A Very Special Event


So a thing happened last weekend. You may have heard me warning you about it. Yeah, that. The event* at Borderlands. I’ve never been a special event before. Nor did I know beforehand that it was going to be special, or I would have publicized it that way.

* Loosely speaking, there are three kinds of author appearances: signings, readings, and events. The names should be obvious, but in order to get the word count on this post up**, I’ll spell it out. When the author sits behind a table, chats briefly with everyone who shows up, and scribbles something semi-legibly in their books, it’s a signing. If the author also reads part of the book aloud to the audience, it’s a reading. And if the author does anything else–reads part of another book, sings and dances, juggles flaming chainsaws–it’s an event.

** No, I’m not being paid by the word. I just want enough words to balance the pictures a bit.

The room wasn’t packed, but there were enough people there that I feel justified in calling it a crowd. (I should point out that I didn’t take most of these pictures. Credit and copyright belong to Maggie Young, Eric Zuckerman, and Beth Zuckerman. Thanks, gang!)

Many thanks to Jude Feldman, front and center in that picture, for ensuring everything ran smoothly. Everyone’s first event should have a Jude.


Since this was an event, I didn’t read from The RagTime Traveler. Instead, I gave a 50,000 foot overview of the histories of ragtime music, Scott Joplin–the man who made ragtime into America’s first popular music–and TRTT.

That card on the desk? Let me zoom in and rotate:

Just something I found in the greeting card rack before the event. It seemed remarkably appropriate, so I offered it as a suggestion to the crowd. The card is now hanging on the wall over my desk, where I hope it will encourage and inspire me when the words misbehave.

My thanks to those of you who attended, as well as those who couldn’t make it, but sent good wishes. Hope to see a few more of you at future events. Nothing’s scheduled yet, but there will be more, and naturally, I’ll announce them here.

One final note: You need signed copies of TRTT–even if you’ve already got one, remember that they make great gifts, and it’s never too early to get your Christmas shopping out of the way.

Coincidentally–or rather, conspiratorially–

Borderlands has a stack of signed copies they’d love to sell you. I’m sure they’d be happy to ship one or more to you, even if you’re not in the San Francisco area.

Why not pick up the phone and give them a call?

4 thoughts on “A Very Special Event

    • I could claim I accidentally left the flammable chainsaws in my other bag, but the truth is, if anybody’s going to juggle flaming anything at one of my events, I’d prefer to leave it to an expert. What are your rates? 😉

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      • When I got into my 50’s, I decided I wanted to learn to juggle so I could juggle flaming clubs. I didn’t even think of chainsaws. My trapeze instructor said that, before you could juggle flaming clubs, you had to juggle clubs that were not on fire, and before you could juggle clubs, you had to juggle balls, and before you could juggle three balls, you had to juggle two, and before you could juggle two balls, you had to juggle one. So, I started with one ball, and after a year, I still couldn’t manage to juggle three balls, so I gave up. I can spin fire, though.

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      • Close enough. We’ll just replace the flaming balls at the end of the ropes with those flammable chainsaws. I doubt the audience will be disappointed.

        (You got at least one ball further than I ever did, so kudos there. But your instructor’s approach makes sense. Juggling flaming anything is definitely something you want to work your way up to. “But it looked so easy on TV…!”)

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