I’ve had an interesting few days. Monday was my first non-training day at my new job. I’m still technically in training since I’m not certified yet, but I have the experience to jump right in and start on production. It’s weird what I don’t remember and what I do. The stuff I think I know how to do is the stuff I have forgotten; the stuff I worry I have forgotten is the stuff I do by muscle memory.
Last week I tweeted:
Monday, this happened:
That’s right. BenDavid Grabinski, writer and director of “Cost of Living,” made my tweet one of his favorites. I was pretty darn excited about it. There was some chair dancing involved.
The next day I wrote part one of the super mega awesome linkapalooza, where I linked to the fabulous publisher Blasted Heath. An hour after I posted it, I got this:
— Blasted Heathens (@BlastedHeathens) February 21, 2012
Oh. Em. Gee. Not gonna lie – I squealed like a fangirl. There are a few things to notice about that. One, I made no mention of Blasted Heath on Twitter, which means they had to go find the tweet that linked to that blog post just to say thank you. Second, they responded at 1:47pm Central Time – 7:47pm in Glasgow. They took time out of their evening to respond to me. Third, they passed it on to Douglas Lindsey! (I’m sorry. I have no idea who runs the @BlastedHeathens account. When/if I find out, I’ll edit this so I can thank them personally.)
Those two things, the favorite and the retweet, made me realize something that hadn’t really occurred to me before. To me, I’m just a woman who sits at her computer in her bedroom-turned-office in a fifty-year-old house in suburban Dallas, and people like BenDavid Grabinski and Douglas Lindsey and the Blasted Heathens are creators, celebrities of a sort that don’t get featured in the National Enquirer – famous to certain people celebrities. They have a status that I don’t have yet. So while it is a big deal to me for them to even notice my existence, I don’t expect them to feel the same way. I don’t think about the person behind the screen name who is touched enough by something I say to seek me out and thank me. It didn’t occur to me until today that they like it when someone says nice things about their work, just like I do. We in the creative community are fans of each other, regardless of where we are in the grand scheme.
I’ve been watching Hank and John Green’s channel on YouTube: VlogBrothers. Back in August 2008, John challenged the viewers to read and discuss J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye. I’ve never read it, nor had any desire to read it, but John’s videos made me reconsider. I happened to be in a used book store today selling books, and decided to use the money to buy my own copy. My books weren’t worth very much, unfortunately, so my nearly pristine copy of Catcher cost me 89¢.
Tangent: While waiting for the computer to process my “offer” for my books, I started chatting with the lady behind the counter. This was our actual conversation:
Me: “I could easily go broke in here.”
Her: “You really like books, then.”
Me: “Well, I’m a writer, so it goes with the territory.”
Her: “Oh, you’re a writer! Do you have anything published?”
No, but thank you for poking a stick in that gaping wound. Before that conversation, I wasn’t planning to buy anything. After, I bought Catcher to cheer myself up. (Pause for irony. Pause over.)
That was the first instance of “ridiculously frustrated to elated” that I experienced today. The second was when I had to drive all over town and visit three different post offices before I got my box.
Yesterday I left work a little late, maybe ten minutes after my shift ended. When I got home, I saw the letter carrier sitting in his little truck five or six houses down from mine. I grabbed the mail, and had one of those little orange slips of paper they give you when you have a parcel that won’t fit in your box. The main function of the slip of paper is to tell you when and where to pick up your package. Mine said my box was at the post office nine miles from my house. The slip of paper lied.
The first office didn’t have my box. They sent me to another office. Four miles back the way I came. The second office didn’t have my box either. A very nice postal worker at that office sent me to a third office five miles away. This third office is two miles from my house. Two. By the time I got there I was furious and frustrated and almost out of gas. But, success! They had my box! And in my box – something that made me yell and dance and generally look like a fool in the parking lot:
My copy of Writer’s Market finally arrived! I was expecting a big book, but not one that required a box and an eighteen mile trek to three post offices. Still, I’m super excited to get started with it. The moral of the story: leave work on time so I’m home when the letter carrier stops to deliver my box and I won’t get lied to by another slip of orange paper.
That is what has been going on with me. Hopefully I will have more exciting news soon. Until then, Don’t Forget To Be Awesome.