Monday, April 20, 2009


Here is the story about the book signing.... with an added bonus at the end.

Sometimes a guy can get the full yin and yang of life in just one short day.
A few weekends ago, my glorious daughters arranged for a gathering at Moon Beans Café on St. Francois Street in the heart of Old Town Florissant to celebrate the publishing of my novel and hold a book signing. What they almost did was throw dear old dad into panic mode when, trying to surprise me, they had Jill order some books from the publisher. When I casually checked their message center one night before going to bed, I saw a giant order. Of course, I had placed no such order, and wondered who in their right mind would steal my credit card number and then order my books. The Joanster roused mom from deep sleep to explain the whole clandestine affair. A book signing? So this was real? Did I need a haircut? Better get some good pens. What if nobody shows up? How many copies should we get? Needless to say, sleep did not come easily that night. I had no idea what to expect from this, but I ordered up a case of books and hoped for the best. And the best is exactly what we got.
All the grandkids were there to lend good old Paw Paw their moral support. Luckily, the sun was strong and the sky as blue as a robin’s egg, so they pretty much had the run of the grounds. The event started out slowly but for the next three hours solid we had a full house. Family and friends, friends of family, two couples we hadn’t seen in at least 20 years, teachers from my school, even a guy who came for his mother.
“She’s an avid reader of your column, and asked me to get her a book,” he said.
Mrs. Fischer, I hope you’re enjoying the story.
To say I was grateful would be gross understatement. More like profoundly humbled. The setting was charming, the food tasty, the weather perfect—but most of all, the love was palpable.
I looked up once, eying the young with the old, the relative meeting the friend, and literally got a lump in my throat that wouldn’t go down. And believe it or not, we sold out! Took orders for another dozen copies! Success beyond my wildest expectations, for sure.
And now for the yang.
One of our own, a nephew, is a Marine lance corporal, and had just finished intense training for overseas duty. He was home that same day for a short visit. He was soon to ship out to the dangerous hill country of a foreign land. That night, we gathered to honor his commitment, to wish him well. To pray him home.
The sweetness of that afternoon blended into the bittersweet of the night. Pride in success, but even more pride in one about to carry out his duty to country.
And all in just one short day.


Friday, April 03, 2009


I was afraid to open the package. Didn't know just what it would look like. Would it be big enough? Would it look professionally done? How did the cover art work?
Fear not, said a Guy in a pretty Good Book. So I tore along the dotted line and out popped....
Yes, sports fans, YOU'RE NEVER TOO OLD FOR SPACE CAMP is alive and well and looks great even if I do say so myself. And people are buying it, as well. It is available at

Funny story here.
The other night, I was checking the messages from the publisher, They had one there about resubmitting an order for four dozen books. WHAT?! I didn't order no 48 books, at a bill that was more than I paid for my first car!! What was going on? How could this happen? I looked closely at the invoice. My credit card number was correct. The security code was correct. I couldn't figure out who would steal my credit card and THEN try to buy my books? It just didn't make any sense.
I was in a growing state of cognitive dissonance, when The Joanster walked in to the room.
"What's wrong, Dad?" I explained.
She grinned, and left the room.
In comes the lovely and talented wife, groggy from being woken up out of a sound sleep.
"Jill, somebody ordered a %#$$-load of books and used our credit card and what the hell is happening?" said I, as I put the finishing touches on a query back to the publisher, who had noted that they deleted the order and awaited further instructions from me.
Jill smiled, ran her fingers through her hair, and said "I ordered them. It was supposed to be a surprise."
"Yeah, you're lovely daughters wanted to do a surprise book signing for you so we ordered the books. They are so excited, and we wanted you to see it in the article in the Journal this week." (She was referring to a story done by Brian Flinchpaugh of the Suburban Journal, where I write my column. You can see it at
So after awhile, I calmed down, resubmitted the order and marveled at how I am not worthy of such love.
The book signing is April 11 at MoonBeans, 450 St. Francois Street, in the heart of Old Town Florissant, from 10 to 1 pm.
Come one, Come all.
Should be fun.