Wowza. You all are good to me. We had a FANTASTIC crowd Friday night at Beaverdale Books. I met lots of new folks, laughed and cried with old friends, and felt weepy gratitude for every single person there. Great conversation and lots of books sold (thank you, thank you, Marc and I both thank you), and everyone was so busy having fun, we hardly took any photos. Still, I managed to preserve a few visual memories. Here are some highlights:
1. The Shoes. I might start wearing them to the playground.
2. Flowers and Champagne, most of which we ended up taking home. I feel honored, really. This means you weren’t there to get sloshed, but rather to get a book or two. So now I’ll get sloshed. JUST KIDDING, MOM.
3. My kids. Thea was completely unimpressed, particularly during my talk. In fact, I think she thought I was super boring. If I’d jumped around more and blown raspberries on readers’ bellies, she would have felt more comfortable.
Ana, even in her not-quite-100% state, was in her element, camped out in the children’s section of the store. She told me on the way over that she was so glad her mom wrote books and didn’t sell, say, paper clips, which would be a “horrible job.”
Mitch. Oh, gracious, Mitch. He sat with me at the signing table for a bit and introduced himself to readers. At one point, he stopped my friend Makila, who was holding a copy of STRETCH MARKS. “My mom has that book at our house,” he said. “Do you think I’ll like it?” she asked. He looked skeptical. “I don’t know.” Good to have the family endorsement.
Mitch also made some of his own book selections and suggested them to my brother-in-law, Jimmy. (He’s the really tall one, the one who plays basketball and people pay him. Hint: I’ve NEVER accepted money to play a sport, but I might still hold a shot put record at my junior high.)
Mitch whispered (loudly) during my talk, taking book after book off the shelves and saying, “Jimmy, you should read this one. It’s awesome.” (STOP READING HERE, MOM.) They must have been camped in a particularly riveting section of the bookstore because Mitch’s suggestions included B is for Beer and Porn For Women of A Certain Age. Couldn’t endorse his mother’s books, but these got the green light. Jimmy, to his credit, was appropriately cautious and did not buy the books.
(MOM, BEGIN READING AGAIN HERE.)
4. After the last guest left, we talked with Alice, the lovely owner of Beaverdale Books.
See how pleasant she still looks after being a hostess? And she remained pleasant, even when we discovered one book was unaccounted for. We toured the store, looking for the missing title, wondering if perhaps among all those nice people I’d invited there lurked a shoplifter. Was it my cousin Sally, such a nice Dutch girl who drove an hour just to see me? Maybe my uncle Robert, one of my favorite human beings but perhaps secretly Mr. Sticky Fingers? I was getting worried and a tad indignant but Alice assured me all would be well. When we got home, guess what I found in my things?
Me? What? I wrote this book AND stole it from a local business?
Call me Mrs. Sticky Fingers. Sorry, Alice. I’ll be by this week.
The Day After, I was not in any condition for photo taking, but two of us were. My very supportive and patient Marc and our Thea. (Go Hawkeyes!)
So thanks for coming. Thanks for reading. My heart is full of gratitude to a God who lets me have this job and to all of you who get my jokes and laugh in the right spots. Thanks for keeping me around.