Yesterday was a strange day for me. I drove to Bangor to attend my first ever book fair as a writer, sitting behind a table, talking to people about my book. I don't know what I was thinking when I signed up. Maybe that I would be a different person, one who is actually pretty okay at talking to strangers, which I am not. I've never been. I remember one of my first times in New York, my friend David threw a party at his apartment so I could meet all of his friends and what not. I think I lasted 45 minutes before I disappeared into a dark room to watch movies, spending half the time trying to will myself back into the party and the other half of the time asleep. The party lasted a long time. I have no idea what happened.
Yesterday's book fair was kind of like that, except the only room to hide in was the author's break room, and it was full of delightful writers who were wonderful at speaking to others, so it wasn't really the same as a dark room to watch movies. I spent most of my day at my table, writing in my journal. It was at the book fair that I really started working on my new writing project. I don't know if that sounds more romantic than it actually was.
If you went to undergrad or grad school with me, you know I read books in public places to avoid talking to people. Writing in my journal was equal to that. I was on the third floor of the library, under very bright lights, next to a very kind author who gave me tips on how to do the selling part of all of this.
I left the book fair having sold a few books and a plan on a post-it note for how to better handle the weird space of the book fair. Have you ever read Kafka's "The Hunger Artist"? It sounds dramatic, but it felt like that. Maybe I wasn't the Hunger Artist himself, but I was definitely part of the show, and I did not like it. I want to learn to like it though, or at least make friends with other writers in the area, so it isn't so much of being a stranger.
Anyway, I left the book fair with:
- having sold a few books
- a plan on a post-it note (I've already sent an email to my local library, ordered businesses cards with QR codes, and a large matted poster of the book cover-- I am heeding all advice)
- and a few pages of writing about the house I grew up in