September Book Tour

CO5FE-DWgAA2oMIMy September book tour was a success. I appeared in New Bern, NC for a local author symposium at the public library. We had eight authors total. If you know anything about writers, we are in good company with each other.

Turnout was low, very likely brought on by the Kiss of Death: torrential downpour a half hour before the show was slated to begin. However, I enjoyed meeting several residents of New Bern who braved the weather to support local talent.

So yeah… about that. Having me there as a guest stretched the “local author” thing a bit thin, but I consider all of NC my home, so that’s okay, right?

I had about ten minutes to speak. I thought I was doing okay until I noticed my hands were messing with my face and I kept leaning on the podium. This did not go unnoticed.

I was told by one author that I should take up acting. I’ll add that to my bucket list.

I sold a book! My first ever hard copy sale in person. I need to frame that five-dollar bill.

A week later, I held my first ever solo author visit at the public library in Albemarle, NC. I couldn’t hide amongst seven other writers this time. I was headlining.

One thing I knew for sure: I was keeping my hands away from my face. Flinging them out in the air, I let them gesture as I spoke, performing a vital duty to get my points across. At least that’s what I hope they were doing.

It was a great talk with great questions from the audience. I managed to ramble on and hold everyone’s attention for an hour. I didn’t even have time to read from my book. My guests were lucky and spared all that filler.

I sold five copies this time, but that’s not what excited me most. One of the audience told me that she had been uncertain about whether she ought to become a writer. Listening to me talk inspired her to take it seriously, and she was very grateful to me.

Could an author ask for anything more?

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Locked Out

Last week, I drove down to Charlotte to purchase a car. Not just any car. My dream car. Everything went smoothly. The salesperson was friendly and we talked for hours, waiting on the only finance guy to become available. Looking back, that would be my only complaint. And then I drove home.

But this, my first ever blog entry, is not about the car. Not really. You see, when I was leaving the house, about to hitch a ride with my brother, I pondered whether I needed to bring my keys with me. I turned to look at my mother, whom I live with and take good care of. If she reads this, I think she would agree. In which case, she is the best mother ever. She was talking to someone else, either my brother or one of the guys working on the house. That means she probably didn’t hear me when I wondered aloud, “Should I bring my keys? Nah, you’ll be here when I get back.”

My mom selected that night to go to bed early for the first time in weeks. Lights were out, and none of my knocking, pounding, phone calling, or doorbell ringing got me where I wanted to go: inside the house.

I could enter the garage, and I figured I could sleep in the back seat of her car, which is leather and quite nice. The car was locked. It’s never locked while in the garage. No sweat, because there’s a decent couch in the garage.

The kink in that plan was that I needed to go to the bathroom. I figured I could drive to an all-night restaurant or Walmart to take care of business, and return. But, my poor dog had been up a long time and needed a walk. I needed a plan.

Mom broke into the house once using a shovel. I could find no shovel. The lock on that bathroom window was still lose from when she broke in. I decided it wouldn’t take much to break in that way again.

New tile was laid that day, and no one is supposed to walk on it until the next day. Scratching that plan, I checked a window on the porch. It was locked and solid. I needed something tough to bust the lock open. This just wasn’t working out.

Then I got it. A fantastic idea. I drove my newly acquired Mustang GT around to the front of the house, backing it up close to the porch. Gunning the engine for a while, I thought surely she would hear the 8 cylinders of pure American muscle car that had been carefully crafted by Ford Motor Company to resemble the 1960 models.

Nothing. No lights came on. No indication that she had heard.

It was around this time that I noticed the sounds of coyotes howling. You know, that high pitched kind of sound that dogs don’t quite reach. If coyotes are vocal, it usually means they are packing up to hunt.

I tore myself away from thoughts of becoming one with nature, and set about a new plan. This would surely do the trick. I knocked again, and called the house and cell phones once more. Still nothing. I started to suspect the new plan was the same as the old plan, as the results were similar.

All of out of ideas, I examined another window on the porch, as if somehow I’d acquire the ability to enter that one without a shovel.

My hopes were low, but it was just then I realized the window was not locked. Nor was the next two beside.

Being the intrepid man that I am, a quick slide of the window and a scurry over the porch chair, and I was inside. Success! Wait, why were those windows unlocked??!!!

This whole fiasco took an hour, at least. Sitting at my computer, relaxing and checking email, the door to my mom’s door opened. Emerging, she said, “I was waiting until you got home to go to sleep.”

Shaking my head, I decided I was done for the day.