I saw John Scalzi in conversation with Tad Williams tonight.
Scalzi was funny, and charming, and gave one of the better explanations of the Puppies phenomenon I’ve heard or read (namely, jealously, but it’s a lot more than that) and ended the formal part of the evening by playing “Creep” on a ukulele. Good times, as the Not-So-Little-Drummer Boy would say.
I could not go to the signing table, since I did not buy a copy of Scalzi’s latest book, The End of All Things. The Rocket Scientist has the e-book, and we are honestly trying to avoid duplication of media, since we are absolutely out of book space.*
Before the event, Scalzi was standing next to my friend Angela, who was working the event. I walked right by, made eye contact… and froze.
Remember the scene in A Christmas Story where Santa asks what Ralphie wants, and Ralph is so intimidated he agrees to Santa’s suggestion that he wants a football? And then Ralphie claws his way back up the slide and says “No! No! No! I want an OfficialRed RyderCarbine-ActionTwo-Hundred-ShotRangeModelAirRifle!”
Yeah. Like that.
I might have clawed my way back (or, in this case, walked a few feet) and said what I was thinking:
“Mr. Scalzi I have been reading your blog, like, forever and I made my younger kids read both “Being Poor” and “Lowest Possible Setting” and I think your piece about the day after 9/11 maybe the most eloquent thing on the subject except for Jon Stewart’s and my friend Angela made me read Redshirts and now it’s my favorite science fiction novel except for some books by Connie Willis because, you know, Connie Willis and I can’t come see you at the signing table because we already have the e-book of End Of All Things (my husband says he’s almost finished and it’s really good but it’s hard to sign an e-book) and no book space whatsoever and so is there anyway in the world that you can sign my copy of Redshirts and maybe can I get a picture with you please please please?????
Instead I gave a glassy-eyed smile and a high-pitched “Hi!” to both Scalzi and my friend, and then slouched off to my seat and began to knit furiously.**
Sometimes, being terribly shy really sucks.***
*This is 100% true, yet did not prevent me buying a copy of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home. I also wanted to buy the third part of Hilary Mantel ‘s Thomas Cromwell trilogy, but she hasn’t finished writing it yet. Rats.
**Something very similar happened years ago when I met Steve Jobs, when the only thing I could think to say was to ask about his assistant, who I had been corresponding with. I don’t do well around famous people.
***Yes, I am incredibly shy. I don’t feel shy online, and sometimes in person I can put on my “I am lawyer, hear me roar!” persona and become absolutely fearless, but mostly I’m just shy.