It was a pleasant enough day, gray and cloudy, but the threat of rain seemed to go away as we drove west on Route 50. I had done what I could to advertise Stuck in the Onesies (SITO) book signing beforehand with the hopes it would be a successful day for the News Center that had gone out on a limb for this rookie author.
I pulled out my marketing razzle-dazzle to make the table irresistible. I had a floor banner, glittery tablecloth leftover from my food show days (another story), some jacks, and a few books. And then there’s Big Jack.
Have I told you about Big Jack yet? No? Well, Big Jack lives on my living room table until it’s time for us to hit the road for SITO. Big Jack never complains. I feed him all my leftover chocolate. Never mind that I never have any leftover chocolate. Big Jack is a silver metal jack about 8 inches in diameter. He was a gift from a dear friend and is now considered a part of the family. Big Jack travels more than Maybe, the Cat. Mostly ’cause nobody wants to be the person in the car with Maybe the Cat.
The event was in full swing. Friends were bowing out, one had to work, another was out of town, and the third (I only have three friends, it seems) was on his way to a funeral. I was starting to sweat, scared of selling zero books. Nothing a triple latte can’t fix.
I sold three copies. Yep, three and they weren’t easy sales, let me tell ya. I had to put my selling shoes on. If you listen closely, you’ll hear the marching band celebrating. The day ended, I packed up and the store’s manager was nice enough to agree to take on three copies of Stuck in the Onesies. I headed home. Days like this, there’s no place like it.
Sales can be a thankless job. When I’m forced to make a 15 second pitch to help someone understand what SITO is all about, it’s like getting stuck in the onesies all over again.
Sigh…As I sit here writing this, my eyes land on the paperweight that I bought many years ago when I was writing Stuck in the Onesies. It says, “You haven’t failed until you give up.” I didn’t have the education or the letters after my name that many of my fellow writers had. I had a full time job, three kids, a husband, a dog and cat, and a house that seemed to generate its own dirty laundry. I wrote on evenings, weekends, and vacations. And I didn’t give up.
And I’m not giving up now, but I am going to get back to writing. I want to find that excitement again. I want to feel the anticipation of getting back in front of my computer to see what my characters are going to do this time.
So, folks. I think I just figured out out to get out of the onesies today. Thanks for listening.