I have made mention before that I consider myself a “Realist,” which could be convoluted, upon occasion, to infer that I am negative at times. Negativity is toxic and punishing—as if life weren’t challenging enough. Life is chocked full of challenges and obstacles, and the Dark swings a big stick.
Sometimes life is just plain ugly.
But sometimes there is basis in fact for “negativity,” although the mere mention of a dark thing based in fact surely falls under the category of Reality. I submit to a candid world two such facts:
One: I am—until such time as I publish again—a first-time author. With such a pedigree comes the responsibility of proving oneself on a number of levels, not the least of which is the hearts and minds of readers. Readers tend to be a little more forgiving of freshman mistakes, but the more critical among the literate turn up their noses at the offensive stench of unproven writers.
Two: My Arizona Diamondbacks are in the midst of one of their worst seasons ever. Individual team members are having a statistically sound year (like my guy, Stephen Drew!). They’ve lost—no lie here—almost a full three-quarters of the home games my son and I have gone to watch at Chase Field.
So going into Saturday, July 25th, 2009, I began the day with the factual deck stacked against me. But as I’d alluded to in a previous post, regardless of the outcome I would spend a day with my son living amongst the comfort of books and steeped in the great American pasttime of baseball.
In all honesty I was quite alright with coming out of the day with an ‘L’ in both columns.
First up, my book signing at Changing Hands in Tempe. They had set up for a full blown ‘talk’ instead of just a book signing. I was under the impression I was doing a simple signing, so I was haplessly unprepared. Fortunately there was a podium I was to stand at while I winged it—fortunate because I think better standing up, not because I’m in any way speech-friendly.
I’ll spare you, kind reader, with all the minutiae, but it went far better than I thought it would. I had no acquaintances or family show up for the speech-on-the-fly, but I did have seven complete strangers sit patiently and listen, then ask questions I could easily answer (phew!).
I signed seven copies of my book, and no, not one to each person. To put that in perspective, a lot of book signing authors I’ve read about have typically sold (on a good day) two, maybe three, copies, after sitting at their table for three to four hours. I was there an hour-and-a-half.
I must also thank the staff, who were unspeakably supportive and accomodating, and a genuine pleasure to work with (thanks Jamie!).
A quick note: Lest you think this was some small-time neighborhood used book store I’ll have you know that Changing Hands was Publishers Weekly number one independent bookseller in 2007.
“So what?” you say, incredulous.
At the end of this month alone they will host J.A. Jance, and next month are hosting Garrison Keillor. In the past they’ve hosted Stephanie Meyers (Twilight series), Christian Lander (Stuff White People Like), and a Who’s Who of other notable and hugely popular authors. Joey Kramer of Aerosmith will even be there next week to sign copies of his book!
What’s not to like about being included with company like that . . . win or lose!
I finished up there, thanked mom and dad for showing up too (yes, they showed up as well, but got hung up in traffic on the way), and then my son and I went to take in the Dbacks vs. Pittsburg Pirates. Now, they’d won the night before, but given their ability to crash-and-burn at will this season I wasn’t holding out a lot of hope for a ‘W’.
Guess what — they WON! And the score . . .
It’s way too cheesy and coincidental for me to have made up. A day of sevens, and I got two W’s for the day!