Yes, the point of most importance of the week... the moment I was nervous about all week, sick to my stomach until I woke that morning hyperventilating and so nauseous I could barely sit still. The Pitch that I'd studied and rewritten at least a hundred times... and memorized and rewrote again. Oh yes, that Pitch.
As a first timer, I didn't know what to expect. Would he be nice? Would he ask me questions I didn't know the answers to? What if I messed up and stumbled over my tongue? The last two were my foremost worries because it's what I do. I'm a tongue stumbler. I'm bad about it. I'll admit that I have a nervous way about me. If I'm going to be late I get nervous. If I'm meeting someone new I'm nervous. But I KNEW my story. KNEW the characters. The plot? I knew it but it's so complex, too much crammed in that I knew I'd end up stumbling messing up.
Which I did. I'll admit that. I sucked. I did bad. It wasn't a sparkling moment. So I got up early, showered, didn't eat anything at all with fear that I'd lose it (I'd heard stories before...). Kai walked down with me. Helped calm my nerves. Down in there, once I'd signed in we saw Chi and Lori. Lori was doing hers at the same as me so when our time was called, we lined up... and waited. It was one big room. One room with rows of tables and behind sat the agents/editors.
I had an idea who to go to. I'd researched and found a picture. But that doesn't mean anything when it all comes down to the wire and you're waiting your turn, just watching them at the tables. Nerves does not begin to explain the nausea I felt. I could have easily turned around and left. I told myself that. That I still had time to back down.
And when it came time, I went. I walked and shook. Oh yeah I was shaking badly. And then I was at the table. Sitting was more of a stumbling sitting, my hand shaking so bad as I shook his. The paper I'd brought with of my pitch was on the table in front of me. And I was prepared to read it. And then... the first words from my mouth, "Fatal Visions is a 90k word paranormal romance taking place in the rugged mountains." I stopped. "Have you ever watched The Pretender or Dark Angel?" Wait. He nods, "Well it's like that but with a bit of Mutant X thrown in for good measure."
That could have gone two ways. He could have not seen any of the shows. Luckily he'd seen them and he was interested in hearing more. My spiel went on reading a bit... then going off course and talking as I went. So yeah, I KNOW I messed it up. I KNOW I went off course.
In the end, he asked a few questions. I talked more. And that was it. I got up and left feeling incredibly glad that I took the chance I had to do it. I'm not a gusty person and that was... awesome. He was nice. Incredibly nice to put up with my nervous banter. Even weeks later that was a high point to the trip. Not just meeting everyone, but the pitch and feeling as though I've done something to put myself out there.
Will I do it next year? If I go to Nashville next year you can bet I will. And I will be better prepared. I will know more about what I'm doing.