Good Times

Daily Prompt Celebrate Good Times You receive some wonderful, improbable, hoped-for good news. How do you celebrate?

Months ago I sent in my $300 for the Historical Novel Society Conference because I thought I should and it was going to be in Denver — relatively close, right? I registered to sign copies of my novels for the public who, I know, will not be massing in droves for the opportunity to get my bookmarks, flyers and signature or buy my books from the Conference bookstore. I knew this. I did this with the idea that someday it might happen that I publish a book conventionally and it becomes a book thousands want to read. And then, when someone says, “You need to be in Boston for a book signing,” I would have had the experience.

When I sent in my money, there was no schedule of sessions for the conference. It was a gamble, but I had hopes that there’d be some I wanted/needed. The schedule came out and no, nothing. I was annoyed and checked to see if I could cancel and get my money back but no. The schedule and the cancellation date more or less coincided. I was stuck.

I did my research to learn how to get people to attend a book signing and sent out most of the 100 invitations I had made. I was happy to learn that friends wanted to meet me and go out for dinner, so I began to regard THAT event, at least, as a kind of party.

and then…

Thursday afternoon, while I was in Colorado Springs, and my friends had gone to set up their band, and I was hanging with the dogs, I got an email from a woman who was my best friend while we were both in our 20s. I have only seen her occasionally over the past thirty years because her life turned out to be extraordinary and for a long interval we lived on opposite coasts. She lives in Denver now.

The email said she’d seen my name in the newspaper and learned I was going to be signing books Saturday night at this convention. She’d gone to Linked-in to see if I still had a profile and email address, and found a Christmas message from me telling her I’d moved back to Colorado. She wanted to see me, and I certainly wanted to see her.

We met last night for dinner and we celebrated good times — the good time of being reunited and living in the same state again and the good times we shared years and years ago and the few in between. We caught up, we joked and reminisced a little. She had visited me in China. She recently digitized her slides of that journey and we looked at them on her iPad. She also brought me a DVD with the photos on it, too.

The way I figure it, I paid $300 to get her attention by getting my name in the paper! Worth it. Oh, she brought me the paper, too, for “your scrapbook.”



12 thoughts on “Good Times

  1. That was really something to celebrate, meeting up like that. We have book signings in our local book shop but very rarely and not in connection with money. It is a very small town and usually just local authors. Have you ever been in contact with the swiss about your book as it handles with a Swiss theme.

    • Martin of Gfenn was a big seller in Gfenn. I sent copies to the papers in Zürich and three of them reviewed the book and two interviewed me. It also got some small mention in small community papers and newsletters. That was a very fun experience. I put all those articles on I think the most interesting thing to them was that someone in California was writing about a very small and unknown village in Switzerland. The Zürcher Oberlander reviewed the novel in a very thoughtful and understanding way which was wonderful. They said the same thing an American reviewer, though. It’s not the kind of novel that explodes onto the scene and excites readers.

  2. I did a bunch of book signings too when my book first came out. None of them were exactly wild scenes of triumph with mobs of eager fans begging for signed books, but they were fun. I met other writers, sold a few copies. I got to feel like an author.

    I suspect reconnecting with an old friend is a bigger payoff and worth every penny!

    • I’m looking forward to this evening — whatever happens it will be interesting and then hanging out with people I like will be great. I’m seriously wondering if I’m an “author.” There are many authors around the hotel and it’s very strange. But I accepted a few months ago that I don’t know what I’m doing or who I am at this point in my life. Too many big changes in too short a time. I’m learning. 🙂

  3. The woman listed after you, Bharti Kirchner, is someone with whom I am acquainted! We met briefly last year. Small world, or 6-degrees-separation, either way, fun coincidence.

  4. I loved reading this about how you have reconnected with a friend from the past. How wonderful is that? Pretty dang good, in my opinion. I hope all goes well for you and as you say, at least you will have the experience of being among other authors and being recognized as a published author. Good luck and hopefully the experience will be very satisfying.

  5. What a good reconnection! Was this the same friend who was chased by the killer cockroach whlle visiting you in China?

    Many people would challenge your uncertainty about identifying as an author!

    • Yes — it was her. She remembers that trip as having been wonderful. And they have been in Thailand and loved it — I thought about you while they were talking. Thank you, Beth. I have a lot to think about regarding this novel thing. I might actually just write to write. I don’t feel much ambition or interest in learning more about writing. I’m actually sort of confused. This hotel is crawling with wouldbe writers, most of them women between 45 – 70. It’s strange and I will be glad to go home.

      • Could you actually believe that you have more to learn to write professionally? It’s incomprehensible. You’re just not writing stuff that appeals to people who buy pop fiction (and I hope you don’t!).

        Have you considered writing essays for select magazines?

        It’s a subtle description of the hotel situation, but it sounds kind of unpleasant. A little change in scenery is at least maybe nice?

        I may have sounded like I hated Thailand, but I really didn’t – or at least felt kind of neutral, all things weighed out. I was grateful for the experience. Thanks for thinking of me, and I hope your friends didn’t get quite as banged around as I did!

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