I had the most delightful day today ... and it's not often people say that about a day that starts with getting a cavity filled.
But, as I've said before, going to Cindy's dental office, for me, is as pleasant as going to the beauty shop -- actually more pleasant, because there is never any pain and I get a chance to get caught up on Cindy's life. She was filling a small cavity today and I learned a lot about her that I hadn't before, and we found the diagnosis for one of my problems too, so it was win-win-win all around.
After the appointment, I was having lunch with two women, one of whom I knew and one of whom I did not know. Because part of this may be of a sensitive nature, I'm going to make up names for them.
Let's call them Edith and Ellen. I've known Edith almost the entire time I've lived in Davis. Sometimes our relationship is closer than other times, but I've always known her and our kids went to school together.
Ellen was a stranger to me, but a friend of Edith's had called her to say that this friend of hers (Ellen) needed some information about on-line publishing and social networking. Edith thought of me and asked if I'd be interested in meeting with them. Of course I said yes.
One of the things I love about Edith is that we speak the same language--the language of computers. It is rare to come across women of our age who have been working with computers as long as we have, and what is more, who love learning new things and who got in on the ground floor of a lot of things that many people our age are just now beginning to realize that they should learn about.
Ellen invited us to come to her house for lunch, and we did. It was a beautiful day, cool enough that we could sit in the back yard to eat without worrying that it was going to be too hot. She brought out a plate of cheese, turkey pastrami, stuffed eggs that had cumin in them (I must try that--they were delicious!), some bread from one of the local bakeries, and home grown tomatoes. She, of course, had me at home grown tomatoes. I sat there looking at her big tomato bush, filled with red, ripe tomatoes, and eating these full flavored chunks that I just loved.
We talked about writing for a long time. That was another wonderful thing--we are all three writers. We compared styles of writing and talked about things that we have written and published and the various ways we have published books, and their success or lack of same.
Ellen's main problem is self-promotion, with which she feels very uncomfortable. We gave her some good ideas of how to promote herself and her book without coming across like the Fuller Brush girl and without having to beat the drum too loudly, but some low-key ways to at least think about starting.
We gave her the good and bad points about using social networking and tips about how to get people to help her publicize her books.
But then there was a bit of serendipity and a proof that sometimes doing a good deed, helping someone else, can be a very big thing. When we were talking about books we had published, Edith mentioned a book she had written for a non-profit organization with which she has been involved, how it was published, how it helped to raise a bit of money for the organization.
Ellen stopped her. "You work with XXX?" she asked. Edith said that she did and went on a bit about the financial problems the organization is having at the moment, and the discussions they were having with a lending organization.
"I'm on the board of that organization," Ellen said, incredulously. The talk then turned to the negotiations underway and how Ellen felt about the organization. The upshot is that she already had a meeting scheduled with the head of the organization tomorrow and she is going to talk to her about easing the situation for Edith's organization.
I don't know if that is going to actually happen, but what a bit of serendipity just because we were willing to go and help a stranger with her problem.Sometimes life helps you make lemonade out of lemons!