The “What Do You Do?” Antidote: New Author Orientation

A chance to ride with the big kids…

Come September, our 5-year-old son will be a kindergartener. Being the youngest of three,  he’s seen his sisters’ classrooms and met their teachers over the years. He has an idea of what it will be like to go to the “big kids’ school.”  

Next Friday, we’ll be taking him to kindergarten orientation. He’ll see a kindergarten classroom, meet some of the current kindergarteners and teachers, tour the school, and, yes, take a spin in the big, yellow bus. We parents and our future big kids will board a bus in front of the school, take a ride around the block, aaaaand get off the bus in front of the school.  My son cannot wait. Whether or not he’ll remain this excited on the first day of school remains to be seen.

Last weekend, I was in Austin with 30+ EMLA agency mates, talking and eating and laughing and missing all of our agency mates who weren’t able to attend.  One of the events was a book signing at Book People, a lovely, Texas-sized indy bookstore in Austin. The Book People people (how fun is *that* to say??) had a table full of books by EMLA authors who were in attendance. Take a gander at all the biblio-goodness: 

Photo courtesy of soon-to-be yellow bus rider Lynda Mullaly Hunt

I’ve attended countless book signings in the past–for friends, acquaintances, and total strangers. But this was the first one I’ve attended since receiving The Call. I stood off to the side with J. Anderson Coats, fellow member of the What Do You Do? Anonymous Club, and we took it all in.

And as I watched authors connecting with readers, hope morphed into realization. At past book signings, I’d hoped I’d get the chance to sign my own book one day. Last weekend, I realized I actually will get to sign my own book one day. It’s officially getting easier to admit (in public) that I am an author.

Like my son and his visions of kindergarten, I can imagine what it will be like to see my book on the shelves, or talk with a reader who has connected with my book. But I know I won’t really know until it happens.

So last weekend’s book signing was my New Author Orientation Day. It was a quick trip around the block on the big, yellow bus–a hint of what is to come. I have no idea if I’ll board the bus with finesse, or trip on my way up the steps. I do know that when the bus pulls away from the curb, my family will be snapping photos and blowing kisses and smiling. I just hope I don’t forget my lunchbox.

No matter where you are along the route, I’ll look for you at the next stop. And I’ll save you a seat.



Filed under Celebrations, Colleagues

15 responses to “The “What Do You Do?” Antidote: New Author Orientation

  1. Natalie! I LOVE this post! You spoke for me, too, in writing it.

    I, too, loved Book People and the whole expereince that you describe. It was wonderful to watch people that I like so much signing their books. The excitement in their eyes and a hint of nervousness in some. And, it was surreal to think that I will be doing the same thing soon. All of us on Emus Debuts will be!

    I do hope that we are able to do a book signing together some time! As far as the bus ride goes, I’d love to snag that seat next to you, Natalie!


    • Natalie Dias Lorenzi

      I would love to do a book signing together one day, Lynda. 🙂 I be honored to have you sit next to me on the big, yellow bus!


  2. Mike Jung

    Natalie, I’ll trade half of my hummus and bean sprout sandwich for your bag of chocolate chip cookies. You’d be foolish to pass up such a great deal.
    I wish I’d been there with you and J, and I sincerely hope to share some signing events with my fellow EMUs in the future!


    • Natalie Dias Lorenzi

      Mike, we ALL wish you’d been there, too! Hopefully next year.

      I will gladly swap my bag of cookies for half of your hummus and bean sprout sandwich (if I can keep one cookie from the bag). 🙂


  3. Pingback: The “What Do You Do?” Antidote: New Author Orientation (via EMU’s Debuts) | Pages for Small Wages

  4. kiperoo

    Yaaay, Natalie! You will be in Kindergarten before you know it! I can’t wait for you to sign my book. 🙂


  5. Natalie,
    Whether it’s around the block or a full 45-minutes with smelly sandwich kid next to you in the seat (not mentioning any names) it’s a sweet ride. Good luck with this new adventure for you … and your little guy.


    • Natalie Dias Lorenzi

      Thanks, Jean!

      Maybe the smelly sandwich kid will turn out to have chocolate, you never know. 😉 One can only hope.


  6. Cynthia Levinson

    Your post makes me feel like a kindergartener, too. I remember learning to read from a three- or four-foot-high, free-standing version of Dick and Jane (it’s many decades since I graduated from kindergarten) and asking Miss Barbara if we’d always use books this large. Now, I feel as if I’m writing a book this size!


    • Natalie Dias Lorenzi

      How thrilled would Miss Barbara be if she could see you now, Cynthia??

      A 4-foot Dick and Jane book sounds a little scary, if you ask me… 😉


  7. J. Anderson Coats

    Agreed – I’m really glad we got to watch a bookstore signing before being thrown headlong into one. I wish more things in life let you take a trial run!


  8. I don’t know a whole lot of things with absolute certainty, but here’s one: You will board that author bus with enviable finesse. And a mere few months later, you will be the one who spots the new kid boarding the bus and waves her over to sit next to you.

    And I can’t wait until you sign your book for me.


    • Natalie Dias Lorenzi

      When that new kid sits next to me, I’ll reach into my brand new backpack and pull out my copy of IS YOUR BUFFALO READY FOR KINDERGARTEN? and we’ll read all the way to school. 🙂

      Hugs to you, Audrey.


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