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Last week when I went to LTUE I sat in a class that David Farland was one of the speakers on the panel.  Of course it was really good, and I wanted to say hello.  It was a mob, so I left and came back.  Now there was only one guy still talking to him.  I waited my turn, and then he turned his full attention to me.

I realized at this point that I wasn’t quite as brave as I had felt when walking up there.  In fact, I felt extremely small.  I mentally reminded myself that he is just a human and stuck my hand out.  I figured I’d reintroduce myself since he does tons of conferences, workshops, panels, and meets new people and reads new manuscripts everyday.  We shook hands.

“Hi, I’m Aine and I was in your class last year….”

That’s as far as I got with my rehearsed speech because what he said next nuked it right out of my brain.

“Yes, I remember you.”

Huh?  I may have stammered.  I don’t know… it startled me so much that he would remember me.  Then my mind raced.  Why WOULD he remember me?  Or why not?  Was my manuscript that bad?  Did I make an impression?  Was it good or bad?  Was I the oldest student he’d ever had?  I mean, heck, I’m not forty until May!

Of course, I should have said something like, “Wow, that’s a great memory.  How’d you do that?”  but that would have required cognative thought.  Instead the only thing I could think of was:

“Well, I enjoyed your thoughts today, and I’m still reading your newsletter and learning lots.”

“Oh, okay.”

*Awkward slience.*

“Well, I just wanted to say hi in case I didn’t see you later…” and I practically ran out of the room. Not my most graceful moment.

It took me awhile to figure out why I feel so out of my skin at the conferences/symposium.   My daughter looked at me and said, “Wow.  A whole auditorium of people who think like you.  This is scary.”  It was said in jest, but the point is you would think I would feel more at ease with people who are like minded.  I got honest with myself and realized I have created myself to be a social misfit.  For twenty years my husband has attended EVERYTHING with me.   He is quite charismatic, and I’ve always felt comfortable letting him lead the conversation.  Now I’m having to do it on my own.  I’m waaaaay out of practice.  I feel like I’m in sixth grade, learning all over again.  Yay.

I guess I need to get out and meet more people so the next time I see Mr. Farland, I’ll have something more intelligent to say.  Of course, he’s not doing a lot of workshops after this year.  Since I’m not going to any this summer, he’s probably safe.  The good news is I’m attending a “Present Yourself” class taught by Kirk Duncan (the body language guy).  I signed up for it last year because I realized  I need help.   It’s progress.

For now, I think I’ll stick to worrying about my plot.

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