“Wanting to know an author because you like his work is like wanting to know a duck because you like paté.” — Margaret Atwood
Great quote from Ms. Atwood there. Only I do like to know things about creators who make stuff I admire, and yet I have no desire to eat their livers. Sometimes I’m disappointed by what I find. Because some people are jerks, and yet they’re still capable of making entertaining, moving, brilliant, or plain old neat-o stuff. It doesn’t behoove one to mistake the artist for the art, but I have a hard time enjoying art if I learn it was made by a homophobic wad of jerkiness or any number of other kinds of people I find objectionable.
So it can be risky to learn too much about the creators whose books and movies and music you like.
On the other hand, it is particularly delightful when you discover that these people are good eggs. As often as not, they’re funny and kind and smart and pleasant. I’ve experienced this again and again, reading something I liked, meeting the person who wrote it, and becoming a friendly acquaintance. I’ve met some of my best friends this way. So the risk is worth it.
Anyway, why am I telling you this? Because I’ve got a book coming out in about a week, and I’m going to do a my first in-store signing, and there might be other such events, and I’m going to be just a little bit more “out there” than I am typically. Which is kind of weird. Because I’ve been keeping an online journal for years now, and I frequently comment on people’s blogs and use various social networking services, and while I’m not trying to project a deliberately crafted persona, my in-person self is not just a meat version of my online self. In online space, no one can smell you scream.
So here’s what I want you to know about my real-life self that’s different than my online self.
I talk less in real life.
I stare at people blankly more in real life.
I frown more in real life.
I have height, width, and volume in real life.
If you look at me funny-eyed, I will kill you where you stand without a moment’s hesitation in real life.
I do not use Google to understand your cultural references and will understand less of what you say in real life.
I will steal your wallet in real life.
I’m only kidding in real life.
Should our paths cross, I hope to enjoy meeting you in real life.