Monday, November 23, 2009

Thank you's come in all sorts of surprising the little piece of art above. Let me explain. IndieBound, an organization established to support Independent Booksellers throughout the United States, publishes a flyer each month highlighting bookseller recommendations. They send us advance copies, which read, and sometime eview in short blurbs. If a book receives twelve or more favorable reviews from across the country, the editors will choose one bookseller's comments to use in the flyer.

We are fortunate that, several times a year, our little comments are used. Sometimes I don't even know they are in the flyer until a customer points them out. But, just last week, I got a huge "Thank you" followed by a big surprise. I had written comments about a wonderful children's book called The Listeners, by Gloria Whelan, and IndieBound will use it in their upcoming young readers' flyer. The story is told by Ella May, a little slave girl. After her daylight work is done, Ella May has another important job. She listens beneath her owner's plantation window in hopes of gathering information about the fate of her family and other slave families. She must return to her home with sad news of slave auctions, and planned beatings. And, when the promise of freedom is discussed in hushed tones, Ella May is the first to hear about that as well.

The editor was so thankful that her book made the flyer that she called me personally. The next week, I received a copy of the book in the mail, along with a nice letter from the editor, and a hand written letter from Gloria Whelan. Also included in the gift package was one of the original concept drawing for the book. How lucky am I?
This is what the final art looks like.
Writers, editors, book buyers (and booksellers?) are good people. Let me tell you another story. A few years ago, I received a panic phone call from a Two Rivers teacher. One of her students was dying, and, more than anything else, he waned his dad to read him his favorite book by Mary Casanova. The teacher looked everywhere and came up empty. I found the book for her, and I called Mary's publicist and relayed the story. Within minutes, the wheels were turning, and Mary Casanova called the family. She also sent them several audio versions of her books for the young boy to enjoy.
Last year, I caught up with Mary at a trade show and gave her a small newspaper article I had been saving for her about the little boy. I don't know what she and the boy talked about over the phone, but she was truly moved by the experience, Mary told me that she begins all her speaking engagements with that story.
There are quality people in all our lives, aren't there? My friends are reluctant to blow their own horns, but I know they do good each and every day. The trick is to catch them at it and watch them get uncomfortable when praised. I had some fun with friends this past weekend. Terri, Chris, Kevin, Dan and I had a nice dinner together, with lots of silly talk, and catching up. Then we toured Marshmallow World. Our Heart-A-Rama friend, Rhonda, has a sister named Sherrie. There must be some crazy genes in that family, cuz Sherrie is as creative as Rhonda is exuberant. Years ago, Sherrie wrote a little storybook about a a village of marshmallow people which expanded into a lavish decorating of her house each year.
Every single room in her home is decorated to fit the chosen theme...yes, even her kids' bedrooms, and the bathrooms! Some years, the display is over the top, and I leave shaking my head in amazement and amusement. This year was a bit more subdued, almost elegant in parts, but still fun and impressive. My favorite part is that each year, Sherrie greets people at the door wearing a tree skirt as part of her holiday outfit. (Kevin, if you're reading this, my pictures didn't turn big surprise, huh? so if you have any that I could share, send them along, please. Thanks.)
Thanks for stopping by. I'll try to keep the blog up during this holiday season, but if I miss a week or two, go ahead and read some old posts...or better yet, check out some of the Blog buddies listed at the side.
Hey...have a happy week.

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