My Painfully Shy/Attention Hog Split Personality

Last spring at Keycon, I had people I had never seen before come up to me and say Hi. They knew my name – knew me from my blog. It was a weird experience. I mean, that’s the point of the blog being public – getting attention, and getting attention from people interested in reading what I write when I get my novel published. I know there’s a certain amount of danger – there’s weirdos out there, but I figure if I plan on being a published author, I’m eventually going to have to bite it and have my picture associated with my name in public. I’ve drawn lines of course – I don’t put my home address or phone number out there, or even my email address – the contact me link on my site just has a form, and doesn’t give my email address. I stopped at giving my home city, and the airports I’ve flown out of, and what conventions/conferences I’ll be at. I’m not a paranoid person – I think I’m being reasonable.

It was just kind of different, to be recognized. And now that I think about it, kind of cool to have a male approaching me to say hi with interests other than hitting on me. It wasn’t just the blog at Keycon either, I did a few panels and it seems when you get up in front of a crowd, it changes how people treat you. You’re no longer a random face in the crowd, you’re the woman who discussed Dieselpunk intelligently on the Steampunk/Dieselpunk/Cyberpunk panel, and did the panel on flight, and was the organizer for the short film viewing. And then people talk to you.

I do fine in conversation mostly – when it’s answering questions about things, I’m fine. When I’m put on the spot to come up with something to say, like at the Women In Aviation gathering with the First to Solo award presentation, I freeze up. Deer in the headlights.

I’ve gotten over a lot of being painfully shy. I used to be so much worse. Though, I don’t actually remember being shy, so much as just knowing if I was the centre of attention, it was because I did something wrong, or stupid, or people were just picking on me for no reason at all. I was bullied as a child, and that always leaves scars.  When I’m put on the spot and am not prepared with something to say, then I’m suddenly afraid that whatever comes out of my mouth is going to be stupid, or come across horribly wrong.

Conversation – much easier. It distracts me from the attention and I can focus on the subject matter of the conversation. And yet, I love attention. Just not negative attention. I like having done something well, or made something I can show off, and being praised for it. I might be terribly nervous getting up to perform in front of an audience, but the applause at the end makes it so worth it.

I see-saw between being shy and being an attention whore. It came  on my again when I got to spending more time at Lyncrest, and C-FLUG, and Jill, and the other women involved in C-FLUG. Some of them were at the First to Solo award presentation and knew me from there. Some had seen my picture in articles, but it was again with the people coming up to me that I had never seen before, or if I had they were someone in a crowd, but they knew my name. And one day Jill commented about how wonderful it was that I was getting all my flight training down in my blog. I said I’m never sure if there’s anyone around home who reads it, and she said “Oh, we all do!” And then I was feeling all shy and bashful again.

It does sometimes feel safer to write about things when I’m not likely to ever meet the people who read what I’ve written. I love getting comments on the blog (I have a friend who has promised to troll my site, but has never actually done so. I’m disappointed.) But most comments are from people I haven’t met in person. Then at Keycon I met some of the people who’ve commented on my blog, and it was weird and cool. And now there’s people who know me from an entirely different circle. I don’t think I’m trying to make a point with this post. I’m just rambling an thinking thoughts.

And sometimes I do pour my heart out here, and I’ve never once had anyone leave a comment that made me regret it. I treat the thing like a journal, and the difference between a journal and a diary, is a journal is written for someone else to read at some point. I kept a diary for a few years, but it was hard to motivate myself to write anything that wasn’t intended to be read by someone else, either for entertainment or educational purposes.

But while I feel free to let myself be vulnerable here, there are certain things I hold back. Mainly anything that I think might embarrass people I care about, or who didn’t – you know – ask for it. This isn’t a platform for me to lash out or take revenge. It can sometimes be hard to avoid, because my writing is always influenced by my own experiences, and also, I do want to let others who have gone through the kind of things I have know that they’re not alone. So I’m torn sometimes, on how much to tell. But I’ll deal with those things as they come up. Negativity attracts negativity, and I want this to be a positive place.

