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I’m a little nervous this morning, as at noon today I’m appearing on my local NPR station to do a show called The State of Things. (If you’re interested in listening, that’s 12:00 EST, today, and you can listen to it online here. Just go to the page and click on LISTEN NOW. But not now, at noon. There may also be a podcast available later, I will let you know.) Anyway, I’m enormously flattered that they asked me, of course, and I’ve actually done the show before, but it’s always a little nerve-wracking because it’s LIVE, and therefore they cannot edit me to make me sound concise and well spoken and, well, coherent. Add in the fact that the interview I did for our local PBS station just ran again last week, reminding me of one of my VERY bad nervous habits, and you can understand why I’m a little apprehensive.

So, yeah. The PBS interview. It was for NC Bookwatch, and I did it about a year ago, for Just Listen. In the interview, some things were good: my hair, for example. Also I think I had decent answers to most of the questions. But all of this was completely overshadowed by the fact that I said, “You know,” AT LEAST eight hundred times during the half hour show. It was horrifying. Like I had Tourette’s, but only with one phrase. And once you noticed it, it was impossible to NOT be aware of it. God help me. I tried to tell myself that only I (and my mother, who pointed it out to me, very kindly I might add) noticed, but no, other people mentioned it as well. The weirdest part is that I never even realized I was saying it: it’s like the way I used to mess with my hair, a habit so ingrained I never even noticed. I started to sit on my hands to stop doing that, but something tells me this will be harder.

Anyway since then, I have been actively working to break my You Know habit. Every time I’ve done a speaking engagement, or I have a phone conversation, or ANYTHING, I just keep it very close in my mind, making a conscious effort. But today, on the radio, will be my big test. So if you listen, keep an ear out for me. My goal is five or less. (I’m not aiming for none, as I know this is impossible.) We’ll see how it goes….

have a good day, everyone!

Edited to add: Thank you for all the kind words! I think it went pretty well. If you want to listen, the show re-runs tonight at 9pm, or you can download the podcast here. Just scroll down to the description and click on LISTEN HERE.