Most of my writing experiences have been pleasant ones. Places where I've spoke or read and did book-signings, like the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, Tennessee, or the Cherokee Arts Festival outside Atlanta in Canton, were surprisingly fun. I enjoyed meeting folks, talking to people, answering their questions, and I always learn something. I don't know that I ever had any major mistakes, blunders, or even catastrophes with my writing (the occasional grammatical error that didn't get caught in drafts or galleys), but there have been times when I felt potential disaster was looming nearby and didn't know how to respond or what to say to others who asked me questions or made comments about my books.
The second time I felt there could be a looming disaster was when I was speaking to a college class about writing, and the students had read a selection from my short story collection. One student wanted to know about my treatment of women in my stories, that it seemed as if I was making fun of women. For a moment, I said nothing. What I was thinking was, "You've got to be kidding me. First of all, you've only read one story, if that. Before you become a book critic, perhaps you should write something yourself." What I said was: "I feel I treated all of my characters the same way. Sure, I make fun of some of these eccentric women, but they are based on my family members and friends and I love them and admire their eccentricities, and I give the eccentric men equal time in the book, which you'll see when you read it."