I had an opportunity to appear at Great River Regional Library in Little Falls today along with other Morrison County writers. I am grateful to Laura Hanson for setting up this opportunity. Laura is the director at the library and brings her writer’s lens to the programs offered for the community. After all, I pointed out to her, behind every book on the shelves, there is a human being that had an idea and worked their heart out to bring a story to life so that people can learn and experience joy in life. How great it is to meet these people!
I am so excited that my book, The Memorial of Jesus, is in the library system. Libraries have been friends to me all my life starting with the little library on Lawrence Avenue in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. All through my childhood and teen years and in the first half of my married years, I could not have afforded to buy a book, but my opportunity to read was forever nearby. Nowadays, I make a point of buying books from authors from my area especially those I personally know. I will even read a book that I would not normally choose just to support a writer.
This is my second opportunity to appear with other authors to sell my book since it was published in June. The first opportunity was in Hackensack, MN in August. Between the two events, selling only one book would not be considered a success. This is true if selling a book was one’s only goal. I have already learned that book signings, especially in writer clusters, is not the best for me. There are other places I need to go and some of these are already on the calendar. The real benefit for me was to meet with other writers that I now view as peers. I did not know until now that the challenges of writers is so common among them.
This commonality with other writers is one reason such an event is so meaningful to me, but there is another. Two people who approached my table were writers. One was a teenager who said she felt different from her peers because she loved to read and write so much. “You are not different, but you are definitely unique.” I said. “You just haven’t found your writing pals yet. They are there among the kids you go to school with who, just like you, feel different and alone.” I talked to her about myself as a teen writing stories that I never did anything with. Like her, I felt alone and different. But I loved writing so much, I just kept doing it.
Another person I spoke to was a young man who has a completed story and is now trying to figure out how to get it published. I couldn’t tell how computer savvy he is, though I assume he is much more so than this old lady. I loved encouraging him. I invited both he and the teen to the Great River Writer’s meeting.
There were other connections made that were more heart-to-heart connections than anything else. I spoke to an Ojibwe writer who adapted a children’s book to be more meaningful for native children. I visited with a teacher of English from Pierz who talked about recognizing the seeds of writers in some of his students. One woman was a water-color artist and we shared the meaning of creativity as Spirit moving through us using our gifts as medium.
I truly want people to read Memorial, but I am beginning to think that from a Divine perspective, the book is achieving its purpose in my life without any transfer of money. I shared this idea with my daughter after I got home and she reminded me, “Isn’t the money for the sale of you book intended to help finance the publication of your next book?” Oh, yeah. I remember that now.