What with that annoying two new inches of snow chased by a sheet of icy rain the other day, there was some scraping to be done over at the driveway leading to the home of my mother-in-law. It was a two-day job, because 1. it’s a long driveway, and 2. I didn’t have the energy to do it all in one fell swoop.
On Day 2, that being yesterday, February 13, I wrapped up and went inside to catch up on family news and say goodbye. And that’s when Peg said, “I just got a call from Kennebooks, saying my order has arrived.” And she wasn’t talking about Agatha Christie.
Two Birds had arrived in town.
I hopped into my truck and sped down to Lower Village, because I wouldn’t believe the shipment had arrived until I saw it with my own eyes. Inside the bookstore, I was greeted by Virginia (at least I hope that’s her name – if it isn’t, I apologize for being bad with names and/or having no memory), who walked me over to the Maine Fiction shelves and pointed out my book. She was smiling as much as I was, though I had the added feature of a lump in my throat when I saw Two Birds facing me, alongside other Maine authors like Richard Russo, Kenneth Roberts, Paul Doiron, and Linda Greenlaw.
“This is…this is big,” I managed to say. In a pinch, I can be so eloquent. That’s why I’m a writer.
I thanked her for caryying the book, which she said she was excited to read. As am I. That is, I’m excited for her to read it, not excited to read it myself, because I’ve already read it. Probably fifty times.
Diane – you know, my wife – and I celebrated this latest milestone by going out (on a Wednesday night, no less) to The Village Tavern in West Kennebunk. As if we don’t go there every week anyway. May I just say the cream of potato/basil/shaved parmesan bisque was so good I nearly fainted? Go Rich.
So yes, I feel as if I’ve reached a certain peak, having my novel displayed in my hometown bookstore. Is this satisfaction I feel? It has to be.
The next level, I suppose, is having Two Birds make it to Nonesuch Books in Biddeford and South Portland, Longfellow Books in Portland, and other indies in Maine. It’s slated to arrive in some stores in Massachusetts and New York, too, this winter.
In the meantime, I’ll be polishing my presentation for the reading I’ll be giving at Graves Memorial Library in Kennebunkport on Sunday, February 24 at 2 p.m. That’s bound to be another surreal moment, for which I will try to stay conscious.