Archive for April, 2014

Social Skills Lacking: Formal Apology to Mr. Bransford

by on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

I am showing signs of ADHD. Or at my advancing age, probably Alzheimer’s. Well, probably not. This weekend I was at a writer’s conference here in Madison. It was Fantastic! The classes and information, the one on one sessions with industry professionals.  My head was spinning with information by the end of the first day…twirling by the end of the second and I was dizzy, holding on to solid objects by the end of the third. I guess I can cut myself a little slack for the story I’m about to tell you.

For the past two days I’ve been processing the information, dreaming about it and rewriting parts of my book in my head. And for some reason, one particular exchange keeps coming back to me. And I want to apologize formally to the poor victim of my advancing forgetfulness. Blame it on the weekend. Blame it on ‘brain too full to operate optimally’.

Formal Apology here: I am sorry, Nathan Bransford.

On the afternoon of the second day, I walked into the book sellers room seeking more…something. Insight, beautiful musings from fellow writers, inspiration. My head was packed with ideas and I had just come from lunch with another local writer, and having connected with her, I was feeling pretty high on myself. I was probably talking to myself. In fact, I can’t remember if I was talking on the phone at the time, or texting with my husband, or just conversing in my mind as I sometimes do…with myself.

So I entered this room, and right front and center, was this individual, a speaker from the conference, whose writings regarding the publishing world, and about writing in general, I have been following since last year at this same conference where he was also a speaker and highly touted individual whose progressive ideas were wowing the local community. That was a very long sentence.

As I was saying, he was front and center standing behind a tiny table where his books (fresh off the press) were stacked. How to write a Novel. He was rearranging them, restacking them. For some reason, as if we had been talking all along, or as if he had any idea who in the hell I was, I walked up and said to him, “Oh. Rearranging your piles, not a good sign.” There must have been some hidden (in fact so well hidden that the Hubble telescope couldn’t find it) irony there that he would miraculously see. I picked up his book and began to look it over. [This is where I should have asked how his stay in Madison had been.] Or [I could have told him that I was a big fan of his blog.] Revisionist history also prompts me to say, [Nathan, I really enjoyed your speech yesterday morning, my name is Tracey.] But no. The next thing I remembered saying was, “So, you’ve got a book on writing that you’re selling to writers.”

Could I dig myself a little grave now?

The poor Mr. Bransford did not answer,  perhaps too stupefied by my inappropriateness.  I looked over the book and did in fact purchase it, for he is much more knowledgable than I on the subject. And almost forgot to have him sign it. He probably thought I didn’t want it signed.  I behaved so badly.

Well, just in case Nathan Bransford ever reads this blog I want him to know that I sincerely apologize for my inability to communicate at that particular moment. You are highly reguarded by me, even if I can’t spell the word. I took to heart your advice at the beginning of the conference, and especially loved number nine, “Be thankful for what you have.” It reminded me what an adult student said to me a few months ago, “Tracey, you are living the dream.” At the time I was surprised by his statement, and doubted the veracity. But I know it to be true now.

So thank you, Mr. Bransford, from the stupid woman at the writer’s conference. I hope I am better at putting words together on a page than I appeared to be in social situations. I am loving your book and referencing it, it helps to keep me sane.