Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Moment #114: a writing prompt for your work-in-progress

(If you’ve already read this then skip past all the italicized blah-di-blah and start writing.) Monday Moments are writing prompts for your work-in-progress. They are questions that come from my experiences and are my favorite way to find out more about my characters. I find I learn a lot. Some of it I use. Some of it I don’t. But I always, always get to know my characters better just by answering the question. I hope you do too.)

Have you ever let anything spill out of your mouth, and the second it did you're tyring to slurp it back up like a big-long noodle?

Wait...that's not what I meant. That didn't sound right. You know what I mean. Right?

*Hit self between eyes. Insert foot in mouth. Hide in corner.*

I'm feeling ever-so thoughtful about my words at the moment (well...sadly, not as I type this, but in a broader way) because I'm preparing for the upcoming SCBWI Western Washington conference which is coming up this weekend. I'll be welcoming the first-time attendees and conducting an Orientation just prior to the open, to hopefully set a good tone and start the weekend off right. I'm hoping to say just the right words in order to set new attendees at ease, alleviate stress, and ground them with realistic expectations.

I try and do those same things when I teach my group fitness classes. My hope is that when I do, I inspire, motivate, and keep people working safely. Teaching group fitness (that's choreographed) is truly the ultimate in multi-tasking. Not only am I working out (and hard), but I'm coaching (position, technique, timing) while trying to push people to work their hardest. All the while my mind must be one move ahead of what we're doing in class. A true brain and body workout.

That said, this can easily result in a verbal faux pas. Or two!

I was teaching my Bodypump class (the ultimate bar-bell workout) this past week, and as we were warming up I mentioned that it was so nice to see new faces in class, and great to see older faces return. I knew it as soon as I said it, and I was looking to specific person who isn't the youngest kitten in the gym, that it was a poor choice of words. Good grief!

You'd think I'd hold together during the rest of the class. But no, I bit the dust during biceps. Again. It was meant to be a compliment, as I told the roomful of lovely ladies that there were "no rockin' bodies" on the floor. (Come on, Jolie. All their bodies are rockin', because they take Bodypump. That's what a I yelled at myself in my head.) It was really meant to be a big compliment during bicep work, as you don't want to rock your body to move the weight, but it sounded all wrong.

Good thing I can be a bit self-deprecating. Usually they all get a good laugh at my expense. Works for me.

What has your character said that's come out all wrong?

Looking forward to seeing a whole bunch of you at the conference. And if you're a first-time attendee, I'll try and get my words just right. :)


Unknown said...

I hope for the best.

Elizabeth Rose Stanton said...

Regarding any possible verbal faux pas: we all do/have done it some-time-or we will all be laughing WITH you! :)
I'm looking forward to the conference--and the orientation!