A tale of general anxiety, mud, and Heinz.
I was profoundly afraid. I don’t like being in front of a lot of people, and I especially don’t like acting like a big deal. Both are required for book signings.
Ignoring my fear and determined to be very early, I loaded up my car with some snacks for the reception and I headed over to my mother’s to pick her up. My mother’s house has a notoriously perilous driveway, it’s steep, curvy, and it floods during rainstorms.
It must have been my nerves, because, that day, I forgot all about the dangers of the driveway. I pulled down it, honked my horn, and backed up so that I could get a running start up the steep incline.
I felt half of my car slip off of the driveway and into the adjacent muddy lawn. I tried to pull forward, and I couldn’t. I tried to back up; that wasn’t going to happen either. I was on the way to the biggest day in my literary career, and my dumb car was stuck in my mom’s stupid driveway.
We pushed, and rocked, and put it in neutral and we only managed to make it sink in so much deeper that the wheels on the unstuck side hovered several inches over the ground.
A truck backed down the driveway. Assuming it was one of my brother’s friends who had somehow failed to gauge the dire situation in the driveway, I shouted at him to shove-off, with some other choice words.
It wasn’t an idiot friend of my brother; it was a stranger named Heinz who was there to save the day. Heinz had seen the predicament and, like some Batman for cars, had all the toys to save the day.
While Heinz and my brother hooked a winch up to my car, I grabbed a copy of Honey and signed it for Heinz, thanking him for his help. After it was towed to safety, I drove my mud-caked car to my book signing.
I read some experts, signed some books, and ate some snacks (pictured below). I think the whole ordeal actually made me calmer than I would have been otherwise, having spent all my anxiety on my stuck car.
Social media often reduces everything to a few words or a single image. Ideas, products, and even the vast, mostly unchartered terrain of someone’s personality, becomes so condensed that it disappears almost entirely under the weight of the 50-character blurb.
For my clients, I’ve become an expert at reducing products and ideas down to New Media digestible bites that still retain the original essence. But, I’m not sure that’s the right choice for whole people. People are not bite-sized - although some are delicious.
When someone can post “?” on Twitter and receive dozens of responses, we’ve reached endgame with how small we can cut language and retain coherence. I’m doing my part to bring back the long and messy tradition of extended personal expression. I hope you enjoy my blog.