Last evening at our local Borders I had the privilege to join Kristin Dunning (aka The Well Read Hostess) and 95.7 Ben FM’s Marilyn Russell in hosting author Kim Brittingham who read from her new book: Read My Hips: How I Learned to Love My Body, Ditch Dieting and Live Large.
The evening was a little brainchild of mine which sought to bring together seemingly unrelated women to create some positive universal energy. I did not know Kim very well but she was very kind to me a few years back when, fresh off a failed book agent experience, a mutual friend introduced us, telling me that Kim understood what it meant to “build an author platform.” At the time, I was too exhausted to solicit anything more than a sympathetic ear, which Kim gave readily along with an offer to talk more when I wanted. That was two years ago. I never called her again
It was actually Kim who called me to tell me that her book had been published. She wanted to come to Philly (where she is from originally) and perhaps do a book reading for some of my friends – presumably in my living room. It was a fine idea but because I’m me, a tiny book club event would not do. I reached out to my dear friend Kristin who does amazing book reviews and commentary on her website and radio host Marilyn Russell who just does amazing everything with her Woman of the Week program. Could we gather a larger group for Kim? The answer was yes.
So with a little planning we garnered a super crowd, heard from an author who writes from the heart about a topic that matters, and had more than a bit of fun in the process. None of us really had any obvious reason to engage with one another. Kim didn’t have to travel a few hours from her home in New Jersey, Kristin didn’t have to review the book and invite her clan of connections to join us, and Marilyn did not have to come out and host an event (and join us for drinks) when she gets up every morning at 4:00 a.m. On paper the collective value of the evening was negligible at best.
But reality was something different.
Helping a fellow writer promote her great work at a time when it is really difficult to sell books felt as good as if I wrote and published the book myself. Kim was inspiring in more ways than one. She actually DID something I want desperately to do. She wrote a book and her words now sit on a shelf in Borders — and in my library. In her book she talks about a philosophy of Be. Do. Have. You need to buy the book to understand this more but the premise is one of “being” who you want to be without having to “do” anything first. Its cool.
Watching Kim sign her books last night made me so proud of her and energized me anew to try to be a book author. Leading up to the evening, I justified my time spent on organizing the event as a payment to the universe, knowing that ate some point, perhaps years from now, I would be repaid in some way. Turns out I didn’t have to wait years. Or months. Or even days. Just a few hours and I am calling it even. Thank you Kim for the inspiration. And thanks to all who came out for such a great evening.