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Thank You To My Blog Readers – and Please Introduce Yourselves!

I’ve seen bloggers in the past talking about how wonderful their followers are, and never thought much of it. But lately, I’ve been finding I get what they’re talking about. It’s been a while now, and I’ve managed to accumulate some blog followers, both friends I’ve met in real life, and online. Of late, I’ve kind of been laying myself bare, confessing my dreams and all. I’ve always been afraid to do that, because I’ve been torn down so much in my life, told I shouldn’t hope for things I want, and that my dreams are unrealistic, I should get my head out of the clouds.

I never mentioned this, but there’s a section in the flight manual that says that every student goes through a period where they feel incompetent, and worry that they’ll never get it and maybe aren’t meant to fly, but that you just have to practice and push through it, and you will get it. I did have that moment, starting to get frustrated with landings not coming together as fast as I’d expected. I didn’t talk about it, but like I usually do, just fought down those feelings and told myself I just needed practice, and I did. I’ve mostly got it now, and Friday my instructor had me do a tailwind landing for the first time (with the wind blowing you towards the runway instead of away – makes your ground speed faster, harder to judge when to start descending) and I got it well enough the first time to not have to overshoot (realize the landing isn’t gonna happen this time around and pull up to try again) or backtrack (run out of runway to take off again after landing and have to turn around and go back to the beginning of the runway.)

And every time I’ve posted about difficulties, and especially when I posted about running into road blocks and getting discouraged, I’ve gotten nothing but support and encouragement in the comments. Not just from friends, but from random people who I don’t even know how they found my blog! Like a gust pushing me on, up to the sky, you guys are the wi….no. No, not gonna go there.

Anyway, I want, first of all, to thank you all for your kind words – it really has helped. And second, I wanted to invite you to introduce yourselves. Especially the the ones I don’t know, or haven’t interacted with outside of this blog, I find myself curious to know who you are and what brings you here. And the people I do know from elsewhere, by all means, introduce yourselves too – I know some of you have your own blogs and who knows, maybe you’ll meet someone here who’s interested in following your blog. I’ve always been afraid to ask for feedback on anything on my blog so far – I’m scared no one would answer 😛 But I think I have enough followers now that at least someone will reply.

Just reply to this post with your introduction – you don’t have to give your name, just a bit about you, how you came to find my blog, and if you’re a fellow writer, what do you write? And if you’re a published writer, feel free to post a link to where we can buy your work. I may have more than one pilot following, I think, so if you’re a pilot, tell us about that too.

I look forward to hearing from you!

P. S.: On the Aviation Medical Front – my family doctor has faxed in the report they wanted and Civil Aviation Medicine has received it. It should be processed today or tomorrow, and with any luck, that will be all they need, and they’ll send it on to licencing. *fingers crossed* If all goes well, first solo could potentially be Wednesday.

ETA: I have my cat 1 medical certificate in my hot little hands!

The Punkettes, Grande Opening Announcement

Would have announced this a few days ago when they set a date for the blog launch, but I’ve been on a long string of shifts on the day job. I have now negotiated with the cat for approximately half the rocking chair, so that I can sit while I write a blog post. This picture captures said feline’s personality fairly well, so you know what I mean.

So there’s a new blog starting up, called The Punkettes. Steampunkette, Erin Latimer will be blogging there about Steampunk, Clockpunkette, Rebecca Sky will be blogging about Clockpunk, and yours truly will be appearing there as the Dieselpunkette.

I’m pretty excited to have been invited to join them in their adventures in blogging. We’ll be reviewing books in the genre, and I hope to be also reviewing other media as well – music, movies and TV shows, as well as blogging on other genre topics, such as costuming and gadgetry, and anything else related that we think other lovers of the genre might be interested in.

Anyway, we’ve got tons of stuff lined up for giveaways for new followers and anyone spreading the word, so stop by on sept 1st and find out all the ways you can enter, and wish us luck!