Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Book Signing, Part Deux

It went well. What else can I say. I'm no supa stah. Barnes and Noble didn't have to hire extra security for crowd management, but I was fortunate.

I got there seven minutes late because I have chronic insomnia, and I sleep late as a bit of a compensation. I got up late, and all seven of us need a turn in the bathroom. I was next to last. Big mistake. Ken went after me. Bigger mistake.

Ken has to be the most deliberate man in creation. He's a pretty immaculate dresser, I mean, because of Ken we have an iron. The concept of ironing is foreign to me. It's like the film Wings of Desire. Foreign. The results were beautiful, but did I really understand it? I think not!

So I was seven minutes late. Yeah, I know that's God's perfect number, but it still sucked to be late as far as I'm concerned. Sara had set me up a table in the cafe--far enough that I would disturb patrons, and easy enough to find. There was a frightening stack of twenty or so of my books and of course the fear that I'd sell none of them, but God was good.

The first person I saw as I took in the table, was my friend Debbie Taylor. She's a wonderful author. She writes children's books. She's always been generous with knowledge, support and anything else I needed to write. It was kind of fiting that she'd be there to greet me. I was so happy to see her. She'd already started the book and thought it was really good. She said, "I wanted to like it because of you, but when I started reading I really liked it." You have no idea how many people have said something similar. I must look like I can't write.

More people came in, and the funny thing, they were all my friends. Not one stranger got a signed book from me that day. That's okay. I'm still building readers. I can blow my little trumpet only so much and then my quiet, reclusive nature reasserts itself. A store full of friends just there to support me. Doesn't get much better than that.

As I was leaving my friend Keysha and her mom showed up. Keysha is the girl I told you about. When we were kids, I told her my stories. My. She's forty now, and I'm almost 42. I haven't seen her since my seventeen-year-old son Lumumba was a baby. It was like coming home, being with her, in the good way that home is a set of people who formed you, who without their lives merging with yours, you wouldn't be who you are. We spent the whole day together, her kids and mine, and she cooked fried chicken. Heaps of it, and I didn't worry about calories because there was so much love in the room.

Signing books is weird. I'm sill not quite used to this new life of mine, but I do know God is with me. It takes the edge off the strangeness of doing interviews, being a "CBA" writer, which means my books are shelved with CBA Christian fiction rather than in the African American section. I have so much to tell you, but I've been really sick. I'm in a lot of pain, even now. I wanted to come back because I've missed you, and I knew you wanted to hear how things went.

Thanks for tuning in, sweet reader. Will you say some prayers for me? The pain is pretty bad.

Grace and peace,


relevantgirl said...

How funny! I just posted about book signings over at The Masters Artist. I am glad yours went well. You ROCK!!!

Bek said...

i do not know what an iron is either, really. praying...BY HIS WOUNDS, we are healed....of insomnia, pain....You took it on the cross, Jesus, for Mair.....

lisa said...

Love you, Claudia and have prayed for you!

Sigrun said...

I'll be glad to say prayers for you. I know what it's like to be in pain. I don't know where yours is or are specifically but pain is pain. Sometimes I can barely use the computer never mind write manually and that's just one area of pain.

So I will be praying for you. And I have a big problem with sleeping as well: sometimes I can't sleep, at others I sleep too much. It's a pain either way. But even if He doesn't cure us from these pains, I know He carries me through them. I'm still wondering what He's trying to teach me. I guess more compassion for others like you who are in pain. It's hard to hear others say: pain? What's that? and consoling to hear others say, "I hurt" not to be glad that they do but to know that they understand.

So, yes, I understand even though with God's help I've lived through 40 or more years of it.

God bless you and heal you if it is His will.

I'm glad you had a wonderful day at the signing and thereafter.

Hugs and prayers.

Joni said...

How happy I am to see you add a new post to your blog! I have been praying for you for several days (for healing, for encouragement).

So glad the signing went well. And don't act surprised when more people want to know about your book. I'll help blow your little horn for you, too! :o)

Blessings, and God's healing be yours, my dear sister.

CHickey said...

I've been passing your book around. I really enjoyed it. Congrats on your signing. Will pray for you.

Anonymous said...

Feel better, Mair (I'm trying to remember to call you Mair!) I pray that you will be healed of that stupid pain and I really want to see you again soon. You looked beautiful at the signing and it was wonderful to see you next to your great book! (my prophesy fulfilled!)
love you!

Paula said...

Thanks for the update. I've been waiting!! BTW, I want to meet Keysha!! You tell her I think she rocks because God chose you and her to find Him together and to free you to stories again.

I'm proud of you and this book signing! It's just the beginning of this new world He's opening to you, but you know what? He's going in front of you and behind you and giving you all you need for the journey--including friends who adore you and love your writing.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I'm still praying for you, my friend...in Jesus name!

Candy said...

Mair, I am praying for you to be pain free and to sleep in the arms of Jesus - deep, restful sleep that brings life and vigor!

Janet Rubin said...

Hi there! I'm just visiting. Started at my friend Gina's Novel Journey blog, skipped over to The Writing Life, then clicked on your blog because the name is AWESOME. The Ragamuffin Gospel is one of my top 5 favorite books because I'm the ragamuffin-est. Anyway congrats on being at the point where you can do a book-signing. That's way down the road for me yet. I enjoyed reading this post- love your "voice." I really like the idea of fried chicken and a room so filled with love that calories don't matter- beautiful!

Kristine said...

I'm praying for you. You hold a special place in my thoughts. I have a mom and husband who suffer from chronic pain so I can empathize...
I am glad your book signing went well. I often feel the way you expressed when I have an art opening - fear over who will show up, jitters about making it there on time, wondering if people will appreciate the work...
Take time (when you start to feel better) to celebrate this accomplishment. Really, just breathe and rest in this milestone.

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Good to hear that it went so well, and will say an extra prayer for your tonight.

(Oh, and we have an iron because of my husband. :)


Ginger Garrett said...

Hey Mair!
I was up till 4:30am and just knew you were probably up, too. If we lived next door, we could send flashlight signals to each other. I am praying your pain is gone by now and you've gotten some rest. You're a doll.

Heather Diane Tipton said...

I SO wish I could have been at this signing for you!! totally love that you got to hook back up with Keysha!

Totally agree with what Paula said about "friends who adore you and love your writing." SO true, my beautiful friend!!