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I don’t do windows.

On Saturday afternoon, in the middle of the first witheringly hot weekend of the summer, I dutifully donned a demure pink blouse and presented myself at a Borders store in Carlsbad for what my publicist obliquely referred to as “an event.” Having never done one of these things I had no idea what to expect. Would I have to give a talk? Answer questions? Stock shelves and clean the restrooms? As it happened, I was given the choice of a short talk set up in the back part of the store, or a simple signing at a table near the entrance. I went with the latter, since after four months I’m pretty sick of hearing myself talk about this book. I ducked into the restroom to freshen my lipstick and check for cleaning supplies, then took my place at the table.

I’m sure you’ve had the experience of walking into a bookstore and spying some lonely looking person perched in front of a display of her books, smiling a wan smile. As always when I’m presented with naked desperation and profound unease, my custom in these situations is to tactfully avert my gaze and hurry past the doomed author. I figured this is pretty much what everyone else would do when they walked in and came face to face with several racks of a pretty little book and a pudgy, middle-aged woman. Surprisingly, most people paused to figure out what was going on, made eye contact, and smiled. Many stopped for a chat. A darling few allowed me to foist a copy of the book on them, and even asked me to sign it.

In the meantime, a couple of dear old friends I hadn’t seen for years dropped by, and several bosom chums who I see more often also paid exorbitant gas prices to make the trip and offer moral support. It was a rather festive event, the staff were lovely, and I must say I enjoyed myself. Overall it was much, much easier than giving a lecture or workshop.

And obviously, much easier than cleaning the restrooms.

3 comments to " I don’t do windows. "

  • Eme

    Lovely! I’m so glad!

  • Ha! Yes, I know everything you described, indeed I do. I’ve taken the approach of standing in front of the signing table. Maybe my oh-so-gothic self makes a better impression that way, but it certainly helps me not feel like a sitting duck to be killed off by pitying looks. 😉

  • Nina Gryphon

    Maybe they printed the sign while Mercury was still retrograde!

    I’ve been enjoying your posts, April, and definitely will check out your book.


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