Today I had a book signing … and it was wonderful. It was wonderful because for two whole hours, I was able to observe and speak with people who shared a love of words. A bookstore, after all, is a sanctuary of language used to its greatest potential. Though mostly fleeting, the conversations I had were rich and sweet … just like the cup of cocoa I sipped between delicious chats. The company was varied, to say the least, but each, in his or her turn offered me some bit of comfort, perspective or inspiration.
Each guest who took the time to speak with me left a small imprint on my writer’s heart, reminding me why it is I take so much time to relate to people through writing. Though I can’t name all, there were so many precious miniature conversations that I won’t soon forget. Among the most memorable, was a group of three girls on a play date. They came in to spend some of their time looking at books, (bless them for it) and ended up asking me a trail of beautiful questions, to which I returned the favor. I asked them what grades they were in, what their favorite subjects were, and (most importantly) where they went when they jumped into their imaginations. There is no such thing as too many questions, especially when a young person finds worth in you–the least you can do is return the favor. I spent the longest amount of time with these young girls and I know it was an investment. One asked what it took to be a writer, how to get started, and when she later asked me for my autograph, I asked her for her name so I too could be sure to buy her books someday. She twisted her pretty, wind-strewn strawberry hair as she smiled with hope at the thought of it.
Oscar Wilde suggested that you should, “Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary,” and I agree. For truly, aren’t each of us one-of-a-kind? Isn’t everyone really just waiting to share a bit of their own unique story to someone willing to listen? Even though it was less than five minutes, I spent time chatting with two, bright-eyed, lovely mothers who, despite the nature of their sleep-deprived lives, (having had three and four children respectively) found time, somehow, for me. We shared a few comparisons of our bulging calendars, and smiled at the blessing of having more to do in this life than we had time for. I know that in the everyday, conversations (real ones at least) just don’t happen. We don’t make the time for anything beyond the meetings, the updates and the must-knows, but today was different. Today, I was able to make a thin blanket of words to wrap, as comfort, around those who came to know me. From the couple married thirty-two years, to the pride-filled grandparents of a new baby boy, the ambitious 21st Century seeker of technology ideas, to my angelic niece and cousin who drove hours just to support me … I was the one who was blessed. From their presence, their requests and their interest in my company, these individuals made me feel anything but ordinary, though that is exactly what I am.
I am a simple person, who desperately wants to live for something bigger, and longer than my own life. Writing, speaking and communicating with others allows this for me, and that is why I’m so ambitious to make it a larger part of my life. Of course I want to publish more books, of course I look forward to my future signing and speaking engagements … but I seek these goals mostly because they give me a chance to remind people, from any and all walks of life, that they matter, they are significant, and they are anything but ordinary. A friend recently said something that, though quoted in no book, will not soon be forgotten by me. He said, “Remember that words have no expiration date.” I realized today that I’m counting on this to be true. I just pray my words might be worthy of their weight on the bookshelf, time in the classroom or text on this blog. I’ll continue to do my utmost to be sure they are, now that I’ve had the pleasure to encounter some of my dear readers.
Thank you again to all who supported me today in thoughts, prayers and visits. You make these sleepless, type-filled nights ever-so-worth it.
Lots of love,