Silly Debut Author Thoughts of the Week

book-signingYesterday it struck me that some people are blessed with social intelligence. They know how to express the perfect sentiments at the perfect moments. They have gracious communication styles so that whether they’re at funerals or bumping into not-quite-remembered acquaintances on the street, they always know what to say.

I’m not one of these people. I do OK simply because I have some life experience under my belt. But in new situations? With new people? Let’s just say that my social intelligence isn’t the keenest.

My thoughts wandered in this fruitless direction because I started to obsess — just a tad — about how to sign my novels during readings. Yeah, I hope to sign a few books here and there. I’ll have to come up with some pithy, sincere sentiments beforehand. I know experienced authors do this. But jeez, what to write?

Maybe I should draw a shamrock because of the Ireland thing? But I can’t draw.

And what do I write for people I know? They deserve something personal — but how personal do I need to get? And will my friends be insulted if I write the same personal thing in all their books?

Oh, and what about signing books to fellow writers, some whose books I’ve read, some not?

The other day I signed my first book to a Goodreads giveaway winner. That was fine. I knew what to write because I had time to think about it and get a little personal.

Only problem: I didn’t have a decent pen to write with. Who knew I’d have to think about pens on this journey? Ballpoints don’t suffice. The best I had was a medium Sharpie. At least I had a green one for the Irish feel. But, man, the ink bled into the back side of page, my writing was clunky …

Blank-practice-writing-paperI have herky-jerky penmanship anyhow, and I just discovered that it reverts back to the second grade when under pressure. I call it “scripto-stage fright.” So, I guess I’ll need to perfect my hybridized cursive-printing.

And, yee gads, what happens if I flub up and have to cross out something? Like I spell a name wrong? Are we allowed to mess up?

Thank god it’s the end of the week. I can’t wait to see what my brain delivers next week. Such a strange, fun journey!

Got any pen suggestions for me?


14 thoughts on “Silly Debut Author Thoughts of the Week

  1. I highly recommend the Pentel 24/7 pen. With the medium roller ball. it glides smoothly and shows up really.

    I have to do signings everyday and it is my favorite pen!

  2. I like the idea of perfecting a Doctor’s Penmanship Style so that people have to guess what I actually wrote. When we’re famous, deciphering our messages might become a whole new line of scholarship.

  3. I teach/remediate handwriting, and I do my best with a Lamy Vista or Safari fountain pen: in either case, with a 1.5mm italic nib. “Hybridized cursive printing” is, in any case, a fair description of the usual handwriting of the best and fastest handwriters: for perfecting that, i most recommend,,,,, and

    1. Thanks, macjam47! You can see I’m getting neurotic as I get closer to publication, hehe. Are we friends on FB, by the way? You might be interested in the great review I just received. Made me happy!

      1. Yes, you should be happy. What a wonderful review! I am on FB as Michelle Clements James. I sent you a friend request this morning. I’ve been getting Facebook posts, so we must be connected in some other way.

  4. When I finished J-School my wonderful husband gave me a Mont Blanc. Perhaps some lovely writing instrument is in the offing for you? If not, buy and inkwell, pluck a bird a go with the flow.

    Meanwhile thanks for the ‘Like’ on my recent post and a 3-day late thank you for following Murder in Common – it’s appreciated.

  5. Re handwriting —

    Here is a YouTube link to video footage from a handwriting seminar last week — the seminar is by two of my favorite colleagues, who make excellent use of a “hybridized cursive printing”:

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