Yesterday it struck me that some people are blessed with social intelligence. They know how to express the perfect sentiments at the perfect moments. They have gracious communication styles so that whether they’re at funerals or bumping into not-quite-remembered acquaintances on the street, they always know what to say.
I’m not one of these people. I do OK simply because I have some life experience under my belt. But in new situations? With new people? Let’s just say that my social intelligence isn’t the keenest.
My thoughts wandered in this fruitless direction because I started to obsess — just a tad — about how to sign my novels during readings. Yeah, I hope to sign a few books here and there. I’ll have to come up with some pithy, sincere sentiments beforehand. I know experienced authors do this. But jeez, what to write?
Maybe I should draw a shamrock because of the Ireland thing? But I can’t draw.
And what do I write for people I know? They deserve something personal — but how personal do I need to get? And will my friends be insulted if I write the same personal thing in all their books?
Oh, and what about signing books to fellow writers, some whose books I’ve read, some not?
The other day I signed my first book to a Goodreads giveaway winner. That was fine. I knew what to write because I had time to think about it and get a little personal.
Only problem: I didn’t have a decent pen to write with. Who knew I’d have to think about pens on this journey? Ballpoints don’t suffice. The best I had was a medium Sharpie. At least I had a green one for the Irish feel. But, man, the ink bled into the back side of page, my writing was clunky …
I have herky-jerky penmanship anyhow, and I just discovered that it reverts back to the second grade when under pressure. I call it “scripto-stage fright.” So, I guess I’ll need to perfect my hybridized cursive-printing.
And, yee gads, what happens if I flub up and have to cross out something? Like I spell a name wrong? Are we allowed to mess up?
Thank god it’s the end of the week. I can’t wait to see what my brain delivers next week. Such a strange, fun journey!
Got any pen suggestions for me?