So I’m waiting in line at my local Joanne’s Fabrics in Erie, Pennsylvania. A cashier said, “I can take you next,” to which I replied, “Hold on, I gotta take a picture, I’m in this magazine.”
Did I feel like a moron? Yes. Did I care? Not really. In fact I took it a step further.
I carried that magazine to the two cashiers and whipped out my photo ID to prove it. “Look, right there,” I pointed to the bio at the end of my article and then tapped my driver’s license. “It says Jessica Stadtmueller in Erie Pennsylvania, Blackwood Cottage, that’s me!” Thank God these two ladies were smiling at me and not backing away….slowly.
I’m pretty sure their enthusiasm was sincere, because as we browsed the pictures together, one cashier said, “This is so cool…I’m buying a copy, can you sign it for me?” My first autograph! I signed her copy, and she smiled. With a little skip in her step, she set it behind the counter and rang me up.
I’ll admit that none of this felt real until that moment. I’ve been planning this release since January. Writing, revising, editing, proofing the photo shoot, opening my advanced preview copy only for featured artists. It was all pretty exciting, but it still felt surreal.
But there’s something about seeing copies of Stuffed mixed in with all those other magazines, right next to the display of Bubble Tape and Sour Patch Kids, where anyone can discover you, and then watching a complete stranger turn into a fan and request your autograph….that’s extra real.
So I sincerely say, thank you Wednesday.