You have thirty seconds to convey to someone you truly admire just how much she has touched your life. You have thirty seconds to make an impression on a celebrity who doesn't even know who you are and who will most probably forget about you soon enough.
What do you say?
How do you spend those thirty seconds?
These were the thoughts going through my head as I waited on line to meet Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted. I had the book in my hand, all ready to be signed, and could not figure out just how I was supposed to behave. Would I be doomed to be just another gushing fan?
My turn came. I took a deep breath and stepped up to the tent where Gail Carson Levine was sitting at a small table, a black marker in her hand. She looked at the sticky note on my book which had my name written on it, took the book from me, and said, "Erachet, did you like the answer I gave you before?" You see, I had asked her a question during her reading and open forum about what she does when she feels discouraged with her writing.
"Yes!" I replied eagerly. "Yes! I loved it! Thank you!"
And there I went. The words kept gushing out. They didn't even make sense.
"It really helped me! I am a writer, I want to be a writer, I love writing so it really, really--! Thank you! I love Ella Enchanted! I read it when I was little! Thank you!"
I was rambling - blathering on like a complete idiot. I could hear myself doing it but I was unable to stop. Any second now and I'd have to step aside for the next avid fan to gush all over her. I had to make an impression! I had to say something worthwhile! Something she hadn't heard before! Something she'd speak about when she gave future readings! "One girl once said to me" etc., etc., etc.! (I'm sorry, speaking about writing, I don't even know the correct punctuation for the end of that sentence).
I think I failed. That was the only downer of the day. I was incredibly disappointed in myself and in my inability not to act so stupid.
I did end up getting Ella Enchanted signed by Gail Carson Levine.
I SAW JULIE ANDREWS.
It was incredible. I can't even begin to describe the way it felt to see her, to hear her, to watch her, and she was only about ten feet away! Too bad the only people she was calling on to ask questions were about age six and under - BUT STILL.
I loved today. I really, really did.
I just wish I had used those precious thirty seconds a bit wiser.