Tuesday, January 23, 2007

San Francisco and I have an odd relationship. Sometimes I breeze in and she welcomes me by guiding me directly to my location without a hitch, and even provides me a parking spot. Today she was cranky, and her mood interfered with my confidence in my directions and I wound up lost. Not too lost, but lost in that way where all you want to do is take a left turn but you are forbidden and so you must go practically an entire city out of your way to take the magic right that will lead you down the one magic street by making an impractical U-turn that gets people honking at you.

I was on my way to interview a very famous author. Admittedly, he's more famous to the 12 and under set--but you can't say his pen name without a knowing nod from any age. And he does write for adults, too, and as I am knee-deep in the middle of his latest and have fallen into its swoon, I'd say he shall shortly become as well known for his adult books, too.

I'll reveal his name when the article comes out if you haven't guessed it already.

I should have learned during my three years doing Word by Word that authors are just people, but still, sometimes I confuse them for leaders of nations or movie stars or great scientists, so befuddled do I get in their presences.

This fellow is easily what you would call disarming, and quick-witted, and a good conversationalist, but I was still a little bundle of anxiety, my voice coming out all funky and strange, my questions alarmingly monotone, and I was sweating like it was August! When will I get over this phenomenon of 'because you're famous, you must be better than me?" I'm not saying he isn't better than me--he is--but it's such a funny, funny condition that strikes me.

It was fun to walk around his gorgeous, spacious, well-decorated San Francisco apartment and imagine myself as the kind of writer whose success could afford me such digs. But then I got back into my car, and into my own skin again, and thought that it was perfectly okay to be the kind of writer I am, who is learning to enjoy what she does more and more no matter the outcome.

At any rate, I must go back to Lady San Francisco on Friday for a second interview with another well known writer, this one female. I hope she will be kinder to me--the city, I mean.



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