You ought to make your way to Auntie’s Bookstore a day in your life, and especially if you are an author on a book tour. Their author-handler is a lady by the name of Linda Bond, and she really made my reading into something very lovely and intimate. There were a handful of people and instead of having me stand and face a mostly empty room, she had us all sit down in a circle. I read to the eight people listening like my novel was a story book, and it was a new kind of thing for me.

I had left my family to play all day in a lake near Kettle Falls, Washington. I drove with my cousin/aunt Nancy and two friends from her writing group, Lahana and Nancy L. I’d just done lots of driving with my dad and then my husband and kids, but I wasn’t tired of the road. Three ladies and their stories of their life just south of Candada and East of Seattle transfixed me. The journey slipped past, barely noticed, as I learned of Lahana’s book selling and convenience store shifts, Nancy’s neighbor’s calving and her newspaper career, and Nancy’s life since I’d last seen her.

In Spokane, at Auntie’s, my friend Keya, joined our group, as did Linda, and an old man named Joe . Linda explained to me before the reading that Joe attends all readings, photographs the authors and asks them to sign a little book. She said some people are annoyed, but I wasn’t. His retirement hobby moved me; there are those who take cruises, and then there are those who make it to even the debut novelist from Utah’s reading to become an eighth of an audience. He did spend about ten minutes posing me just right after the reading, and it made me happy. I asked him if he had been a professional photographer, and after saying no and making me guess other possible professions, he said, “I was a jeweler and I engraved things.”

It made some sort of sense to me, and I left Spokane grateful to the ladies who drove four hours (2 there and 2 back) to see me read, and to Keya for having asked me sweet questions, to Linda for her kindness, and to Joe for his.

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