So in half an hour or so I'm going to be getting into my car and driving up to Minneapolis for the Fantasy Matters convention I mentioned a while back.
I was pretty sure that by now, I'd be numb to the pre convention jitters. Over the years I've done a lot of public speaking in a lot of different venues. I've been a teacher for years, of course, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Teaching is a cakewalk compared to some of the other gigs I've had.
Hell, about a year ago I was the commencement speaker at the biggest high school in the state. That was scary. Going to another convention shouldn't be making me jittery. Improv comedy. That's hard. Preaching a sermon, singing in front of judges, live radio interviews.
All of those are way more.... anxiousnessing than talking on a panel at a convention....
Shit, it's starting already. I'm losing all my words... what's the word for when something makes you nervous? Is there such a word? There has to be....
Hell, by noon tomorrow I'll be speaking like a... Labrador? What does that even mean? Fuck. Now my knack for clever analogies has crapped-out as well. Soon I'll be reduced to grunts, rude gestures, and scratching crude sketches in the dirt with a stick....
The reason for my anxiety is this. Neil Gaiman is going to be at this convention. I'm finally going to meet him.
Now over the last year or so, I've met a lot of important people. Big people. Agents. Editors. Movers. Shakers. Authors that I've read for years. Luckily, it's been a slow progression so that I was never especially overwhelmed at any point.
A couple weeks before my book came out I had dinner with Tad Williams when he was in the area doing a signing. And the strange thing is, I was cool with it. He was just a guy. I should have been a little freaked-out, but I wasn't.
But Gaiman. His writing is beyond the pale. Dude is mythic and I am seriously nervous. I'm worried that when I meet him I'm going to try to be witty and I'll just spaz out instead. It'll be like a Muppet having a seizure. A Muppet with bad language skills.
I'm guessing it would pretty much be like Grover on methamphetamine. With tourettes.
Somewhere between this:
Oh Deviantart... is there anything you don't have an illustration for?
Personal to Mr. Gaiman: If you read this, please do not call the police. I won't visit spazzy Muppet death upon you. Neither will I scalp you and wear your hair like a little hat. You have my word as a fellow fantasy author. I promise. Pinky swear.
Okay, time to get on the road. Got a long drive ahead of me tonight.