Sunday, August 16, 2009


My very first book signing at a bookstore was at a B. Dalton, I believe. As I recall, eight books sold and I thought that wasn't very many, but the store people told me that if four books sell, it's considered successful.

Yesterday's signing with Emily at Barnes and Noble turned out to be very successful in terms of books sold, but the best part of it was the sheer fun of doing this together.

Andrea the coordinator had widened one aisle over in the Pacific Northwest section, set up a table with two chairs for us, and set up 30 chairs for the audience. So we got to speak sitting down, which is nice. And we shared the microphone, which was of good quality, always something to be grateful for.

The chairs filled up, and about 40 or 50 people were standing, something I have never experienced before. We were helped enormously by Bob Welch's wonderful column last Thursday, and also by the mother-daughter novelty, as I don't think either of us would have drawn such a crowd by ourselves.

Emily spoke first, then I did, and then people asked questions for a while. I had introduced my talk by saying that 19 years ago I gave birth to my third child, and then this year I gave birth to my third book, also on July 6. And then during the question time, a lady asked Emily how old she is, and she said, in blunt Emily fashion, "I'm 19. Didn't you hear my mom? She said that at the beginning of her talk." Horrified, I hissed, "Emily!" Thankfully the asker didn't seem offended.

Then it was time for signing books and talking with people one on one, which is always interesting.
The portly professor of languages showed up again, and again urged me to write an Amish novel.
A woman wondered where we get our head coverings because her daughter just started covering and wants something besides a bandana.
One woman gave me a pack of 64 crayons, tied with a purple ribbon, inspired by my column on poverty. Emily wonders when someone will read that story and decide to give her an American Girl doll.
A number of people had stood at the back, knitting, while we spoke. It turned out there's a knitting club in Eugene, and every so often they band together and knit in public, and they decided to do so at this signing, because of the title of my book. Believe me, it was an intriguing sight to see a bearded man at the back, expertly knitting with four needles.
Nick Harrison's wife gave me a copy of his devotional book on prayer.
Kay Porter from the Red Moons writers group gave me a hug and said she's been sending Reiki vibes to Emily during her sickness.

Meanwhile, several people shared their stories with Emily--a girl who lost a school year because of a head injury, a woman whose granddaughter has diabetes and longs for a normal life, and so on.

B&N had ordered 70 of each of our new books. 61 of mine sold, which is phenomenal, but all 70 of Emily's sold, plus a few, so they had her sign "book plate" stickers for the overflow.

I wish I could have seen a glimpse of this during the darkest days of her illness.

While we were signing in comfort, the boys of the family plus Keith the nephew and Trenton the friend were climbing the South Sister, one of the highest peaks in Oregon, where you climb 4900 feet in elevation in 5.5 miles. It was Matt's fifth trip up, and the hardest, since he hasn't been sacking seed this summer. Sacking doesn't sound like great preparation for climbing, but I guess it is, judging from how much easier it was for the young(er) guys. Matt says the last part of the climb is about 1500 feet up a pumice-covered slope the angle of our flight of stairs going upstairs.

Paul and I are thinking about having a goal of climbing the South Sister together the summer I turn 50.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Amy and Jenny, like Cinderella staying home from the ball, took care of the three little neighbor kids whom we kept for two days.

These three provided us with lots of entertainment and nostalgia, since they are the genders and approximate ages that our three oldest were some 17 years ago. Six-year-old Jayce told us how he likes to watch "FBI." Not sure what that is, exactly, but he likes it. And he said:

Quote of the Day:
"I watch it just in case I'll be an FBI."
"But I think I'll be a preacher."


  1. This sounds like so much fun, Dorcas! Congratulations.

  2. Was this Emily's first book signing? What an auspicious beginning! Very exciting and fun for both of you :-) Love the idea of a knitting group showing up too.

  3. Karen Layman8/17/2009 7:07 PM

    I've known some preachers who weren't all that unlike the FBI.....but that's another subject. lol

  4. I'm glad everything went so well for you and Emily.As to Jayce's leanings towards being "FBI",his mom made the mistake of letting him watch a movie episode of Criminal Minds...FBI profilers crawling into the mind of criminals and stoppin them in their tracks.Very excitin for adults..causes nothing but questions for kiddos! And his Mom certainly hopes he'll follow the preacher path:)