Instead of (or in addition to) thinking about how awesome it was that they invited me back, or how much less nervous I sounded than the last time I was on the radio, or even how cool it was that I just had 15 minutes MORE of fame, thus totaling approximately an hour of radio time in total, I spent most of the drive dissecting what I could have done better. Because THAT'S JUST ME! A barrel of laughs!
So, problem #1: the sound of my voice. In the green room beforehand, chatting with the guest who was to appear before me; talking to the producer of the show, Ellen; even meeting Beth Ruyak before the show for a few minutes--I sounded PERFECTLY NORMAL. Professional, even. Then, the minute I was sitting in front of the mic and had to talk--my first words, I believe, were "Hi, Beth!"--suddenly a frog appeared in my throat out of nowhere, as if by magic, and I was talking around a mucus impediment. LOVELY.
I should note, however, that I sounded just fine (in my own head, anyway...) when I read a passage from the book. Having been complimented on my reading during the book launch last week, I felt relatively confident that that part, at least, I could manage. And I think I did. However:
Problem #2: As I mentioned above, I did sound less nervous this time--and I'm happy to say, I didn't have that problem I had before of suddenly blanking out on what the host asked me while in the middle of a long-winded answer, thus forcing me to babble on until I reached a conclusion of some sort. But I did experience a similar mind-blankening panic issue: several times, I would be in the middle of my long-winded answer and then forget what in tarnation *I* had been saying and what my point was supposed to be.
The way I see it, there are a few possible solutions to this problem, all of which I found myself using today, and which I have likened to 1980s-era computer lingo for your amusement:
- ABORT! ABORT! Finish my sentence and rely on the host to finesse the transition if I stopped making sense.
- RETRY! Keep on blathering in the hope that I will remember what my initial point was and be able to bring it around to a reasonably coherent conclusion.
- FAIL! Trail off mid-sentence and mid-thought and look pleadingly at the host, while mentally banging head against the desk.