I tend to be quiet among relatives and non-writing friends about my passion for writing. So when my former neighbors in Massachusetts heard that I'd published a novel, they seemed quite surprised. My wife's 101-year-old grandmother just called the other day, expressing delight and saying she intends to buy the book. We'll just send her a copy as a gift, my wife said. No, no, she said, she wants to buy it. Barbara and I have been acquainted for about 45 years, and she said she had no idea that I wrote fiction. If you write, you may know that squeamish feeling you get when you tell someone that you write novels but haven't been published yet. Oh, folks are nice about it, but no one ever seems surprised that I'm not fighting for bookstore shelf space with King and Grisham.
Barbara is a wonderful lady, a Holyoke College Phi Beta Kappa from the 1920s who recently told us she's surrounded by too many old people at her assisted living facility in Vermont. She is blind now, and one of her many friends will have to read the book aloud to her. This leaves me a little apprehensive; of course she has never heard me swear or utter anything inappropriate, so I hope my book doesn't shock her.
That is what happens when you put your work out for the world to see, though, isn't it?