Thursday, July 16, 2009

Daddy Daughter Date

I'm visiting the folks down in Tampa and today went out with my Dad to lunch. We had the soup and salad at Olive Garden, and we agreed that the interior tiled roof would be the perfect touch in the mansion we could live in if every known member of our family wanted to live in the same house with us so we could afford it.

When we were done with our breadsticks and all(and I don't know why every restaurant doesn't give out an Andes mint. Those are so nice.) we headed over to the mall, and passed by the $5 massage chairs sitting in the middle of everything. Instead we chatted with a very informative Brookstone salesperson (did you know that there is a SALE this week on massaging chairs? $150 OFF! I know. I'll wait until you get back.) while he showed me how to extend the footrest to massage the bottom of my feet (it was suprisingly uncomfortable on the back of my ankle).

When he had helped us, he moved on to help a lady in a wheelchair find the perfect handheld back massager. We sat there through the entire 'refresh' cycle, and my lumbar region felt great.

Then we walked to Waldenbooks, and I engaged for the first time in a time-honored writer tradition. I don't actually know if other authors do this, but I bet they do. I found the spot on the shelf where my book will go. I didn't actually scoot the other books over to make room, but I can see it. I wonder if it works in my favor to have a "B" name, instead of a middle-of-the-alphabet name. It's a good thing I got married because Kennedy is stuck on a bottom shelf, far removed from the ends.

I have always felt something like nostalgia and anticipation with books. Walking through our main library-all four floors of it- I see the rows and rows of shelves, thousands and thousands of books waiting. One neat thing about the old system of card catalogues was that the little card would come out and get stamped, and you could see how often that book had been checked out. It always seemed sad to me when it had been years, like a girl that nobody asked to dance. Or for the boys, like the last one to be picked for the kickball team. Now we just scan the barcode-the kids love to do that, and then proudly carry their own books-but I wonder how long that book has been waiting for someone to flip it open, to read the first few sentences. To turn to the middle, check out what's happening a hundred pages in. to connect with something enough to take it home and have a little chat.

So I love bookstores and libraries and garage sale books and thrift store books and books I borrow from my mom, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, and whatever friends are silly enough to trust me to give a book back. I do get them back, it just takes awhile.

Now I have the added pleasure of imagining MY books on the shelf at Waldenbooks. I'm not so interested in imagining my book at a garage sale, but I suppose that happens to everyone.

Dad was patient enough to listen to me go on about how the publishing company contracts with the bookstore over who gets on the front table, and if the cover is facing out or the spine. And how most people can't tell more than half the time when someone is lying (even law enforcement is only right 56% of the time, unless you're secret service super-agent. They are right 98% of the time. Isn't that interesting?)-according to my research for my book. And then I gave a synopsis of my book, and he listened. And he asked a few questions about Lilith (one of my characters) and the legends about her. And then he realized that Lilith on Cheers was a hint by the writers about what kind of woman she was.

A little bit ago, an guest on Nathan Bransford's blog wrote about the dream of writing, about that perfect day. I have had so many, but today was perfect in its way. Hanging out with my dad, getting a free massage, talking about the sea turtle sculpure table we saw, or the teak root bench (gorgeous and competitively priced) and how one day he wants to sell his house and buy a sailboat was enough for today. Plus, he promises to sail up to Charleston, SC. I'm going to take him to the bookstore when he gets there and show him my book on the shelf.

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