This is what happens when I try to be social.

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I’ve noticed whenever I have to attend any sort of event that requires me to actually talk to people/not be a total weirdo, I do these same few things every time:

  • Make broad, sweeping gestures that involve jazz hands and plies (simultaneously).
  • Show pictures of my dogs.
  • Turn the topic of conversation to the other person as often as possible so I can just sort of nod and smile.
  • Get something to hold, and hold onto it for dear life.
  • Warn my conversational partner not to get me started talking about Doctor Who, Sherlock, Star Trek, Elementary, or my novels, because I will inevitably go into Critical Fandom Thought mode and ramble on for a ridiculously long time.
  • Joke at least once about how awkward I am.
  • BONUS:  Provide an example of my awkwardness.
  • DOUBLE BONUS:  Provide several examples of my awkwardness.

Yes, I did all these things at the event on Tuesday night.  On the plus side, I managed to not be a total weirdo (apparently), and my speech went quite well. Maybe I can do this whole functioning-adult thing after all. 🙂

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How to Give the Best Gol-Dang Speech Ever (Maybe)

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  1. Agree to give a speech somewhere.  Speeches are kind of pointless if you can’t deliver them.
  2. Immediately wonder why on earth you agreed to give this speech in the first place.
  3. Have a convenient attack of the Social Anxiety Tendencies.
  4. ~headdesk~
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 ad nauseam.
  6. Actually try to write a speech.
  7. Recognize you’ve been beaten when it turns into a self-deprecating starving-artist jokefest.
  8. ~headdesk~
  9. Finally crawl out of your anxious hole and recruit your mother to help you.
  10. Have a convenient attack of the Micromanaging English Major when she sends you a draft and write a very different speech.
  11. Congratulate yourself on writing a rhetorical masterpiece.
  12. Worry that you won’t be able to deliver the speech right.  Especially the jokes.
  13. Spend ages trying to fit one last thing in there, even though you just can’t figure out how to say it or where exactly to put it.
  14. ~headdesk~
  15. Finally figure it out and spend the next two minutes congratulating yourself.
  16. Practice the speech in front of a mirror approximately umpthousandmillion times.
  17. Worry far too much about what to do with your face, hands, legs, elbows, and pretty much anything that isn’t your mouth.
  18. Curse your naturally croaky voice and try to speak in a higher voice.
  19. Curse the fact that your higher voice makes you sound like Regina George.
  20. Curse, period.
  21. ~headdesk~
  22. Worry that no one will read this entire post because this list is becoming way longer than you anticipated.
  23. Run your fingers through your hair in frustration.
  24. Get distracted by your hair and lose your train of thought entirely.  (That actually just happened.)
  25. ???

 

What comes next?  You’ll find out after I actually give this gol-dang speech on Tuesday…

Meta-life lessons

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As of five hours ago, I’m officially done with my sophomore year in college.  Frankly, I’m still in the fuhgeddingaboudit stage, so I don’t think I’ll have it in me to muse any more on how… interesting this year has been.  Not for now, anyway.

But I’ll say this:  I have reached that point, as a writer, where my characters are teaching me lessons.

Most of you have probably heard of my WIP, Bluebird.  Some of you may know that I trashed basically the whole thing about six months ago and reworked the plot.  But that’s not the point.  My point with this is that I didn’t change everything about it.  One of the lessons that defined my MC Caitlin’s story in Oldbird (as I call it), and which will play some sort of (secondary) role in her current story, is this:

Test scores and GPA don’t determine your worth as a person.

Let me say that again.

Test scores and GPA do not determine your worth as a person.

I believe it a little more each time.

That was easy for me to say back then, in 2011 or whenever.  I had straight A’s and ridiculous test scores.  But now that honors organic chemistry 2 (*shakes fist*) might be my first B ever, I’ve had to start practicing what I preached to Caitlin.

I thought I was teaching her something.  But now she’s turned around and taught me something.

Without spoiling too much of the story, I can safely say that although Caitlin continually downplays herself and compares herself to her best friend Kristine, all that belies her true nature.  Sure, she has flaws – an erratic temper, a debilitating degree of iconoclasm, a general tendency towards surliness, and a whole ball of festering resentment regarding… oop, spoiler alert.  But she could talk all day about anything Shakespeare.  She speaks, reads, and writes Spanish far better than I do.  She’s funny and perceptive and heroic as all-get-out.  She’s so much more than the twin Bs she got in statistics and biology the day before her story starts.

And you know what?  I’m more than the B I have a good chance of getting in ochem.  I can tap-dance alongside the (immensely talented <3) musical theatre majors here.  I’ve tried out for Jeopardy! twice now.  I had two legitimate conversations with Brent Spiner, for god’s sake.  Who cares about my 3.9something GPA when I made up a wild story to remember the mechanism for aldol condensation and regurgitated it perfectly on the final, even though I hadn’t thought about it in a month or so?

But that’s a post for another day.

For now, I’m just going to pack up, thank Caitlin by letting her talk at me uninterrupted for the first time in a long time, and relish the fact that I totally got my karmic revenge on aldol condensation.

😀