The man walked into the convention hall, his first trade show, and was excited. The vendors were mostly educators and up and coming authors and illustrators, and although not the man’s stock-in-trade directly, he looked forward to fun and hoped to learn something along the way.
Public education wasn’t all bad.
The booth for the Monkey and the Hare was up ahead. All the schools had that series this year. It’d been wildly successful, and the author, who also did the artwork in the book, was the keynote speaker today. Her appearing in their little town was quite the coup. The man used the books in his classroom and did have a thing for them, and so did the kids. He particularly loved the hare character, but who didn’t? He thought the light-heartedness and likeability of the hare is what the kids related to most of all.
The man knows he did.
As he approached the booth the author was holding court. A group of fans were getting signed copies and chatting her up, while behind the booth a big screen TV played clips of the new animated series being released this fall. Wow! The man got in line and eavesdropped on the conversation between the author and a rotund little woman just ahead.
ROTUND LITTLE WOMAN: The hare is so delightful. Tell me, how do you get your inspiration?
AUTHOR: Well I try to convey my deepest, most personal thoughts to you, the reader. Anything random really. My point of view. And sometimes even the darkest parts of me.
ROTUND LITTLE WOMAN: Oh, I see. How fascinating.
AUTHOR: Yes. To be able to take you to another place. To transcend time. And maybe even space. To show who I really am.
ROTUND LITTLE WOMAN (taking her signed copy and smiling politely): Ah, it’s an honor. Thank you so much.
It was the man’s turn and he handed the author a book. She smiled, asked his name, signed his copy and handed it back.
AUTHOR: Do you have any questions for me today?
THE MAN: Yes. Well, I heard you say the “darkest parts” of you, and the hare is so cheerful and carefree. How do you get that affect, that dichotomy? To what do you attribute such duality?
AUTHOR: Whatever do you mean?
THE MAN: To be honest it really doesn’t seem like that much is going on. This is geared toward six-year olds, right? Don’t get me wrong, we love it. I use it in my classroom every day. But I heard you say you want to “transcend time and maybe even space” and “show who you really are”, all that.
AUTHOR (looking blankly): Sir, is there a question in there?
THE MAN: No I guess I don’t have a question. Well, I know you’re here to sell the Monkey and the Hare, but after listening to you and that rotund little woman and now your present cluelessness, it sounds like you’re selling yourself.
AUTHOR: Selling my what? What rotund? Sir, do you have a question?