Your Chance to Help Reedy Press

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Goodness Gracious, I’m on the Program, Too.

You’ll have to listen to me talk, but sometimes we must sacrifice.

The opportunity to reboot Reedy Press after the recent warehouse fire will be the “Reedy Press Reboot” — what else? – from 6-9 Monday night at the Duck Room of the legendary Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar Boulevard in the Delmar Loop,  For a $20 ticket,  which you can buy on the web,  you can eat some yummy hors d’oeuvres, preorder books when they’re reprinted and listen to some great entertainment.

Every penny raised will go for reprinting Reedy books. It’ll be great, and the only place to be on Monday. Maybe even Beatle Bob will show up.

The big item of the night will be STL Stories at 7, in which a dozen or so Reedy Press authors from the Gateway City share stories about these parts. Eleven will be great. I’m not sure how good the 12th will be, because it’s me.

I’ll more or less share the epilogue from my book, The Colorful Characters of St. Louis, “My Wasted Life as a Writer.” In it, I explain why I think Reedy Press Publisher Josh Stevens wanted me on the list of local colorful characters. Thankfully, there’s a cash bar, because you’ll want to run there after you hear me.

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This Whole Thing Stinks

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Here, I’m holding my last book shortly before sonebody bought it on Dec. 2

I’ve never liked the word “bittersweet.” But in this case, the word fits like no other.

Saturday afternoon I sold my last copy of The Colorful Characters of St. Louis at the Tower Grove Farmers Market Artisan Holiday Market. I laughed as I signed the book for the buyer, Anne Horton, with a notation that she now owned my last book. We laughed again as she took a selfie with me and the valued collector’s item. But after she left, I considered this new reality for Reedy Press authors after the recent warehouse fire.

I canceled a signing on Sunday and will cancel two more between now and Christmas. I’ve turned down two other invitations to Christmastime signings. I won’t have to cancel invitations to two programs at the start of the year, nor to one this week, because I don’t have to bring books.  I’ve always used those holiday sales to pay off end-of-year bills. But without books, I’ll end the year several hundred dollars poorer, Plus, I won’t get royalty payments for December a few months from now, because Reedy won’t have any of my books to sell. I’m not sure when I’ll get reprints. There’s a chance some bookstores will send back copies of my books they couldn’t sell, which I could buy. But just a chance.

Most likely, this will be the first time since the fall of 2010 that I haven’t sold books, particularly during the Christmas season. The fire put this tiny shopkeeper and dozens of others out of business, at least for now.

I believe in the power of prayer and have confidence God will work this situation out for the good. It doesn’t take faith  to believe that a revived Reedy Press will benefit both Reedy authors and the reading public. I’m looking forward to attending the Reedy Press Reboot Dec. 11 at Blueberry Hill. It’s sure to new the soul of an author like me. You mean you haven’t bought tickets? Dad bum it, click these blue letters, and buy ’em before they’re gone.

Besides, without the bother of sitting for hours at signings, I can finish doing interviews for my next Reedy Press book, Growing Up St. Louis.

It’s all true, as is the fact that lots of victims of more serious disasters have it much worse. I’m sure the people at Reedy Press are among those who have it worse than I do. But it doesn’t change the fact that the whole situation is pretty depressing. It goes against my nature, which says we always should look at the sunny side of life. But it’s the truth.

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In this selfie, I hold my last copy of The Colorful Characters of St. Louis, right after Anne Horton (left) bought it from me.