Is anyone else about Reluctant-Bloggered-out? Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely thrilled that people are now getting a chance to read this project that began over two years ago and I am so grateful for all of the people who are sharing with me their enjoyment of the book. That is not the problem.
It just seems like it has been the only thing I’ve talked about for a long, long time. This will be the 75th posting on this blog. Well over half of the posts (probably closer to 75%) have focused either mainly or solely on the book. And even though I warned everybody up front, I still feel like that guy that everyone wants to avoid at a party because all he wants to talk about is his latest business venture. Admittedly, no one has actually treated me this way. Everyone I know has been completely supportive. This is a “me” issue.
Well, we only have about two weeks left and then there is really very little left I can do either on social media or on this blog to further promote the book. I mean, yes, I will still have to do the occasional posting on my author page reminding everyone that it still exists, but for the most part, the constant active marketing will be done.
But we still have the next two weeks to finish and I’m going to admit something. I’m a little scared.
I will be leaving my safe little hometown tomorrow and driving hundreds of miles to Utah.
I don’t know many folks in Utah and that alone is daunting. But as I mentioned yesterday on facebook, I learned something yesterday that has me extremely nervous.
I knew going into this signing thing that the Thatcher signing and the Mesa signing would be my big ones. Arizona is where my support base is. Utah??? Not so much. But I figured I would take my place in each of the stores where I’m scheduled to appear and would do my best to be friendly and maybe attract a couple more buyers for the book than I would have had otherwise. A lonely proposition, but not too bad.
But then I learned that my first event at The King’s English Bookshop, in Salt Lake City, will not be a slip in and slip out kind of deal. They are planning on having me speak about and read from the book for roughly 30 minutes before opening the floor up for questions. That’s actually not a big deal for me. Anyone who knows me knows that speaking in front of people doesn’t bother me at all.
The scary thing for me is speaking in front of no people.
What if nobody comes? What if I am that guy who keeps getting that horrible feedback noise from the microphone as I try to engage two completely disinterested persons sitting in the audience-mainly because their feet need a break while their significant other continues shopping? The vision makes me cringe and then it makes me want to cry.
So out of sheer terror, I am reduced to begging. If you live in the SLC area or have some sort of leverage over someone who does, please consider taking an hour out of your schedule this Friday night at 7:00 p.m. and come on down to The King’s English Bookshop. I would like to guarantee that you’ll be glad you did, but I can’t do that. All I can guarantee is that I’ll be glad you did…if that’s any consolation.
But now that I have addressed my fears, I want to talk about something that has humbled me to the core recently. This morning I logged into my facebook page to find a message waiting for me from a cousin who attended my book signing in Mesa last Saturday. This is a part of what he had to say.
Your book is awesome!!! LeMoyne and I both bought a copy, mainly out of curiosity and recommendations from family who loved it. Plus I’ve learned from the Rapier clan a lot about the art of sustaining the family and we all wanted your book signing to be a success! If the book wasn’t any good I figured I could always invoice you for the cost.
Okay, so the self-serving part of me left in the line about the book being awesome. Sue me. But the part that really has me thinking this morning, and coincides with what I’ve been thinking about for a while, is the line about the Rapier clan sustaining the family. He’s right. I belong to a family that makes it a priority to sustain one another. And I’m so glad.
His message made me think of my grandmother who sacrificed so much just to get her kids to church each week and in doing so established a legacy. I thought of my grandfather who sent and supported two boys (one of which was my dad) on missions when it wasn’t even necessarily what he believed in.
It made me think of an uncle who let me live with him for a summer and completely hijack his telephone so that I could salvage a relationship with a girl who to this day still means the world to me. Over the years, I am just one of many who has been afforded that privilege.
It made me think of a filled-in calendar that hung on my grandmother’s wall for years, documenting the family that came to see her when she could no longer live at home. No one else in that care facility had a calendar. But hers was never empty.
And finally, it made me think of this last Saturday when Deseret Book in Mesa got just a hint of the power that is Rapier Nation.
But it hasn’t just been my family. My wife’s family has been equally supportive these last few weeks. My sister-in-law came down from Gilbert to specifically to attend my signing in Thatcher. She was out trying to round up people to come with her to the signing in Mesa. And Shannon’s cousins were just as much a part of the invading force last Saturday.
But as I contemplated my cousin’s comment, I realized what a blessing it is to come from a rural community. Living where I live, I am always asked, “Are you one of those Duncan Rapiers?” I am always proud to answer yes. Because, $#%* straight I’m one of those Duncan Rapiers. Those Duncan Rapiers are good people. But so are those Duncan Lunts and those Duncan Paynes and those Duncan Merrills and those Duncan Richins, Websters and MacLays…the list goes on and on.
As I welcomed person after person to my signing, I realized, I’m proud to be a Rapier, but am I also very proud to be Wildkat, a Punkin’ Roller or whatever moniker one might want to give to folks from Duncan. By virtue of where I grew up, I have an extended family who continues to support one another regardless of whether or not we share the last name.
And this extends to the community where I live now. There may be times when I shudder at the amount of Eagles gear that now fills my home, but I am proud to have my kids growing up in Thatcher. Because my associations in Thatcher, and the associations I made with Thatcher people way back during my years at EAC, are deep and abiding. We are family. I may be the goofy cousin from Duncan, but we’re family.
And ALL of my family has been amazingly supportive. Because that’s what we do.
So if you are reading this and you are “family” in whatever form that word happens to take, I love you. I appreciate you. Your outpouring of support to me and my family in recent weeks has quite literally moved me to tears. Thank you for putting up with unending posts about THE RELUCTANT BLOGGER and not unfriending me out of annoyance. Thank you for taking a chance on a book that there are no guarantees you will like. And especially thank you to each of you who have shared your thoughts on the book once you’ve read it. Your positive comments are worth a hundred five star ratings on Amazon.
You are my people. Hopefully through my actions, I show that I’m yours. And we sustain each other. Because that’s what family does.