At the Ozarks Writers League conference in August, I left my purple high-top Converse sneakers at home, opting for sandals instead. How was I supposed to know my agent, who was a speaker that weekend, had told an editor about my colorful shoes?
“You have to wear those shoes,” said Jeanie , with her sweet Southern drawl. “They’re your trademark.”
There’s no denying it. Those tennies are a conversation starter and comfortable to boot. In that vein I solemnly promised to wear them to all conferences and book signings.
September 17 I wore them to my class reunion where I was encouraged to set up a book table. Not only did I enjoy connecting with old friends, ten of them bought books.
The following week I had a book table at the Heritage Festival in Independence, Missouri. I enjoyed meeting people of different ethnicities. However, it turned out to be a very hot day with not-so-hot attendance.
Last Friday night we went to an art fair to watch a good friend of ours perform. While listening to Br. John Anderson and his accompanist, Rick Cole, I perused handmade jewelry in a nearby booth.
The gentleman minding the shop for his wife asked about my attire which, of course, included my purple footwear. “I’m interested in how people dress for art fares,” he said. “Is this how you dress for them?”
I explained that I was also an artist and an author. “This is pretty much how I dress most of the time.”
“Really? What do you write?”
“Can I find them on Amazon?”
“I have two in my bag.” I grinned and whipped out a copy of Please Say Kaddish for Me and one of From Silt and Ashes. “They’re first and second in a trilogy.”
He handed me a twenty-dollar bill and had me sign Please Say Kaddish for Me to him and his wife.
I’ve learned three important lessons this past year: Keep books on hand, keep the Square in my purse to take credit cards and always wear the shoes!