Yesterday I spent an hour at the Historic Society of Trinity, a town adjacent to my own. Four or five authors gathered to display their books and talk to town folk. There was a special write-up in our local newspaper, and the ladies of the historic society were gracious and hoping for a nice turnout to show off the building and their efforts.
I guess local writers, though, aren't a very big draw. Some thought the low attendance was due to the Civil War reenactment close-by. Others thought the nice weather gave folks excuses to do yard work or go elsewhere. I'm not sure why, but it's a roll of the dice every time authors gather at events like this. With the exception of the big state book festivals (with celebrity draws) we small-time authors are a crap shoot.
I'm going to look back and laugh some day. :-)
But let's look at the positive. The newspaper article was nice coverage, it's an appearance on my resume, and I got to engage in the most interesting conversation with a lady, a new writer, from Winston-Salem. She's just beginning to chase her lifetime dream, and I detected a passion in her to express herself with the written word. Actually, that passion emanated from her, especially her pretty eyes. Her aspirations weren't lofty, she's not thinking any farther than leaving a legacy to her children, but her drive to write was strong and powerful. It moved me.
She said to me ... "All I've done all my life is change diapers and peel potatoes ... " She tugged hard at my heart strings. I want to see this woman achieve the level of success she searching for and greater. I'd love to see her name in print; her self confidence level go sky high. She's told herself she can't write fiction without a degree. I told her that's hogwash. She's told herself she can't get up and read her stories aloud. I told her about the Winston-Salem Open Mic and that I want to be there when she does it. She's told herself nobody cares, even though she's taking on-line writing courses. I told her that I care. We talked quite a long time and I'm hoping she was inspired by all the writers she met.
Here's the thing ... the Historic Society was a total success yesterday. The stars and moon and planets lined up, came together, to help this one little lady realize her own self worth as a writer. We may have walked away thinking, "what a waste of time," but when you look hard, this whole day might have happened for this purpose only. To positively affect the life of this one woman. Who knows, this little Southern woman may be the next Elizabeth Spencer or Harper Lee. And to think I had a part in that. Makes me smile, I don't know about you.
I dream big about everybody. But if my hunch is correct, then yesterday's efforts were totally rewarded.
It was a great day. I love what I do. And when I see someone else come to the knowledge that that they too, are a writer ... it's a very blessed day.
Blessings to you and yours.