I feel the need to tell my blogger friends that I misrepresent myself on these entries. I know I could babble on for days in typing, but I'm very introverted in person. I guess I'm better at expressing myself on a page. This struck home for me over the weekend when I attended a science fiction/fantasy writers convention. I was excited to go. One of Marina's favorite authors was going to be signing books, and I found out that another author would be there whose book I enjoyed as a teenager. Now, when you meet someone whose work you admire, you tend to want to impress them in the 30-60 seconds it takes them to autograph your book. One minute. That's all. And in one minute my most coherent phrase is "I really enjoy your stories!"
But it doesn't stop there. There were workshops and panels to attend. I decided (on the second day there) that I really had to make an attempt to speak my mind at one panel, on the use of danger in children's literature. My mouth had something really important to say about parents' responsibility and knowing your child's sensitivities. My heart would not stop trying to force it's way through my rib cage. It was beating so hard my words began coming out in a quaver, and I had to cut my comments short before a massive coronary. To top it off, someone misunderstood my rant as meaning I censor my child's reading. I don't--I just spoil endings if I know it will upset them. I learned this the hard way, after having to talk to my daughter about life and death issues at midnight. She had just finished reading the second to last chapter of "Bridge to Terabithia." I would rather spoil and discuss in my time frame than have deep philosophical discussions in the middle of the night.
What kills me is, I've gotten up in front of people and kept them interested many times! I've prattled on while juggling, I've run poetry readings, I've taught STORYTELLING, for crying out loud!!!! While I do get stagefright beforehand, I never reach the level of anxiety during one of these events as I do when I'm just sitting in an audience voicing my opinion.
So if I ever meet any of you in person or talk to you on the phone, please don't take it personally if I don't say much at first. It takes a while for words to reach my mouth when my brain is used to sending the signals to my fingers.