I hoped to launch this book on 20th of June, but it’s unlikely. I got a cover late evening yesterday and the book is still going through the final revision.
New plan is to launch it on 22nd of June. Maybe I’ll keep this deadline, who knows?
In the meantime enjoy From Shy to Hi‘s excerpt. It’s one of my several stories about talking to strangers:
As I mentioned, I’m especially shy around attractive women. On my commutes to work (when most of my opportunities for meeting strangers occur), I spotted a woman about my age, who frequently traveled on the same train. Every day we would get off the same train and walk to the same bus stop.
Many times, I came up with things to say to her, such as complimenting her outfit, but I never had had the courage to start the conversation. I was too intimidated.
I was transferred to another office, and this office had a different entrance. This time, we got off the bus at the same stop and began walking the same direction. Thanks to this, I realized that we worked for the same company; we had more in common than just the same commuting route.
One Friday she had a heavy suitcase with her. I assumed she was leaving for a weekend trip right after work. I wanted to help her out and start the conversation, but I talked myself out of it. You know, the standard stuff: “What will she think of me? She looks like a strong, independent woman, what if she is offended by my offer of help?” And hence, I missed that opportunity.
The train’s timetable changed and I changed rail carriers. I saw her less often.
Several months after the occurrence (or rather non-occurrence) with the suitcase, I noticed her on her way from a bus stop to the train station. I was reading on the bus, immersed in my book, so I was a little surprised to see her.
I was now months into my talking-to-strangers practice. I was more confident. I started a conversation, using the most mundane opening line in the world:
“So, you work for the same company as me, don’t you?”
We talked a little about work, about commuting and about the disreputable city district we walked by on our route from the train to the bus. We parted at the train station.
She was a normal, nice person, and the long months of apprehension were caused solely by my internal perception of myself and the flawed opinions I had about her in my mind. I never would have known, had I not found a common denominator.