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Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Ditzy Author

In honor of the Sisters Grimm cozy mystery series that I pitched at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in Dallas last week, I have written a fairy tale.

The Ditzy Author
by
Kathleen E. Kovach
Once there was an author named Kathy. Now, Kathy, who lived in a dry climate a mile above sea level, found herself in the land of Wet, also known as Dallas. She traveled to Dallas for the ACFW Conference, where she planned on meeting with Heartsong Present's Mystery editor, Susan Downs. She knew upon her arrival that this meeting was to take place at 2:45 on Saturday.

She also wished to speak to JoAnn Simmons, editor of Heartsong Presents romance. She spoke to JoAnn at lunch on Friday and gained permission to book an appointment with her, as well.
And so, she did.

Kathy was given a slip of paper as a reminder of her appointment. The slip clearly said, "Saturday, 3:00."

Somewhere between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, Kathy lost her mind. This probably happened at the Barbour Author Appreciation dinner. Between the fantastic food, lovely fellowship, and highly entertaining skit, Kathy's mind slipped from her head and rolled under the table. Not realizing this, she left the dinner and started telling her friends that she had an appointment with JoAnn at 9:00 the next morning.

Kathy awoke excited Saturday morning, thinking her appointment was a mere few hours away. The general assembly ran over by ten minutes, and Kathy raced up to the Mezzanine where the appointments were held. Since it was just on the floor above, she chose not to take the elevator, which had been know to be sluggish, especially when one was in a hurry.

Perspiring from her exertion, she found JoAnn and sat, PLOP, in the chair across from her.
"I know I'm late. The assembly ran over, but I got here as fast as I--"

"But," JoAnn interrupted, her eyes round with surprise and confusion. "Your name isn't listed here."

"Oh!" Kathy hopped up, thoroughly embarrassed. "My meeting this morning must be with Susan. I'm so sorry."

And out she dashed.

She found Susan in a room across from JoAnn and sat, PLOP, in the chair across from her.
"I know I'm late. The assembly ran over, but I got here as fast as I--"

"But," Susan interrupted, her eyes round with surprise and confusion. "Your name isn't listed here. Oh, I see, you're supposed to be here at 2:45."

If Kathy thought she was perspiring before, she was wrong. She broke out into a full sweat, rivaling her shower that morning, upon hearing these words from Susan Downs. You see, Kathy had already written twelve chapters of a book that she had set her heart on for this particular editor to accept. If she'd already made a bad impression, she simply didn't know what she was going to do.

Susan, however, took pity on the soggy, red-faced author in front of her. She smiled, checked her schedule, and said in a calming voice, "You know, there isn't anyone waiting for me. Why don't we do go ahead and do this now."

Somehow, Kathy got through the appointment, stammering through inquiries like, "Who are your suspects?" and "Is there a ransom note?" Kathy knew the answer to these questions, but as was mentioned, her mind lay somewhere beneath a table at Truluck's Seafood, Steak, and Crab House. Susan, with divine grace, requested a proposal from Kathy, who was very grateful.

Later that day, Kathy honored her original appointment time with JoAnn, and was even a little early. Both JoAnn and Rebecca Germany, JoAnn's Barbour boss, sat at separate tables, but very close. Rebecca wasn't seeing anyone at the time, and so listened as a now composed Kathy, (who's mind must have somehow managed to walk the block and a half to find her,) pitched three contemporary Oregon romances. JoAnn requested a proposal of only the first one, apparently wanting to see if Kathy could truly follow through. After her morning faux pas, Kathy couldn't blame her. JoAnn did, however, say she'd consider the others after she looked at the first offering.

Kathy, now very happy that her editor appointments were over, chatted a moment longer with the Barbour editors. Somehow the subject turned to the decadent desserts they had been enjoying at the conference, and JoAnn told her that Rebecca loves dark chocolate. Kathy heard herself saying, "I have a box of chocolate covered mint Oreos in my room. Contract me, and I'll give you some."

The editors laughed, but as Kathy walked out, she began perspiring once again. Should she be so bold with people she wished to impress? She decided the answer to that was "yes." She didn't want a job, she wanted a relationship with someone she'd hopefully be spending the next few years with.

She raced up to her room, (via the elevator, having learned her last lesson with the stairs and the Dallas humidity,) grabbed the box of Oreos, and ran back to the appointment rooms. A woman was waiting in a chair by the door and Kathy asked if she was going in to see JoAnn or Rebecca.

"I have an appointment with JoAnn."

"Perfect!" Kathy said as she thrust the box into her lap. "Give this to her for me, please."

"Should I tell her your name?"

"No, she'll know who it's from."

"But," she said as she thrust the box back at Kathy, "maybe you should write a message on the box so she doesn't think it's from me."

"No, trust me. She'll know it's from me."

After arguing a moment longer, Kathy left, satisfied that she'd done the right thing.

However, after thinking about it the rest of the day, she began to worry that perhaps JoAnn, and thus Rebecca who was sitting next to her, would consider this a bribe.

Now, the Ditzy Author had one more thing to worry about.

She debating with herself the rest of the day. Then she decided after attending the Spirit-filled conference and hearing the anointed speaker, Liz Curtis Higgs, that the Lord would not have her worry about something so trivial. He reminded her that He is in control of her writing career, and nothing she had done after she'd misplaced her mind would thwart the plans that He had for her.

Kathy resolved to leave the conference with confidence and forget about the ditzy things she had done that weekend.

And so, she did.


~The End~