It's Friday.. I must be in Haines.
On the cruise ship the other day, after I went through the Haines Borough harbor security check, and handed the ship security man my passport which he locked in a cupboard and exchanged for a guest pass, and was greeted by my host John, who gave me a tour of the Holland America Line ship-- (It was very dark in there, navy blue and deep purples, golds and silvers and mirrors and all very posh, in a casino hotel kind of way. Luxurious really, or as Kathleen, from Staten Island said to me, "It's gonna be hard to go home, a gal could get used to this. I've been pampered for a week." She said she's lost all track of time) -- I noticed the elevator carpet had Wednesday woven into it.
When John showed me the gold curtained stage in the theater/lounge I thought I may get hives. (My friend Deb says never rent a hall you can't fill, about local political candidates, but I thought of her now.) Luckily I had a scarf on to look like an author and hide my blotchy neck. "We are expecting a good turnout," John said and asked if I had a powerpoint.
" Um.. no. I have a book."
A hardcover. With paper pages. This would be kind of like storytime at the library for grown-ups. I suddenly wished I could play the ukulele.
But I had my author costume on-- taking my own advice that sometimes dressing the part makes you act it-- and the former cross country coach in me who used to tell high school runners afraid of racing a 5K, "It's only about 25 minutes of suffering even if you are very slow.. half hour tops if you have to walk. You can last that long." The reading was only an hour tops.
The good news is that the lounge was full, I had fun, and the audience was very nice, and they laughed and cried a little too-- (I did, I always do-- sometimes my own writing catches me by surprise, and being away a lot last month and missing this place makes me even more emotional.)
The guests were curious and appreciative, and they were glad the books I signed for them came from our local bookstore, The Babbling Book. They were amazed Haines had a bookstore, and an award winning library (Best Small Library in America, I bragged), a pool, three grocery stores, and so much more. "You have a distillery here? Is it just for the ships and tourists?" Oh no, I said, they sell spirits all over the state and Northwest. They have won national prizes. The labels are beautiful and designed by local artist Laura Rogers.
Speaking of Haines Art-- tonight is First Friday downtown, and there's artwork by Melina Shields on Main Street and piano music at the museum, and my friend Teresa just called and suggested we go to the distillery and have a drink first then head downtown. Well, why not? Happy Haines Friday.