Live from Knoch High School

I’m at the annual Knoch Craft Show in Saxonburg, live and in person here with my first book. I graduated from this school many action-packed years ago, and now here I sit in the Senior High gym with more than 150 other vendors, selling what our talents have made.

This show benefits the Girls’ Basketball team, and it’s nicely run. The team helps to haul wares in and out and even stops by the tables to take lunch orders and deliver cafeteria foods.

At 18 minutes in, I had some small interest, but no action. Then at 22 minutes in, I had sales under my belt. I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but I admit I’m hopeful that my sale price is catching. This is my home crowd, after all.

At 27 minutes in, my third book sells. So far, they’re all soft covers, which is telling me volumes about the way these buyers read—to me, they seem to want a book that they can toss in a purse or a gym bag, not one that will look nice on a shelf. I like that. Don’t get me wrong; I have plenty of books that look nice on the shelf. I’ve read them all and have taken great pains to keep them looking nice—which a friend of mine says is a mark that you love your books: respect for them. I get that, yet these books are few and far between for me. The majority of my books have that lived-in, loved, worn out look, like a child’s favorite blanket. That, to me, is true love.

Leaving my daydream (luckily I have a rich inner life), I’m back to reality. I’m directly across from a cookie vendor. This is dangerous. Last year I sat across from a lady who converted old barn wood into hand-painted signs. The “Laundry 15 cents” spoke to me all day until I finally had to buy it. It’s heavy and smells like the grease on an old carnival ride, and I’m not sure what I ever did before it came into my life.

There’s a woman selling table runners to my right, and the outdoor lighting man to my left, as usual. He attaches solar lanterns to wooden posts and then decorates them to every taste: with cats, dogs, wolves, golfers, veterans, flags, horses, frogs, seals, birds… And he sells a ton of them.

I realized, quite a while ago, that while others have many items to choose from, I so far only have this one, Upside Down Kingdom. That’s when I decided to write all sorts of things for a variety. And write them I did. Whenever I shift my gaze to publishing, I’ll have a table full of delights to sell. Until then, like a proud mom with her firstborn, I sit here with my first baby–even though this baby is old enough to walk and talk by now.

Book #4 just sold. Woohoo!

An hour and fifteen in, fifth book sold.

Book Six, one hour and twenty minutes in.

Book Seven, three minutes from the last. ~~

I’ve lost count. I might be at 8. There was a bit of a flurry there.

One hour forty-five, my nephews are here. Miles rearranged my table display and decided to write in my journal since I’m using the computer. We write together.

“You’re still in Kindergarten?” I ask.

“Yes,” comes his answer as he concentrates on his work.

“How long do you have to do Kindergarten?” I ask.

“Not long,” he tells me. “I’ve only got a year, and then I’ll move on to first grade.” He seems pretty determined.

My mom and sister return and gather up the kids and head on out again, which leaves me back on my own. ~~

I’m here for a bit longer. Come see me.