The reading was a bust, by standard measure. Two couples, one of whom are good friends (one are? implied plural? Lazy, lazy…), my girlfriend, some folks who dropped by. Rebecca Singer, owner of Dudley’s was so graciously apologetic: “Fall Festival, a beautiful day to be outside, hard to find parking,” etc. I wanted to apologize to her.
Somehow, I am not devastated. My reaction like that I had with the “friend of a friend who knows somebody,” who was surprised when I told him I still believed in the value of “Chalice,” despite rejection by agents and publishers. To that, I add a nearly empty book store on a beautiful Fall Sunday.
Have an impact on me? Of course. A bit of the doldrums, wind absent from my sails. Plus a fever on Monday, full on wet-sniffle-snuffle-hacking-cough cold on Tuesday, slow recovery on Wednesday.
And then, there was today. Someone I don’t know, but know of, posted a comment on this blog stating her gratitude for “Chalice.” Someone squarely in the demographic I felt would receive what I was trying to communicate.
That one comment made more of a difference to me than an empty book store, rejection by agents and publishers.
Because I wrote “Chalice” for her. And her friends. Those she went to college with, or hung out with in high school, who are inspired by her passions, wherever those take her. Chalice is not for everyone. But she and her brothers and sisters are out there. She is the one who makes the effort worthwhile, the rejections bearable. She is my audience, she is the one I was trying to reach.
A breeze is picking up, sails inhale, losing slack. We have a video of the reading, which will be posted sometime soon. A book club may take up the book, I’ve been asked if I would speak to them (of course). Sales inch upward.
Off we go.
Remember – James Patterson has sold 230 Million books, and 39 publishers turned him down before he did that.
View a scant reading audience as a chance to practice so that when the room is full, you’re ready to rock the house.
And yes, just one good comment from one person makes a huge difference in your worldview. You made that connection and your work meant something to someone who has never met you. That right there is what being a writer is all about – action at a distance.