Perhaps it was studying Arthur Miller’s DEATH OF A SALESMAN in high school that caused it—literature can have a tremendous impact on young psyches. Whatever it was, travelling about the country marketing my books took on a sinister connotation...for unknown reasons. If you haven’t read about that phobia of mine, check out my post on the Famous Five Plus website.
I predicted on there that the best way to overcome that irrational fear was to get out and do it—tour Alberta’s largest library system, from the southern most corner in the east to the northern most points to the west.
Although the tingle in my tummy tells me remnants of the fear linger, the fact I can sleep before and between my travel stops tells me I'm well on my way to overcoming it.
One third of the way through the 23-stop library tour and nothing dire or dreadful has happened during any of my journeys nor at any of my destinations.
Like in my books, the settings of my travels contain symbolic clues about my reality. It’s not just the audiences I speak to, nor the workshops I give. Not the emails, or autographs. It’s watching the low October sun skim the horizon, the prairies change to forests, the brush of snow, the touch of frost, the harvested fields...an aging world approaching winter.
It’s discovering how active the oil industry is in what I presumed to be remote Alberta communities, how busy the ribbons of highway with construction equipment, tanker trucks, coach lines, and machinery of unknown name and purpose spreading out past the edges of the lanes led and followed by pilot trucks, their frantic “Wide Load” signs flashing. It’s pipeline crossing signs every few miles, fields of stubble turned dark by ditchers setting massive culverts into the ground. High tension power grids, encoded directional signs.
It’s earphones on and stories on my kindle set to audio—Mr. Robot Voice telling me of British romance, Canadian sasquatches and edgy horror. Gritty American teen. It’s 45 minutes into my travel and the directional sign advising 100 km to my destination—just one more hour.
It’s the young lad looking askance at the author photo on my book mark, wondering aloud why I’d since cut my hair, I looked much better with it longer.
It was the girl who was not shy at all about telling me I was her hero and she has all my books in her room and asked what it’s like to be an author—do people come up to me and bother me for autographs?
|It's getting thank you gifts like these from the Morinville Public Library|
It’s finding others my age, who’ve always dreamed of writing a novel, seeking advice on how to make that happen. It’s the mother with the treasured manuscript of her daughter’s in her hands, wanting to polish it and see it in print. It’s the challenge of keep a classroom of adolescents attentive for an hour. (Here, let me show you another book trailer...)
It’s missing Hallowe’en with the grandchildren and the granddaughter’s birthday and the book club meeting and my curling team. It’s the interest in my stories, in the social situations they address, the appreciation of the potential positive effects my novels can have on teens. It’s talking about writing and reading and gangs and drugs and bullying and Hugh Everitt’s Many World Series...alternate universes. Death and dying and the true nature of time.
It’s ups and downs and deepening winter weather, the end of Daylight Savings Time and much more driving in the dark. It’s the pure joy on the faces and in the feet of the Pomeranians when I finally return home and the smile on hubby’s face. “How’d it go?”
It’s lunch on the road and forgetting my glasses and leaving my water bottle in the garage and not packing the power cord for my computer. And selling books.
Wow. It’s a lot of things, most of them wonderful.
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