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Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Good Time, with Only Minor Controversy

Tree and refreshment table
Tree was decorated long in advance. Books were delivered in plenty of time. All was in readiness for Susan Newhof's reading and book signing on Friday.

The author arrives!
It's always a relief to the bookseller when the guest of honor arrives before the crowd, especially when, as in this case, the author and her husband were driving down from Manistique after a book tour of several days in the U.P. Fortunately, weather was not a problem (one never knows what to expect at this time of year), and here she is, looking lovely.

More people arrive
Other people began to arrive--and kept arriving. This is good! The more, the merrier at an author event, always!

All chairs were taken--a pleasure to see!
The audience came prepared to be entertained. Did they expect that the author would begin by asking them a question? "How many of you here believe in ghosts?" Only one hand was raised, and everyone stared. It was the only moment that controversy reared its head during the evening, however, and everyone took it in good--spirit!

Documentary evidence that I met the author
I even remembered to have David take a picture of me with the author, something I often forget to do.

{Now if only I can master the intricacies of the new Blogger platform and figure out how to arrange my photos the way I'd like them to appear, everything will be fine. Please take note: this is the first time I have added captions to my photos. I have long been envious of bloggers on other platforms who could add captions to their photos. Now I can, too! But I wanted my first paragraph to begin in that big blank white space to the right of the tree picture. Obviously, I need more practice and must search out solutions to problems I'm still having.}

Thank you, Susan Newhof, and thanks also to Doug and Merilee Scripps, to Bruce Balas, to Marjorie Farrell (the cookie lady) and to all who came to our book party. We had fun, didn't we? Yes, we did!


Kathy said...

Sounds like a good time was had by all! Did anyone NOT believe in ghosts? Did the ghosts steal any of the cookies when you weren't looking? P.S. good to see a picture of you again.

P. J. Grath said...

I guess the majority of us were skeptics or at least agnostics on the subject of ghosts. For the sake of a story, I can certainly suspend belief while reading.

Glad you liked the picture of Susan and me. I tried to select one where I looked okay. As you can see, she is very photogenic.

Dawn said...

Sounds like so much fun! And I can believe in ghosts when it suits me. And certainly when reading a good book!

P. J. Grath said...

It's kind of the opposite of aesthetic distance, Dawn--entering into another world.

Gerry said...

I love stories from book signings. So what did Susan say when just one person admitting to believing in ghosts? And then what passage did she read?

See, I'm pretty sure the problems we have with blogging platforms are the gremlins in the machine. We all believe in those. [Wicked little grin.]

I'm glad you remembered the Documentary Photo. My Self-Improvement Project for 2012 is to learn to take pictures of people. OK, I have a few other self-improvement goals, too, but that's the one I'm admitting to.

P. J. Grath said...

I think Susan was surprised that more people didn't have stories of experiences with the supernatural. A couple people told stories they'd heard from other people, as did Susan, who has also had experiences of her own. Apparently, it's a common thing in her family. She read the Prologue and then a couple pages from the first chapter.

Gremlins in the machine? Funny you should say that, and forgive me for dragging in philosophy again, but the dismissive phrase coined by Gilbert Ryle in his argument against mind/body dualism was (for the mind in a dualistic system) the "ghost in the machine." Even the Cartesian view was not as crude as all that, but it's a catchy phrase, eh? It's amazing how much mileage a philosopher can get out of a catchy phrase.

I have not thought yet about a Self-Improvement Project for the coming year. I did come up with one resolution so far, which is that in January of 2012 I will finally get around to having my Super Bowl Escape Party at the bookstore. I've thought of it year after year but have never gotten my act together. Now that the Garage Bar & Grill is right next door with its flat-screen TV turned to sports, I think it makes perfect sense for me to host people looking for an alternative to football.