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Monday, December 1, 2008

Six Degrees of Separation

In a recent blog interview (to be published this week at, I mentioned that at least once during December I like to sit down at a piano and play and sing my way through the Christmas section of the hymnal.

God must have heard my request. The family that invited Mom and I over for Thanksgiving (an absolutely delightful time) had a piano. I begged for a few minutes at the piano. I played each and every Christmas carol, and Glenda (our host) and Mom sang right along with me. Thank You, God, for the gift of music.

I teared up when I sang "Silent Night." Jolene and I had to do all our Christmas shopping by bus for most of her life. By the time we finished shopping, our buses started running once an hour. We spent many cold, clear December nights waiting for the bus to come and singing every Christmas song we could remember. Something about Silent Night brought those evenings to mind.

But the shock to my system came on Saturday, when I went to Barnes & Noble for a booksigning. I was rushing in to speak with the manager but couldn't make it past the first row of books. Standing there, with her back to me with only her chin showing, stood Jolene's doppleganger.

I couldn't move. The young woman was Jolene's height and shared her body build. She wore jeans and a plain white polo shirt, like Jolene might wear. Her dark hair hung straight to the same chin length Jolene wore hers. And that chin--that nicely rounded chin--that broad nose ... I could have sworn I was looking at my daughter. Except I knew it was impossible. Until the stranger turned around and her facial features shattered the illusion.

I shook myself back to reality and found Colleen. Megan DiMaria and I held a joint booksigning event, and we met a number of new readers. One lady rushed past, saying she only buys "bestsellers." Too late, I thought, hey, Snowbound Colorado Christmas is on a couple of bestseller lists!

Snubbed or not, we had a wonderful time and even sold a few books.

Hey, my news today: I finished the rough draft of my third mystery! Woo-hoo!

1 comment:

Robbie Iobst said...

What a journey you are on, Darlene. Thank you for sharing it with us. And congrats on your book!