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Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Adventures of a New Author

Last evening I had my first book signing at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Grand Rapids, Michigan for The Night Blooming Jasmine in Your Heart, my first contribution to the Mystic Marks series of books I am writing for Lillicat Publishers.  Along with fifteen other local authors, I held court on the second floor of the bookstore, chatting with passersby about my book and the process of writing it and signing copies purchased by customers.

What a delightful evening it was!  Friends and family stopped by to wish me well and have copies of my book signed for them.  Other individuals making their way through the labyrinth of authors stopped by curiously to take in the colorful displays of shiny new books happily resting on various holders, fragrant flowers adorning the tables and crystal bowls of mints and bite-size tootsie rolls waiting for attention.

It felt like a huge on-going party with streams of people genially making their way through the long, linen covered tables curiously perusing the highlighted displays, often encountering individuals they knew and greeting them with smiles and hugs.

One of the most special parts of the evening for me was my encounter with two beautiful little girls. I would guess they might be in the third or fourth grade. They seemed very interested in my book and as I began a conversation with them, I learned that they were about to enter into a school writing project.  They were very excited about this and announced to me with great enthusiasm their intention to become writers.  As I told them about my book and mentioned that it was a collection of my blogs, I realized they did not know what a blog  was and so I took some time to explain this to them and showed them a sample in my book.  They were very enthralled and asked me several questions.  I pointed out to them that each of the blogs in my book was accompanied by a watercolor image of a beautiful flower and they asked if I had colored the flowers myself.

Who can resist the innocence and curiosity of a child!!!

I was completely entranced by their beautiful hearts and decided to give each of them a copy of my book as a gift and, of course, I signed the books for them with a personal message encouraging them to listen to their hearts.

Perhaps this will be a moment to be remembered by the little girls from their childhood... to be given a new book signed by the author especially for them. Perhaps they will even become writers, enamored by the joy of holding a new book in their hands, feeling the texture of the pages on their little fingers, sensing the magic of the author's emotions.

This awesome experience is a beautiful example of why writers write... to share their feelings, their very private peak at the world.  I felt so privileged to find myself in that magical moment with these beautiful little girls sharing my love of the written word.

After the girls left, one of our family friends told me that she thought I was very brave. I asked her why she felt that was so and she answered that it is very brave to put your personal and private feelings into a book for all to see. After reflecting on this for a moment, I agreed with her and celebrated my courage.  And I realized that the joy of expressing my feelings has always been so profound for me that I have never been aware of my bravery in this transcendent act of writing.

It was truly surreal to sign copies of my book last evening as an author. It felt like I was wishing the final farewell to my words as I sent them off to the world to fly to whatever corners they are guided to and I was very privileged to see them land smack into the hearts of those two beautiful little girls.

                                                                                           Marie Helena

image from pinterest

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