Getting Ready for a Book Signing

Next Saturday, I have a book signing for The Loudest Meow at Here's the Scoop in Jamestown, California. The signing is from 11:00 am to 3:00 p.m. Here's the Scoop is located at 18242 Main Street.

I have this opportunity because of the Sonora Writers Group. Jill, our fearless leader, organizes readings at this shop and scheduled me a reading. She also designed a beautiful flyer for me to put up around town.

Last week I woke up every morning and thought, “I really should be putting up flyers around town.” But I had work obligations. I have a home business. I'm an editor and transcriber. I had a lot of deadlines throughout the week. I thought that maybe I could put up some flyers after my dentist appointment on Wednesday. But then I forgot tape. In my past experience with putting up flyers, you need to bring tape with you. If you ask and just leave it, there's a good chance that flyer will never show up in the window. I thought about just going out and buying some. Then I imagined the multiple rolls of tape I had at home. I thought about the three deadlines that still needed to be met. I decided to go out that weekend.

On Saturday, I had to wait until P G & E finished chopping down a dead tree on our lawn. We had set our alarms for 7:00 a.m. so we would be up before they arrived at 8:00. I hit the snooze twice. Then I thought, “I'll just rest here until I hear the beep of the coffee maker.” I could never miss that important sound. But I did. I slept until 9:00, and then I thought,”That's okay. Mike wanted to see the tree come down. I needed to sleep.” It was a chocolate-cake kind of a sleep, deep, delicious, just the kind of rest you want before you venture out into the world to put up flyers.

So we traveled down the hill, Mike and I, first stopping at Here's the Scoop. The owner didn't recognize me from the picture that Jill had sent her. My hair was down. It's longer. I had a hat on, that Mike thinks it's too big, but I like my hats and my T-shirts loose. I was wearing sunglasses. But we joked around. She told me that another author had brought in an ukelele and sang some songs. I told her I wish I had that talent, but perhaps I would read, if the mood felt right. I hung a flyer on the door and set out on the town. (Mike stayed behind and ate ice cream. This was my thing. I was grateful that he was driving me around.)

Jamestown is a quaint historic place with a main street of several blocks. I had never really explored it before. We live in a neighboring town. To my delight, I found a homemade fudge shop. (But the owner was out. The sign said she'd be back in ten minutes, but I was on a mission. I couldn't even wait around for fudge.) I ventured into a bar where I think I might have interrupted a flirtation. But they weren't saying anything! There was just a strong vibe between the bartender and the lady sitting at the counter. He scrutinized my flyer, and after a long moment, agreed. When I started walking with my tape to the front window, he said there was no room up there. But there was! I had visually measured it before walking in. I kept my mouth shut and put the flyer up in the window where he delegated me. The woman at the counter left. Before I exited, I checked out the bar jukebox. Elvis Presley. Johnny Cash and June Carter singing “Jackson.” Could I put up with the bartender's attitude and being in a bar in general to listen to that song? That's a definite maybe.

I found some more bulletin boards and then headed back to my rendezvous point. Before we left, I ordered two scoops of ice cream to go—time was a-wasting—and we headed off to downtown Sonora, where at every shop that I asked, people asked questions about The Loudest Meow. I told them about my calico cat, how she had died unexpectedly, and how I felt that the only way to get through my grief was to write about her and imagine what she was doing in the afterlife. I told them that, in my imagination, the afterlife was populated with our other cats that has passed on. In the story I created, these cats resolved old grievances and made new connections. The people I met listened and nodded. They told me stories of how they had mourned for their animals. They showed me pictures of the cats currently in their lives. It turned out to be a really fun way to spend an afternoon.