Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Naked Truth

The question is - what kind of Nudity are we talking about here. The phyisical kind, which id mostly fun, even in those embarassing moments which we usually later laugh about. (side note - isnt it interesting the the word "embarrass" sounds an awful lot like... Well you know what it sounds like.)

Or are we talking about mental nudity. The kind of truth about ourselves that we try to keep hidden? I'm going to tackle the mental side with this revelation. Sometimes I don't know what to write or say or draft. It's not exactly writer's block because it doesn't usually happen on a project. No I'm talking about those public moments at conferences and signings or even just standingnon the bus.

The truth is sometimes were not that witty or interesting or particularly eloquent in person. I have signed books and written the wrong name because I wasn't paying enough attention to the person who gave it to me. She said hi my name is Mae but please sign it to... Too late I already wrote "To Mae".

I have sat blank faced trying to think of something witty to wrote in a book when someone wants something personal. It's like signing highschool yearbooks all over again. And I love signing books it's one of our only tangible connections with the readers. So I try not to write the same thing over and over. But the most embarrassing moment for me on this was a time I started signing and personalizing an inscription and then forgot what I wanted to write. Now what? Do I cross it out and start over? Do I mush something together where the two halves kind of make sense and hope thus is not the copy that ends up on antique road show in a hundred years. "Well we can clearly see that he was a lunatic because his inscription makes no sense - but your in luck that doubles the value. This book is worth... $14."

No I couldn't risk that. I did what all self respecting writers should donundet such circumstances. I ripped the page out like it was a loose leaf note book. And then - amid stares thatcwouls make the Angry Birds proud - I just took the book and hid it under the table.

"excuse me - that's my book."

"I beg to differ. It has my name on it. Clearly it's mine and I've decided to put it under the table."

We'll you could see where this was going. So we reached a compromise. I took this reader to the Barnes and Noble and bought them a shiny new copy of my book. Swim win I thought. New book for them. One sale closer to royalties for me. Only problem was I still didn't know what to write on the is inscription.


Gabi said...

I have had that moment, too. Or when I'm talking to someone and drift off the page. It would almost be worth it to strip as a distraction. You should try it and let me know how it goes.

Kelli Stanley said...

Mind freeze while signing is a common ailment we all suffer from, Graham. Especially on tour, when we're already tired from transportation troubles and have just finished reading and discussing the book.

If Gabi's suggestion of a strip doesn't work, you might try singing suddenly. We could produce a Criminal Minds version of Glee! ;)