A few weeks ago, Milo and I had our very first book signing at a local bookstore here in Northern California. It was new and exciting and I had no idea what to expect. I've often heard authors talk about book signings where no one showed up so I was prepared for that. Err. Well, I wanted to be anyways. I try to let the moment show up as it wants to and allow myself the chance to feel whatever shows up too. But of course, I imagined that perfect book signing moment and here's what it looked like:
I'm sitting in a comfy chair with children gathered around. At least twenty pairs of eyes are looking at me with my book in my hand turning to the very first page. Staring at the first image of Milo at the breakfast table with his dad, I ask them if they know what sea stars eat or how sea stars get around the ocean floor. This elicits a lot of replies. Some kids yell out that sea stars sometimes eat seaweed and some kids raise their hand and tell me that sea stars are slow and that they don't cartwheel at all. When I tell them that Milo is also made of magic their eyes grow wide leaning towards me wanting to hear the story. When we get to the part where Milo loses his arm and is separated from his family their faces echo sadness and concern. Will Milo be ok? Will he find his family again? I reassure them it's only temporary and a collective sigh fills the air. It is a beautiful reading and the children all line up afterwards to get their books signed as their parents help them stand in line patiently.
Sounds pretty idyllic.Yes? Well, dear readers,I'm happy to report that most of this came true. While there weren't droves of kids at the reading, the ones who were there were captivated, engaged, and so very cute. I loved it when one little boy told me how sea stars eat seaweed and in the next breath that he was going as Picachu for Halloween and that he also loved dump trucks and back hoes. His sister then chimed in that she was going as Elsa. Honestly, they were both well below the comprehension level and attention span needed for the reading, so it was understandable that after about six minutes it was imperative we shift from chapter book mode to talking about how cool trucks are. But for those six minutes I was absolutely elated. The dream has always been to help children learn and grow through the adventures of a resilient little sea star. And that is the part of the dream that has started to come to fruition. It's absolutely amazing and I feel so grateful for the friends who showed up that day and for the chance to do what I love.
Much love to you all.