Celebrity: (n) a famous person.

I remember the first time it happened.

I was sharing at a book conference about my latest release, and the announcer, in an attempt to beef up my credentials, told the splatter of
humans attending that I was “a celebrity.”

His exact wording was, “We are so pleased to have our next guest, who has achieved celebrity status.”

The oddness of his phrasing was further punctuated by a pitiful smattering of applause.

The introduction bothered me.

Since we live in a social structure which insists on honoring a social structure, ranging from famous people all the way down to “nobodies,” it seems difficult to breathe in a sense of self-esteem unless we are constantly touting our self-worth.

After all, we don’t want fifteen minutes of fame because we desire to be famous. Rather, we want to make sure we don’t end up being the guy or gal who never got it.

So at the end of my little lecture that morning, I opened the floor to questions, and a young boy about nine years of age raised his hand. I have learned over the years that allowing such a lad to offer a question can open the door to, “Does anybody really like your book?” or “How’d you get so fat?”

But I took the risk, acknowledged the kid, let him take the microphone and offer his inquiry. He was a pretty nice little guy. The only thing he wanted to know was, “Are you really famous? Because if you are, I want your autograph.”

There was a giggle in the room. I don’t know if they were giggling because he was so cute, or wondering why in the hell somebody would want my autograph.

So I asked my young friend, “Have you ever heard of me before?”

He frowned and shook his head.

I laughed and said, “Well, then I guess I’m not famous. I guess, like everybody else, I’m just a celebrity in my own mind.”

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Autograph: (n) a signature, especially that of a celebrity written as a memento for an admirer.

Life is an elevator.dictionary with letter A

The same blessing that takes you up is the shaft that brings you down. It all depends on the buttons you push.

I learn this all the time.

Having authored a number of books, I often have people asking for my autograph. It is a very kind gesture.

I never get tired of the jolt of joy that comes into my soul, realizing that someone has first of all treasured my writings enough to purchase them, but also wants me to put my name on them.

It’s exciting.

I even practiced my signature to make sure that it looked “authorian” and had a certain flair that exuded eccentricity.

So one day, having some time on my hands, I perused the Internet, seeking out information on my name and the books I had written.

I was drawn to this website where used books were offered at reduced rates. I discovered that many of my volumes were available–and almost every one of them advertised that it was “signed by the author,” supposedly thus giving it some extra clout.

But to my great dismay, many of these copies I had signed had been discounted even from their original reduced rate–down so low that one of my books was being offered for 59 cents.

So not only was my original work and inspiration diminished in value, but apparently by adding my signature to the equation, no greater wealth was calculated.

It made me realize that I had better enjoy the elevator of autographing when it’s going up.

Because eventually it will come back down…into the bargain bin.

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix




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