Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Going to Book 'Em!

I've been getting ready to participate in Book 'Em this Saturday. It's an event held in Lumberton at Robeson Community College featuring lots of authors, panels, and book sales. I've gone before, but this year I will be a participant and have a table to display and sell my books. Part of the earnings will go to Book 'Em's literacy program. The idea is to Educate, not Incarcerate. In other words, a youth who reads is less likely to get into trouble.

Getting ready doesn't mean making sure I have books to sell, although that is probably the most important. I need to get people to stop at my table. So I am handing out bookmarks, and little bags of candy that include information about my books. I need signage, so I printed out some signs and now I need something to display them on, like a small easel. I think I have some somewhere... oh, and a tablecloth.

I'm so afraid of forgetting something. It isn't as if I can make the hour and a half trip back home to fetch it! A camera? Good idea.

What I like is I don't have to worry about making change. Volunteers do all the checking out. I hope my biggest problem will be deciding what to write if someone asks me to autograph their purchase.

This is a bigger problem than you might suppose. I have seen other authors post that they have no idea what to write besides their  name. Inspirational authors write Bible verses. I usually end up writing something stupid/silly and wish I could grab the book back and say, "No, no, let me do that again."

As you can tell, I'm both nervous and excited. It's one thing to do a booksigning at the local library or arts council when you know everyone and they are already disposed to be kind. It's another to have someone pick up your book and toss it back on the table in disinterest.

It's like someone looking in the buggy and saying, "My, what an ugly baby!"

Won't happen, of course. People who love books enough to come to a book fair are generally fun to meet and talk to.

And I'm looking forward to meeting lots of readers, and hopefully gain them as fans.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

When enough is too much

We thought we had dodged the bullet as far as winter weather was concerned. But last night we got a taste of what everyone up north and out west has been suffering, but instead of snow we got freezing rain and sleet. (Jim swears there was a little snow in the mix.)

I can't say we suffered because our power did not go off, although it is off in other parts of the county. The sidewalks and roads were icy this morning but we did not need to go anywhere.

The schools were closed and I just got a reverse 911 call that one of the schools has been opened as a shelter. I couldn't  help but remember the photos I've seen of snowdrifts up in New England. Those folks couldn't get out of their houses to go to a shelter if they wanted to.

Fifteen years ago we did get snow, sixteen inches if I recall the official number. We were snowed in for a week and were without power most of that time. Luckily we had a generator, propane camp stove and lantern, and lots of candles. We had gas logs in the fireplace. So we stayed warm, could heat up soup and coffee, and even read or play Solitaire with a deck of cards.

Since then, we removed the tank to the fireplace logs and I don't know what happened to the generator. We still have candles and the propane lantern and camp stove, which we got out in preparation. Luckily, we didn't need them.

I suppose Mother Nature has to remind us once in awhile who is in charge. Still, my sympathy goes out to those who are snowed in and without electricity. I hope they were better prepared than we were and have heat or are able to get to a shelter.

A little snow and ice gives us a fairyland of glitter and awe. Too much, and it's a catastrophe.

I think I join millions of others in wishing for an early spring.