Chris signing a copy of 100 MILES for a reader at the Junior League of Poughkeepsie Authors' Luncheon.

A Lovely Authors’ Luncheon with the Junior League of Poughkeepsie

Today I attended an Authors’ Luncheon hosted by the Junior League of Poughkeepsie. The luncheon was a benefit to raise money for a JLP–Dutchess Community College scholarship—a cause I was honored to be a part of.

I was one of three authors, the other two being historical fiction authors Alyson Richman and Kathy Leonard Czepiel. We signed copies of our books, read from our works, did a Q&A (during which I got to wax poetic about my favorite authors), and conversed with the women at our respective tables.

I’ve done several of these events, and I have to say this was the best one—the best planned, best coordinated, best executed, best food, best conversation, best fellow authors—the best all around literary event I’ve attended. My thanks go out to Susan and Mary Beth, as well as the other masterful organizers of the event, for making the experience so pleasant and seamless. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

OHMFM_Cover_1600pxh_300dpiAt one point, after I had done my reading from One Hundred Miles from Manhattan (to a rapt and delightful audience, I might add), I stood on the side of the room observing the entire scene: all of these lovely, accomplished women who were there to hear from me, to buy my books and to bask in what I loved to do more than anything: to tell stories, to be my natural raconteur self.

It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.

One of the women from my table, Wendy, saw me observing the scene from the sidelines and came over to talk to me.

“So…Chris,” she said with a twinkle in her eye, “what are you doing? Thinking how lucky you are to be surrounded by so many beautiful, accomplished women?”

“As a matter of fact,” I said, “that’s exactly what I was doing.”

She laughed, arching her back, cradling her glass of lemonade in both hands.

“Seriously,” I said. “I was just thinking of how much I wish I could go back in time, to when I was thirteen years old and knew I wanted to be a writer, and say to my 13-year-old self, ‘Don’t worry, buddy. Hang in there, it’s going to work out. One day you’ll be signing your book and speaking in front of a room of lovely, accomplished women. Just keep writing, buddy.'”

She laughed again, so hard this time that she was on the verge of tears.

Not a bad way to spend an afternoon. :)

Thank you, Junior League of Poughkeepsie, for the opportunity to help you with your excellent cause.


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By Chris Orcutt

Writer — The Dakota Stevens Mystery Series, Short fiction, Plays — Editor & Speechwriter for Hire — Avid Golfer, Chess Player & Awesome Wood-Splitter — Twitter: @chrisorcutt

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