For those of you following me on my path to publication–a journey fraught with sharp turns, obstacles to trip over and plenty of crossroads–here’s a tale of one of my “creative” marketing attempts.
As a writer–one who is supposed to be creative–I am forever “thinking outside of the box” when it comes to getting word of my writing “out there”–something beyond the usual Facebook and Twitter promotion. So, when my friend and fellow author, M.G. Miller, informed me that George Takei, a former internee of Rohwer, (where The Red Kimono characters, Sachi and Nobu were internees) would be narrating with the Little Rock Symphony, I decided I had to attend. Later, another writer friend, Bud Hanks, sent me an email with additional information about George Takei’s appearances in Arkansas.
It seemed the forces were with me. Oops. Wrong movie.
If I could only have the chance to talk to Mr. Takei . . .
I knew my chances were slim, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Once I purchased the tickets to the concert, my question then became, “How can I be gain the attention of George Takei in a bold (my friend, Ruth Weeks, calls me Samurai Jan), yet dignified manner? (I am half-Japanese, after all, and my misbehavior could potentially embarrass not only my mother, but many generations before her.)
- Sit in the front row, flashing the Vulcan salute?
- Wear a Trekkie outfit?
- Paint my face like a geisha?
- Tattoo “I need to talk to you” on my forehead?
- All of the above?
Okay, those were bold ideas, but hardly dignified.
So, I here’s what I decided to do:
- Wear my evening jacket, cut from a genuine kimono, purchased in Japan.
- Bring a copy of the Ramblings Yearbook, (1945) from Topaz War Relocation Center, where my mother and her family were internees.
- Bring a synopsis of my book . . . just in case.
- Bring business cards . . . just in case.
Ruth and I sat in the front row, center seats. When the time came, Mr. Takei walked onto the stage, and I turned to Jell-O, almost like when I watched Michael Bolton walked onto the stage many, many years ago.(However, I didn’t scream uncontrollably with Mr. Takei. I might have, but that would be undignified.)
Unfortunately, we were sitting so close to the stage that Mr. Takei’s placement for his narration was blocked by conductor Philip Mann’s pant leg. I strained to move around that pant leg to see Mr. Takei, knowing that if I couldn’t see him, he surely couldn’t see me. But, too much straining would look . . . well, undignified.
When his beautiful and moving narration was complete, Mr. Takei left the stage. I slumped in my seat, no longer concerned about looking undignified.
|Philip Mann and George Takei|
Then, the orchestra began to play Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Ode to Joy. It was as though the sun began to shine again. A full symphony and 400+ voices, all conducted by the passionate movement of conductor, Philip Mann.
For more than an hour I had chills over the beautiful sounds of the orchestra and choir, recalled my days as a flutist and sat on my hands to keep from mimicking the conductor. On the way home, Ruth and I stopped for dinner and talked about everything under the sun.
Though in the end, the glow of Mr. Takei’s Japanese dignity melted my boldness like the sun melts the snow. I realized my path to publication is also lined with many flowers. Yesterday was one of them.
Me, a sorry Samurai? No way.