I will be attending my very first Writers Conference this weekend. I am excited and really looking forward to it.
At the same time I am a bit nervous. I am hoping that I will not do or say something incredibly stupid. I would very much like to appear confident, poised, and professional. And though I'm hoping, I am not particularly hopeful.
You see, I have never been, or at least have never felt, confident or poised. I tend to trip over my own feet. When someone runs into me, I apologize. I am hopeless at small talk and have absolutely no idea how to go about promoting myself or my book.
And, much as I hate to admit it, getting older has just made things worse. My memory which was never great is now abysmal. My 'noun aphasia' is getting out of hand. For instance, I'm a docent at the beautiful Riversdale Mansion. Much too often lately I have found myself standing in a room, the salon perhaps, staring blankly at my little group of visitors, having totally forgotten the term for the cornice I am pointing at. You can only claim senior moments so many times before they want their money back.
My memory for simple nouns has gotten so bad that my husband feels like he is playing an interminable game of charades. This afternoon I was attempting to draw his attention to the cooler. The best I could do was keep repeating, "you know - the red thing" and making a rectangle in the air with my hands. I am sorry to say he is not amused by this.
Another thing that is getting worse by the minute is my sight. I had Lasik surgery about fifteen years ago and for quite a while my vision was wonderful. Not so much now. I smile and wave at old friends, only to find out that they are actually total strangers. I squint a lot. I see things that aren't there. I wear my cheaters on a chain around my neck, a thing I swore I'd NEVER do. I've become Mr. Magoo's twin sister!
It's very sad, really. The other day I sharpened an eyebrow pencil. The sharpener wasn't working and upon investigation I discovered that my 'pencil' was not actually a wooden pencil. It was plastic. When I bought it I could have sworn it was a wooden pencil. It certainly looked like one. Of course, this one may not be a vision problem, so much as simple idiocy.
Whichever, I really am looking forward to the Saturday. Lord willing, I will remember my name and, possibly, even the name of my book. I will smile at strangers because they may or may not be old friends. When I trip I will just laugh endearingly. When I meet Jeffrey Deaver, I intend to be sophisticated and interesting right up to the minute I spill my drink on him. All in all, it should be a grand experience. Perhaps I will see you there - whether you attend or not!