Monday, September 04, 2006


Several, long years ago in a small northern Ontario town an aspiring writer held a book signing at the local Hudson's Bay store. The book, his first, a compilation of humorous stories. A timid teenager approached the table, held out her copy of the book and shyly requested an "autograph". After clarifying the spelling of her name, the author wrote "Happy Reading" in bold, black pen. The teenager, after having just met her first real writer and getting her first autographed copy of a book, went home and devoured the stories. The book became part of a treasured collection of books, carted from home to home, bookshelf to bookshelf.

Fast forward many years. The author has since gone on to publish 11, hosted a national radio show and has been the host of Life Networks "Weird Homes". Somewhat of a national celeb. The shy teenager went off to college, got married, has two fine teenage sons of her own, has worked in several clerical type jobs and is a late blooming writer with a leaning to poetry. Somewhat not a celeb at all.

Their paths crossed again at the Sleeping Giant Writers Festival at the end of August. I attended Arthur Black's reading Friday night, with my 1982 copy of "Basic Black" tucked in my bag. After the reading, I loitered near the back working up the nerve to ask for another autograph. Finally, I stepped in front of Mr. Black's path as he was making his way to the back tables, blurted out "I have a special request", rambled the rest of my story about having met him years ago, and then asked if he would again autograph my copy. He was delighted.

And that was one of the highlights of my weekend at the SG Writer's Fest. I say goodnight to my oldest son, sprawled out on his bed reading his personally autographed copy of Arthur Black's latest book. Some people chase rock stars, or Tom Cruise. I would rather have an autographed copy of a good book anyday. * o

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