I had a little book signing at Kenny’s Books & Greetings in Northvale, New Jersey. My husband drove me- and stayed with me during the signing- trust me- I was rusty- and it wasn’t like riding a bike- until it was. We were all masked- I was signing The House of Love, and soon, it was like the days before the pandemic. I began to remember readers, our past events, their children, and more. It was like a confetti drop during a parade, or a balloon drop on New Year’s Eve. My mind began to swirl with what I remembered. It all came back- thankfully! I was worried that I had put the past in a safe and forgotten the code.
When we were driving home, the old feelings I used to have after a book signing came flooding back- I was a combination of jazzed and tired- which is a duality of emotion that I happen to thrive on.
My husband had met Trish and Rich Angeli again, Trish is now an old friend- we bonded yes, over books- and the three of them were sharing stories. Trish asked my husband to tell me something she hadn’t had a chance to say. My husband told me that Trish wanted me to know that the Facebook Live Show and this bulletin that you are reading now were helpful during the worst days of the pandemic. She said so many of our fellow readers were alone- and they felt less so when they could join in the conversation. My husband said, “Reading the books and talking to authors really matters to folks.”
So, first on my list of what matters- family and friends of course. Then, you. If bringing authors on to talk about their books and their lives, their struggles and success made the past few years more fun, or informative, insightful, inspirational and galvanizing- as we came together every Tuesday night-
If that little show and these essays go a long way to make you feel better about the world, then I will keep doing both. We all have the refuge of books- they belong to all of us- we can escape in conversation about books we’ve read and loved- ideas we didn’t think up, and dreams we would not have were it not for the written word that brings us all together. So, I’ll keep at it. The truth is, the calendar will fill once more, we will complain of all we have to do and how every weekend seems to be filled with something or other to do. Now, with the experience of this pandemic on its way to becoming a memory of the past, instead of figuring out what to do, we will figure out how to be.
My new calendar will be filled with ideas. How beautiful it will be to look back on this time of transition. We will remember it with love- and relief.