I've stayed extra busy and mostly productive this past month despite the drama in realms beyond my control. I completed the 30-day NaNoWriMo
challenge on November 30th with over 14,000 new words written (more than the zero words had I not committed to the challenge) and 8 chapters drafted for my new book. I'm delighted with my new characters and stunning scenes, and I'll keep writing until I get to where I think this book will end!
at The Book Haven
with Ranger, Cary Unkelbach's pup!
On December 12th I shared space in The Book Haven
in Salida with debut author Cary Unkelbach
and her pup Ranger! Visitors to the shop were respectful and in great spirits (how could they not
be with the unexpected and furry-friendly greeter?) and we were happy to autograph lots of books for holiday gifts. We are grateful to John Cameron, new owner of the lovely bookstore, and hope everyone reading this has as welcoming a local bookstore to patronize.
On my way to my car in the dark after the event, I greeted a young man walking alone up the sidewalk.
"Good evening!" I said.
"Good evening!" he replied. "I love your energy!"
(well, I was wearing a Santa outfit)
"Would you like a book?" I offered. Why not? It would make my bag lighter. And . . . I was wearing a Santa outfit!
"Do you have anything I could read to my 3-year-old?" he asked.
I hesitated. Surely not The Hare, Raising Truth
, I thought. I told him about Waterwight
"I'd love to read that to him!"
"What's your name?" I pulled out the book and a pen.
"A. N. D. R. E. with an accent aigu over the E?"
"Yes! Wow! You're the first person ever to spell my name right!"
I always ask before I write. Even the most obvious names can deceive.
And so, I ended a lovely afternoon on a lovely note and returned home quite happy. Just thought I'd share this exchange with you. I've noticed people avoiding others--even avoiding eye contact--frequently during this pandemic, and it hurts. I know we're all being extra cautious, and if we don't make eye contact with another, we don't have to speak to them. But I believe there are ways we can maintain our social bearing safely, and now more than ever, people are craving connection. Moving forward, let's not fear looking at those we pass on the street. Let's give ourselves permission to say "Good evening!"