The email in my inbox informed me that I needed to complete an online seminar in order to teach at Placentia Yorba Linda Unified School District. But at the time I read it, my mind was on my upcoming Author's Talk at the Brea Library. So I shoved it aside, reasoning that the deadline wasn't until long after my event.
Today I sat down to begin the seminar, and as I gazed at the deadline again, I realized I was supposed to get the certificate of completion to personnel by August 24th--yesterday. At this point my heart constricted and manic energy coursed through my veins as I imagined losing half a year's income because I misread one deadline.
Fortunately, I followed the advice of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and immediately sent an email to Erica (the one in charge of personnel), explaining the situation and asking if I could make it up somehow. Fortunately, Erica had mercy on my soul and told me to send it to her today, which I promptly did, as soon as I had a spare minute.
* * *
This panic attack, however, was minor compared to the one I experienced at precisely 6:30 AM on Saturday, August 22nd, when the sheer anxiety of my upcoming Author's Event forced me out of bed. I felt flushed and my stomach churned, but I knew I wasn't sick. I felt too buzzed, too energetic.
On the surface, this Author's Talk shouldn't have inspired such fear. I'd already done my launch party, which had far more logistics to juggle, and I don't usually have a public speaking phobia. But this felt different. This wasn't a simple celebration of my accomplishments. This was a combination of hosting a party, selling my book, and talking about a deeply personal story. That trifecta danced on my nerves for the past two week, and time was closing in. It was do or die.
Fortunately, at around 7:30 AM, I managed to compose myself, and by the time I got to the library, I was feeling fine. Only once did my nerves show, when I had to read from my book, and my hand shook. But I kept my voice steady throughout the event. I even managed to joke from time to time. How about that!
(By the way, Jean Badoud-Riddell, a fellow writer, recorded the Author Talk for me and Michelle and plans to edit it for us in the coming months. As soon as I get hold of it, I'll post it.)
Afterwards, my family took me out to celebrate at Oasis Mediterranean Cafe on Brea Boulevard. Actually, we randomly stumbled upon it, but it turned out to be a good find. I ate the best baklava I'd ever tasted--just the right amount of sweet, and the floral mulberry mango tea and tender lamb gyros were excellent. To top it off, we made a run to my favorite place in the world--Barnes and Noble--and I came home touting two new fantasy books.
So a good day, all told.