(As often happens here on the ‘Rati, a couple of us will be thinking about the same thing in different ways . . .I just read JT’s post from Friday. Her letter of love is so beautiful. Take a few minutes to read it if you haven’t already. And congratulations to JT once again for a well earned award! )
Two weeks ago, I went to the farmer’s market closest to my house. It’s just getting established and there aren’t many vendors, but I appreciate not having to drive across town to buy organic and locally nurtured elegant golden beets, crunchy lemon cucumbers, ruffled patty pan squash, hot green chiles. Our market also has a few brave fine artists – painters, photographers, potters — and though I’m unlikely to buy any of their pieces due to my current monetary constraints, I do like to talk with them.
Artists tend to be interesting people, forced to create because of an inner yearning that I can certainly relate to. I can also relate to their selling experience. Any writer who has done a mall book signing has sat in a booth or at a table watching people walk by without buying or saying a thing.
On this particular Saturday, I was feeling bleak . . . melancholy . . . bummed. I knew that going to the market would be therapeutic; fresh, beautiful produce always makes me happy.
On the way out of the market area, I stopped to chat with a ceramicist named Holly Kuehn One thing led to another and of course I mentioned that I write. Nearby, a woman kept looking our way with that concentrated curiosity of an eavesdropper. She hadn’t entered the book, so I decided to help Holly sell some of her work. I loudly admired a group of tiles depicting cranes in flight and suggested to the woman that she come in and admire them too. As soon as the woman entered, I walked outside and the artist and I resumed our conversation.
“What’s your name? I’d like to look up your books,” said Holly.
“Just look up The Clovis Incident; you’ll find my name more easily that way than trying to key it in,” I said.
And that’s when the woman next to us squealed and opened her purse.
“Here it is!” she said, pulling out one of my brochures. “See? Right here. Pari Noskin Taichert.” She grinned as if winning a prize and called her husband and friends over. “Look. This is her! She’s the one who wrote those books I’m making you read.” And then back to me. “I’m your biggest fan!”
She proceeded to explain why she had the brochure in her purse in the first place. “I went to a bookstore the other day and they didn’t seem to know who you were so I was going back to show them this.”
Is it trite to say she made my day?
Is it trite to say that I had a marvelous time this last Saturday meeting Allison Davis (of the many comments here on Murderati)? That it, too, brought me tremendous joy?
Or what about the couple who showed up at my door several years ago? I’d met them at my first Malice Domestic and they became convention friends; we’d seek each other out each year. Well, one day the doorbell rang here in ABQ and there they both stood . . . looking a little sheepish.
Yes it was a bit weird, but it was also lovely. They were right too; I would’ve been upset to know they’d traveled through NM and hadn’t stopped by. A few years later, their visit was made even more precious when I went to my last Malice and found out that the husband had died of skin cancer . . .What a gift to have seen him here in NM, to have seen him smiling and happy and to be able to hold on to that beautiful memory.
Perhaps there are people who become so famous that their readers (sometimes aka fans) devolve into nuisances. I can’t imagine it. To me, it’s an incredible blessing to meet someone who has taken hours of his or her life to spend reading what I’ve written.
Every thank-you is an honor.
So today’s questions are:
Do you thank writers, musicians, actors or other artists in some way?
If so, who’s the last one you did?
. . . and if you don’t thank these creatives, do me a favor and try it. You may or may not get a response, but you might just make someone’s day. And good karma never hurt anyone.