THIS BAG IS NOT A TOY
Nitwittery- The process or act of being a nitwit. Especially prevalent condition among writers. Touloose gives a visual demonstration of the principal.
You go into a diatribe against certain books and find out the person you are talking to writes in that genre.
You send out an e-query -- realize you misspelled the agent's name -- resend another this time misspelling your own name and the agent's in an entirely different way.
All of us have these stellar moments in our lives.
THIS IS PAT
THIS IS PAT BEING A NITWIT
12:30 pm and 81 degrees.
COPYEDITING IS DONE LONG LIVE THE COPYEDITOR.
My greatest single nitwittery happened at my very first writers' conference on Maui. I met my sister there and we shared a room. I was nervous, excited, and loud.
But not as loud as my sister. She shrieked. She laughed. She howled. Not usually a problem but it happened to be 5 am. There was a rapid insistent pounding on our hotel room door. My sister fled to the bathroom abandoning me. I answered to reveal our bleary eyed pissed neighbor.
"Could you both keep it down? We're trying to sleep here!" The voice is not amused.
Some people have no sense of humor.
We muffled our giggles each time we passed our neighbor in the hallway
Embarrassing yes, but not the end of the world.
Until my first scheduled consultation with a real live agent from New York City.
You guessed it.
It was the woman who rapped on our door. Our neighbor. Her eyes narrowed and hardened.
My mouth opened and closed but nothing came out. When I regained my speech, I blathered, I stuttered.
"Uh. Gee. Uh sorry."
I think I pitched. I am not sure.
I do not remember.
Needless to say, the agent was not interested in my premise, in my writing or anything else I had to say including my partial. I sent it to her anyway 6 months later hoping she would forget.
I scrawled on the outside of the envelope: "Met in Maui: Requested Material."
Maybe I should have written: "Disturbed your sleep and gave you a migraine the size of a tractor-trailer in Maui." "Neighbors from hell in Maui." or even "Look, I-can't-help-it-if-my-sister-is-loud-I-just-answered-the-door- but-look-at-my-pages-anyway: Maui."
It happens to all of us.
What is yours?