Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Side Benefits of Doing Presentations

Doing presentations often results in benefits that have nothing to do with selling books.  Yesterday I had a presentation at a senior living facility (one of my favorite places to do presentations) on the other side of the state.  Now, if you are familiar with Michigan, you know that there isn't all that much distance between lakes.  Yet, though I grew up here and returned six years ago, I had never seen Lake Huron.  Mention of Lake Huron didn't even make me think of Michigan.  After all, I live in Traverse City, on Grand Traverse Bay, off Lake Michigan.  Isn't that the garden spot of the state?

This is April, a month in Michigan when, if you don't like the weather, you often only have to wait five minutes.  Even though we have had an unusual number of pleasant days in March and April, this one dawned especially bright and beautiful.  I crossed the state praising God for the sun, the fresh air, the rolling hills and pine forests, for His whole creation.

I stopped at a city park on Tawas Bay, off Lake Huron, before going to the signing.  When I mentioned this, the activities director there suggested I stop at the local state park, directly on the lake, before heading home.  Another lady said I might want to drive home a different way, north along the lake before heading west.  I did both.  It made the trip a little longer (about two and a half hours going, almost four hours returning) but I enjoyed every minute of it.  Even if I never get across the state again, I'll remember there is another side, and that beauty hugs Michigan between two awesome bodies of water.

I did sell a few books at this presentation, but even if I hadn't sold a single one the trip would have been well worth my time.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Book Dilemma

In his later years, my father lived in a split level house. On the lower lever he had a bedroom with office alcove and a recreation room. Covering the walls, on shelves he had made, were books. Floor to ceiling, wall to wall, books. Now, I don't know if he read all those books, except for the Zane Gray and possibly the books about WWII, in which he lost two brothers. I don't know where he got all those books. All I know is that he loved books: loved to be surrounded by them, to see them, to smell them.

My husband was not a reader. He read what was requried for instruction, and to research companies for investment in their stocks. Much of that reading he did at the library. He believed in libraries. He might purchase a book if it would be useful to return to again and again over time or if he wanted to share it with others. He did not believe in purchasing books for pleasure reading which then took up room in your house and which you would never read again. Unfortunately, for me he was right about the never read again part. I rarely go back to a book after I've read it, no matter how good it was.

Now that I'm a widow, and a writer, I find my relationship with books somewhat conflicted. I write book for pleasure reading that the reader is not apt to read again in the future. Nevertheless, I would like very much for people to purchase my books, and that has made me feel guilty about not purchasing more of other people's books. But I'm a voracious reader and have become a dyed in the wool library user. Besides, I've moved enough times that I can see the folly of acquiring a huge library of my own.

Of course, I try to support my fellow local authors by purchasing their books at signings and presentations. I have to go into bookstores, with their shelves full of temptation, when I have my own signings, too. I think of my shelves at home, rapidly filling. I think of all those books in the library I still haven't read. But I rarely leave the store without spending more than I made.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Can it be that long?

Can it really be six months since the last time I posted to my blog? I didn't mean for it to happen. Life got in the way, I guess.

I do have difficulty with blogging, however. While some people seem to be able to pick up on whatever is going on around them and expound on it, I have to think about it first. After I've thought about it for a while, I don't think I have anything new to say about it. And some people are confident enough of their ideas to instruct and correct others. I hesitate to express my own opinion, and when I do I sometimes get shot down by those who know how it should be done.

I'm going to loosen up, though. When I am mulling over a sticky or interesting problem in writing or in life, I'm going to try to mull it over with printed words. And when I have something put together, I'm going to post it on my blog before I can change my mind about it. I think. We'll see.