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Home and Not Alone

It's odd to love a place and feel at home there, while never quite feeling accepted. Maybe this is an emotion left over from my childhood overseas, always embracing new cultures while never quite feeling like I belonged.

When I moved to Nashville, Tennessee, 22 years ago, I didn't know I would get my first book published here and go on to write 20 more in this place. I love Music City. I love the creativity, vibrancy, friendliness, and natural beauty. This is home. I've embraced this place with all my heart. And yet, I've had my lowest turnouts here for booksignings and events.

That old childhood rejection rears its head.

Yes, Nashville is a busy place. The Metro area now has over 2 million people, and there are lots of competing options for readers' attentions. A bookstore such as Barnes and Noble in Cool Springs is a good 45 minutes from the other side of town. I get it.

Next Saturday, June 10th, from 2 to 4:30 pm, at the Cool Springs Barnes and Noble, I will be doing my first local booksigning for American Leftovers. I hope 50 of my readers, fans, and friends show up. But I know the reality. I know how this usually goes. And I emotionally brace myself for those old feelings.

In fact, this is something every creative person deals with when writing a new book, penning a new song, painting a new landscape. We face the demons of our past and that inner voice which tells us it is all meaningless, it is no good, it is unwanted. We press on, knowing that creative birth must take place and to hold it back will be debilitating. Often, it feels like we have no choice. This thought, this idea, this image must be born.

The response to American Leftovers has been fantastic so far. We've had great reviews and emails from readers. Hundreds have turned out to booksignings across the country.

I sure hope I'm not alone at this signing so close to home. I hope to see some of you there.

And if not, I will keep working on the next project. It's what I do.

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