Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Impossible Dream

I had this dream last night about my book.

Okay, actually I didn't. Rather, I had this daydream about a dream I had about my book. And it didn't happen last night at all. (Sorry, I just have this tendency to want to tells these horrific lies, like the time I was out with J. K. Rowling and I told her that it was because of her that I wanted to become a writer...)

So, back to the daydream of the dream. See, there I was walking through Barnes and Noble children's section when I happen upon my book. There it was, all shining as though rays of sunshine were streaming in through the ceiling (or maybe it was just one of those really expensive sun lamps) overhead. It was a truly angelic sight. Mindburst, by Ryan Bruner.

Thing is, there was only the one copy. And it seemed as though no one else in the store was aware of the bright light proclaiming the wonders of my book, because not a single soul made a second glance.

Then I realized that I was standing in the way, so of course no one would take a look. So, I hid around the corner, crouched down next to the Star Wars section, which was no small chore because it meant fighting off four different boys desperate to find the next book in the Jedi Apprentice series.

"No," I told them. "They aren't here. Go look over there, in that shiny light. Maybe you'll find something you like."

Eventually one of the kids managed to beat me up and get his Star Wars book. And still no one glanced at my book.

So I found an employee, who found the manager, and I offered to sign the book.

He hemmed and hawed and then said, "Well, I'm sorry, I can't let you do that."

"Why not?"

"Well, we've had the book on the shelf for three years now, but not a single person wants it, so we were going to ship it back to the publisher."

"But I only started writing it two years ago."

He shrugged. "Nevertheless, if you sign it I can't return it."

"Well, what if I buy it."

Looking me up and down, he said, "You're going to buy your own book?"

"Sure."

So, I go back, sign my own copy of my own book and take it to the cashier to pay.

"What a great find," I said (another of my great lies). "An autographed copy, even!"

She nodded and handed me a flyer. "You can save 10% if you sign up for our book club."

"Do you have any kids? They'd love it, I'm sure."

"Will that be cash or charge?"

I pulled out my card. "Charge."

Then she handed me my credit card slip to sign, checking that my signature matches the one on my card. Glancing at the book cover, she smirked, and my face went white. She handed back my card and said, "Thanks, Mr. Bruner. Enjoy your book."

Drat. Foiled again. I'm going to have to remember to pay cash next time. And the last part of my dream involves going out to my card and tossing my own book in the back end of my car, where another several hundred copies haphazardly sit.

Of course, not a bit of this is the least bit true. Just me daydreaming. And you'd think that if I'm the one in control of my daydreams, they could be a bit more upbeat. I'll have to talk to Dr. Phil about that the next time we do lunch together.

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