When I first started writing I never dreamed I would have to talk in front of people. Well, that isn’t exactly true, I figured my book would go straight to the NY Times best selling list and I would be eloquent and savvy, and I could fly on my private jet, and people would come to hear my witty ….
“I was born to speak in front of people.” This is what I tell myself as I prepare my speeches before any and every public appearance. But I believe I suck at it. Then once I get up in front of everyone and throw out a terrible joke I spent hours hacking together for the event, it all unfolds before me and becomes memorable.
I remember in college, as a liberal arts college student, I had to take a public speaking class. Why? I had no idea. My father told me that liberal arts make you a well-rounded individual. Take Spanish class, please. I had a great Spanish teacher who graded us on our own progress because he knew we were only taking language to fulfill the required course load.
Public Speaking, on the other hand, may sound like an asinine way to waste forty-five minutes every week to a college kid, but twenty years later, I began to see the reasoning behind it. The same applies to typing classes in junior high. The course wasn’t hard, I just made it that way. I remember the first time I had to speak in front of the class, I was so not nervous – scared stiff that I drank almost an entire bottle of gin. Somehow I made it to the class and through the speech. I must have made quite an impression because I got a B for the job. Turns out, the teacher felt the same about her class as my Spanish teacher did. Or she felt sorry for me.
Now, instead of getting drunk, I write lousy jokes to “engage the audience”. Not everyone makes it out of my mouth. Like Ole Honest Abe, sometimes I just leave it out.
The Heliades are Greek Nymphs, the seven daughters of Helios, God of the sun, and the Okeanid (Nymphs who presided over the natural water sources of the Earth) Klymene. They also had a son, Phaethon, who pleaded with his father to let him drive his chariot across the sky. Helios reluctantly agreed and Phaethon lost control of the horses and drove too close to the earth, scorching it. Zeus struck him down with a thunderbolt to stop the destruction, and Phaethon fell to his death in the River Eridanos. His sisters, the Heliades, gathered there to mourn him, and when they cried, Zeus turned them into trees. The trees cry still, shedding golden drops of sap that turn to amber when they fall.
The year is 1980, and Harry Thursday is about to be drawn into another thrilling adventure. He has come out of retirement and has been working on a tiny Greek island resurrecting the decrepit Temple of Zeus there.
Meanwhile, back in Pennsylvania, his uncle falls to his death at the Harrisburg train station, an accident they call it, and Harry is called back to the states by the uncle’s attorney, a sexy intelligent lawyer with a few secrets of her own, who is counsel to some very wealthy clientele.
When the police mention to Harry that a small piece of amber was found lodged in the dead man’s throat, Harry’s fears grow. Soon, Harry’s time on Earth is becoming tenuous
This is the subject of the 3rd Harry Thursday novel, which if I can stop delaying, will be finished before the end of the year.