She was an odd mix of soft skin and rowdy in the mouth.
And by that, I mean she was bright, chirpy, and quick with the quirky jokes, ribbing it with the best of them, but prone to fits of sobbing at the first sign of disagreement.
I needed to be cautious. To curb my Neanderthal-like love for hurling abuse at editorial outlaws. Not to mention, she was new.
The woman who sat in the chair opposite my desk in a book-lined office was one of the most promising writers in our creative department. The problem was, she was late on her first deadline. Really late.
I took a deep breath.
“I gave you an extra week. Help me understand why I don’t have that article yet,” I said.
She shrugged and cracked a smile. I waited for an answer, but nothing.
Then I said, “Eh, yeah. So, about that deadline?”
She looked down at her hands, then looked at me in the eyes, the smile gone.
“You know how it is. The inspiration just hasn’t hit yet.”
I nodded and fidgeted with a hangnail.
“Actually … I don’t know how it is.”
That’s when her lower lip began to tremble and her eyelids started blinking rapidly.