Down by the River

So last Thursday was my first author event – and what a way to debut, being a featured author at Word Associates “A Gathering of Authors”. Everything about the event was top notch professional – the venue (Riverside Landing Events Center, in Oakmont, PA), the pop-up bookstore, the entertainment (Bill Duff, a fantastic guitarist), the emcee (thanks to Bill Davis!), bartender Bill, our red-dressed professional model escort Jenna, and of course the hosts, Word Associates (extra special thanks to Francine and Tom Costello, and to Jason and April from the WA staff, for all their hard work on our behalf.) The little extras – the swag bags for attendees, the cookies from Oakmont Bakery, and the beautiful sunset reflecting off the Allegheny River – all made the evening magical.

Of course, this really ratcheted up the butterflies for me – this was my first “Cairns” speaking event. And boy did we have some really talented authors and presenters on stage! Presentations on pocket revolutionaries, K-9 canines, and 15-second fitness (complete with audience participation), on the subject of dragons, cats, and birds, presented by preachers, pilgrims, professors and proud grandmas, featuring stories of farmers and famous mayors, of wars and wandering, telling tales of espionage, intrigue, injustice, and mystery. Wow, what a great group, so able to work an audience! It was wonderful how everyone supported everyone and even continued common themes on the fly, like “the women in the red dress” thread that ran through the evenings’ speakers, in reference to a famous character from a famous author just up the river in Tarentum, PA, where WA is headquartered! I have a lot to learn, I learned…

But that’s what happens when you follow a dream – you have to get out of your comfort zone. I’ve dreamed about taking Cairns from a few excited brain synapses that kept me up at night to a real, live book – for over six years. And in the back of my mind, in these dreams, was the thought of doing something like “A Gathering of Authors” – and now that has come true, too.

No, I don’t have a best-seller, probably never will. But I worked really long and hard on my book to make it the best it can be, and to make that dream come true – and it did. That is more than worth it. And I got to debut my dream come true at such a wonderful event as “A Gathering of Authors” – how great is that?

The best part of the night, though, was sharing this with my family. Out in the audience was my longest supporter, my mom, and she brought lots of friends, too. My boys were also there, hopefully feeling a little proud of their old man. And Emily took time out of her busy schedule to drive up from Oakland to attend! Wow, thanks to one and all!

Best of all, I got to include my very own “women in the (kinda) red dress” in my presentation, and share a little of the spotlight with my biggest supporter (and impromptu editor, and ledge-talker-downer, and get-the-manuscript-out-of-the-garbage-again fetcher), and heroine in my story, my wonderful Kim. Thanks hon, for following these cairns with me. Let’s see where they lead…


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