Dandelions, book signings and childhood memories

While walking outside with my granddaughter recently, she looked at the dandelions growing behind the house and said, “Some people think dandelions are weeds, but I think they’re flowers.”

Okay, so I had to agree with her. I happen to think of them as flowers as well.

Of course her statement reminded me that life really is just a matter of perception, that there isn’t always a right or wrong to things, and that the perfection we often strive to find only exists in our own minds. The answer lies in the way we’ve been conditioned to think and be.

I was also reminded that day of what it’s like to see the world through the eyes of a child, something we lose through the process of living. Can you imagine a world where everyone sees a dandelion as a flower instead of a weed? We certainly wouldn’t be striving so hard to have them removed. I know people who put a great deal of effort into removing dandelions from their property, and I’m not saying there’s anything wrong in that especially if that’s something important to you.  Of course, the magic of it all is that in a few short weeks they leave all on their own with no assistance from us—just saying

I love the story my sister used to tell about “blow flowers.” When her daughter was young she was fascinated by the fluffy white dandelion heads that had gone to seed and she called them “blow flowers.” At the time I thought: leave it to a child to see the beauty in something that’s at the end of its life cycle.  I remember picking those dead dandelions as a child, blowing on them, and watching the seeds fly through the air. Such a simple thing and yet it was fun. I suppose those same white heads would make most adults cringe as they imagine their lush green lawns becoming a field of yellow the coming year. However, my granddaughter would be delighted!

Yesterday, I was off to Coles in the Bridgewater mall for a book signing. It was part of the Canada 150 celebration that Coles and Chapters had set up with various authors coming in at one hour intervals. As I’ve said in the past, for me, it’s never about the amount of books bought or sold but the conversation with those who drop by. I had some really great conversations, found out some news, shared some laughs and sold some books. Author  Syr Ruus  dropped by to lend her support too, so that was an added bonus. Have I mentioned that Syr’s memoir will be published next year?

I’ll also be at the Inside Story in Greenwood on the 24th. I’m quite pleased to be going there. The very first book signing I ever attended was at the Inside Story. Allison Maher was signing copies of I, the Spy. I was quite nervous meeting her and remembering being  a bit in awe that she’d had a book published. I’d been published in various literary magazines at that point but had my sights on one day having a book published as well. Of course I had yet to write that book. She encouraged me to keep writing, and reminded me that dreams do come true. She was so right.  A few years later Hadley Dyer was signing copies of Johnny Kellock Died Today  and when I head she’d gone to the same High School I did I knew I had to go meet her. Still didn’t have a book of my own published.  Loved her book, BTW and we’ve kept in contact since. She’s been very supportive of my writing and that means so very much. I’ve also gone to the Inside Story to hear Sheree Fitch read from her first adult novel, Kiss the Joy as it Flies . My first novel , Bitter, Sweet had been accepted for publication and Sheree was absolutely wonderful. So, as you can see, it’s a real thrill for me to actually be going there this time to sign copies of my own book. I do love signings, you really never know who you’re going to meet or what great conversations you’ll end up having. And, if you’re lucky, the cherry on top of it all could be a few book sales.

So, as I come to end of these ramblings I find myself curious to know:  do you consider a dandelion to be a flower or a weed, and have you ever gone to a book signing before? If so do you remember the first one? Did it leave you with any lasting impressions?

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12 Comments

  1. I consider them to be flowers and used to pick them for my mom as a child. She would always put them in a vase and set them in the middle of the table as if they were roses! I’ve been to many book signings including Margaret Attwood, Michael Ondaatje and Carol Sheilds. I never imagined I would be doing my own book signings one day. You just never know, do you?

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    • You’re absolutely right, Darlene. And as we both know, dreams do come true. I’ve been to a few Margaret Atwood signings on the South Shore. I forgot to mention in my post that I also met Donna Morrissey at the inside Story. We has a nice chat. She’s great!

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  2. I love dandelions too. I think they look so pretty amongst the grasses

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  3. Definitely flowers, but most of my Wolfville neighbors are on the weeds side:( When I lived in Toronto in the mid-80s, Little Richard was signing books somewhere downtown, and I went to join the lineup on my lunch hour. My dad was a big fan of his music. All I remember is that when I leaned in to tell LR what I’d like him to write, he smelled like raw onions! Sadly, that’s one of the hundreds of musician biographies my dad never got to read as he was saving them up for his “retirement,” which sadly he never got to see.

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    • Our time here is so precious and most of us do put things off thinking that time is something we have plenty of. It’s sad that your dad never got to read the book and a reminder of how fleeting life is..

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  4. Judi

     /  June 4, 2017

    I was at one book signing in Bridgewater. I think the authors name was Laura Best. I told my daughter also. She was signing “Bitter, Sweet”. At that time I already had my book which I got at her book launch in Dalhousie. I, also, have a signed copy of her book “Cammie takes flight” I got to finish the book while we were in Scott’s Bay this week-end. Now my husband is readying it. It kept me on the edge of my seat all the time. I really enjoyed it. Love Ya….

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    • Imagine, you at a book signing for Laura Best! I’m glad you enjoyed the book and thanks for telling me. It means a lot. ❤

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  5. Linda Pineo

     /  June 4, 2017

    I like dandelions as flowers as well, and oddly enough I started another of my folk art paintings today, and so far all I have painted is dandelions. My husband likes them as well, so it is a nod to him. I also remember the dandelions of my youth, and my mother did not like for us to pick them as we liked to make dandelion necklaces, and that usually left you with a lot of black circles on your clothing. I don’t believe the circles would wash out. We also enjoyed dandelion greens every spring. Mum cooked them and we ate them with a little vinegar and butter, and loved them. I have often thought that they should plant dandelions in third world countries. We all know how hard they are to kill and will grow almost anywhere, and people could have a ready food source. Probably a steady diet of dandelions might not be good for you, but I believe they are high in vitamin C , and a steady diet of anything would be preferable to a steady diet of nothing.

    As far as the book signings, I have gone to a few for local authors, including you Laura and had a few for the little book I wrote years ago.

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    • I think your paintings are great, Linda!

      Spring never went by for us without eating dandelion greens. There was six of us and it took a LOT of dandelion greens to go around.I also think dandelion greens help cleanse your liver.

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  6. Until we know the facts about dandelions they are pretty flowers. My dad looked out his window last month and asked me what all the pretty yellow flowers are, the ones growing beside his tulips, and said it’s a shame to cut them off them because they’re so pretty. When the brain no longer allows one to know certain things the eyes become the judge, I think. So, dandelions went from being weeds to becoming flowers, and for that moment they were lovely.
    I’ve been to a few book signings, three of yours. I often don’t hear of them, even though I don’t live far from bookstores, so I’ve missed some I would have liked to attend. Invitations are appreciated. 🙂

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  7. Weeds. Sorry, but they’re annoying and grow rampart. My lovely green lawn looks nice yellow, but that doesn’t last long. Soon it’s that fuzzy stuff that makes me sneeze. I’ve had many book signings and I wish I could say they were fun. I’m not gregarious enough to approach people with confidence. I feel more like a dork. LOL. I do offer candy tho.

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