In Italian this means- I’ll try - something I would not have known had I not been facebook chatting with a friend of mine in Italy when my Starbucks neighbor began speaking on his phone. I’m not sure what else he said… I was more interested in chatting with my friend than in trying to decipher the phonetics of his Italian. But I do know that, unbeknownst to him, and not really knowing what they were talking about, I found myself sending nice thoughts to him and his caller.
It seems weird to me that we live in an age where the technicalities of communication are so simple. I still remember a time when my mother would have me write letters to my grandparents, or a Sunday phone call was a big deal. In the hall of my home there even stood an antique phone, where you had to wind the lever to reach the operator. It no longer worked. But it was a wonderful plaything, a spot to perch toys, and a frequent obstacle when exiting our rooms. (I frequently bumped my head on it.) To my nana though, it must have been like a phone with a cord is to me: a link to friends in the past.
But while the act communicating has become easier, the communication itself feels more difficult. Even discounting a world where speaking with someone in a foreign country (who speaks another language) is like shouting up the stairs for my daughter, using multitudes of vehicles for expressing myself can become burdensome. Phone, cell phone, email, Twitter, text , blogs, comments, Facebook (fan and personal pages), chats within just about any of these channels – the list goes on. And, what works for one person doesn’t for another. Does someone like to text with me or Facebook, or email or speak in person. I have to try to remember this, or inundate them via multiple channels.
And although all of these avenues make me feel connected in a way I never have before, they also are misleading. I feel close to my Italian friends, but am really not part of their life in any meaningful way. I think I know what is important to my local friends by checking their Facebook posts, and then find they had a major surgery or took a life-changing trip, from their Holiday card.
My comfort zone still lies in personal interactions. So, although my trip this summer is primarily to go to England… I suddenly find myself considering a side trip to Italy. I don’t know if I will be able to swing it, but as I told my friend there, “Me proveró.”
I’m still waiting to hear about your favorite or planned trips. Leave a comments and let me know what journeys have inspired you and I will enter you into a drawing to win a copy of any one of Daniel Davidson's Travel Free Guides to one lucky commenter during the month of January. Leave your comment and then check back at the end of the month to see if you won. Good Luck and Happy Journey.
P.S. In case you haven't found him yet, Daniel Davidson is a travel writer with great advice on saving money while traveling. Check him out at his website: http://www.freetravelideas.com/
“The winner of Master Chef is… Luca. - Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole!”
I ran to my office and finally got onto twitter (something I had been avoiding so that I could watch the show and learn the outcome that way.) I typed that after meeting Luca Manfe only one time, I still somehow felt vested in his win.
It was true. As a general rule, I really, really dislike reality shows. I find the personal interactions, at best, distracting and contrived and at worst, harmful examples of conflict resolution. But in this case, after meeting the tall, good looking chef in person I was hooked.
Authors often talk nowadays about the changing world of publishing and what it means to our interactions with readers. With so many books being sold electronically, it takes away the ability to create events based on book signings. For some this may seem unimportant, even a blessing. But my interaction with Luca shows why this is so very harmful to building our readership.
It is not that I personally know Mr. Manfe in any meaningful way. During my brief interaction with him I found him to be humble (he did not come right out and tell us he was on Master Chef), kind (he took the time to sign an autograph for and take a picture with my daughter) and generous (he gave me his twitter handle and told me he would follow me back.) But most importantly, he captured my attention and my curiosity, and had a specific call to action – watch Master Chef that night – which was easily managed.
In what ways, I now ask myself, can I take the lesson I learned from him and apply it to my own life? Granted, my books have a much smaller platform than a prime time t.v. show. But still… the lesson is just as valuable. Find ways to meet my readers. Be willing, although it is difficult, to let people know about my work. And offer an easy way to learn more about me and my writing.
And, while the first and last items may seem like the difficult ones, it is actually the middle one, being willing to share my news, that is most difficult for me. Everyone has important things they have done or are doing. No one has time to look up my website, or read my book.
But what if Luca had thought this way? (Or, perhaps he did, but he forced himself out of his comfort zone.) It is true that I too was proud of my work, was in fact going the very next day to pick up the print version of my book. As well, it was our first night in NY. We were hot, tired, and distracted by the sights and sounds. On the surface we should not have had time to chat about his life event, or to watch his show when it came on. But we did. And now
I feel as if, not only was I in some small way part of an amazing event, but also through it, made a new friend… And this, ultimately, is why personal interaction is so very important- Because life is fundamentally personal.
Here’s to you Luca! I can’t wait to someday eat in your new restaurant. Ole, Ole, Ole Ole!
Did you watch Master Chef? Who were you rooting for? Or, do you have a favorite chef in general? You know I am on a campaign to interact personally here… And to prove it I’m giving away a copy of my book BETTING JESSICA to one lucky commenter during the month of September.
Leave a comment for any of my blog posts and at the end of each month I will randomly select one visitor/commenter to receive a free download of my book. (Note: winner will be notified by a reply linked to their
original comment…. Check back at the end of the month for directions on how to claim your prize!)
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Link here to Betting Jessica on Amazon.com