As the conference approaches, my creativity flees.

And I’m not surprised.

As I walked into work this morning, already on my second travel mug of coffee, my friend Jossie said, “You’re panicking, aren’t you?”

Yes.  Yes I am.

It’s Tuesday.  The conference is Friday.  And I feel less prepared than ever.  Apparently, I also have the look and demeanor of a crazed, rabid chipmunk.  However, if you attended college with me, I’m fairly certain I delivered all my speeches in the manner and demeanor of a crazed, rapid chipmunk.  When I get nervous, I get bubbly.  And play with my ears.


I’ve been reasonably distracted with making/addressing/mailing the invitations to my best friend’s bridal shower.  Making/addressing/mailing invitations actually doesn’t take that long, so I came to a point last night where I was able to sit down in front of my laptop and try to get some more work done on my, oh let’s call it my “pitch package.”

In a word, fail.

In a string of more words, I momentarily felt like I’d never seen a laptop before.  Novel?  What novel?  This 311 page document in front of me seems more like a jumble of pronouns with some random verbs thrown in; peppered with semicolons and em dashes and ellipses why?  Because I can, that’s why.

I felt better this morning. 

I still feel panicky, but as I was walking into the building (I use the term “walk” loosely because it was 36 degrees out this morning and I refuse to pull out my winter jacket again), the thought occurred to me that, hey, it is what it is.  Have I read my novel so many times that it sounds like I’m reading the back of a cereal box?  Yes.  Have I over-analyzed my query letter to the point that it all pretty much just seems wrong and like, again, just some random pronouns and verbs with a poorly placed adverb?  Yes.  But I’m okay with all that.  Look, I delivered two children in front of medical staff who were complete strangers to me.  If I can do that and not bat an eyelash, then getting up in front of agents and rambling on about my novel for sixty seconds should be relatively easy.

So, with three days left to prep, here’s what’s left to do:

  • Finish the query letter
  • Make sure the first ten pages (coincidentally, my first chapter is ten pages!  Score!) are polished and error free–which they should be, since I’ve edited them three freaking times so far
  • Pick out the clothes I’m going to wear because right now, the only business casual pants I’ve got to work with are corduroy, and I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing in mid-May.

Here’s what I’m willing to bet is going to happen:

  • Put business cards in purse
  • Put notebook and assorted papers/”Pitch Packages” in folder and subsequently in purse
  • Eat pancakes.

You really can’t go wrong with a plan that involves pancakes.


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