Andrew and I continue to meet or talk by phone. His story is really developing into a great work and I can finally call myself his writing coach. I'm enjoying this new role and realizing I am pretty good at it.
"Do you think I ought to submit it?" he asks me.
"Whoa, it needs more work. Think about the story, not the audience. Have you considered a writing class? That way you get more feedback than just mine."
Fast forward. **OPEN FOR LUNCH** was released in November, 2019, nearly a year after Andrew and I met for the first time at KFC. Andrew was in attendance at the release reading, smiling in the back row. Another lunch story subject was in the audience, as well. When I told the audience of their presence without revealing their identities, (an audience at Malaprops Bookstore's, one of the largest audiences for a local independently-published author), there was an audible gasp that came from the listeners. These lunch stories were REAL. I knew it, but now they knew it, too.
Just last week Andrew told me, "I'll be at your next reading, and your next. And your next. This time I'll be on the front row."
"You don't have to do that, " I said.
"Oh, yes," he said then caught his breath. "You will never know how much you mean to me. You have changed my life." I think I heard him choke up.
It was my turn to catch my breath. You never know how a simple invitation to a stranger to dine with you might turn out.
Like my other lunch mates, and the ones I continue to invite to my table, Andrew changed my life.
Has anyone in particular changed your life?
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Open For Lunch
Award Finalist in the "Health: Alternative Medicine" category of the 2017 Best Book Awards