Talks About Books

Libraries, to me, are like airports. You can find all kinds of books in there that will whisk you away to places you’ve never been, and the ideas you find in them can spur the imagination like no television show can.

I went online the other day to see what’s been going on at the Meinders Community Library in Pipestone. They’ve got an impressive web site, easy to navigate, and there are lots of interesting programs there which, I’m sure, provide valuable and absorbing community services.

On Monday, I saw among the “special events” schedule a writer’s group meeting intended to inform citizens on how to form collaborations. All of us like to share our ideas, after all, and new perspectives expand our horizons and lead to better writing.

Right below that was another event listing the name of a writer, Doug Wolter, and it said that Pipestone Area Friends of the Library invite you for a meet and greet with the sports editor from Worthington, author of “The Genuine One” and “The Old Man in Section 129.”

It’s this Saturday, mind you. At 2 p.m.

They tell me that refreshments will be provided, too.

I’d love to see you there. A couple of months ago, the nice people at the Meinders Community Library asked if I would be interested in giving a little talk about the process of writing, and I naturally said thank you, and yes. I’m going to bring a few books, too, so anyone who wants to browse through them — and even purchase one or two — would be most welcome to do so.

Debra Brockberg of the “Friends” group asked if I would like to have a projector or screen for my presentation, and I replied that neither is necessary. If enough people show up (please!), I’ll give a little speech about how I stumbled into book writing (I’ve published seven books, fiction mostly, and I’ve begun work on an eighth) and what I strive to achieve as I create my stories.

And ask me questions. I love to answer questions.
Although I’ve been the featured speaker at two or three small events in Worthington since publishing, I still get a little nervous when I’m asked to make a speech of any kind. This probably goes back to my days as a high school freshman when I froze up the first time I had to speak in front of my “Speech 101” class.

I’ve gotten a lot better since then, however, and actually enjoy discussing anything about books at any time and anywhere.

It remains a humbling experience, however, when I’m asked to talk about my own book writing. I think I’m like a lot of writers who inwardly marvel when I’m told by readers that they’ve read one of my books, and they like it very much.

The whole subject reminds me of the famous novelist who had a friend who fancied himself a budding novelist, too. Finally, the upstart wrote something and sent off a copy to his famous friend, who quickly penned a response.

“Thank you for your manuscript,” he wrote. “I shall waste no time in reading it.”