Friday, November 2, 2007

It Might Be True

I know that storytelling, before folks got frisky with pens and pencils, used to be an entirely oral affair. Hunters and gatherers huddled around the fire to hear a good tale about snakes and bears, about good gods and evil gods. Homer proclaimed his masterpiece again and again to approving crowds, in ancient Greek, no less. Etc etc. Then printing came along and people started reading stories instead of listening to someone expound with golden vocals.

This is where I come in.

For centuries, people could write their stuff down, then comfortably disappear into the woodwork, keeping pleasantly invisible and mute. Oh, there were always a few who liked to yak it out in front of strangers, but for the shy, retiring introvert, the woodwork thing was a pretty good deal. Now, though, at least in the YA world, one must not only write, one must present. Proclaim. Lalalalalalala! Be a star.

I mention this because later in November I will be on a panel at ALAN, which I am sure stands for something, and which is part of NCTE, which I think means National Council of Teachers of English. Anyway, ALAN is the young adult literature part of the deal, and I got an invite.

Have I mentioned that I am terrified of public speaking? Have I mentioned woodwork? Why why why is this necessary horror being foisted on one so fragile as I?

While it might be true that the really, really true--historically, organically--storytellers enjoy the telling, and that this is the true, really true, inherent nature of true artists, I am part of the second wave, the cheaters who retreated to paper.

It is not that I am not grateful to ALAN and to my publisher. I am grateful. I am. I am I am I am I am I am I am.

Now if only the shivery fears would go away . . .

No comments: