Saturday, November 11, 2006

Funeral Homes to Borders--What a Week!

This not-so-typical week held a little drama, a little fun and, of course, a lot of writing.

The most untypical thing I did was spend election day in a funeral home. I was there for a most untypical reason--to work as an election judge. That's the title used here in Illinois for those people who give you your ballot when you go to vote. The polling place I was assigned to was a funeral home! When I first heard about it, visions of sitting next to a coffin while handing out ballots popped into my mind. Those fanciful thoughts were quickly dashed when I spoke with someone who'd worked that polling place in the past. She told me we'd be in a room ordinarily used for wakes, but we wouldn't have contact with any other events happening in the building. In fact, there weren't any wakes or coffins in sight the whole 16 hours I was there!

It soon became apparent that the special pens we gave people to mark their ballots were disappearing as people walked out the door with them. Inadvertently I'm sure. I began telling every person I gave a pen to what would happen to them if they walked out the door with with our pen. Some would turn into a pumpkin, others would have the pen blow up in their face, while another would have his tires punctured by giant nails that would pop up out of the parking lot blacktop. One of the other judges laughed saying he liked how I had a new story for each person. I told him that was the fiction writer in me. It was a long day but I'm glad I did it and will probably do it again.

Yesterday I stopped in my local Borders and headed to the back where the "religious" books are housed. My mission was to see if they had His Forever on the shelf. It wasn’t. As I stood there, a man came up to see if he could help me. I told him I was looking for a new compilation book I’d contributed to. He got all excited and asked me about it. I made sure to point out that my as-told-to story was about a man who lives one suburb over. Book stores love local authors. He agreed they needed to have the book. While I was there he ordered three copies for the shelf. This was my first time pitching my own writing. It’s something all authors need to do for their publications. Next time I’ll take chocolate. Maybe he’ll order six books!

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