Monday, February 20, 2012

Taking Stephen King's advice

So, it’s been a while since my last blog—I don’t think I have ever gone this long without posting something. It’s been quite a week. I have to sit and look at the calendar so I can remember what all I have done these past several days.
1.     Valentine’s Day
3.     Veronica’s audition for art school
4.     Stephen King
And of course I had my normal course work with school, delivering the hundreds of boxes of Girl Scout cookies Veronica sold, and sending out resumes for an internship.
Everything about this week was completely surreal. I think it was because there were so many events taking place that I have anticipated for over 3 or 4 months-- to finally see them take place made me feel like I was dreaming.
Robby and I got to spend our first Valentine’s Day together. He took me out on Saturday night to an upscale restaurant in Savannah known as the Mansion. I had never been there and I have wanted to go for years. Robby arranged for the sitter on his own and made all of the plans. We even dressed up.
When Tuesday rolled around, we were both giddy with the fact that we finally had a special someone in our life for Valentine’s Day. There is no doubt that no matter how much you try to tell yourself, “I don’t care about Valentine’s Day. It’s just a made-up holiday,” it is still hard to be alone. It doesn’t help when people call you on the phone and say, “I just wanted to check on you because I knew you were all alone today.” Thanks for the reminder.
After 3 months of constant tagging, posting, liking, sharing, and tweeting, I finally got to see my efforts as the social media intern for the Savannah Book Festival pay off. The event lasted 5 days this year…5 full days of sitting at the computer answering people’s constant questions on Facebook like “Where do I get tickets? Do you still have tickets for Pat Conroy? Can I see Stephen King without a ticket? Where can I park? Where is the festival? Do you know of a hotel that still has rooms?”

No zoom needed, I was really this
close to Stephen King

I got some cool stuff out of my internship though. I got 2 VIP tickets to see Walter Isaacson speak about his best-selling biography on Steve Jobs. I got to finally meet some of the authors face-to-face and say, “I’m the crazy person who has been stalking you on Facebook for the past 3 months” which would lead into some nice conversation that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I’m happy with the work I did and the connections I was able to make.

Veronica had her first audition as an artist on Saturday, too. We are trying to get her into the art magnet school here in Savannah. Since she will be in 6th grade, she had to present her art portfolio and draw a picture in front of the school officials. Luckily she inherited my dad’s art skills and not mine.

Sunday ended with my visit with Stephen King. I mentioned in a past post that I was one of a handful of writing students chosen to have a private meeting with the master of horror. Before the meeting with King, Robby and I stood in line with about 500 other people waiting to see King at another venue for the book festival. For about 2 hours, I was able to hang out and talk with some of King’s biggest fans. It was a great way to gear up for the rest of my afternoon.

The meeting with King was surreal. When I describe the event, it sounds like one of my typical weird dreams--I was sitting next to Dr. Lough, the head of the writing department, talking about SCAD stuff with my classmate Jason and my former classmate Amy. Then 2 more of my classmates arrived and waved at me as they sat a few rows back. Then Stephen King walked in and sat in a big leather chair about 5 feet away from me and talked about writing.
King described the moment when he was standing in his rundown apartment alone on the phone with his agent and he told him that the publishers would pay him $400,000 for Carrie. “My knees gave out and I just slid down the wall,” said King. “If you want to be a writer, you just have to fucking write it, man.”
After that, I walked across Broughton St. to the Trustee’s Theater and sat next to Robby and we listened to King talk for another hour. He read us the first chapter of his sequel to “The Shining” which hasn’t been published yet. He talked about writing and how much he hated Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation of The Shining and how he thought people would hate “Pet Cemetery.”   
I was able to get my book signed and I walked out of the place feeling inspired. I needed this week. I needed to completely immerse myself in the business of writing and remind myself why I put my life on hold for 2 years to set myself up to be a “real” writer. I wonder how long it will take for these moments to not feel so dreamlike.
Maybe one day I will be able to hand someone my business card which reads “Kim Wade, writer” and not feel like a poser. Maybe one day my agent will call me with a book offer that will make my knees buckle and open up a new world for me. But until then, I just need to take King’s advice and “just fucking write it, man.”

1 comment:

  1. Kim, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the best social media maven a Festival could ever hope for! You are a gem, as is your partner-in-crime Courtney, and we are so grateful for your help in making the 2012 Savannah Book Festival a huge success. Congrats on your time with Stephen King, who was indeed inspiring and hilarious in equal doses. BTW, my stepdaughter Jax is also applying to Garrison (she auditioned with her violin:-). I hope both of them get in!!! See you soon for an exegesis of the SBF. All the best, Katherine