Thursday, February 26, 2009

Never Grope a Guest Speaker

A few of my precious writers group buddies.



When I attended my first writers conference a couple of years ago, I asked lots of questions. Thankfully, I belong to a wonderful writers group and there is a wealth of knowledge there. Many of my friends filled me in about what to expect, what I should and shouldn't do.

That well known pearl of wisdom, Never Grope a Guest Speaker, didn't happen to be part of the advice. But, you'd think I would have known that one already.

Lunch during a writers conference is a special time. The authors, speakers, publishers and editors who taught the classes will sit down and eat with you. As you enter the lunch room their tables are marked with their name tag. Lots of people rush in to sit by their person of choice- kinda like they do on black Friday at Kohl's.

It is a great opportunity for writers to pitch their book ideas and network with others.

This year I was not serious about charging the table for anyone. The creamy garlic penne pasta had my full attention. But one of my friends somehow got a hold of me and told me we were all sitting over there, as she pointed to the table off in the distance.

As my friends came into view, I saw that the only seat left was right beside our guest speaker. This gifted man has written numerous Christian novels and taught writing classes at Princeton. He is kind of a big deal in the writing world.

As I sat down I could hear that he was asking everyone about what they were writing. When he got to me my mouth was full of cranberry-walnut spinach salad. I turned my face away so as not to spit raspberry vinagrette all over him.

I mispoke when I shared what I was writing. I chuckled and corrected myself. Being the touchy person I am, (my face still turned away chewing my elephantine mouthful of greens) I reached my left hand out to laugh and kindly touch his shoulder.

This is where the scene goes horribly wrong.


My hand missed his shoulder and landed on his thigh...under the table.


Have you ever had one of those moments? You know - when silently every microscopic molecule in your body is screaming?

Then you know exactly what I'm talking about.

The rest of lunch was a blur. I immediately stood up and did what any middle-aged godly woman would do...I got a plate full of chocolate cheesecake brownies.

Mr. Bigtime Author was kind enough not to shame me, but he kept his distance after that.

Did I tell you that I am going to the Mt. Hermon's writers conference in April? Pray for me. I hope to keep my hands to myself.



21 comments:

Cheri said...

You totally crack me up!!!
I bet you wanted to just crawl away though- I'm glad there was chocolate there to console you!!

Beth in NC said...

OH MY GOSH, I AM LAUGHING OUT LOUD!!! My daughter wants to know what is so funny! Oh Joanne! You poor thing! I know you could have fainted! I am touchy feely too and could have done the same thing. lol

My husband did that very thing to an old woman ... except it wasn't her LEG ... it was higher up. He kept patting ... thinking he was on her shoulder until he turned around and almost fainted. ROFL!

CalvaryGirl said...

Oh no!! LOL!! I think I would have died. Good same with the brownies though! ;o)

Wendy
Obama cannot give a speech this good!
Gratituesday: Jackson

Lynnette Kraft said...

Joanne,
I got your comment on my blog and thought I'd pop over and meet you. I love the idea of a book about "busyness". It's a book that needs to be written! I've written many blogs about that very subject. It's sad that it's so hard to slow down. It's a demanding world we live in.

I've been asked to speak at the home school convention in Wichita about cherishing time with our children and I was thinking I wasn't sure I wanted to do it - but I feel God might be prompting me to do so. When my daughter Anna died at 6 years old, I found myself so grateful for the memories we had made and the precious times we had spent together. None of us wants to get that time taken away only to wish we'd loved more...played more...worked less...fretted less...wasted time less...you know?

Well, I need to run but I just wanted to say hello! I will definitely buy your book when it's done because I think the topic is perfect for us busy moms. :)

It's nice to meet you.
Lynnette
PS I scrolled down and read your blog: "Top Ten Clues That I Was Too Busy."

Darlene said...

Hilarious!!!!!!!!! OH DEAR. OH DEAR. Thank the good Lord that he provided you with some brownies. Very funny!

Kelly said...

that's a cute story! i wonder if he really thought anything of it? a writers' conference soudns pretty interesting!

Mari said...

I love it! I'll for sure put you on my prayer list. I didn't think you were that kind of woman!

Jaclyn said...

I am laughing so hard right now!!! Too funny. Sounds like something that would happen to me.

Gina@Chats With An "Old Lady" said...

Holy Cow, girl! Get ahold of yourself!
What a riot! Can I go with you to your next writing conference? YOu can sit on one side of him, I'll sit on the other side...and, well...then we'll both need a pan of brownies!!!

Okay...so what do you do when you have nothing to write? I am totally at a loss! Ever been there? Today I wrote for the first time in a week. Oh, how I wish we could meet for coffee!

A Stone Gatherer said...

Oh that is too funny! Poor man!!!

Elizabeth M Thompson said...

I thought I was going to pee my pants that day, you had me giggling so hard.

At least you made an impression, I don't think our speaker will soon forget you. And don't worry, the Inspire team will surround you at Mount Hermon and keep you out of arm's reach from the speakers.

Jessica said...

If your hand offends, better to cut it off...well, you know the rest...shameless hussy!

Aspiemom said...

Oh, that is so funny! I bet your were mortified!

lynn @ queenofthecastlerecipes said...

I hope you have a wonderful time at Mt. Hermon. I got to attend a few years back and it was wonderful.

And your book on mom busyness sounds great!

LisaShaw said...

I know it was funny at the time but it's funny reading it.

Great things God is doing in and through your life. I'm excited to know you. Love ya.

momstheword said...

This is way to funny! I smacked somebody on the behind once because I thought he was my hubby but he wasn't!

Susan said...

so funny!! we can all relate, but you say it hysterically!
i wish i was going with you to mt. hermon. just can't swing it. maybe next year.
susan

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

That is SO funny! But I'm sure you didn't think it was at the time - I would have been horribly embarrassed - LOL! The brownies were an excellent choice after an ordeal like that! :)

Kate said...

Oh my word, I would have totally crawled in the nearest hole. I always end up doing something completely ridiculous in a group of people. But yes, good life lesson, do not, under any circumstances, even touch the guest speaker.

Chris Pedersen said...

Joanne Joanne Joanne...I can see why you travel with an entourage. Its for your own protection. You are one hilarious story teller. Am I insane to say I hope to get to know you better (met you and the rest of the Inspire group at the Redwood Chapel Christian Writers Seminar)? I'll see you at an Inspire meeting soon--before Mount Hermon ;^)

Tea With Tiffany said...

I'm thinking we should live closer. :) I need a friend like you who isn't afraid to "get physical." Remember Olivia Newton John's song? Haha. Next time I hear it, I'm going to think of you. Actually I may type it in on Youtube for a good-middle-age-shake-your-belly-laugh.

I love you, friend.

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