You are looking at MY copy of John Grisham’s Camino Island autographed to me, which reads, “Keep Writing!” John Grisham! Seriously? This was a gift from my friend and co-writer, Liz Tipping, and yes – there is a story here and a lesson to be learned.
Some time ago, Liz mentioned she had purchased a ticket to the “very limited seating” event at Parnassus Books for Mr. Grisham’s event to sign his new book. It wasn’t that I didn’t have the $100, but with all the costs of self-publishing, I do weigh my choices very seriously and, being on such a tight schedule with never enough time to get to the things I need to do to get The Wait as much exposure as possible, I decided that there was probably no way I’d end up in front of him so I’d be better off using that money on some other sort of marketing. Anyway, they probably just hand you a book at the beginning of the event which he has signed ahead of time. There wouldn’t be any way a fledgling author (whose book is on the shelf at Parnassus) would end up in front of such an esteemed author such as Mr. Grisham . . . yeah, no way.
So, here’s what would have happened HAD I NOT DOUBTED AND GONE! I’m standing in line. I stand in front of Mr. Grisham. Liz introduces me since a cat has my tongue and points out my new book, The Wait, which is on the shelf here in the store and which I have in my hand and could possibly be able to GIVE to him as a gift. Mr. Grisham smiles, signs “Keep Writing,” mumbles a few words of encouragement as 15 or 20 other people now know I am a fledgling author with a new book AND know that my book is right there on the shelf at Parnassus!
It’s better to take the chance that something MIGHT happen, then assume it won’t and kick yourself for the rest of your life for missing that opportunity. Remember the story of the drowning man?
Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.”
The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.”
So the rowboat went on.
Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.”
To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”
So the motorboat went on.
Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.”
To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”
So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.
Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”
To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”
The lesson I learned, “ALWAYS ASSUME THE DOOR WILL OPEN NOT THAT IT MIGHT NOT!”
Keep on Keeping On!
Lisa Kaye Presley