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Reluctant Self-promotion

I live one block away from a fabulous independent bookstore, Bolen Books. How fabulous? It won bookseller of the year in Canada last year. My daughters and I have spent many, many hours in Bolen Books, since it has a wonderful selection of children’s books–aisles and aisles and aisles of them. But here’s the deal: despite the many times I have been there and the loads of money I have spent there, I have yet to work up the courage to tell anyone there that, umm, I have a novel forthcoming and, oh yeah, I live up the street.

Here’s the problem: it just sounds so cheesy. Saying, “I wrote a novel,” even if it is true, sounds like a bad come-on. It honestly makes me cringe.

So I tend not to tell people.

Not just the great independent bookstore down the street, but also acquaintances, colleagues, and certainly, in my other identity as a student-midwife, my clients. (There’s a speculum scene in my novel, but somehow it doesn’t feel appropriate to reference it when conducting paps.)

At the same time, I kind of want it painted across my forehead: I wrote a novel! And it’s being published! This February 5th, and they say –they really promise—that it’ll be in wide distribution, in bookstores near you!

But my forehead’s too small.

Back in September I attended the beautiful birth of a lovely woman who, when we stopped in for a visit at 24 hrs postpartum, was reading a novel as she lounged beside her newborn baby.  Aha, I thought, a reader. But I bit my lip: even if I was ready to try out the “I wrote a novel” line, as her student midwife I had a different kind of work to do. A few weeks ago we saw her and her baby for a final clinic visit–here in Canada, midwives care postpartum for women and their babies for 6 weeks before transferring care back to a family physician. We cooed over the baby, we weighed, we measured, we talked shop: contraception, breastfeeding, sleep, playgroups, relationships — the whole cross-section of the new mom/new baby world.

Remember: I kept telling myself, she’s a reader. She’s a reader…

Finally, before she left, I slipped it in. “So, I kind of wrote this novel,” I began.

I got lucky: she was not only a reader, but a writer too.

Mission accomplished. For now.

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One Comment

  1. Heather says:

    You should self-promote, your book is wonderful! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. It truly was an honor to read Sima’s Undergarments for Women, and an even bigger honor to have you read and appreciate my review of it. Thanks also for adding my site to your blogroll, it truly means a lot.
    Have a fantastic (I think) Hanukkah and wonderful New Years!

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