Sunday, December 14, 2008

Small Town Book Signing

Book signings aren’t for the timid or those lacking in self confidence. You may sit with pen in hand ready to sign the book you crafted with love and watch people walk by who refuse to make eye contact. You may sell one book, twenty books, or no books at all.

My sister asked me to have a book signing at her craft booth the day of the Stover Christmas Parade. It sounded intriguing to me to have a book signing in my old hometown.

I grew up south of Stover and rode the school bus for about an hour each way to go to school in town. When the bus bumped over the Rock Island railroad tracks, I read the “city” limit sign proclaiming the population to be 757. I think dogs and cats might have been included in that total. One of the advantages and disadvantages of a small town is that you know everyone.

Seeing a stranger was an oddity and noteworthy, especially since Stover had no tourism. On a hot summer day in 1968, I met a young man with the broadest shoulders I had ever seen. Jim’s uncle introduced us in front of the Dew Drop In Cafe. Jim still wasn’t a total stranger since his Uncle Orvie knew my mom and her brothers and they played music together.

After Jim and I married, we moved away from the area, and other than visiting my folks, I never spent much time in Stover. On my rare visits, I sometimes saw people I once knew well, but I no longer recognized most of them. People change and, gosh, how “they” have aged!

The week before the signing, the local newspaper ran an article about me complete with picture. Funny, how I looked like my mother in that picture. I was hopeful that a few people would read the article and show up for the signing. I took my book, Alzheimer’s Anthology of Unconditional Love, and A Cup of Comfort for Families with Alzheimer’s. At most book signings I only have non-fiction Alzheimer’s books, but this time I took Well Versed and Echoes of the Ozarks which include some of my fiction stories. I saw people I hadn’t seen in years, sold a lot of books, and really enjoyed the book signing.

Last week, I was the guest on a local radio talk show with Jack Miller. We talked about Alzheimer’s and about the two Alzheimer’s books. More than five million people in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s, so odds are you know someone with the disease. Either book will help you understand how the disease affects the entire family.

This Friday, I have a book signing at Sedalia Book and Toy. I will be signing my book and my story in the Cup of Comfort book. Sedalia Book and Toy manager, Sandy Diamond, sent out invitations to people we thought might be interested in coming. I e-invited others and have a list to still invite. I’ve lived in Sedalia for thirty-five years so this is my second hometown book signing this month.

If you are in Sedalia December 19 between 2 and 4, please stop by Sedalia Book and Toy and browse through their great books. If you want to learn more about Alzheimer’s and become a better friend, family member, or caregiver for someone with dementia, stop by my table. Whether you buy a book or simply pick up free Alzheimer’s brochures, don’t be afraid to make eye contact.

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