"Matthew Callender...the author?"

I work at Signet Art.  We are based out of Dallas,Texas.  We appraise, sell, broker and consult on everything fine art - paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, art glass, tapestries, collectibles...that kind of stuff.  

One of the services we offer is a verbal consultation with the appraiser (our owner and my boss) Brenda Simonson-Mohle.  The "verbal" is a sit down meeting where the appraiser will inspect your artwork and tell you the 'what' of what you have, as far as artist, medium and condition.  Then we consult on values, resale options, brokering options, putting the art on your insurance, donating it...all that.  Today, we had a client for a verbal, and that client made my day.

At 9:30 our client arrives.  I open the door to our office and extend my hand to greet him, "Good morning. John?"  

"Yes, hi," he says.  

"Hi, John.  I'm Matthew," I say.  "Do you need some help getting the pieces out of your car?"

John gives me a funny look as he stands at the door and releases his Texas grip on my hand.  "Yes, please," he says, which I figured.  John is bringing in two bronze sculptures for Brenda to look at, and bronzes are not light.

We start to walk down the sidewalk, John leading and me following, when he stops.  He turns and looks at me, and there again is that funny look on his face.

"You're Matthew?" he asks.  

"Yes," I say.  

Now, the appointment had been set up almost a week ago and I had corresponded with John over e-mail to get the consult scheduled.  So, when he questions who I am, my brain is thinking he is just putting a face to a name....maybe he thought I looked different, or something like that.

"You're Matthew Callender...the author?" he asks me.

I swear the gears in my brain slipped as I stood on that sidewalk.  

"Yes, sir," I answer.

"I can't believe it," he says.  "You're so young..."

Turns out John had looked me up.  He had misplaced the address to our office, but had remembered my name from our e-mail correspondence.  So he typed my name into Google and my author website came up.  He found the site and investigated and read the work I have posted.  

What struck him was the poem I put up on my last blog entry.

"That poem, the alcoholic's one..."

"Yes, sir.   An Alcoholic's View of Moderation."

"That one.  That one really hit me, it moved me."

Mind you this is all happening on the sidewalk outside of the office I work.  I'm in total work mode; ready to help clients, answer their art questions, be friendly and deliver good quality service for all their art needs....and John starts telling me how much he likes my poem.

As I said, it made my day.

These past few weeks have been full of rejection letters, two of which I was hopeful and excited about.  So my motivation to get back into the novel I'm currently working on had been lulled.  

But as I helped John unload the bronzes from his car, he kept telling me how much he liked what he had read.  The word choice, the flow, the momentum - and a few times he stopped undoing the straps securing the sculptures down in his backseat and just looked at me with that funny expression.

"I can't believe you're M.P. Callender, you must have an old soul, young man."  

It was a very cool thing, and it boosted my confidence to get back into story - even amongst the piling rejection letters I have from my first two novels.

It just goes to show you how small the world is.  It reinforces the benefits of a blog like this.  A blog I often neglect because I don't think it will reach out to anyone or cater to any audience.

But, John proved me wrong today.

Because, he found my blog and read my work.  He read a poem of mine and it moved him; it affected him.

And that is a very cool thing.

Thanks, John.  This blog goes out to you.  Thank you for reading and thank you for the encouragement.  It has given me the boost and motivation I needed, at the exact time I needed it.

Thanks for reading.
Stay alive,

-M.P. Callender