Monday, October 20, 2008

Celery, Rhubarb, and the Dow Jones

I belong to a discussion group on the web. It's a forum for writers, a place to bring questions, observations, and publishing news. The current subject under discussion touches upon an author and a case of excessive attention on the part of a reader. Hmm...It's kind of an uncomfortable subject. And a puzzle for me. I'm a bit of a wallflower myself --shy I would say. Most of my friends would disagree. They would probably describe me as a...ham. I love to perform at open mics. I usually do well with a toast or speech. I'm not nearly as afraid of girls as I used to be. But still--I'd say a shy person. Private, maybe.

But suddenly I find myself with a website and a blog, splattering myself across the WORLD WIDE WEB. Hoping. Hoping for attention. For successful self-promotion. For my book to fare well(A Taste For Red --available Spring 2009 from Clarion Books! Check out for details! And Fun! Fun! Fun!).


So I'm inviting people in. Strangers. And almost everybody is terrific. People are great --for the most part. But sometimes folks are a bit off. A little too enthusiastic maybe. Or cuckoo.

I used to work as a room service waiter in New Orleans. We'd get tons of celebrities in the hotel, especially around Mardis Gras. My fellow room service waiters would go ga-ga for the chance to deliver a grilled cheese to John Stamos or joint of mutton to John Goodman. They wanted to make that contact. To have that personal connection. That reference.

I never got the fever. I was always just the opposite (and not simply because the 'handlers' tended to tip poorly, either). I had zero desire to impose myself upon someone just because I'd seen them in the movies or read their book or caught the sentencing portion of their trial on Court TV. The only exception was Gerry Spence. Utilizing a steak knife, I did once liberate a leather fringe from his jacket. I couldn't help myself--he's such a...nice country lawyer. I just had to have a piece.

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