Well, I’m a little frustrated with my running , or non-running self today. But at least my Saturday was pretty cool, and filled with accomplishment.
My dear friend Kim accompanied me on my promo rounds, yesterday. Like two traveling salesmen ladies we made the rounds with our ice coffees in our cup holders and 70’s and 80’s music on the radio.
First stop, Davisville Free Library in North Kingstown, where I am scheduled to do my first ‘gig’ reading and signing books. I am both looking forward to this and dreading it at the same time. Looking forward because it’s what I’ve wanted to do almost my whole conscious life. Dreading for the same reason. It’s a lovely, bright little town library with pleasant supportive people, so if nothing else I’ll spend a June afternoon with some nice people.
From there we went to Venda Ravioli on Federal Hill, where I got to see one of my favorite Rhode Island and Italian American writers, Dr. Ed Iannuccilli. Ed has written two fantastic books, “Growing Up Italian,” and “Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?” He and his lovely wife Diane were seated in DePasquale Square, with its majestic Italian fountain next to Venda (see my blog heading pic for a more accurate image of the venue). They sat under an umbrella at one of the outdoor tables signing books, meeting new friends and catching up with old ones. As Kim and I sat on the edge of the water fountain, eating stuffed mushrooms and artichokes, I said a prayer that someday I could be that happy and relaxed, enjoying the fruits of my writing success. Dr. Ed is such a kind, gracious man and a darn good writer too. I loved being a part of this scene.
From there Kim and I visited the Marion J. Mohr Library in Johnston. The newly build library I should say, which is a modern wonder placed in the heart of the small but busy town of Johnston. The former library building is a quaint little brick, squeaky floored building, which now serves as the Johnston court-house. Kim and I, and many of my friends, grew up in that little library. Whether it was after school during the week, studying (not so much) laughing (much much) and trying stifle our voices only to be scolded by the diminutive male librarian who didn’t seem to like much of anything but books (much much much), Mohr library was my moldy page smelling home. We used to wait there on Saturdays after CCD for our parents to pick us up, scurrying down the squeaky stairs to the children’s area, where story time and other pleasant reading activities took place. And when CCD was on Monday nights we bunked* CCD** more than once and spent the time “studying” at Mohr. There was absolutely no way of quietly coming down those stairs by the way, and whenever we heard the trampling we’d all hold our breath, looking to see which one of our friends, or nemeses, approached.
I am hoping to do a reading/signing at the Mohr Library in September. To me, that will be a very important moment. Not only is Johnston my home town, and chock full of Italian American and other friends, it’s where I spent so much time, both being goofy and reading and finding great books, like A Wrinkle in Time, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, From the Mixed up Files of Basil E Frankweiler, Sounder, and on and on.
At each stop, I dropped off my book card and gave my schpeel. I am not a good salesman, especially of myself. Kim stood by and boosted my confidence just by being there. Thanks my Pal.
Later that afternoon, Mr. Dick Martin came to my house to interview me for “Your Smithfield Magazine,” which is my new home town paper. My first in person interview found me again choked up with fear. I cleaned the house like a maniac before his arrival, but only in the targeted places where I thought he would pass. No way is Julia’s room ready for prime time, and sitting on any of my livingroom sofas leaves one with a butt full of beagle hair, no matter how much I try. So we sat on the porch and chatted.
Mr. Martin is very kind and handled the whole thing gently, as I slugged down water to keep my mouth and throat from going totally stone dry. Come to find out he also wrote a book about his mother growing up in Scituate entitled “Mae.” He self-published this past October and understood a lot about what I’m going through now. I think we should go on the road together, the Mommy Tour.
All in all a wonderful day full of generous, kind, supportive people. I am grateful and thankful beyond words. The old Crow has been a little hesitant and shy about this whole PR aspect of the book, but I’m sure she will get used to being the center of attention. After all, she deserves it.
*bunked seems to be a Rhode Island term for what other may call skipping as in skipping school
**CCD is Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. According to Yahoo Answers, this is an old term that was used when talking about Catholic Religious Education, aka Catechism. For those of you who are not Catholics, substitute, “Sunday School,” that can be held pretty much any day of the week. We found it easy to ‘bunk’ when it was right after school, hence our escapes to the library.