Happy Monday! I wanted to write this post because it involves all things positive. Well, almost all. A great way to jump start the week. Right? Anyway, I attended an author expo at a local library on Saturday. Somewhere around forty authors attended. Tables were decorated with books, tons of swag, bookmarks, and candy, animated chatter of authors talking to authors echoed off the walls and down the halls from floor to floor, sharing ideas, experiences, lamenting about lagging book sales, the dismal pricing of what we put so much time, effort and creative sweat into that goes mostly unnoticed. Did I have fun? You betcha!
This is my crew, my playground, my chance to reconnect with like-minded people. The book sales are icing on what's already a very delicious seven-layered cake. (Yes, I do tend to speak in dessert metaphors. Don't judge.) So, what's the deal, you ask? Here's a rundown in list format:
1) Authors think alike. We speak the lingo and completely understand one another. If you're skeptical at why this is such a big deal, try talking about books, publishing, who's in, who's out, the challenges of waiting for the CALL, where to find readers, etc. to your significant other and see the puzzled expression on his/her face. Or the response: "So what? You write a book, sell it and make lots of money. Isn't that how it goes? And penguin is a bird species. Why are you talking about birds?" *sigh* It's really like that.
2) It's a let's-trade-ideas moment, social-networking. How great is this?! I gain a lot of knowledge and writerly tips from other authors. Make new contacts, which can lead to even more writerly tips and ideas. For instance, this Saturday I learned about another site where I can buy printed materials, and also the names of a couple of local conferences. I never leave without some valuable info.
3) A chance to socialize is therapeutic. Those who write for a living know that it's a solitary activity. You admittedly resort to carrying on conversations with yourself and staying in PJs all day. And when was the last time you showered? Five chapters ago? (I'm picturing scenes of a disheveled Johnny Depp in The Secret Window.) Socializing is a chance to reconnect with someone other than your characters, though the real ones may not always agree with you ;-)
4) Inspiration, i.e. you're energized. Okay, this will sound weird, but when I visit friends and family, see their pretty, neat houses, I go home, take a look at the clutter, and then become Suzy Homemaker ... at least for the day! I guess it's no surprise that when I hear about the books and projects belonging to other authors, it inspires me. Sure enough, when I got home Saturday ... well, maybe not Saturday because after several hours of jabbering about books, I came home and crashed! Anyway, the next day I hammered out the outline for current WIP, Don't Judge a Con by Her Cover and wrote chapter one this morning! It can work like that.
Yes, good things happen at author festivals. Give 'em a chance.
Have a great and productive week, be creative and write!
UPDATE: Mother-in-law is doing great with her rehab! May come home at the end of the month. Here's to staying healthy :-)