Monday, June 19, 2006

Scary

So, on Wednesday I'll be meeting with an editor to discuss the manuscript I had to read for this course. By the way, this is the manuscript. Incidentally, I kind of panned it. Also incidentally, guess which editor I'm meeting with. Well, a little Google action led me to this article about how the editor with whom I'll be talking about this manuscript is, oh, the Editor-in-Chief of Penguin Press.

Incidentally, have I mentioned how intimidating this course is? It's freaking terrifying. I tried to talk to this woman today after her talk. I loved her - she had this deep voice, a very casual way of speaking, and she seemed to be very devil-may-care and TOTALLY committed to her job (um, which is, btw, Editor-in-Chief of Publishers Weekly), which she clearly loves and is good at because of her enthusiasm. She just seemed so amazing because she had happened into the perfect job for her. Literally, perfect. And she was just so naturally charismatic and funny and interesting that me and half of the other girls I am sort of becoming friends with here were obsessed with her. We kept whispering, "I want to be her!" and we all kind of do, not because we would particularly want or be good at her job, but because it seems so wonderful to be so passionate about what you do. And the other people we've met have been passionate, but this woman also seemed approachable. Sort of. This girl Niki and I went up to her afterwards and I thought we were just both going to be like "I really enjoyed your talk," but Niki, who is this very bubbly girl from South Carolina, told her "You are awesome. We all want to be you," which led to a little banter and then Sara Nelson (the woman in question here) asked her if she was interested in books or magazines. Niki, like many people here, knows for sure what she wants and she said books, and then after another 10 seconds of conversation she split off. I was then left standing there with nothing to say, but I wanted to say something and so I ended up just saying "I just wanted to say I really enjoyed it," and she sort of tried to shake my hand or see my nametag and was like "You're Emily," and I said "Yes, nice to meet you, I really enjoyed it" again and shuffled to the side to let more smart-tongued young women talk to my new hero in life. I suck at networking, I hate it, I feel way too pressured to say something smart, and all I really want is to talk about how much I love books. I just freaked out and I feel like I'm already kind of blowing this course, because I feel like this is a 6 week job interview - and it is really strange how we are all so hyper-aware that people are watching us, and I am terrible at approaching speakers so I feel like a total disaster on Day 1. So I'm a little scared to face the E-I-C of a publishing imprint and tell him I didn't like the book he is publishing in three months. Ack.

2 comments:

dan said...

Um, about Scott, EiC of March of the Penguins, seems like a lauded guy. Excuse my crass businesy understanding, but um, you like books, and he does too, so I guess you are well qualified. I mean, if he made some quasi-crime novel maybe-exploitation, perhaps you can make a mark. After all, I don't really like Sales but can rock their world, imagine what you can do when you can read!

Sara said...

good luck, babe. just have confidence in your opinions, because (short a traumatic brain injury/ stroke/ neuroma) you will never have reason to doubt your intelligence.