Remember when I blathered on about all these podcasts I listened to the other day? Well, here’s the thing, I'm still blathering.
See, I was on one of them. And here’s the other thing: I sucked. I sounded like a moron.
Now, for the first time ever, you can hear my perfectly acceptable reason why I came across so poorly.
Way back in the early days of the 2012, I found this brand new podcast called the Roundtable Podcast. I mentioned before (in part 1 of this post) that it invites writers to come on and pitch a story while they, and a guest pro-author, go over the story in some detail and talk about what story points might be a bad idea and what might need to be added in order to make the story stronger.
Funny, I’ve been struggling with my epic fantasy novel now for some time. I’ve been stuck on it and have been looking for someone to bounce my story around with and see if I can hammer out some things.
So I sent them an email and said I could use some help. The ball was in motion. I was put in the queue and I felt the freedom to work on some other things and wait until we could set a date. Which we eventually did.
Meanwhile, I was told to work on my pitch. My 5-8 minute synopsis of my novel that lays out all the major plot points that we need to discuss. I had something, like, 5 months to get that down.
No problem. I got to work. I worked, worked, and worked on it. I recorded myself, timed myself, tried it out on people and asked how well they understood. I went back and tried it again, and again. Whittling it down to the perfect segment. I became the master of the synopsis.
The week finally came. I had a Skype call with the regular hosts to go over my synopsis and make sure things were okay. The call went fine, the time and date with the guest pro was verified and we were all set.
Then, through one of those quirks that happens when you have to coordinate the schedules of several people, someone had an emergency at the last minute and we had to reschedule.
I was given a few possible dates for the make-up date. I chose the one I thought would be best. No big deal.
Then my dad came to town.
My father lives on the west coast and comes in when he can. It happens once or maybe twice a year. He has a busy schedule when he comes, as he is responsible for much of the financial decisions regarding his mother (my awesome grandmother, which I wrote a fictionalized story about in an anthology that came out a few years ago…. which is also going up on the Kindle this week), and his week was pretty booked.
I was pretty booked too. I had to go out of town for this work-thing. I Spent a couple of days away for that, I worked some very long hours during my time in town, I only had a few moments to even acknowledge my father during his stay… except for his last night, which happened to be a Friday… the day before my recording session.
We went to my son’s football game, his team won in a blowout under perfect weather. Afterwards, we decided to go to my sister’s house in the next town over to hang out.
So we went, we hung, we had beers and pizza and we talked, it was a great night/morning.
I awoke on my sister’s comfy couch and was a bit fuzzy about what was going on. I know my dad was about to walk out the door to fly back to Cali and I had a recording session coming up in about 2 hours. Then I found out I had to take my step-son somewhere (I forget now, but it was important). So I hugged everyone and grabbed my kids and took off.
I arrived home a few minutes before our scheduled recording session only to find that my wife had brought someone in to help with our never-ending kitchen remodel. Great, I could use the help. Lots of noise and banging though.
I sequestered myself in a room and connected. Just in time.
Part of the format of the show is that the guest pro has an interview before the writer-in-trouble spills all their story telling woes. That interview gets put up as its own podcast a few days before the story discussion happens, but it all gets recorded together. It was about 30 seconds into the interview before I realized that I’d not really slept the previous night - I’d just dropped at some point when I was too tired to continue. I was really sleepy.
So sleepy, in fact, that I fell asleep during the interview – the interview with Hugo award winning author Tim Pratt, who was about to critique my story. Zonked. Then, as Skype is wont to do, it disconnected me. The sudden silence woke me. I frantically fiddled with things until I was reconnected to the call… once on, I immediately went into that synopsis I spent the last 5 months slaving over.
… and forgot every damn thing about it.
Every. Damn. Thing.
I said something about having already written 50,000 pages of text for the story, then went on to start describing unimportant details and stuttering until, mercifully, I just stopped talking.
At that point it became a bit more conversational, and wasn’t as bad.
Sigh. After it was over, the wonderful moderator/host told me that he’s a masterful editor and that he’d do his best to make me sound less than stupid.
That podcast is up by the way… go listen – then tell me how well you think the host did in fixing me.