I’m attending the San Francisco Writers Conference this week. I am pitching my story* at Speed Dating with an Agent.
First Problem: I am a stay-at-home mom and before that worked as a medical transcriptionist from home. I haven’t done business-casual in at least seven years.
Second Problem: I am a complete klutz. I have a couple pairs of heels from my younger years. The heels are less than two inches. I will still fall flat on my face.
I bump into doorknobs, table corners, our bed post… you get the picture. This happens so often that I am rarely without a bruise.
On the first date with my husband, Andrew, I launched a knife in the air.
He took me to a fancy restaurant. I ordered duck. (I didn’t like anything else on the menu.) First date jitters prevented me from thoroughly reading the menu’s description…
The server brought the duck out. It was on the bone. It was covered in what looked like BBQ sauce. (Actually, it didn’t taste like much more than overpriced BBQ sauce.) I did my best to consume that duck gracefully. I used a knife and fork to split small pieces of duck off the bone.
In one of my high-class attempts to dismantle meat and bone, the knife slipped from my hands. Coated with the glorified BBQ sauce, the knife flew through the air. I caught it before it clattered onto the floor or somewhere else unseemly. A bus boy walking by said “nice catch.” I wanted to crawl under the table… especially when I found my future hubby wiping sauce off the arm of his white shirt.
But I digress…
Back to my original point; I am a klutz. I will wear heels for the four days of the writers conference. Yes, my feet will ache at the end of the day. Yes, my knees will be stiff the next morning. But what I am concerned about is literally tripping over my own two feet.
Or going to sit down at the table 1:1 with the agent I most want to represent my book, and falling flat on my face. Or ass-up in the air with my unmentionables hanging out… (I’ve decided to torture myself further by wearing dresses.)
But then I ask myself: Would that really be the worst thing that could happen? My brother and sister-in-law asked how the agents would remember me. I told them I had a business card I’d pass on, and a copy of the first chapter or two of my story upon request. But then again, maybe pitching forward during my pitch, landing on their lap (or my butt or flat on my face) will help them remember me too.
Because whether or not they are interested in my story, they WILL remember me. Whether they forgive this fall from grace and appreciate its humor remains to be seen.
But, really, would I want to work with someone who crossed me off their list just because I made a complete fool or myself? I think I’d rather have an agent whose funny bone was tickled. Who didn’t take him/herself so seriously. Who appreciated my tripping didn’t trip up my pitch.
P.S. It could be a great story…
* See my previous blog post, Born in My Heart: A Bittersweet Adoption Blessing