Monday, February 26, 2007

A book becomes real

When I resumed blogging with this "Second Effort," I began by noodling around the Blogosphere for blogs by and about writers and writing. One of the first ones I found, and one that I've gone back to time and again, is Patry Francis' Simply Wait. You may have seen Patry's comments on some of my essays here -- but not lately.

Lately, Patry is out promoting her first novel, The Liar's Diary.

I think this is pretty exciting stuff: Somebody I know -- well... sorta kinda know... in a very small way from reading her blog -- has published a novel. (Even this is a step up: Before this, the only author that I've read with whom I can claim any sort of personal connection is Fr. Andrew Greeley -- and that was only because he baptized me during the course of his very brief career as a working parish priest. And he's never commented on this blog.)

I bought The Liar's Diary Saturday -- I had to lay in a fresh supply of books for my upcoming convalescence, didn't I? -- and I'm enjoying it so far. I hope to do a review later.

But today let me explain, if I can, just how amazing this was for me: I went to a bookstore and looked for a book by a fellow blogger. I couldn't find it -- but I asked at the help desk where it might be. The thin man with the goatee and the bulky cardigan who fielded my question seemed doubtful that there was such a book; at least that was my impression. Maybe I was projecting my own uncertainty on him.

But when he entered the information on his computer the book cover that you see above popped right up on his screen. Even with my eyesight, I could see the words "In Stock" -- they were larger than everything else that was provided on that screen.

He turned to me and said, "We don't have it" -- but, before I could challenge him on this, he added, "but we can get it for you in three or four business days."

That would not be convenient, I told him. Was there some other store that did have the book in stock?

"Yes," he said, grudgingly I thought. "They may have it at our Evanston, Old Orchard or Lake Forest stores."

Old Orchard was close enough for me to make the side trip. I thanked him and went up front to make my other purchases.

I didn't find the book in the Old Orchard store immediately either. I could barely find the store: I don't do well in malls and the directory maps did more to confuse than enlighten me.

But eventually, I found it: On the shelves in the Mystery section, alphabetized by author. After Dick Francis, Patry Francis. Two copies of the book.

I could have ordered on Amazon, I know. But I needed to find this book outside the Internet -- to find it in a real store, on solid shelves, to make it real.

The young girl who rang up the sale said, "Oh, I've been interested in this book myself." She probably is trained to say that about every book. Still, I wanted to tell her about how I knew about the book and why I was interested in it, all because of reading Patry's blog -- but, of course, I didn't. I was sure she would not be at all interested in any of that, even if she was genuinely interested in the book. "I have reason to think it'll be very good," was all I said.

So far, so good.


Jean-Luc Picard said...

This sounds a really good book; I'll look on Amazon about it.

SQT said...

I have a few blogger friends who are authors. I always get excited when they have a book come out.

Linda said...

Hmmm, picked it up for your convalesence and been reading it already, eh? Sounds like you're the same way I am with a new book!

Mother Jones RN said...

The book looks like a good read. I can't wait to read your review.


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

okay curmy, hang in there dude. i'll check on you from the ship and be thinking of you too. and enjoy the book.....

smiles, bee

Patry Francis said...

Yes, life has been hectic and crazy. I've also been doing all kinds of things I've never done before: public speaking....readings...even an hour long workshop. (I never knew I could talk that long!) But I still enjoy stopping in at my favorite blogs. Obviously, I'm particularly happy I did today. Thanks for the searching, and the reporting of it, and for putting in that good word with the book store staff.

p.s. You might be interested to know that the LAWYER is my favorite
character in the novel.

Smalltown RN said...

Oh how wonderful....I can hardly wait to hear your are sounding upbeat and positive Curmudge...that is nice to see....whishing you well.....

Shelby said...

great to hear about this - I'll check it out.. hope your recovery is ok so far. take care.

landgirl said...

I share your enthusiasm for finding a real book to emerge from blogosphere. I hope to do it myself. Also just stopping by to say hello and send good vibes.

rdl said...

sweet post! sorry to hear of your medical problems, hope you're already on the mend.