Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Literary Speed Dating

I have a speed dating session in two weeks. No, I'm not looking for a literal bedmate, but a literary one.

"Hi, my is KAK. I'm a compulsive liar who spends extraordinary amounts of time on the computer, gets off on putting men and women in extremely uncomfortable and frequently life-threatening positions, and am prone to epic irrational rantings of 100,000 words while staring off into space.

Care to inflict me on the world?"

I've done this before. Experience doesn't make it any easier. I'm spit-shining my panicked blurting presentation on the probable chance that I'll hear, "Sure, why don't you send me a partial." "Probable" because the person sitting on the other side of the table is unlikely to be evil incarnate, not because I'm irresistible. Face-to-face rejection is awkward for everyone. It's so much easier to send a form letter from five hundred miles away than to talk a wailing Banshee down from the chandelier.

It is possible the person on the other side of the table will have a score sheet on which a notation of "bat-nuts-crazy" is made beside my name as my left hand twitches and slobber dribbles an endless trail over my chin pushed out by my indecipherable grunting. More likely is that I'll timorously slide my business card across an overly starched commercial cloth where it will disappear into the stacks of other cards belonging to nervous, sweaty, stuttering suitors. At best, I can hope to walk away with permission to send a note.

"Hello Gorgeous, we met briefly at the speed dating thing in June. You mentioned you might want to get to know me better. Here's your chance. I'll try not to wait by the phone, thinking every ring is you offering a bright future filled with mayhem and pestilence.

The next move is up to you."

There will be scads of others hoping to accomplish the same thing. Some will excel at the art of ass-kissing social networking, others will scrabble back under their rocks. A small faction will head directly to the bar to wash away that horrible moment when they opened their mouths and, instead of a witty pitch flowing past their glossy lips, a loud hellacious belch reeking of stale milk and coffee spewed forth.

I will most likely be found in the latter group, gargling with brandy. Feel free to join me.


  1. Oh, have such a way with words! It is horrible, isn't it? I remember my first face-to-face pitch sessions...they didn't start until 9, but I was up at 6, drinking coffee, mumbling my pitch to myself over and over again, calling my poor mother to ramble at her. Then I get in the room and they weren't so bad...I rambled about how my business card had my mom asking me if I wrote porn at one editor, and rambled about RPGs at the other editor.

    Is this for Nationals? Cause I'll hang out with you and bring Ice Cubes so you have minty stale milk and coffe breath. Promise!

  2. I thought you had gone through this before. That's the impression I got when I met you. Act like that and you won't have a problem!

    Me - I was much better than I thought I would be. I was actually able to talk. Index cards helped. I don't think I would have been as good if I had to rely on my brain alone.

  3. Aw, Danica, if only I were heading to National this year, but, alas, notsomuch. Though, I'll gnaw on a mess of breath mints in your honor and root for you from afar. ;D

    Stacy, hey! Yes, I have done this before. Index cards might not be a bad idea, at least I'll have something with which to fan the editor after she keels over from my anxiety-laden morning breath.

  4. Ah, KAK, I know you can ass-kiss, I mean, social network with the best of them. Just don't scare anyone else with the pencil skirts and stilettos!

  5. Ya know, Jeffe, that reminds me, perhaps I should try on said pencil skirt before I add indecent exposure to my list...