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Sign My Book? · 20 July 2024






I am always surprised when people want me to sign my books.


I decided that I need to give away a few books. I figured maybe that will help with promoting them. Prime the pump so to speak. Maybe it will even generate a review or two. Even if they are not reviews from verified buyers. Or whatever they are called.


So far, I have only given my books to people I know. My friends and relatives. Not to all of them. I may not have that many friends, but way too many relatives to give everybody books. I would break the bank if I gave them each a copy of each of my books. But I have given a few copies of a few titles to a few people. And even though I have not given that many books away, I have been surprised when people ask me to sign them.


Now, most writers give drafts to people to read before they publish their books. They have readers give them input so they can make their books better. While I might do that in the future, I have not done that yet. At least not much. Instead, I just write and publish, write and publish. Now, I am seeing if anybody likes them. It is funny. I have only heard back from one person so far on this batch of books (one of my aunts said she likes my writing). Oh sure, it has not been very long since I gave out these latest books, but I do wonder if any of my friends or relatives have any thoughts about the books. In fact, I usually wonder how bad they think my stuff is. It is not insecurity or anything like that. (I actually like hearing the bad stuff.) I just wonder.


At any rate.


As much as I wonder what people think about my books, I also think it is curious that many of the people I have given books to want me to sign them. I do not think it is that they believe I will be famous one day and so they want to have a book that they can point to proving that they know me. I think it is just a thing you do when you have the author of the book right there.


Okay. One person I know wants my signature in case I get famous. He has a bookshelf with signed books. He said that he reads the books, but then they go on the hallowed shelf. Authors he knows. Or at least authors who have signed his books. He can point to the books and say that he knew the authors when they were not famous authors. Or he knew them well enough to get their signatures. Or something like that.



I suppose I understand that sentiment. Being able to point to a book that the author signed way back when said author was just an aspiring writer. Or at least a writer who was aspiring to have his or her books sell enough copies that people actually know the author’s name. I suppose it is a better story than saying you stood in line for three hours to get a famous author’s signature in a book that you love.


At any rate.


I am always taken aback when people want me to sign books I have written. Whether I gave them the book or they bought the book. I suppose it is just natural. We want to know that there is some connection between us and the author of any book. Even if that connection is just that we both relate to the story somehow. And the author’s signature is just another way to get that connection. At least that seems to make sense.


Still, until I have a book signing event, I will be surprised when people ask me to sign a book I wrote. I will still ask them, “You want me to sign my book?”

© 2024 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Please Keep Your Seatbacks Upright Always · 13 July 2024


My wife, the Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi, thinks that airplane seatbacks should always be kept in the upright position.


Whether or not you have ridden in an airplane lately, you are probably familiar with the line, “Please place your seatbacks and trays in the upright position preparing for takeoff.” (Or landing.) Well, in the Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi’s mind, those seatbacks should always be in the upright position. Especially, if you have somebody sitting behind you. Which is always, since every flight seems to be filled to the gills. No seat is left unfilled. People are packed into planes like sardines. Well, you get the picture. There are always people in front of, behind, and beside you. So when those seatbacks are allowed to be reclined (ever so slightly), you get squished. Or at least practically so. Especially, if you do not recline.


As I was thinking about this, I realized that even if everybody in a column of seats, from front to back, reclined, there would still be one person who is squished beyond all recognition. That person in the very back row does not get to recline. So he or she gets the short end of the stick. Or seat, as it were. Squish!


Now, I am not saying that the Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi was thinking of the people in the back row when she said that nobody should be allowed to recline, but she might have been. After all, she is empathetic. And she certainly knows that she does not want the person in front of her to recline. Partly because she does not want to recline. Especially since reclining herself would put her closer to the person behind her. (Which is a completely different story.)


Actually, I am not sure which is worse. Being squished by the person in front of you because that person is reclined, or reclining to avoid being squished and getting closer to the person behind you. There are lots of reasons not to be closer to the person behind you, not the least of which is that you are closer to that person’s conversation. (Only part of the other story.) Sheesh.



But when you really think about it, airline seats are reclining anyway during at least half of the flight. The plane is tilting backward during takeoff and when cruising, that is most of the flight. Right up until it is ready for its landing descent, at which time the seats are supposed to be back to their upright position anyway. So why do you need to recline the seats at all? You really don’t. The plane reclines them automatically.


Now, I must admit that I figured this out in my own situation too. After the Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi figured out how to recline her own seat (even though she did not want to recline), she made sure that my two seconds of reclining were over by pushing my button. And to my surprise, since the person in front of me was not reclined, it did not make any difference to me. I was comfortable. I had enough room and was reclined enough due to the inclination of the airplane.


Which just goes to show that not only is the Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi always right, but that she is especially right when she forces you to keep your seatback in its upright position. Thank you for your cooperation in always keeping your seatback in its upright position.

© 2024 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Independence Day 2024 · 4 July 2024


People celebrate Independence Day in interesting ways. They eat too much and blow too much stuff up. Or maybe that is just me.


I am sure I have written much about Independence Day. Not a blog post every year, but enough to be able to search and find many references to and blogs about Independence Day. I suppose that is because I think it is an important holiday. Not quite a holy day, but close. And so I have written about it quite a bit.


(Now, if my blog was a TV show, I would put together a montage of different blog post and point to them. I would reminisce about words I have already written. But this is no TV show. It is a blog post. And there will be no reminiscing. Or even links. Since I fixed my website search, you can search them out yourself and reminisce.)


I must admit that I like eating too much and blowing stuff up. At least I used to. In both cases. Just last week, I used to love to pile my plate high with everything in sight. After all, whenever you go to a picnic or other large gathering, you ought to show your appreciation of the food by eating a bit of everything. Right? Well, I might continue to do that, but I realized that I am too much of a pig and I need to do less of that porking out. I do not want to eat until just before I explode.


At any rate.


I also love to blow stuff up. Okay. Maybe I do not love it as much as I used to. I used to love to take firecrackers and stick them in just about anything to make them explode or at least jump in the air. Nothing living mind you. Except anthills. I used to love to stick firecrackers into anthills to flatten them out. Or at least see what those little soldiers would do once they gathered their wits. None of them seemed to blow up. The ones who were running around on the firecracker trying to figure out what it was and how to get rid of it might have been vaporized, but I think they just brushed off their armor after being flung to the far reaches of the area and hustled back to fix the anthill that I so rudely had blown to bits. Or at least had flattened a little bit.


Nowadays, I do not really like to blow stuff up. Or rather, I am too cheap to want to buy the firecrackers that blow stuff up. And I do not want to mess up the yard by blowing stuff up. After all, the only anthills seem to be near the house and I do not need the house to come tumbling down.



Overeating and blowing stuff up is all well and good. It is a fun way to celebrate Independence Day. But when it comes right down to it, I like to see the American flags flying all over town. Private residences, businesses, public facilities. They all seem to fly the flag on Independence Day. Even if people are not there. They fly the flag to remind themselves that freedom is not free. Or at least I hope they do. I hope that they remember that freedom requires vigilance. And sacrifice.


It is funny. I know that we seem to celebrate Independence Day with too much eating and blowing stuff up, but I think most of us remember that our freedom is what allows us to do so. And in a moment of reflection, I hope we remember that only vigilance and sacrifice can keep it that way.


Happy Independence Day 2024! (Don’t eat too much or blow too much stuff up.)

© 2024 Michael T. Miyoshi

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