Yesterday afternoon, we returned from my full circle moment.
Every time I do a book sell and signing, I learn something new. This time I learned to be more assertive. I’ve become fatalistic lately and merely accept what is given to me. Frankly, I think it’s because then I’m not so disappointed by people. There are important moments when I need to put myself out there instead of accepting the situation as it is.
When we arrived to the theater, there was a nice table set up for us with flowers and a tablecloth. (Notice my face? I’m trying my best to put on a good show, but wasn’t thrilled with the location.)
Nice, BUT we were stuck over in an anti-room to the lobby. It was easy for people to walk right by us and either not see us, or pretend not to do so. It was no one’s fault–just a learning situation for all concerned.
Then Randy came bounding through, looked it over and said, “We need to move this table into the lobby. You are here to sell books!”
At my ripe age, if there is one thing I’m not afraid of anymore it’s what people will think of me. We moved the table into the lobby. So much better!
I was worried before the event. It was raining. I know what that means for voting days. People use it as an excuse not to get out of their homes. Whatever. I kept my expectations low although I hoped people would support Randy and me.
They did! It was a nice size audience.
Randy warmed up the crowd prior to his book talk. The stage lights emitted a warm glow on the stage. There was a hanging screen to use for his power point which made it easier for him to walk about, sit and gesture to the screen and so forth. I don’t know how other authors book talk, but I think the format worked well for him.
The nice part of Columbia Entertainment Company is its size which is perfect for something like this. The theater only holds around 140 seats.
Randy spoke about his journey in writing Show Me. He is such a funny guy, warm and personable as well. His hysterical self deprecation resonates with all of us. We laughed a lot.
Using the interviews as a spring board for his thoughts, he made many valid points in his presentation. The one which is most profound to me is his concern over the art of listening to one another.
Generally, I take the time to completely focus on what a person is saying. I am confused when others don’t do the same for me. Nevertheless, I figure I can show my interest in the person speaking even if it isn’t reciprocatory.
Randy believes if we take the time to listen to one another with an open mind, we have a lesson to teach one another. This rings true with me.
Have you ever learned something from a complete stranger in only a matter of minutes? It stays with you.
For instance, last fall when our granddaughter was around a month old, I took her and her mother to a store to find some clothes for the new momma to wear. Being a young mother, she was overly tired and still adapting to motherhood. We walked around the store and a lady heard us speaking about our infant. We were expressing concern about her feeding pattern.
Although the lady stuck her nose in where it was not wanted and I feigned not hearing her, I heard her low and clear.
“You know she can hear you,” the lady advised.
“I’m sorry? Did you say something?” I asked the woman.
“You are talking over the baby, but she can hear you.”
That was the jist of the conversation–about three or four sentences between us.
Her statement has snuck into my mind several times since then. I understand her point–be careful what you say around a child for it lays upon them molding their persona.
It’s a meaningful statement.
Just like this well intentioned woman, Randy’s book message sticks with me, too.
I will endeavor to be more aware of what I say and HOW I say it.
It’s a tricky thing, though. One must be in the moment at all times and let’s face it, we aren’t always on top of things. We become overworked, overly exhausted and unfeeling. We grumble at someone, smile and nod when we absent mindedly thinking of something else.
It’s just easier to not listen than pausing and dealing the world around us, right? The main character of Bumbling Bea goes through the same issues as we do in real life. I suppose that’s why Bumbling Bea relates well to my readers. I’m so glad.
Randy stated, “People, we aren’t going home with any books today. We are here to sell books!” (I’m gonna remember these two statements the next time I’m in this position.)
Did we sell books? Yes! Did we autograph them? Yes.
Was the event a success? Certainly.
But I think the full circle moment was even more meorable.
Purchase Randall Kenneth Jones’ book, Show Me. It’s filled with terrific interviews with successful people such as Suze Orman, Pat Benetar, Shirley Jones, Sonny Jurgensen, Barbara Corcoran, Jack Hannah, Magic Johnson just to name a few.
Randy uses his personal life experiences as a springboard for the interviews. They are newspaper column length–succinct, clear, entertaining and helpful. Although Show Me is listed under the business and professional category on Amazon.com it’s the HUMOR portion of the category you need to notice. I highly recommend the book to you!
As a teacher, I know an excellent teaching technique is the use of humor. Using humor relaxes people quickly. Once relaxed, they can better receive the information. Ta-da.
Randy has always wanted to be a teacher. He is one.
I’m working on a few book selling/signing opportunities of my own in the near future. If you live in the midwest perhaps you can attend.
Are you on my email list? You should be. I talk about a few different things there than I do here. Plus, I offer discounts and freebies to email subscribers.
Check it out through DeborahBaldwin.net. You can’t miss the form–it’s huge and pink.
Until next time…..
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or like I mentioned, DeborahBaldwin.net
Hello!I'm the gal you were looking for. I'm a veteran drama teacher, play and musical director, and award winning author. Here you'll find many posts on theatre education, directing, plus advice and tips for teachers. Also, I am a happily married wife, loving mother to two swell daughters and a great step son. Most recently, I became a published author of Bumbling Bea, an award winning humorous middle grade novel about an impetuous 8th grade girl determined to play the lead role in the annual middle school play. Hope you enjoy us. Thanks!
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