story, that connects seamlessly with our work as writers. (I too loved Mary Poppins as a kid? Does that mean you are old enough to have spawned me? ;)

Joanne Noragon said...

Little ones do some wonderful things in public. I wonder if Mary Poppins had a backup plan for an extra child on stage.

Tammy said...

Great message. And great story!

Dianna Graveman said...

Great story, Linda! Can we have it for NYMB Moms? You rock -- and thanks for the extra call-out!

Terri Tiffany said...

You should brag---your work is impressive!!

Diane said...

I had that record too and loved it just as much! Great news for you and wishing you continued success. :O)

Susan said...

Hi Linda...That was a cute story. Congratulations on all your awards, commendations, and acceptances. Your perseverance (and talent) are finally paying off! I'm so happy for you.

Linda, thanks for hanging in there with me during the technical difficulties I've been experiencing on my blog. I am now posting on Mozilla Firefox as I can't get my posts out of Explorer 8. Frustrating.

LOVED your tranquil horses photo. Lovely. Take care and have a good rest of the day on Thursday! Susan

Lynn said...

Great post. I'm not one for the spotlight either, but I'm slowly but surely stepping out of my comfort zone and actually read at MWG's open mic! Woot woot!

Karen Lange said...

I love your analogy here! I too, am not one to seek the spotlight, so this promotion stuff us writers have to do is not my favorite thing. But you are right - we must, and in the right balance, it really is a good thing. Good post, thanks for sharing. :)

Chatty Crone said...

I'm a shadow person myself. sandie