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Expect the Unexpected


The doll she made to match the character in her book.

This weekend my hubby and I took the train up to spend time with family for Easter. After the weekend I’m taking a few days off to get back to my writing. Which means I shouldn’t be thinking about social media now, just writing the book.

But I had the most extraordinary experience on the short ride up here. And it’s not like similar things haven’t happened before…but I tend to forget. I tend to forget to expect the unexpected.

I tell myself a lot of things, and then I ignore them. What I mean is, I have ideas, inspirations, thoughts of things I should do. Then when the time comes to carry through, I shrug it off. “Nah, that was dumb; Or, too much trouble; Or, there are more important things to focus on.” Case in point: Before the train trip I was thinking of what I could do as an AUTHOR on the train. If you read my last post you know I recently returned from a wonderful writing/publishing conference and am on fire about it. I am also reading a terrific book by Brooke Warner called Green-Light Your Book: How Writers Can Succeed in the New Era of Publishing. I’m trying to have confidence in myself as a writer and publisher. Own it, as Brooke says.

So a day or so before we left on the train, I had this idea to take my first Seed Savers book and put a sticker on it letting people know they were free to read the book and pass it on, and then I’d  leave the book on the train. Maybe put some hashtag on it like #bookonthetrain and encourage whoever reads it to let me know. Something along those lines.

Then I wigged out. I didn’t bring even one of my books with me. Sigh.

So what happened? I ended up sharing a table in the lounge car with a girl who was an avid reader. She had at least three print books stuffed in her backpack. We talked about our favorite books and our love of writing. Our affinity for print books over ebooks. We talked about our urban chickens and our cats. About Star Wars. She was in 8th grade, the same as the characters in my books.

I could have kicked myself for not listening to that voice to bring one of my books along. I really wanted to give her one right then and there.

The train ride passed swiftly because of our enjoyable conversation. And here’s the thing: We were both shy people. But I pushed a little beyond my normal shy limits and it opened up a magical interaction that could easily have been missed. Unfortunately, I didn’t even leave her my card, but I hope she remembers my website. I hope I will hear from her again.

So, reach out, people.

Listen to your inspirations.

And expect the unexpected.

S. Smith is the author of the awesome and award-winning middle grade/YA series, Seed Savers. Visit her Facebook and Pinterest pages. Follow her on TwitterSign up for the newsletter!

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