On any given night, particularly as the weather has grown colder and the darkness comes earlier, you can find me in my pajamas wrapped in a blanket on the couch, often by 6 p.m. and definitely no later than 7. However, in deference to my need to try and get my book “out there” and to get some traction in a very competitive world, I happily agreed some weeks ago to attend a book club in Troy, Michigan as the featured author.
Like many things I agree to that involve being dressed, sociable and away from home after 6 p.m., this seemed like a fine idea at the time. When the day actually came, I had second thoughts. Especially as the snowy weather and slippery roads promised a treacherous drive to Troy. Still, I had promised and I try to subscribe to the Horton Hears A Who credo in my life “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant faithful, 100 percent.” So I went. To my delight and surprise it was almost more fun than sitting at home on the couch reading. I have to say almost because to an introvert like me, nothing will ever surpass a quiet evening at home.
Nine women left the comfort of hearth and home and braved snow-covered streets to attend the Troy Newcomers Book Club. I was a little anxious that my contribution to the evening wasn’t sufficient to reward their efforts to get there. However, when I saw the desserts laid out for the meeting I felt better. I have found that really good refreshments can go a long way to make up for the minor disappointments of life. As for me, the entire evening exceeded my expectations.
It was a little odd, but very gratifying, to hear serious readers talk seriously about a book that I’d written. I loved that these intelligent, articulate women had engaged enough with the characters in my make believe world to love them, or hate them, or in some cases love to hate them. It was fun to hear different takes on situations and plot points in the novel, and I got some ideas I may put to use in the next book in the series. What I enjoyed most were the times when discussion of something in the book branched out into discussions of happenings in their own lives, or led to seeing parallels between book characters or events with “real world” happenings.
I realize that were I not there, some of the discussion might have focused more on the shortcomings of my book. But hey, I’m insecure enough to enjoy hearing only kind words, and all the members were very kind.
I enjoyed the evening very much. And it was a good reminder that sometimes when you do things that are a little outside of your comfort zone, it can actually be fun. Of course, not as fun as sitting on your couch. In your pajamas. With a book. And a bowl of mint chip ice cream. But still, a very good time.