I stopped in tonight at Hugh Hewitt's book signing at Barnes & Noble in Orange. I got there early, before the table was set up, grabbed a Starbuck's drink, and invited myself to share a table with Mark, who had a copy of "Blog." It turns out he'd never heard Hugh's show and just came to the bookstore to try to find a copy of "In But Not Of," which a friend had recommended, and found out about the book signing. He's in town from Philadelphia and heading home tomorrow.
He asked me questions about blogs, which I tried to answer. It's a challenge to explain "Rathergate" and "Christmas in Cambodia" well but without excruciating detail. And why do people blog, and how is it different from newsposts? (I had just sort of skipped the whole newspost phase, so I had to skirt around that question.) All of this was a little tough, because I haven't read Hugh's Blog book yet. But I was talkative today, because I've been speech-deprived from working pretty late all week, so I took on the challenge.
Then the bookstore set up the table and stacked up the books--a lot fewer than they had ordered--and I went to start the line. A woman with a one-year old in a stroller came up behind me, and we talked. Her husband is the big Hugh Hewitt fan in their family, and he's away on business. So she's getting the book signed as a surprise for him when he comes home next week. Her daughter was quiet the whole time.
After a while, I recognized Duane, Hugh's producer, when he arrived. I wouldn't have known who he was before last week, when he posted pictures on his website. I caught myself checking the size of Duane's forehead to see if it was anywhere near the size Hugh says it is, but knowing at the same time that it couldn't be (it wasn't). Soon after that, Hugh came in and the signing got started. Hugh said that babies go first, so I motioned the mom to go ahead of me, but she said she'd go after me.
Hugh was friendly, and seemed to recognize my name from the few times I called his show. He signed both my "Blog" book and "If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat" and asked about my blog. Then it was the mom's turn.
Nobody was talking to Duane, who was stationed a little behind the table, so I talked to him for a few minutes about his Where In The Blog Is Hugh's Book contest. We both liked the Best of the Blog-hicans entry best, but we were outside the will of the people. He was so understanding about my being in the starting stage of blogging and encouraged me to keep at it. What a great guy.
For a day that had me going to a don't-harrass-people class at work in the morning, falling on my butt in the Franklin Covey store after the class, dumping my lunch (with sauce) on myself after that, and facing an afternoon of frustration at work, it was a wonderful way to end.
Thanks, Duane & Hugh!