My disappointment over that book reading - the one that produced very few sales despite being well-attended and enthusiastically received - followed me home and carried over into the next day. It wasn't until I came in here and started to work that my mood improved.
"The cure for anything," Isak Dinesen wrote, "is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea."
But for a writer, as she surely knew, it's writing.
I recently did a book reading (not in Key West) that was attended by about 50 people. Apart from the book fair, when I was on a panel, it was the biggest crowd I’ve had. They laughed at all the right spots, nodded frequently, followed every word. When I finished, there were very few questions (perhaps they’re shy, I thought) and so I closed by saying I’d be happy to sign books.
One woman approached, asking for my autograph. A friend who'd come out also bought a copy. The store's event coordinator, perhaps out of a sense of duty, had me sign two. I waited for more avid readers, newly won fans, but none appeared. People had come out to hear what I had to say, listened appreciatively, but felt no need to continue the pleasure on the printed page. One hour's entertainment from me was enough.
The Australian Open finals were held on the weekend before the Super Bowl, opening up the possibility that Sports Illustrated would come out with a cover that wasn’t about football. (Especially since their Super Bowl preview had appeared the week before.) The victors in Melbourne were two 35-year-olds, one – Serena Williams – who made history, and one – Roger Federer – who, in beating his arch rival Rafael Nadal, conclusively made his case for Greatest of All Time.
I waited all week for my issue to arrive in the mail. And waited. I went to Bob’s News and found the Super Bowl preview issue still on the rack. “That’s the last one we received,” I was told. I went to the library and found the same issue. Finally, I called Sports Illustrated and learned that no issue had been published after the Super Bowl preview. The premier sports magazine in America decided to take a week off rather than put a tennis player on its cover.