So let me explain what happened when I first drove up: Okay, holy cow! The first thing I see other than this superbly gorgeous Elizabethan Mansion is Deer EVERYWHERE!
It was crazy cool to see them two/three feet from me in the English mist that surrounded the grounds of Burghley. They were so content and never even moved a muscle as I walked past. Seriously amazing and so fairy tale-ish it wasn't even funny! So then, I get into the class and I see who's around me and I'm like okay, wow! this class is gonna be so cool! Eeeeeh! Until we started introducing ourselves and I realized EVERY STORY was the same... all surrounding me. They all went like this:
I'm a (Insert amazing profession here) and I've always wanted to write.. blah, blah, blah... but I just haven't been able to find the time...blah, blah, blah... I'm taking this class to hopefully get motivated into actually writing a novel... blah, blah, blah...
All at once I was petrified to announce and tell about me. I mean, like crazy scared.. and I'm NOT ever scared. LOL! But this room terrified me. I was the second to the last person to announce who I was--with strict orders from the teacher that we were supposed to tell ALL of our writing experience and leave nothing out, so that way she can adjust the class to our needs. Afterall we were paying for it, right? Hahaha! So here I was the baby of the group. Everyone knew I was SUCH a baby too. LOL! They grinned at me and then turned and talked to everyone else.
So when it was my turn I started on the first part of the assignment.. my name and profession:
"Hi, I'm Jenni--uh, Jenni James. And uh, (ugh! I never say uh, EVER why am I saying uh???) I'm a stay-at-home mom of uh, 6 kids.
The whole room gasped. I continued, "As I'm sure you can tell by my accent, I uh, am an American. My hubby is in the military and uh, he's taken off the 5 days for this class so I can come here.
The whole room. "Awwws." I giggle nervously and then start. (Okay, here we go.. deep breath) "I uh, never wanted to be a writer."
More gasps. Another nervous giggle, I'm looking at my hands now. "Actually, I'm a professional children's theater director and I got into writing by becoming a playwright so I'd have enough roles for all the kids that auditioned for my plays."
More gasps and twitters now. I'm on a role, so I'm not stopping. "Anyway, I'd written three plays and then in March last year I felt this amazing urge to start writing a novel. Uh, (nervous giggle--here we go, the make it or break moment) Well, uh, since March I've written 4 novels (loud gasping, I don't pause) and I'm currently working on my fifth novel of my series titled The Austen Series. I'm rewriting all 6 of the Jane Austen novels and transplanting them to the US for teens. (Braving on and not looking back I take the plunge) And in August I was lucky enough to get an agent and in February I have an editor doing revisions talk with me." (Whew!)
The whole room broke out into applause. I mean, it. BRITISH PEOPLE were clapping!!! It was sooo weirdly cool and shocking. And they liked me! They weren't mean or weird or, I don't know, mad that I'd done so much. After that, I was a person. I was more than a person. I was part of the group in a weird Rock Star sort of way. It was crazy.
Then the lady after me, was like, "Wow. How do I even follow that? Uh, I've always wanted to write.. blah, blah, blah..."
So I survived and in two weeks I'm going back for more! WAHOOO!