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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Freeze Response

One day I opened my mailbox and there was an e-mail from Hannah Fierman. You remember her, I spoke of her memorable performance in V/H/S. Now when I wrote that, did I have any idea she would contact me and extend her appreciation? No. I write this blog like no one's reading it (and most of you aren't -- you just want pictures of Morgan Smith Goodwin). So when I saw her e-mail (assuming it's not a spoof), I was like, uh... uh... uh...

Cue excuse to put up more Hannah Fierman pix

Cause what do you say to something like that? I mean, I've seen this person's boobs! The only other boobs I've seen who've belonged to someone who communicated with me are my wife's. Granted, her boobs were coated in red food coloring and corn syrup at the time (Ms. Fierman's, not my wife's), but the principle is the same.

And the reason I bring this up is just to talk about my introversion. I get a freeze response whenever I see/meet a celebrity. (Actually, I get a freeze response whenever I meet anyone, but especially celebrities). On my last Meyers-Briggs test, I got a 99% for introversion. That's pretty big, even for a man of science.
Man of science (re: not me)

So even as an author, I don't go to signings or ask questions.  They say "never meet your heroes", and I never do, but because I know it would be so awkward. My biggest claim to fame was that I was in the same auditorium as Neil Gaiman once (for Video Games Live). I already talked about my bad experience at Convergence (parts 2 and 3) and much of that came from the fear of interacting with people who I know, but have 0% familiarity with.

Even if I become a big writer, I dread of book signings and release parties. Not because I don't like them, but it takes such a talent and charisma that I simply don't have. Just look at this article from J.A. Konrath. He outlines word-for-word a potential scenario and I'm like "I could never do that. I'd be hiding in the Religious Fiction section.".

See, the thing is, I've also never really understood why autographs are special. I don't understand what someone's signature means, and I'm sure that's just me. Maybe you get 10 seconds of interaction with the person you idolize, but that would be so awkward for me.  I would repeat it in my head over and over and over again, thinking things like "I should have said this" or "I sounded like a jackass" or "This would have been much better to say". I'm a revisionist (although not on the level Patrick Rothfuss is). Maybe not revisionist, but a rethinker. My first draft always undergoes heavy semantic reduction. In other words, writing is better for me because I can always rethink what I want to say.

I'm not really sure what the point of this blog entry is. Maybe I'm hoping to gain a little sympathy from the fellow introverts out there -- the ones who write down things to say and then pretend to be comfortable examining a potted plant (TNG reference). Here's hoping we get to a point where we're not so afraid of striking up conversation. Hopefully before we get into a retirement home.
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