LIVING THE DREAM, Part 3: Realer and Realer

Friday, 8-4-17

Comfort, Texas

Jeff and I are on the patio and lingering over our first cup of coffee when we hear a rumble followed by a hiss of brakes. I look up to find a UPS truck parked at the edge of our site. Minutes later, a brown-clad UPS man brings us two packages. One is long and rectangular; the other, square.

We already know what they are but, still, I can hardly wait to open them. Toting them inside, we unwrap the long box and pull out three posters, 500 business cards, two spiral notebooks and 100 flyers, all bearing my photo with three, long-awaited words: Author Kim Terry.

Author. Kim. Terry.

My breath catches. The only way I could possibly be more excited is to hold my book in my own hands. The Vistaprint materials that Jeff expertly designed, with my approval,  have arrived just in time for my book-signing gigs. Now, all we need are the eighty hardback copies of FROM HER MOTHER’S ARMS, due to arrive on or around August 15.

Book-signing gigs. To seasoned authors, they may be no big deal, but to a debut author like me, the very thought of them makes my pulse race.

Later, that day, Jeff and I gather up the new supplies and drive into historic Comfort to Hill Country Texas Distillers where Head Distiller, James Stout, doles out medicine-cup-sized samples of ‘specialty distilled spirits’ in tantalizing flavors including jalapeno, lemon, grapefruit, orange, and coffee made from Texas cactus. After we flash my business card and a flyer, we explain that we want to book a signing at Hill Country Texas Distillers.  He calls the bartender, Esmeralda, into the room to ask her to tell us what the best days and times would be for our event. While we discuss them, she bangs out a soul-searching Bloody Maria and presents it with a garnish of Spanish olives. With the first sip, my eyes water and my nose runs. In other words, it’s perfect. As I savor the spicy drink, she and I decide on two days and time slots: Friday, August 18 from 4-8 p.m. and Sunday, August 20, from 3-7 p.m. On our way out, we bag a 375 ml. bottle of coffee-flavored “Dulce” sure to boost our morning java.

Whoa, but these two gigs are just the beginning! A few days later, Jeff and I set out to book as many gigs as we can, including our clubhouse at RV Park USA and, maybe, even the Black Pig, a rustic but charming cafe nestled in the rolling hills outside the town of Fredericksburg.

With the help of my publisher, the next step will be publicizing the events on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, WordPress.

As we count the days until the first event, I remember times when I would be coming to a “rolling boil” on a work-in-progress, only to be forced to put my project on the back-burner long enough to go teach my English classes. Days when I churned out lesson plans when I would rather be churning out my novel. Days when I wondered whether that blessed day would truly come when I could settle into my recliner and write to my heart’s content. On December 31, 2016 — the day my retirement from teaching began — that day dawned at last.

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