My First Book Signing – the Chronicle of a Near Disaster

For those of you who know me, you that I tend to be (how can I put this nicely) laid back. So when I was scheduled to do my first book signing, I thought to myself I really need to make sure I do this write . . .  errr, right.

First, you have to understand, I don’t consider myself a celebrity or anything like that. In fact, the only time people have wanted my autograph in the past was in I was signing a check to pay a bill.

So this was very new to me. I fretted for a few weeks about what exactly I should write in people’s books. In fact, I worried so much that I came up with a complete blank. So I finally asked me daughter was I should sign.

I had no idea what to write during my first book signing. Luckily, as my daughter pointed out, no one could read my writing anyway.

I had no idea what to write during my first book signing. Luckily, as my daughter pointed out, no one could read my writing anyway.

Her answer was quick, concise, and got right to the heart of the problem: “It doesn’t matter what you write. No one will be able to read your writing, anyway.”

So I decided on a few things to write, had my books and pens together, and went to bed the night before the signing with only a few small details to take care of the next day. I slept well that night; after all, what could possibly go wrong . . .

5:10 a.m. – Woke up feeling totally not well. Was I nervous? I didn’t think that was it. I felt more like I had been drugged or something – very sluggish.

5:27 a.m. – Drug myself out of bed, tried to wake up. Eventually got myself dressed for a run and squeezed out four miles.

6:50 a.m. – Showered. I thought the water would wake me up. Nope, not yet.

Between 7:15 and 9:30 a.m. – Put a roast in the crock pot (yes, I still remembered how), shaved, fixed myself a bit to eat. Fixed breakfast for my son. Good, I had all of that out of the way. Now I could finally get serious. So with that said, I promptly . . . went back to bed and slept for 2 hours.

11:45 a.m.  – Again drug myself out of bed, but this time with a purpose: I had to be somewhere – at a meet-the-parents event where I teach. So it was off to that. But there was nothing to worry about – I would still have almost four hours before the signing.

12:45 p.m.  – “Would you like to go to lunch with us?” Lunch, huh. Well, I really should be getting ready for the book signing, but I’ve got to eat anyway, so YES. Let’s go!

1:02 p.m. – We arrived at the Mexican restaurant. I had no idea what I wanted, but we ordered this dip that we had recently discovered there. Cheese dip mixed with pico and taco meat.

1:06 p.m. I’ve already managed to eat almost half my weight in the dip.

1:07 p.m. – I somehow manage to choke on the dip, coughing up a chip and sending flying across the room, where it was embedded in the wall. They were still working on trying to remove it with a crowbar when we left.

1:15 – No food yet, but I’m still stuffing in dip as fast as I can. But no worries. I have plenty of time.

1:30 p.m. – Still no food. . .

1:40 p.m. – Still no food. Ok. Now it’s getting serious. Someone at our table asks about our order. “It will be just a few minutes” we’re told. What is this? Am I on the episode of Seinfeld where they’re trying to get seated at the Chinese restaurant?

1:55 p.m. – The food finally arrives. I am so full from the dip that I’m not sure I can eat any of it, but I somehow manage to find a way to get down more than half.

2:30 p.m. – We leave the restaurant when I finally realize: OHMYGOSH! I forgot to get the veggies for the crock pot!!!

2:32 p.m. – I enter the No Time Zone, also known to some as Wal-Mart, where time ceases to have meaning.

2:33 p.m. – I realize I am probably the first author in the history of the world to be buying carrots and potatoes just a little more than an hour before a book signing. Does Stephen King have to do this?

After it was all said and done, my son and I shared a very special experience.

After it was all said and done, my son and I shared a very special experience.

2:45 p.m. – I am asked this question in the checkout line: “What’s this?” I was deep in my own thoughts. Startled, I looked up . . . only to see the cashier holding a cantaloupe, much like you might picture Hamlet holding a skull. I wasn’t sure she was being serious until she asked again, “What’s this?” Ummmmm. It’s a cantaloupe, I replied. She couldn’t find it on her list of produce items. Turned out it was under “melons.” Hmmmmmm. This is why I don’t use the self-check line.

2:57 p.m. – In the drive thru at McDonald’s, picking up some chicken nuggets for my son. And the signing only an hour away. Did Mark Twain have to go through this? Uhhhh, well . . .

3:06 p.m. – Finally back home. I had to throw some clothes from the washer into the dryer. And . . . DOH! I still needed to put the veggies in the crock pot. So as quickly as I could without cutting off one of my fingers completely, I got all the ingredients added.

3:35 p.m. – I’m dressed and ready to go. My son is dressed and ready to go. Now, if we could just LEAVE!

3:52 p.m. – I arrived at the Chamber of Commerce where the signing would take place to the faces of a near-panicked staff. Whew! Catastrophe averted!

3:59 p.m. – I had all the books unloaded from my car, and I was sitting down, ready to sign away!

Wow! It felt good to finally be on time and prepared for once in my life.



  11 comments for “My First Book Signing – the Chronicle of a Near Disaster

  1. June 20, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    This was great! Thank you for sharing.

    • June 20, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it.
      It was a fun day for me. I just thought the part leading up to it was worth a laugh or two. I’m glad you thought so too.

  2. June 20, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Lol that’s great did it go well? Haha that’s funny about stuffing dip down your throat. Yikes I was getting exhaisted you did so much your amazing! I bet you slept well that night? And congrats again x

    • June 20, 2014 at 4:48 pm

      Yes, it went great. It’s still a bit surreal that the whole thing is happening to me.
      I know the day SOUNDED busy. But remember, I was sleeping for a good part of it that morning, and then I really wasn’t doing that much other than waiting on stuff the rest of the afternoon 🙂

      How are you? Have you been watching World Cup? I was really pulling for England yesterday. I’m sorry they fell short.

      • June 21, 2014 at 9:54 am

        yes but you did loads before you went back to bed i was very impressed! hehe

        I am ok, busy as anything, I finally got a job working from home for Richmond Aid which helps people with disabilities, doing a mish mash of things for them including research which will be fun, v part time and helping out with voluntary work for Age UK as they provide an amazing service, all new things and hoping also at the same time to at least get something recent on my CV as well as do something that gives back 🙂 Not started either yet but all due in the pipeline yay. No book publishe dyet though, guess i better get writing hehe x

  3. June 20, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    This was a fun read. Lot’s of giggles at this end of the internet. But one thing, I’m not 100% certain, but I don’t think the golden arches were around when Mark Twain did his thing. 😉

    • June 20, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      Thank you. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

      Yeah, I know. But I wrote it with a smile, picturing Twain sitting in his car at McDonald’s! 🙂

  4. June 20, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    That’s aweome! Hope it went well!

    • June 20, 2014 at 4:44 pm

      It went great. And it was a lot of fun. I feel very honored and humbled by the whole thing.
      How are you? I hope things are going well for you in your neck of the woods!

  5. June 20, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    OMG you crack me UP!! I was so sure you were waking with the flu, then I thought you’d get food poisoning from the dip and a flat tire on the way to the signing. I was laughing so hard at your antics, Hub came out to see what was so funny.

    And, of course, your daughter’s one-liner was the best zinger ever 🙂

  6. July 16, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Hilarious! You know Mark Twain would have totally bought chicken nuggets…then wrote a scathing, witty review of them. Hope the signing went well!

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