This was a working weekend, and I don’t mean mowing the yard, even though it does need it badly. I spent the past two days at the Mississippi Petrified Forest in Flora. For those who don’t know, this is a privately owned park at a spot where, about 300,000 years ago, some really large trees got swept down a river in some past deluge and deposited to turn into stone. There’s a stone and fossil museum, gift shop, and a nature trail that takes you past some of the logs that have eroded out of the loess cliffs over the centuries. If you’re at all interested in such things—I am—it makes for an interesting walk.
This weekend they were having their 50th Anniversary and celebrated with crawfish, live music, and…book signings? Yep. Part of the eclectic assemblage of all day events. Along with flint-knapping demos, geode cracking, and sessions with metaphysical and holistic healers. I was dubious of course. I always am, about pretty much anything. It’s my nature and annoys my wife no end. But she was participating and I was invited too and I thought, why not?
Okay, for those who have not done this before, a signing can take many forms, but usually it will involve you, in a more or less trafficked spot, behind a table piled with your books—a small pile or a large pile, depending—being friendly and talking to people, two things that everyone who knows me will concede are not my inclinations. It doesn’t even necessarily involve selling and signing books, though that’s the premise and the way it tends to work with the right venue and the right crowd. I knew going in that this was not my venue or crowd, but I didn’t mind. I figured that the worst that could happen was that I’d have a couple days to catch up on my reading, and at least I’d get some practice at self-promotion under less than ideal conditions.
Which just goes to tell you how little I know. Continue reading