Monday, November 30, 2009

The Book Signing

Carrying the all-but-two unsold books out to my car from the bookstore, the manager helping me says all authors feel this way: "All you want to do is write a book and then you have to go out and be an author."

It wasn't so bad, not really; I don't know why I was so nervous the night before. All went smoothly as far as was within my control and that of the store. My dress and scarf looked spiffy, a lime-green jacket with red Christmas scarf. The store had everything ready: a table with a red cloth and stacks of my books with a big illustrasted sign. An announcements came on, "Come meet Pat Caplan Andrews and her Santa Book!" Several came to meet me, but only two people bought my book. Both of them were agreeable, slightly weird middle-aged ladies who probably took pity--because I was flogging pretty hard!

And even while questioning the waste of time, in a way I have to admit it was fun: getting my press release in the newspaper and having friends congratulate me. Even while feeling the futility of sitting there watching the too-few customers trailing through the bookstore--and even fewer likely readers for the book--even then, I compulsively made notes under the table for things to do next year.

Is this some kind of compulsion I should stop so I could spend more time actually being a social human being--or doing nothing for that matter? Is it a hobby that suits me well because it gives me a chance to agonize? Is it my wretched muse flogging me along?

I've always disliked writers who write about the pains of being an author--and now I are one!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Much as commentators deplore the commericalism of Christmas, to a person they love Thanksgiving. They/we welcome it as a secular sacred observance that we share with all Americans everywhere. Plus, I might add, the work for it generally falls on one woman per extended kinship group, and the rest get to bring a pie, or the hors d'oeuvres, or maybe some flowers. Compared to Christmas it's an easy holiday dedicated to something healthy: gratitude.

On Facebook several of us decided to post something to be thankful for every day. One friend said it got harder as she went along, but for me it got easier. My "cup overfloweth" with blessings to begin with; and I also discovered that each day produces new occasions for thanks-giving.

Yesterday, it was the "Trip to Bountiful," extreme rejoicing in the plenty of the supermarket. What pleasure to stroll through the variety of cheeses, potatoes, the chubby shoppers with overflowing shopping carts: all the feasting all around us. I came home laden with celebratory fruit, nuts, marshmallows, and canned pumpkin. My kitchen cupboards were already full; I could hardly cram in another package of flour, cereal, coffee, or dog biscuits. I'm almost embarrassed to say how lucky I am, and that was just yesterday.

Today I give thanks that having been that designated woman of paragraph one for many years, this Thanksgiving I just have to make a pie.

Friday, November 20, 2009

It's Here!

If you haven't already done so, it's time to order "The Santa Book" at Christmas is here and it doesn't go away. If you want those beautiful smiling faces around the delicious-smelling tree, if you want the precious memories and delightful family photographs, get cracking. If you buy my book, you will never have another worry about Christmas.

Not only will you be in perfect command and experience total serenity, all will praise you; without any effort on your part, you will also reach your ideal weight! That's "The Santa Book" at!