What I find hard to explain is that I enjoy all these presentations. I am normally rather shy. In groups, I tend to be quiet and listen rather than speak. But put me in front of a crowd with a microphone, and my personality suddenly changes into that of an actor. Granted, I was trained as an actor and public speaker many years ago. That doesn’t explain why I revel in speaking to a group and watching the reaction.
And my audiences are focused and attentive. They follow each word and gesture. Every eye stays on me. My sense is that their rapt attention results from two factors—the intensity of the stories I have to tell and my own emotional stress. Every time I give the fall of Saigon presentation, for example, I get tears in my eyes at three different points in the story I’m telling. I’m so moved that I have trouble controlling my voice. The audience is as moved as I am.
The problem has become that my presentations are so popular and I enjoy them so much that I have too little time to write. And writing is my calling in life.
So this year, 2020, will be the year in which I spend the majority of time writing. I’m currently working on two new novels. I’ll get to them just as soon as I get through the current spate of presentations. Or maybe the one after that. Or maybe . . . time will tell.