Yesterday my wife and I finally had time to catch up and trade some stories about our time while I was at camp. After I shared one incident, she told me that it would make a great post for this site. I’ve learned to trust her insight, so here we go.
A little background. I’ve been doing regular seasonal work for an English language camp group here in Japan. Last summer, after I published my novel, I brought a few copies to keep on site. The hope is that if a staff member has time, they’ll pick it up and give it a read. If I’m really lucky, they’ll even review it for me. So, there a copy sits on a bookshelf in a common room.
Now the story can start. On the third day of camp, one of the girls, about 11-12 years old, started feeling badly while skiing. We talked, and experience suggested that she just needed a little bit of rest and some water. To be on the safe side, we still went to visit the camp nurse. The camp nurse agreed, and we all decided to let the girl chill out for the rest of the morning session. The girl asked if she could grab a book to read while she rested. I said sure.
She went over to the bookcase, which admittedly isn’t that well stocked, and chose mine. I kind of laughed at that and told her I was the author.
She looked at me, kind of rolled her eyes and said “No, you’re not.”
I was a little taken aback. I wasn’t prepared for that response. “No, really. Look at the name.”
She did. “That’s just chance.”
I can’t blame her for not really believing me. During camp I will say some ridiculous things tog et the campers to laugh. Now, it was coming back to haunt me. But I wanted to convince this girl. Partly because, heck, I did right the book. And also, as far as campers go, she was a cool kid.
So, I tell her “turn to the back. There’s a pencil drawing of me printed in the back of the book.”
She turns to that page. Looks at it. Looks at me. “That’s not you.”
“Yeah. It is.” I kind of laughing now because of how much she doesn’t believe me.
Anyway, she goes to relax, I go back outside.
Later in the day, she comes up to me book in hand. “Are you married. What’s her name? What does the dedication say?”
I’m being quizzed. I give the correct answers. But I’m still not believed.
Finally she starts asking other staff, some who have even read the book. They vouch for me. She harumphs and marches off.
She doesn’t bring it up for the rest of camp. I don’t think she ever believed I wrote the book. She was still a really cool camper though.