Saturday, August 12, 2006

Book Signing!

Okay, so it's finally August 12. Today is the book signing at Barnes and Noble. It's my local "debut".

This isn't like my signing in Denver. In Denver I was at ICRS, a big, honkin' Christian booksellers and retailers convention. EVERYBODY who is ANYBODY in CBA publishing was signing a book. I would dare say everybody who is NOBODY was also there with their books, signing away. Let's just say I had a captive audience--and four other amazing NavPress authors signing with me.

Sigh.

But this here signing at the Big Noble. It's just little ol' me, underdog.

I spent yesterday in bed mostly, in terrible pain. I woke up this morning and I still have that lingering, bizarre feeling one has after one's body has had a terrible ordeal. It feels like my body is a little confused. I don't hurt as much as I did yesterday, but I don't feel exactly well, either. Last night Ken brought me the movie Therese, about Saint Terese of Lisieux. It was a little bit campy, but it was also very moving to me. I cried a lot.

This morning I'm thinking of God's little flower Terese, and the book signing at the Big Noble, and the fact that my very own mother just called and cancelled!!!! It's okay really, she's not feeling well, and come on, is this really a big deal? I'm thinking about the fact that I really don't want to go myself, that I could use another day to rest in bed. I'm thinking about that not so small amount of fear that NOBODY will show up and there I'll be, with a pasted smile, horrified that nobody loves me or my book.

That's a lot of pressure to put on a book signing isn't it?

One mustn't look for love at book signings. So, I'm grateful for the movie last night, and even the pain I had. It points to The Little Way.

What is the Little Way?

I'm glad you asked. :O)

The Little Way is how Terese lived her life--a way that would inspire countless souls to live simply for Jesus, including Mother Teresa who took the name of her dear Therese. The little way is not about being big. It's not about celebrity or having legions of fans show up for your book signing. It's about being small. Small like a child. It's about being Matthew 18:3.

Terese, in her spiritual autobiography, The Story of a Soul, says:

This road is the surrender of the little child who sleeps without fear in it's fathers arms. "Whoever is a little one, let him come to me." (Proverbs 9:4). After listening to words such as these...there is nothing to do but to be silent and weep with gratitude and love. Ah, if all weak and imperfect souls felt what the least of souls feel, that is, the soul of your little Terese, not one would despair of reaching the summit of the mount of love. Jesus does not demand great actions from us, but simply surrender and gratitude.

So, I'm taking my rather large self-absorbed insecurities, and putting them in the hands of the kind and gentle Jesus. I'm going to lie without fear in His arms and be content to be small, unknown--a child before Him.

It's okay to be weak and imperfect. I'm going for small today.

Here's a little more Terese for you:

Jesus deigned to teach me this mystery. He set before me the book of nature; I understood how all the flowers He has created are beautiful, how the splendor of the rose, and the whiteness of the lily do not take away the perfume of the little violet or the delightful simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all flowers wanted to be roses, nature would lose her springtime beauty, and the fields would no longer be decked out with little wild flowers.

And so it is in the world of souls, Jesus' garden. He willed to create great souls comparable to Lilies and roses, but He has created smaller ones, and these must be content to be daisies or violets destined to give joy to God's glances when He looks down at His feet. Perfection consists in doing His will, in being what He wills us to be.

That's really what I want in the end, to be what God wills me to be. And the more I learn about Him, the less hard it seems. I love that Tozer called God 'winsome'. Isn't that a great word for God--something we often forget? I'm going to go to this signing and just be a little lotus bud. I think that's all God expects of me today: be who I am, and walk in child-like love. I'll let you know how it goes.

Mair


***


Hey folks. This entry is on my brand spankin' new writer blog. I thought maybe I should talk about my book stuff somewhere else. Anyway, writers are supposed to have their writer websites... right? You don't know? Me either. We'll just try this out again. See what happens. Okay.

So, for Claudia Mair Burney writer stuff, and all kinds of book reviews and interviews with way cool writers see: claudiamairburney.blogspot.com. Heather is doing some most excellent design work for me. It'll be ret to go soon. I'll check out all you book lovers over there, and keep meeting all you ragamuffins over here.

Much love,

Mair

8 comments:

Deborah said...

Hello Mair,
Thanks for this post. I needed the dose of encouragement.

Even with a new first book out, it ain't easy.

Paula said...

I wish I could be there at your side today, Mair. I'd be your biggest fan and cheerleader. I totally believe in you and your book.

This post was perfect. It spoke my heart. I don't know if I'm a hearty sunflower or a tiny viola, but I just want to blossom for Him. I want to surrender in my own little quiet way.

jeff said...

Just discovered your blog while Googling to find a passage from Rilke's Book of Hours.

I also love that darling of God, St Therese. Have you read The Legend of the Holy Drinker by Joseph Roth?

Thankyou for your writing Mair...for your honesty and inspiration.

CHickey said...

I really hope your signing went well. I had one and not one family member showed up (I have a big family) except my dear hubby. I have a tough time talking to other people, so was scared spitless. Especially when one strange, rather large, lady came rushing up, grabbed a book, yelled "I heard you're up and coming and have to be one of the first to buy!) and then rushed off. I got the nervous giggles when she left.

joni said...

