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Full Steam Ahead

steemer.jpg The big event of the day yesterday was the Stanley Steemer guys coming over to steam clean my twenty-three year old burnt orange carpet. In the fifteen years we’ve lived in our cabin, I’ve washed the carpet once. After renting a steamer and doing the work myself, I decided I didn’t want to do it ever again.

“Are you an artist or an antique dealer?” the guy named John asked me as he scanned the contents of my living room.

“I’m … a writer,” I answered. I had just sold a first piece to a new venue, The News Messenger that morning (The post about my friend Alex’s poetry)… so I was feeling credible enough to answer that way.

Both guys looked at me as if they were checking to see if I had two heads. “That’s close enough,” John answered. A few minutes later he followed up with, “Do you have any books?”

“Actually, I do. It was locally published, and so I’m sure you’ve never heard of it. It’s called “The Jim and Dan Stories” and it’s about losing my two brothers, growing up in the 60s, and coping with grief in the first six months of the loss,” I said.

“They’re real stories?”
“Yes, and they’re not all sad. My family can be pretty funny,” I told John while the other guy, whose name I didn’t get, wielded the big steam cleaner, which began to cough up what I hoped was steam and not dirt.

It took less than a half an hour to clean my living room rug and the small hallway off the kitchen that leads to the bathroom and cost $75, less if you subtract the price of the book I sold to John.

Customers come in all shapes, from all backgrounds, and they can be found in the most unusual ways.

“Enjoy the book!” I yelled out and waved goodbye as they loaded up the truck.


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I want one of your books! Would you email me and let me know how to get it?

I need to have my carpet cleaned too. ;-)



You can go to my website www.silverandgold.swva.net (it's on my front page sidebar) and get a book via pay pal or send me $13 plus a couple of dollars for shipping: 151 Ridge Haven Rd. Floyd VA 24091.

I love it! Selling your book to the carpet cleaners. Very cool.

What an awesome way to sell your work. I feel like I'm in on it now.
Getting paid for something you can't help doing is definitely on the good things list.

such a neat story! i love unlikely encounters......

Awesome story! My carpets desperately need cleaning (I rent an apartment in a "pet-friendly" apartment complex so, as you can probably imagine, a good carpet cleaning would be nice.)

How neat (no pun intended) is that!!

Now I have that little TV ditty running through my head, the one with the highly annoying tune... "Stanley Steemer makes carpets cleaner!" Did it work?

Glad to see the site back up.. It was a shock to see that weird page load.

I do try and read your Blog everyday even though I don't always comment. Your Blog is a like a really great book with neverending chapter after chapter.

Hehehe fancy selling your book to the carpet cleaner, now thats enterprise.

srp, If rug year were dog years, they'd be pretty old. They look as good as could be expected.

Jake, Thanks for your encouraging words!

lol. That's fabulous. How on the ball to see that sales opportunity.
Sounds like you had a clean as whistle world poetry day. :)

Well that is a good story! Good for him for buying your book.

Congrats on the sell to the News Messenger. That's the way to do it!

Cool the way things happen just anywhere that you may never would have predicted.

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