I had my first signing when I was thirteen.
It was for my novel, Pintus, which was the haphazard, roaring tale of a prince who rescues his kingdom. The night before, I could barely sleep because I was so excited. I arrived at the book store with a scrawling poster and bugging eyes. The store was Black Bear Books. It was situated in the center of Boone's tiny mall.
I taped the poster to the edge of the table. I organized my books in tall, harrowing towers. I shot every passerby my best welcoming expression. Reel them in, Kelsey, I thought to myself, wiggling my eyebrows at the shoppers. Reeeeeeel them in.
It was marvelous. At the end of it all, I shook the manager's hand and gazed up at him like he had the face of God.
He was later kicked out for embezzlement. And the store died not long after.
But that's not the point.
The point is that I was empowered that day. I felt validated, and inspired, and excited. That's the way I feel today, too -- the day after my signing with Foggy Pine Books. It's been so long since I've done a signing, and I have to say it is one of the best experiences a writer can have. I connected with artists, wrote poetry for strangers, and sold tons of books. But that wasn't even the best part.
I met people who were touched by my work. I saw copies of my book, dog-eared and bookmarked because the poems meant something to them. And I talked with people who felt less alone because I shared my stories.
For me, that's what this whole thing is about. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted my words to mean something. I write for connection. Connection with myself, connection with the world, connection with other individuals. If my writing can help a single person outside of myself, then that gives my life, and my work, meaning.
So thank you, to everyone reading this and everyone supporting me. I can't tell you how much it means to me.
yours in haste,
kelsey day is a young award winning poet who grew up in the blue mountains of north carolina. she has received recognition for a collection of short stories, as well as two novels she published at the ages of 11 and 13. today she is studying creative writing in boston, massachusetts.