Mair~
Thanks for your transparency. And your willingness to be so REAL.

In God's garden, we all have our place. I think your little plot is about to turn into a grand explosion of color! God's got plans for you, dear sister.

Wish I could have driven up to be there for your signing.

But no matter how many books you signed, you are God's own special blossom!

joni said...

P.S.

I like the new pic!

Sigrun said...

Hi, I came over from Camy's blog to find that you don't live all that far from me. In fact, I was in Ann Arbor about 2 years ago to visit friends there and in Warren. The friends in Ann Arbor were truly a Godsend to my family right after WWII. They sent us CARE packages when we had very little in Germany. My father was finally getting to his studies after he had chosen to do his military service in 1938 before doing his M.D. so he could go on the mission field. He thought he'd get it out of his way never guessing that he'd be in a big war for almost 10 years. Of course, as a 26 or 27-year-old student after the war was over, with a wife and child (me), he figured a medical education was too long. So he became an architect instead and we moved to Canada in 1951.

This young couple in Ann Arbor, I'm not sure if both of them were studying but he became an entomologist (shudder), supported us through a bad time. They moved away from Ann Arbor, lived in Minneapolis and Corvallis, OR among other places and in the course of her medical studies, the oldest daughter returned to Ann Arbor. The next-oldest daughter had replied to our invitation to come to my mother's memorial service. I thought this was very brave of her because it turned out that at this time (3 years ago almost exactly) her mother already had the same thing my mother eventually died of: Alzheimer's. Since she was in a home in Ann Arbor, I really badly wanted to see her. The last time I saw her and her husband before that was while I was living in Germany where they visited me. This time she probably didn't know me but she knew I was someone new or different, so maybe she did realize in some part of her mind. She held onto me and we walked the corridor I don't know how many times. And there was always one locked door that she went to. It was as hard seeing Jackie this way as it had been to see my mother in the same condition.

I hope your book signing went well. I've never written a book and don't know personally what this is like. However, I edited some books for a local children's writer and when he had a local signing, he was terribly disappointed. Hardly anyone stopped to look at the books or talk to him and he sold very few books. I felt so sad for him. I didn't even know the date he was going or else I'd at least have dropped by. Since I don't get a newspaper, it's very hard for me to find out when these events take place. I've only been to one here in London, ON, though I found out about others after the fact. But it's hard for me to get around since I don't have a car and suffer from a lot of pain. That usually keeps you from taking public transport anywhere, especially if you get thrown around if the bus sets off before you get a chance to sit down. That happened on Tuesday. Now I'm sporting a big bruise on my hip and my elbow hurts and I think I also bumped my head. However, I've stayed away from exploring that fearing that I'll just make it hurt if there is something there because it's not hurting right now.

You know what: I've always preferred the little wild flowers and have chosen the little snowdrop as my personal flower. We particularly brought seeds from Germany to plant them in our garden and the people who bought my mother's house from us, agreed to keep these flowers as well as some others in case I ever move somewhere that I can grow them. I also love the little violets and my sister-in-law had a bridal bouquet of daisies. I truly prefer wildflowers to roses and some of the other showier ones, though I do love carnations and gladioli because they last quite a long time.

Thanks for the blog. I needed that too. But I hope you didn't feel neglected and unloved--not even a little bit. I know how you can know one thing, e.g., that you are valuable beyond measure in God's eyes and still feel sad that people neglect you. I know that feeling only too well, especially if family members constantly put down your dreams and hopes.

God bless you.

Sigrun said...

Oh, I just thought of something else that I also spoke to Camy about.

I don't know if you're familiar with Angela Benson and her books. We had somehow corresponded before blogs became popular. One day, she wrote to the people on her mailing list asking them to pray for those who would buy "The Amen Sisters", that God would prepare their hearts. This dovetailed with something my mother had brought up a few times. "In church, they always pray for the missionaries that go to the mission fields but never for the people who are there, that God would prepare their hearts to be open to God's Word. They always pray for the sick people in the congregation but not for those who have to deal with caring for them."

She knew that last part very well. My father had a stroke when he was 55 and was never able to work again. He was more or less able to get around but had problems speaking and had to hold on to something or someone when he tackled stairs. They prayed for him but never specifically for my mother who needed prayer as much or more than he did as she cared for him for almost 10 years.

Anyway, Angela asked us to pray for the preparation of souls and that the seed that God had given her in her story would fall on fruitful ground. And she's received some wonderful letters from young women who've been blessed by this book. It has gone at least into 3 printings already.

Even now we can pray for the people who will read your book that the readers will find the grain that they need to feed their souls, answer their questions. Will the results be the same as with Angela's book? I don't know but at least we'll have tried. It may even take less time or longer for the message to sink in but isn't there something in the Bible about His Word not returning empty? Sometimes I'm not sure of quotes because for a long time I always read the German Bible and it seems that those verses stuck better--my mind wasn't cluttered with as many things as it was in later years.