June 27, 2010

Talking, Because of Writing.

Writing is both mask and unveiling.  ~E.B. White

I met with a famous author the other day for lunch and the exchanging of ideas. Okay, it was Robison Wells. I was nervous. Though others had been invited, word was that a breakout of childhood diseases and birthday parties prevented their attendance. Crashers threatened, but never showed. (And I'd had a chance to meet with the lovely Annette Lyon the week before so I was already grateful for that, but Mr. Wells can be a bit... misanthropic. That's his word, not mine. I had to look it up.) So, it was me, my son, and Rob. Or is that Rob, my son, and I? Annette?
I was excited about this chance to meet a Twitter friend/author and talk writing, and nervous because I shy away from talking. I'm a listener. When I talk with people I don't know well, I say things like this:

"I monely try to... I mean, I maistly try... No, MONELY... MAISTLY... ugh, I MAINLY try to (what was I talking about?)..." *meanwhile my son is shaking his head in his hand and Rob is thinking he could have pretended to think we were meeting at the other El Chihuahua in Salt Lake City*

But aside from my verbal congestion, it was an awesome lunch and I learned some things and Rob was very cool and gracious and told me I was funny. YAY!

So, as I said before, I would rather listen in unfamiliar groups, but I've noticed I'm growing out of that just a little. And I think it's the writing.
Of course, if the subject is writing, that makes it so much easier. I don't think my conversation with Rob was a disaster. It was fun. He asked me lots of questions and I managed to remember a few I had for him, and my son was drawn in as well.
But my husband and I went to a retirement party yesterday and I knew three people. The host and his wife, and the high school English teacher who works at my husband's school (it's not like he owns the school, he's just the principal). I was introduced to other people who apparently had no issues about talking to strangers.
And I joined in. Tolkien. Camping. New York eateries. Christianity. Hometown growth. Gardening. Oregon.
And is it bad I found myself looking for story ideas? And asking questions because I wanted to know more, I was curious and voiced it? Because I'm a writer? I was talking and my husband kept giving me strange looks that said, "Why are you talking so much? These are practically strangers." (He tends to do just fine in a crowd.) Of course, there were a few monely/maistly moments, but I left the party with a smile, and not because we were leaving.

Is this what growing up feels like?


M. Gray said...

Lady, are you sure you're not me? I CANNOT speak. I always use poor grammar and mix up words. That is sooo awesome you got to meet with Rob. He is my idle--i spoke to him once--but I was just another peon at the Storymakers conference. :)

I'm glad the lunch was fun. I'm so excited to read both of your books coming out!! Well series for you both, actually!!

Sarah M Eden said...

FYI, Krista, "outbreak of childhood diseases" is code around here for "Wait. Rob's gonna be there?... Hmm... I'll have to think about that."
Just kidding.

Daron D. Fraley said...

I wanted to come. Yes I did. But the day job got in the way, as usual.

Next time you come down, let us know!

Krista said...

M, I know, I hurry to your posts to see what I'm thinking!

Sarah, he's SO MEEEAAANNNN! ;D

Daron, I'm sorry I'll be missing you up here! Sheesh! Have a great Wyoming/Montana signing!

RobisonWells said...

Krista, I don't remember you having trouble speaking. (But, then again, I wasn't paying much attention to anything you were saying.) (Just kidding!) (Or am I?) (Yes.)

Krista said...

Ha ha, Rob. You asked me so many questions it made it easier. Especially after I realized you weren't going to talk about your tassle fetish. #awkward

Annette Lyon said...

Still wish I could have been there. I tend to have my foot inserted firmly into my mouth in most situations, but Rob's misanthropic self manages to put me at ease for some bizarre reason.

So many people assume that writers are great talkers--not realizing that most of us love to write because we get to FIX the words WAY before anyone sees/hears them. With speech, there's no first draft and revision.

Kimberly said...

Verbal congestion...ah, that cracked me up. You do have a way with words.

And you know, I really do think it's part of what growing up feels like. Not to mention, being interested in other people (whatever your motivation might be) will make you beloved wherever you go. People LOVE to be thought interesting and love to be asked questions about themselves. It makes them feel important.

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