Interview minus two hours: Jim and I both pull our cars out of his driveway so we can walk a bit of the nearby Appalachian Trail. There's a beautiful waterfall there and one of the few silver linings of all the rainclouds that have blackened the sky for the last couple of weeks is that the waterfall had a wonderful volume of water this weekend. In addition, lady slippers, a native orchid, are in bloom now. I used to keep orchids, including slipper orchids, when I lived in Manhattan and I love seeing them in the wild. Being outside in the woods is great for mood stability, and I want to be calm and stable for this interview. However, we're running a little bit late in getting out.
Interview minus 9 minutes: I call the interview number. Robert and Michele are already there and they bring me into the show. I'm very concerned about noise of the cars flying by me, just a couple of feet away, at 55 mph. The car shakes each time a car passes. I'm using a handsfree speaker phone because I can't hold a phone to my ear for an entire hour due to nerve damage in my hand. They assure me I sound fine. The speaker phone is on the visor of the driver's seat, so I have decided to do the interview from there rather than go into the back of my, where I normally work and where Maeve is. We all wait as the automated radio show system counts down to show time.
Showtime! Robert introduces himself first and then Michele. He asks Michele how things are in Boulder. Dead air. Michele's phone has going completely dead. Robert talks to me instead. He's mispronouncing Maeve's name and he has her website address all wrong. "It doesn't matter," I think, "I'll keep calm and positive now. I can correct him later. Breathe, Joanne, breathe."
Interview plus 14 minutes: Jim opens the passenger door to give me a thumb's up to let me know the gas is in the tank. I am in the middle of answering a question and lose my train of thought. There are "ummms" coming out of my mouth for a few seconds and my memory gives me trouble remembering a publication name, but I get through it okay.
Interview plus 17 minutes: I'm answering a question and taking the opportunity to mention the correct address of our website and to turn the conversation to something positive on that site when I drop off the call. It was my worst fear about doing the interview by cell phone rather than on Jim's land line. However, Murphy screwed up by first having Michele drop off the call. Now it's not as embarrassing that I left dead air on the call. Besides, I can drive up the hill and turn on to the quieter side street at the top while the phone redials.
Interview plus 29 minutes: Maeve begins to bark -- loudly. Remember that "quieter" side street I'm now parked on? Remember that Maeve is not zipped into her kennel and can look out the back window? People are making multiple trips between the door and the driveway of a nearby house loading or unloading a car. Maeve, who is encouraged to alert me to people approaching the van (we sleep in it when we're camping and I often work in back while parked in beautiful, but sometimes lonely, natural settings), is telling me there are a bunch of people heading our way. If I were in back with her I could acknowledge their approach with a look and a touch, give her the "Shush" command and she'd at least tone it down to whispered whoofs. However, that often doesn't work if I'm not in touching distance of her. She continues to bark. The red of my cheeks would put a fire engine to shame. I stutter some as I answer the next question over Maeve's slightly quieter barking.
Interview plus 37 minutes: My phone drops the call AGAIN! I redial instantly and finish the remaining 22 minutes of the interview successfully.
- I can do a live interview!
- I can handle questions that are not entirely appropriate or are unexpected
- If I prepare properly I can hold my attention and calm for a significant period (however, I do pay a price afterward)
- Perfection isn't necessary