Thursday, June 28, 2007

Internal Critics Are the Worst Kind...

The weekend approaches and I’m ready for it. Saturday morning I have an eye exam so will be useless to all intents and purposes (as a writer/reader) for up to four hours afterward because the doctor is going to dilate my pupils and take a look around inside. Oh, joy. If that weren’t part of his plan, I could have had an eye appointment during the week and had a weekend filled with normal vision. But hey, it’s important…

I’m contemplating the first draft of the final (?) version of the Vegas presentation. Notice the tentativeness of the foregoing sentence itself! I will probably never “finish” the presentation – I will just arrive on stage on August 11th and “surrender” it… knowing it can always be better… because I become a better communicator every day and what seemed good yesterday is not quite adequate today and may seem unacceptable tomorrow!

It’s in the editing phase that The Critic comes out -- otherwise I lock her in a closet, or I’d never get a blasted thing written!

The Critic Within wreaks havoc with me (as it does with most people, mostly to our detriment, I think). If I can put something away for three months or longer and then come back to it and re-discover it -– as happened recently with the STAR TREK Magazine interview –- often I’ll be surprised by how good it is. (A brief aside to bestow credit where credit is due: In the case of the two TREK interviews with Billie Rae Walker –- at STARTREK.COM and in STAR TREK MAGAZINE -- without the insightful questions Billie posed, there would have been very few good answers… so she gets the lion’s share of the credit for the lasting quality of these interviews. Hers were the best two interviews I have given to date. It is due to her careful reading of the two Kelley books beforehand and other reading and insights she brought to the table that made these interviews the gems they became.) But while I’m in the throes of the “editing” process, it’s not all that cut and dried… As long as something is fluid, nebulous, not yet written in stone, I worry it the way a dog worries a bone. I guess that’s good for the reader, but it can be pretty disconcerting at this end! I just don’t want anything to see the light of day unless I feel awfully certain I won’t be embarrassed when I see it down the road again in three or four months!

This reminds me of the time a boss sent me to appear on a television program to defend the right of wild burros to exist on public lands. I still see that interview on TV from time to time and cringe! There’s a chapter in my book LET NO DAY DAWN THAT THE ANIMALS CANNOT SHARE fully detailing this “adventure in interview land.” That interviewer did not take very good care of me... The editors and producers edited it so poorly that it appeared I was proclaiming that burros (rather than horses) evolved in North America! GAWD AWMIGHTY! The Bureau of Land Management fellow they interviewed for the same episode had a heyday with that... I still blush and then get ticked just thinking about it. "That's NOT what I said!" (I had been talking to the sound man in the back of the pickup truck about eohippus -- the forerunner of the HORSE -- evolving in North America. I'm sure he was not the editor or he would not have spliced that sentence into an argument for having BURROS accepted as native species on public lands...)

All that aside...

De and Carolyn let me know I did a wonderful job on that show. They said I looked utterly confident and unself-conscious. Carolyn asked if I would like to become an actress as a result of this TV interview; De would get right on it, if so!! HAH!

Bless their hearts -- they didn't know enough about the wild horse/wild burro land use controversy to realize that in the editing process I had been changed into a complete nincompoop!

My boss said I did a great job, too. AND HE BETTER HAVE, OR I WOULD HAVE HURT HIM BADLY! Burros were not one of my issues -- wild horses were (which is why I was talking about wild horses in the back of that pick-up truck, to establish some credibility as a critter expert) -- but the burro experts were in Washington DC in front of the feds arguing for the burros that day, so I was drafted to be the burros savior for TV .. ARGHHHH!

So I come by my fear of looking like a fool based on a certain amount of experience, you know?

It's just one of several crosses I bear...




"Wha ---?!"

"Kris, go get changed into ranch clothes. You have to be there in 90 minutes and it's 60 miles away...."

"Wha ---?!!!"

"You'll do great!"


"Keep breathing in and out -- you look a little blue. Don't worry! You'll be fine!"



Alison said...


Be brave! Imagine worse case scenario, come to terms with it, and then nothing matters and things can only be better. We're all on your side.

If you like you can send it to me to have a look through, though if you're like me you won't want to do that!

I miss my walk. Anti climax from Hell. xxx

Kristine M Smith said...

You wrote:

If you like you can send it to me to have a look through, though if you're like me you won't want to do that!

What? And spoil all the convention fun for you ahead of time? Not on your life. (Besides, it will probably change from what I sent you! HA HA HA HA HA

It will remain a surprise to all who attend (possibly even me....)

I appreciate your support. Just pray me through from now till Saturday night August11th and I'll be fine!

Kristine M Smith said...

I can certainly understand missing your walk. When you get here I'll send you to Mt Rainier during the week. That's "only" 60 miles (or I'll take you 30 miles toward it and come get you on Friday wherever you land. You should be back in plenty of time for a weekend with me, with the leg muscles and tough feet you must have NOW!

Alison said...