Clara took a sip of her coffee and said, "William mentioned something about his friend, Eb, writing a book."
I swallowed a bite of my Egg McMuffin and nodded. "Yep ... it's a children's book."
"Isn't that something?" Clara said, her coffee cup poised beneath her mouth.
"Yes ... I sure was surprised ... not that I didn't think Eb was capable of it, he just never seemed to express much interest in that sort of thing."
She set down her coffee. "Have you seen it?"
"Yes ... he showed me a proof copy ... it looks great."
"He's an artist?"
"No, no ... he found an art student to help him."
"That was pretty resourceful. How is he publishing it?"
"He's got a small publisher lined up ... he wanted my opinion about it."
"What did you tell him?"
"I told him if they don't offer to seriously market the book, he might as well go independent."
Clara picked up her coffee again. "I suppose that is one way to look at it."
"Getting a book published these days is easy, so why give up any part of your royalties if you have to do all the marketing ... that's the hard part."
She took a sip of coffee and thought about it. Finally she said, "Well, I guess I couldn't argue with that logic ... however, I'm not sure I'd turn down an offer from a publisher."
"But you've done very well as an independent."
"That's true, but, your chances of getting on the shelves of bookstores is much better ... and there is a certain ... um ... cachet that goes with a publisher."
I sighed. "Yeah, that's true ... especially if it's one of the biggies ... but this is a small publisher."
"So, what is Eb going to do?"
"I think he's going to go with them ... he's just not confident enough to go it solo."
"I can understand that."
"I just can't believe that Eb managed to attract that attention of a publisher ... regardless of the size."
"He must have a lot of determination."
I starred out of the window. "I wish I had more of that."
"Oh, I didn't mean to say you don't have determination," she added.
"That's okay, Clara. I know what my limitations are."
She patted my hand. "You've got more than you know ... determination, that is ... I know you'll do well, eventually."
I smiled. "No doubt ... thanks for the vote of confidence."
Clara smiled back. "Everyone has faith in you."
"Except Uncle Billy."
"Oh, no ... your Uncle is very proud of you."
I smiled at Clara. "Maybe someday he'll even read one of my books."