I signed my first autographs as an author Saturday. If you close your eyes and try to picture it, you might envision me surrounded by adoring fans who are vying for my attention. Since my book hasn’t been released yet, and when it is released, it will initially be in ebook form, scraps of paper, napkins, and t-shirts are being waved at me in the hope of getting my coveted signature. Well, it wasn’t quite like that.
I got an email from Anaiah Press a couple of weeks ago telling me they were sending several small posters. I was asked to sign and return them so they could be used as giveaways in connection with the upcoming release. The package arrived shortly after David and I left to visit his mom in Louisiana, and by the time we returned home, it had been waiting in the Post Office for almost a week. I told my editor I had the posters and would try to get them back in the mail on Friday. It didn’t happen.
I had intended to make the signing into a kind of mini event. I planned to dress presentably and get David to snap a few pictures that I might use in my blog or some other form of publicity. Then, Saturday morning, I saw the unsigned posters, still lying on the Queen Anne chair in the corner of the living room. Both my garden and my house were in need of my attention, and that didn’t leave much time for a photo op. Besides, David was leaving in a few minutes for a men’s breakfast, and if I hurried, I could get him to mail the package while he was out.
So, instead of a semi-glamorous poster-signing, I stood at the dining room table, dressed in flannel house pants, fuzzy house shoes, my son’s old water polo t-shirt, and David’s sweat jacket while I signed my first five professional autographs. Then, I donned my work jeans, my ratty tennis shoes, and my straw hat and spent several hours doing battle with weeds.
Writing can be a lonely vocation, sitting in a quiet corner, lost in the world that swirls around inside your head. In this day of electronic communications, a writer seldom meets her readers face to face, and few of us are well-known enough to create excitement over our signatures. But if we’re lucky, occasionally we’ll get an email or a comment telling us how something we wrote amused, encouraged, or inspired someone–that’s glamorous enough for me.
A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos will be released by Anaiah Press on July 1.