My favorite saying right now is something by Winston Churchill “Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Yesterday I experienced my first bookstore book signing. Exciting yes: Successful no. I signed one book, only because some sweet person called in and ordered it because they couldn’t make it to the signing. I think it might have been because of the rain. Buckets of rain for days tend to dampen the spirits of us Californians. I was happy that it cleared up before we left. And I’m posting a picture of how the sky looked on the ride home… Now back to success, how am I to judge the lack of people lining up to grab a copy of Tales of the Titmouse? I sent the press releases, sent personal invitations, announced it and even the newspaper called asking for a copy to add to a feature they were doing. If you do all the right things and no one shows up do you take it personal? Nah. Well for a moment, maybe it stings, but then I added it to the list of experiences that authors go through and looked at it through a different lens. Remembering, as I sat at the little table waiting for readers to stream in, that a young woman ran up with a bouquet of flowers from my loving friend: (gulp, misting eyes) she remembered me and I felt loved.
The time wasn’t a waste; the owner of the bookstore had been reading my book and really liked it, telling me about how it brought back memories of his college days in San Francisco. And there was this homeless guy who walked up and called out “Titmouse” like he knew me, and I spent an interesting time explaining that I didn’t know Timothy Leary or Ken Keesey. When he left the table he asked a man passing by for some money by saying "Master, do you have some spare change?" The only problem was that the man didn't hear him correctly and thought he called him a Bastard! The next thing we hear is the homeless guy shouting "I said master not bastard!" Then there was the 20-something gang-guy who turned his speaker up on his cell phone to let me hear his mom read the morning headlines about his friends who had just gotten arrested for grand theft auto! He asked her proudly if they mentioned his name and in the same breath said 'No mom I'm not guilty." John’s favorite moment was the college girl walking down the street shouting rude things with an unmentionable item stuck to the top of her head and her fraternity members laughing hysterically and yelling “did you see the look on that guys face?” Novel experiences at The Novel Experience.