Nobody came to my tenth birthday party. I spent the afternoon licking frosting from the candles, popping the brightly colored balloons one by one, and staring through tear-filled eyes at a table set up to hold all the gifts I didn’t get.
Maybe it would have turned out differently if I’d handed out party invitations.
I didn’t invite anyone to the party. Instead I left all the invitations wadded up in the bottom of my backpack and never mentioned my birthday to a single person. It made sense at the time. What if I’d invited twenty kids and only ten showed up? I’d then have concrete proof that half the class hated me. If nobody showed up, well, I wouldn’t be surprised, but the dog would be terribly disillusioned. (I’d told her I was the most popular girl in the fourth grade.)
I was a strange and painfully insecure child.
Frankly, I haven’t changed much.
I’ve mentioned this before, but publishing might not be the best profession for me. I wither in the face of rejection, cringe at self-promotion, and hyperventilate at the thought of people reading my work. And yet I have a new book out - a book of essays, the most personal anybody could ever publish! Not only is there the pressure to do my part to sell more than ten or twelve copies of Counting Blessings, but there's the fear that people all around the globe will soon feel free to read it. A few of them will do it, too. I know they will. Maybe even some of you.
Excuse me while I breathe into a paper bag.
Yet despite my natural inclination to roll the rock securely back in front of my cave, crouch in a dark corner, and wait for a few months to pass, I am instead embarking upon a veritable flurry of signings. And I’m even going to invite people to my parties this time. Since this is such an overwhelming prospect, I thought I’d start with you and work my way up to really scary folk.
Ready? Here goes:
THURSDAY, MARCH 20 - Seagull Book, St. George, UT 2 - 4 PM
FRIDAY, MARCH 21 - Orem South Seagull Book, Orem, UT 12 - 1 PM (WITH THE INCREDIBLE BETSY BRANNON GREEN!)
SATURDAY, MARCH 22 - Redwood Seagull Book, SCL, UT 10 - 11 AM
SATURDAY, MARCH 22 - Family Center Seagull Book, Taylorsville, UT 11:30 - 12:30 AM
SATURDAY, MARCH 22 - West Jordan Seagull Book, West Jordan, UT 1:30 - 2:30 PM
SATURDAY, MARCH 22 - South Towne Seagull Book, Sandy, UT 3 - 4 PM
SATURDAY, MARCH 29 - Mesa Seagull Book, Mesa, AZ 12 - 2 PM
SATURDAY APRIL 5 - Deseret Book Ladies' Night, Glendale, AZ 5 - 7 PM
If you live within a sixty-mile radius of ANY of these places, I’ll expect you. This is not unreasonable, after all. I’m driving between twice and six times farther than that to see you!
Please come! Please tell your friends – or even your enemies; I’m not picky about who shows up as long as somebody does. My dog thinks I’m a “famous author” and I can’t bear to disillusion her. Pit bulls are very sensitive, you know. (Don't make me tell her where you live.)