I happened to be in Barnes & Noble this afternoon when a local author read a selection from her new book. I was browsing the shelves for books by Thich Nhat Hanh on mindfulness and being present in the moment. I overheard the author, Liz, introduce her editor, her family, and her book. She began reading from chapter two. So in the spirit of living in the moment I joined the small gathering. I wanted this fellow writer to have a few unfamiliar faces in the crowd. I also thought it would help me visualize my own future book reading. The only open seats were in the front row, so I slipped in. And listened. And got really into what she was reading. (She's a history teacher in a nearby school district and wrote an historical fiction book called Soul Mates.)
Liz read for a few minutes. Her pace was quick. She had a smile on her face. You could tell she was very excited for this moment. I was excited for her and the group who came to support her. I thought about the people who will one day be in my crowd.
Later, after making my purchase, I walked up to her and introduced myself. I told her that I was writing my first novel and that I was really happy for her and attended the book reading to offer my support. We chatted for a few minutes. She gave me her card and invited me to contact her and mentioned getting together for coffee.
We parted and I was just so happy. Happy that I'd sat down and listened instead of continued shopping. Happy that I'm writing my own book. Happy that I am practicing living fearlessly and didn't let my shy side overtake a moment to meet someone who is a little further down the author path than me.
This whole daily writing thing is really opening up a lot of conversation for Cadence and me too. As we walked through the mall and out to our car, I told her about meeting Liz while Cadence was at the birthday party. Cadence's face lit up. “Wow, Mom, is she famous? I bet she can help you get famous.”
Fame has been a topic of conversation lately. My book writing has presented me with the opportunity to talk about how being creative it feeds my soul, makes me feel good, and helps me express my gifts and talents. I reminded Cadence today, “Remember, we're not writing books to be famous.”
We walked a few steps further and Cadence said, “You can go for coffee with her and I bet she can spice up your book.” I laughed out loud. (I have absolutely no idea how this phrase came to her.) “Do you think my book needs spicing up?”
Cadence smiled and said, “No, but I bet she could if you needed her to.”
PS: During another recent conversation, she asked me if my book was sad. I told her that there are sad parts in it. She then asked if I've cried while writing it. At the time I hadn't yet, but have since indeed cried in the middle of writing one of my page-a-days. She looked at me and without missing a beat proceeded to tell me, "That's good. People like sad books." She then told me about a sad book her teacher was reading to them in second grade and how they liked the story a lot. Whoa. Just whoa. Where in the world do these conversations come from?