Thursday, September 1, 2011
A Memorable Day!
The sun was shining, there was a warm Pacific breeze, people were drinking wine and filling their bellies with the delicious fare that was provided by my hosts. We all gathered on the patio (that's me in the shade with my mouth open) and, very quickly, people whom I had met for the first time, became new friends. Some of them knew each other from varous circles, but others were also meeting for the first time.
I had brought name tags stickers for everyone to wear. I have a terrible problem remembering names. Naturally, I blame MS. It proved helpful for other people meeting for the first time, as well.
My wonderful hostess introduced me, and before I had the chance to say the opening line I had prepared, people started asking questions. It was wonderful. The discussion was animated and lively. They certainly made me feel like a visiting celebrity. They wanted to know about my theatre background, what led me to writing, how I got the idea for the storyline, the process of writing, and the process of trying to get a publisher, how to go about self-promoting, and they sat enrapt as I told them the plot line for my new novel (which was very encouraging for me). It was non-stop questions and two hours flew by too soon.
Several people had already read "Once..." and were very complimentary. One lovely woman, who had already read it, bought three of the books I had brought with me. She told me I was an inspiration. She is an MS advocate, who despite her need of a cane, participates in an MS walk fundraiser every year. For the past three years, she has done the 50-mile, three-day walk! Now, that to me is inspirational. She was my hero for that day. Sure, it's one way to spread MS awareness with the written word, sitting quietly in my chair - it's another thing to get up and move and raise awareness and money participating in walk-a-thons, or bike-a-thons. Some people are movers and shakers, which she certainly was; while the rest of us do our thing through cyberspace.
However it is done, any way you can spread awareness about MS, do it. The more people who are made aware of this heinous disease, the more attention it will receive, the better the chances of finding a cure.
As I wrote, the time ended too soon, but I feel I have made new friends here in Mexico, and look forward to a return visit.
I've done book signings and radio interviews, but this was my first Meet & Greet, so I really did not know what to expect. It was a wonderful experience and I hope there will be many more to follow.
That evening we went to the casino. I planted myself at a Blackjack table for over an hour. I sat there not understanding a word of the Spanish that was spoken around me. I left that table ahead $3.40, feeling I was the luckiest person on the planet. It had been a great day! A memorable one!