Saturday, February 20, 2010

I almost missed my slot this week

John Ramsey Miller

After a hectic week of preparing for my youngest son's gallery opening--not his showing in a gallery--as in he owns a gallery. The one painting he sold was his.
Between the food, wine, and beer I figure he lost about two thousand dollars on the opening but it was a large crowd and they liked the food and drink. He's showing high dollar art, and as much as people like to look at $12,000.00 paintings, most people don't feel the need to own one. He has to learn his own lessons just like we all did. When he took me to see the place I thought I'd found out the source of Hoarders. "I want to put a gallery here," he said.
"Yeah, right," I said.

Kids operate on sheer will and they don't know why they shouldn't do a thing, and do not want to hear our negative views. I'll keep you posted on how it turns out.
Any way I was at the opening when I remembered it was Friday and almost eleven and I had forgotten to write a blog. I mean I forgot because I was working with my son to open his gallery. He has more talent than I do. Everybody knows it. But he's the baby and he's had me off the farm and writing in his office while I was waiting for one tradesman or a modem to be hooked up. I have to admit I enjoyed being downtown and interacting with people again. It's been good for him, good for me, and good for our relationship.

I talked books with people tonight, and it was amazing how many people at the opening knew who I was, but asked me if I'd written a second book. Now that is out of touch.
"Yes, I've published six since that one."
"Really. How did I miss that?"

Well, this is even less of a blog than usual, but it's all I got. I'm tired, proud and going to bed.


  1. This is the second time in as many weeks that I've read something where someone who seems, from where I stand, to be a well-known, well-established author says "I was talking to (a friend or a relative or a total stranger) the other day, and he/she/it said 'Oh, yeah - Biggus McWriter! I know you! Did you ever write a second book?' and I've written half a dozen more." I think the first time was on this same blog, in fact.

    I have to say, it's a pretty scary thing to hear, from over here in the dark fringes of obscurity. If you guys can't stay in the public eye, then what do I think I can do?

  2. Congratulations to your son on his gallery opening. If he has a website, I'd be very interested in checking it out.

    As to those who knew you but didn't, think of it as a refreshing of your latest five books! Now they'll all rush out to buy them, right? :)


  3. ". . . but asked me if I'd written a second book. Now that is out of touch."

    John, I think you have to look at it from the viewpoint that you were out of touch with THAT person. You could have just as easily run into someone who said they read and loved all your books. It seems to me that what did happen was you made a personal contact with a person who may go out and look for your books, and quite possibly brag to others that he met the author. Without going to your son's gallery showing, you would not have made that personal connection.

  4. Congrats to your son on the opening! I had a good friend (who has passed away) who dealt in art, and it was a real education to see how he worked. I went with him to auctions, then watched him court collectors at dinners and the like. One group of buyers seemed to be collecting out of passion for the art, the other with an eye toward investment.

  5. Levi,

    If this was the blog where you read it, then I was the author who posted it. The overarching lesson, hard-learned by me, is that no matter how much your audience enjoys your work, they won't come looking for it unless you tell them it's there.

    And John, give the boy my best wishes. Who knew that Quixotic pursuit of artistic dreams was hereditary?

    John Gilstrap

  6. I hope you read this in the morning, John. I've been wanting to sneak in here and tell you how much I enjoyed Smoke and Mirrors. It got me through a long flight from SF to Boston, and almost back!

    I'm looking forward to reading more of yours.

    Camille Minichino/Margaret Grace

  7. You know, John, now that you mention it, I think it was you, but since I posted my first comment, I've had my own bump up against the same stony reality.

    I don't claim any sort of fame, but I do have five books on the market and a sixth in final approval stage, and yet the wife of one of my closest friends said to me yesterday "You wrote a book? I didn't know that."