It cannot be denied that I can chatter like a magpie to friends and family, BUT – such a ubiquitous, meaningful word – put me in front of a large audience, microphone or camera and I freeze. It is often assumed that age frees one of inhibitions; not always true! I have, briefly, been on TV four times; interviewed and recorded a couple of times too and words – well the ‘right’ words – refused to leave my mouth. However…give me a pen, or a keyboard and I am liberated! For this treasured ability – self expression – I am truly grateful. That’s not to say that my words are all worthy or correct – I am no egotist, BUT (that word again) I am no longer searching, gasping, desperately wishing…for words to express myself. Instead, they eagerly leap onto the page, often joyfully – for I do find writing a joy.
Comfort Zones (And introducing a good friend and fellow writer: Georgia Varjas)
The above words bring me to a recent occasion held this month. Why? I was invited to attend Murcia University to speak to an English Language class, by Georgia Varjas. GULP! I would be outside of my ‘comfort zone…’ How pleased I am that I chose to ignore my annoying doubts. It was revelation! ‘Maria Aliaga’ – who is the organizer and co-ordinator of the class – a warm, effusive woman – welcomed us both with enthusiasm, along with class members – whose ages ranged from teens to seventies! Both sexes too. We were both photographed, interviewed and recorded! ‘Rosa,’ another warm person, assisted Maria with the interview.
After that rambling…I come to the star of the evening: Georgia Varjas. There’s no denying that she’s a woman of passion, who cares deeply about the degradation of women throughout the world. Fortunately, she is blessed with the gifts of expressing herself verbally on the stage, and on paper. She is a natural actress and speaks with integrity – not fearsome of airing unpleasant truths – tempering her rhetoric with humour. Homing in on one story from her book, Divine Damages: ‘Righteous Val,’ Georgia explained that: “Revenge is the spice – the entertainment of the story – with the nutrition found in the content.” She spoke about her book in English and Spanish, and they all loved it!
At the end of the meeting, after I was also asked to speak to a few of the class in English, we were given flowers. Georgia sold several copies of her poetry book: On the Wild Side and her book Divine Damages. I also sold several copies of my Memoir, My Gentle War. I didn’t even say my customary ‘Phew’ when it was over. What was not to like?!