“Are you a writer?” the author asked as I handed her my books to sign. They were “my books” because the young(er) man with the barely discernible grey streaking back to his slightly sloppy man bun, had given a “Buy first!” directive at the conclusion of his author introduction. His words, having received a flittering of insider-ish laughter, fluttered down upon front-row me. I already held the author’s works in my lap, because I had nabbed them from the nearby display table to peruse while waiting for the reading to commence. I knew I would purchase them. These days I don’t need permission to go to book readings or to buy books.
Now I was handing my guilt-free purchases to the woman who had made the words come to life with her friendly, slightly drawling voice.
I’m sure her question was prompted by the fact we had been introduced by her college friend and fellow-author, Jennifer. Jennifer and I are new friends and members of the same book club. She is a published author and the reason I came to this reading (instead of road-tripping to Tombstone, another of my guilt-free choices for the day.) Jennifer can answer that question affirmatively. Most affirmatively. I’ve read her books, too. But me?
No. Not the way these bonafide authors’ experiences define this question. Still, I fumble at the pleasantly proffered query. As I am sometimes prone to do, I fall back on my hallowed status of Mother. “My daughter is,” I say, surprising myself with the confidence of my assertion. I know my daughter’s grad school Creative Writing pursuits, while likely appreciated, are of little significance to this author. But, to me, there is a voluminous intricately woven world in those pursuits. I know how I influenced those pursuits. This is no prideful, self-congratulatory knowledge. My daughter’s writing comes from the wounded life I passed on to her. Her own keen sensitivities perceived the word-nursing I applied to my own pain. They nudged her towards the academic realm shared by the hand that slides my signed purchase towards me.
This morning I wondered if I could find my password. I almost felt like a traitor, returning here. I couldn’t even remember my last entry. The one I wrote after my last visit to the same bookstore.