Made me finally write my "This I Believe". I'll polish it up a bit before I send it to Jay Allison....
*with added Robin Williams!
Way back in the day, when Jackson Street Books had a storefront, I was excited to host Kristen Rowe-Finkbeiner for "The F-Word: Feminism". I promoted it and was joined by a powerfull ally, Mara, a SU prof of Women's Studies (!)
I got it in all the newspapers, newsletters, blogs, did EVERYTHING. Mara promoted the event heavily in all her networks.
On that day in Seattle, you could have bopped around to authors all day:
Ted Rall, Elliot Bay Books Noon
Kristen Rowe-Finkbeiner, Jackson Street Books 1 pm
Krist Novasellic Elliot Bay Books 3 pm
Angela Davis at the Westin Grand Ballroom 6pm
and there were a couple others that day.
5 women showed up, 2 brought books from Amazon purchases, cause they weren't sure the bookstore would have books for sale. 2 were Mara and I. Nina bought her copy from us. I had made fussy little cookies to serve at the signing. I had free teeshirts with rhinestones for each purshase. 'F-Word Voter' in babydoll pinks.
To say I was bitterly disappointed...
Talking with Mara later, she told me:
"Serve the Ones that Come to Your Table."
Huh? That threw me. My *most respected Feminist Icon* tells me to serve the ones who come to my table. I had to think about it. A lot.
So, I have turned this around, and upside down and thought about it. I have thought about it for 5 years now. I have tried to turn it into something else, but I can't.
I think about cooking food, and serving people at my table. I think about talking about books and serving the people at my table. I relish and cherish the people who come to my table. I can put food on the table, but I can't make anyone come to the table. The thing I can do is put the best possible stuff on the table.
Serve the ones that come to your table.
*" Joke 'em if they can't take a fuck."