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I can’t begin to describe how sick I am right now. I knew it was coming when the woman behind me on my Tampa to Chicago flight sounded as if she were hacking up a lung. By the time that I got off my Chicago-Seattle flight a coupe of days later, I was already sniffling. By this morning, it was head-in-a-vice full-bore head cold. I couldn’t talk. Thankfully, Mike was fixing a skylight at our rental house in Florida.

I digress.

In Chicago, we had a couple more of our very successful House Party Circuit. The first was held on Sunday afternoon by Anupy, a fellow writer with a very well-appointed household in Lincoln Park. I had planned to cut stuff up, but the dozen or so who gathered ended up just talking and digging into her delicious nosh spread.

The next night, I went to another lovely house party, this one up in Ravenswood. Ginger and I met on my tour last year, when I gave a demonstration to the Union League of Chicago. She had about three dozen friends, many of them members of a book club who had read the book back in its hardcover glory. (My own book club won’t read anything other than paperbacks, so I was impressed.) I did a brief knife skills demo while I sipped wine and talked.

And the next night, I went out to the Borders in Oak Park. On the way out, I went to the Michigan Avenue store where they had one copy left on a front-of-store display — and a woman bought it while I was there. A great guy there oversaw the event. To be fair, the Oak Park gig was a hastily assembled event that came together last week, and and then I had to change the date. So it is not their fault that just three people showed up, two were IACP members who I had invited via email. The third was a guy who apparently comes to all the events. Still, we had a great time. We drank wine, we talked about the book. We talked about the Obama campaign. I had 100% sell through since I sold three books. (OK, one was to a woman hovering near by.)

That’s the thing. Book stores, you never know who will show up. I’ve had a crowd of 50 in Louisville and just two in San Francisco. But no matter what, I always make sure everyone has a good time.

A media escort in Boston told Mike and I last year an interesting tale. An author was disappointed because a much-hyped event at a bookstore on his tour drew only two people. But, he soldiered on and gave his talk just as he would if there had been 100 people. One of the two, he later learned, was a judge for the National Book Award. The author ended up being a finalist for the award that year. So there you go…

About katflinn

Kathleen Flinn is the author of “The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry,” “The Kitchen Counter Cooking School” and “Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good.” All are published by Viking/Penguin.

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