More advice for you, my friends.
Say you receive an e-mail that says something like this: “So-and-so’s going to call and ask you to do something. Please say yes.”
Run the other way.
For reasons I’m still trying to suss out, I did say yes when the call from so-and-so eventually came. And now my leg has a repetitive stress injury from continuously kicking my own arse over my own sheer stupidity.
What in the effin’ jay was I thinking?
Part of it was that, like many women, I have trouble saying no and an inexplicable need to help and/or please people.1 All the time. Part of it was that I was flattered to be asked.
Ahhh, yes—pride. We all know what that comes before.
What I foolishly accepted was an invitation to be part of a panel of speakers at one of my almae matres, Mount Saint Vincent University. They are celebrating writing next week and asked me to be on the “Writers Talk Publishing” panel. Which is rather frigging hilarious when you consider that I am completely and utterly unpublished. Absurdly so. (Perhaps because I use too many adverbs? But I digress. Predictably.)
The line-up for the day includes Alexander MacLeod (yes, that Alexander MacLeod), Crystal Garrett and Chris Benjamin on the morning panel (“Writers Talk Writing”); uber-author-extraordinaire Sheree Fitch as the keynote speaker; and Jon Tattrie and Jan Morrison on “my” panel in the afternoon.
Well cluck, cluck!2 Look at Miss Fancy Pants on the fancy panel! I’ll fit right in, right?
You see, what all of these other people (with one exception3) have in common is that they are published authors. Some ridiculously prolifically so.5
Apparently, someone6 thought I could add to this discussion amongst these distinguished and accomplished people because I’m flailingly submerged in the lengthy, soul-wracking, ice-pick-to-the-brain process of trying to get published. I’m in the research phase—sorting out the mysterious and sick and twisted labyrinth8 that is the publishing world.
There’s just so much information out there. Of course, the same could be said for anything these days—everything is on the information-overload highway somewhere, so there’s no excuse anymore for not being able to find out about any conceivable topic. “I didn’t know” just doesn’t cut it. Read publisher websites. Read agent blogs. Read author websites and blogs. Learn how to fix your plot, your characters, your dialogue, your jitch—whatever. It’s all “out there.” In overwhelmingly choking detail.
So, WTF can I possibly bring these people that they haven’t already found out for themselves or heard from one of my learned and published co-panellists?
Ummmm... Comic relief?
OK. So I’ll try to bring the funny.
Wish me luck—I’m gonna bloody well need it.
1. Hubby says WHAT?!?!? Where’s the line for that?
2. Props to my sister and her crazy friends for one of my favourite phrases ever.
3. I don’t think Crystal Garrett has a book published, but she’s a professor at Kings and the Mount, a broadcaster whose work has appeared on CNN, and she’s represented Canada internationally as a long-distance runner. Show off.4
4. Just kidding! About the show-off part. Yah. Kidding.
5. Adverb theme! Adverb theme!
6. ..who shall remain nameless here but is emblazoned permanently on my brain in the radically overdeveloped “revenge” compartment...7
7. Just kidding! About the dish best served cold. Yah. Kidding.
8. Polysyndeton, just for someone.