Sunday, April 23, 2006

Diva Weekend--Chapter 1

Well, we're back.

Let me recreate the 2 days in the Keys for you in loving, rich detail, complete with a pictorial of events and moods...

As you are aware from our last episode, I, and 3 friends (Janet, her husband Todd, and Sue) made a road trip down to Key Largo for my first book signing/radio show.

After leaving early Thursday morning, we made the 5 hour car trip down south. Easy drive--Sue had the horrific task of accompanying me and my neuroses, as I was so freaking nervous about this radio interview.

Part of it was that I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Details--much like clothing, sobriety and clocks--are scarce in the Keys. So I had no idea if I was to prepare with a dossier of wit and one-liners for hours of diva amusement, or if I was going to be given two seconds to spit out the title of my book and an ill-timed crack in my voice. I made Sue shoot possible questions to me across Alligator Alley while trying to remember Sean's (a seasoned radio veteran) advice.

I had a few minutes once we arrived to change and throw-up at the hotel before getting on to the show which was at a restaurant/bar on the water. Here is a picture of the view from my room:

I didn't have much trouble finding the place, but there were 3 other bars I had to walk through before finding mine at the back of the restaurant on a deck on the water. I had no idea if I was in the right place, as there was no equipment, no obvious show biz types, no satellite station or anything else I thought might be required for broadcast. A small banner across the palm-thatched roof said "The Turtle Club Radio Show," but it could have just blown in from the last hurricane and no one bothered to take it down yet.

So I waited. I waited for my friends, and I waited for some clue that I was in the right spot, as all of my prep work in the car began to melt under the blazing sun. But pretty soon, an old sailor-looking guy pulled out a black suitcase looking thing, and four microphones which he set up on a plastic lawn table, complete with several bottles of Budweiser.

This was the show. And I was even more scared than before.

All of a sudden, there was a flurry of activity, as people began to arrive--no additional staff mind you--but friends and other bar patrons. The bookstore owner also arrived, with whom I then found out would be accompanying me on the radio. Whew. At least I wouldn't be alone, I thought.

Lack of company would not be a further fear of mine for the entire trip--least alone this radio show. In addition to the two DJ's, the store owner, and a very-nervous me--Janet and Sue got to accompany me at the table. Here's me pre-show--thank goodness the camera didn't capture the bile that is forming in my throat.

But a funny thing happened as I sat there trying to listen carefully to the questions, or some sort of never-uttered instructions...I relaxed. I relaxed just a little bit to enjoy this moment of talking about something I sure do know a lot about--my life--and even though he didn't ask many questions that I had anticipated or rehearsed, I answered well; and I was witty, and dare I say, at times, even quite charming.

It went on for quite some time.

I have no idea how long it lasted or what I said, but my friends lied and said I was great, and the DJ said I was, "a natural."

A natural what, I don't know, but I'll take it as a compliment.

The evening continued with music, food, drinks and wonderful conversation in an outdoor bar on the sea.

Don't miss tomorrow's episode which includes highlights from the signing and trip home such as a flat tire and rye toast.

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