I am leaving the house tomorrow. This may not sound newsworthy to you, but I probably do not need much more than a few extra fingers and toes to record my perambulations in the outside world since the pandemic began. Last year, I went to various doctors, saw a community theater production my oldest daughter was in, flew to Las Vegas for a week, spoke at the public library in Brunswick during their Mystery Month, and got a couple of really necessary pedicures. My little 2021 diary from the excellent Maine company Gallery Leather is sadly empty.
Things have not been any more stimulating in 2022, although a few weeks ago I watched 5-year-old Josephine in her dance recital debut in Massachusetts. (She, of course, stole the show and my heart.) But on June 11, I’m participating in a local library fundraising event, and I couldn’t be happier. Actually, the library doesn’t even exist yet—the organizers hope to get a bookmobile going, and I am all for it. They’re hosting a “Meet the Authors”/auction/luncheon at the Chesterville Town Office from 10-2, which sounds like fun. I do hope I remember how to interact with people who are not my family. I’ll have to wear real clothes. And shoes. If you’re in the neighborhood…
I’ve got a huge soft spot for libraries. As a kid, mine was within walking/biking distance. I did all the summer reading programs, getting my rocket to the moon or star in the sky before anybody else on the chart. As an adult, I worked in three different school libraries in three different states, and volunteered in a fourth public library. My last job was clerking in the Mt. Blue High School library in Farmington, where I discovered technology had replaced the checkout cards and card catalogues of my youth. I got pretty good scanning barcodes and figuring out the computer system.
It was in this library that I got “the Call” from my agent one afternoon in 2009, letting me know she sold my first book to Berkley Heat. I still have the piece of scrap paper I took notes on, which I can barely read, since my hands were shaking so. When I hung up, I cried, which alarmed the kids who had stayed after school to study. I assured them they were happy tears, though they probably still think I was crazy.
But back to the local event. I have some promo packets made up, with bookmarks and postcards. I’ll have a few books to sell, and will donate two baskets to the auction. There will be chocolate. I think I’m ready.
You never know whether anyone will show up to these things, and it’s conceivable I’ll sit in isolated splendor with the other writers. But that’s okay. After two years of hermitting, it will be a nice change to be out and about for a good cause. Long live libraries!
Have you been anywhere exciting lately?
For more information about Maggie and her books, please visit www.maggierobinson.net