Thursday, August 29, 2013

Just Hanging out

This is such a strange time for me, this in-between stage.   I’m in between the completion of one book before I start writing another.  I’m still thinking about my characters as they were but also planning ahead to what they will be doing. 
As much as I want to continue from where the story left off, I just can’t quite get serious about writing again - even though I really want to. 

But it’ll only be a short break while I wait to review the proof of Best Kept Secrets and then I really need to focus on some marketing for the second book before I bury myself in writing the third.  While I wait for the proof to arrive, which may be next week since this is a holiday weekend, I have no other choice but to find other things to do. 
So I’m just hanging out.

Even though I said I needed to learn to relax more often, it’s still a strange feeling when I take on the task of just staying put.  After dinner this evening, I was sitting in my favorite comfortable chair, a blanket over my lap and my legs curled up under me as I watched one of my favorite shows, Project Runway.  Unless it has to do with cross stitch or embroidery, I hate sewing and I’m admittedly not into fashion much but for some reason I like this show.  I think it’s fun to watch what the contestants can create when they are given such unique projects with such a limited amount of time. 
Anyway, I haven’t spent regular time in front of the television lately so I shouldn’t have been surprised when my husband teased me from the other room as he asked, “Are you really just sitting there doing nothing?” 

Yeah, incredibly enough, I was just relaxing.  I wasn’t also writing, cross stitching, reading a book, paying bills, organizing paperwork, journaling or anything else I might normally do while I watch television.  Instead, I was just watching television. 
What a concept.

Okay, I’ll admit, I did end up making some chocolate chip cookies while I watched my show but my son made the cookie dough for me…I only had to bake them.  And eat them.  While watching my show.
Still, making cookies and watching television – not something I’ve done a lot of lately.  It’s kind of nice and I’ll take advantage of the free time during the weekend and into next week until I focus completely on reviewing the proof my book.  I’m taking a long weekend for the holiday weekend and while I will hang out and relax during some of the weekend, I’ll probably also use the time to get other projects done so I can focus on writing again without any to-do-list distractions.  What are your plans for the long weekend?  Whatever they are, I hope they are productive, relaxing or just plain fun!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Wait is Almost Over!

Building a book is hard work…which is my excuse for lying low the past few days.  Really, you’d probably think writing a book is hard work.  Well, I have to say…that’s the fun part.  Using your imagination to come up with characters and scenes is much more fun than the technical aspects of figuring out paper size, page count, font, page numbers (don’t even get me started on headers!), front matter, back matter…
See what I mean?  I’ve lost your interest already, haven’t I?

But that’s what I’ve been dealing with the past few days as I finished formatting the final revision of the book, confirmed my paper size, which confirmed my page count (yikes!  It’s longer than the last book!), so that my cover could be designed to size the book perfectly.  I was finally able to submit the completed novel to the publisher for review and I got the e-mail tonight to inform me it met the submission requirements. 
Do you know what all that means?  It means the book is --




Ready to be printed so I can finally hold it in my anxious little hands. 

I guess I should clarify…I get to hold it but you’ll have to wait just a bit longer.  The book is finished but the final product has to be reviewed by beta readers before I can make it available to everyone else.  That said, I’ve ordered proof copies so my beta readers can help me find any errors which may have slipped through the cracks.  If any errors are discovered, I will make those changes and once those are fixed, I can then make the book available to everyone else.
Don’t worry.  I’m still on track to have the book available next month and I’m still shooting for mid-September. 

The wait is seriously almost over... 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Why I think about Halloween in August

Summer, as our kids know it, is just about over.  For some, I guess school has already begun but for us it doesn’t begin until two days after the holiday.  That leaves…let me check the calendar…twelve days left before my youngest has to move on to a more rigid schedule.  Oh yes, he is very excited.
If you believe that, I have a couple hundred books I’d like to sell you.

Every summer about this time I think back on the months behind us and I know it’s been a good summer if I’m satisfied with how much time we actually spent doing what we said we’d do. 
Am I pleased with how our summer went?

Yes, I am very pleased.
Something else that happens to me during this time of year is the inability to ignore a longing for the next season to come.  I don’t want summer to end, really I don’t, but for a month now I’ve tried my best to overlook the onslaught of holiday trinkets and things literally surrounding all the school supplies at the box stores or bulging off the racks at the local craft stores.  Christmas I enjoy, because it’s a fun time of year and all about family, but the months I really enjoy decorating for are the fall season as a whole and Halloween.  And there are lots and lots of fall and Halloween decorations out there.

Check out these little framed stickers I couldn’t pass up…


That’s a pencil underneath the frames to show you how small they are.  I do scrapbook but I didn’t buy them for any scrapbook or handmade card.  Instead, I immediately thought they’d make great decorations for my doll house around Halloween.  If you don’t know about my fascination with miniatures, check out this post here. 
The arrival of the school year and the glitz and glamour of new holiday items aren’t the only reason I look forward to the fall season and holiday beginnings.  I also very much enjoy the weather during the change in seasons.  I love the beautiful days we’re having which begin with a chill and which let you sleep easier with a much cooler evening breeze.  We get to enjoy our yard more because we’re working in it less.  The lawn doesn’t need to be mowed as often and the garden is winding down (except for the pumpkins and mine are doing awesome this year!).  The leaves are beginning to change colors and I always look forward to the beautiful photos I can take as the trees show off their glory before shedding their weight for the winter. 

In fact, the leaves are already falling.  Sad, but true.  As I was writing this evening, I kept hearing a noise.  A snap, a crackle…but I wasn’t quite sure from where.  I became certain it must be the deer, using the arrival of dusk to mask their entrance onto our property from the woods and into the yard.  At least three times I stood up to glance out my office window, hoping to catch them either at my rose garden or out by the plum trees. 
But there wasn’t a deer in sight.

Finally, when I heard the snap and crackle again, I glanced towards the maple tree outside and wouldn’t you know it?  The noise I heard were leaves hitting other leaves as they were falling down the length of the tree.  Very soon, we’ll be hearing other noises as the little helicopters fall from the maple trees.  You know what I’m talking about?  The seeds with wings?  They spin continuously as they fall to the ground and are actually fun to watch.  But eventually we have hundreds of them all over the place along with all the leaves.  Oh well, what does fall mean if it’s not for falling leaves?
Speaking of the deer, they are back for more snacks.  I just heard one of them snort outside and I can hear them chewing on the pits of the plums as they eat them.  It’s too dark now to see them though.  They are smart like that.  And pretty much why they eventually get their way.

While I am looking forward to the change in seasons and the holidays to come, I still plan to enjoy what we have left of our summer.  But unlike my son, my summer won’t end just because school starts.  It will end when Mother Nature finally decides it’s time to change her mood.


Monday, August 19, 2013

My Recipe for a Happy Marriage

Why does time have to slip through our fingers so quickly?  We know it doesn’t, not really…it passes the same now as it did before no matter how old we get, right?  The clock for a ten-year old is no different than for a forty-year old or an eighty-year old…it just seems to pass by more quickly the older you become.  Of course, if we could make one wish, it might be to let the bad times pass by at lightning speed while the good times freeze in time.
This past weekend would have been one of those good times I wish hadn’t gone by so quickly.  My absence from posting yesterday afternoon was due to the fact that I had made other plans:  my husband and I took off to spend the weekend at the beach to celebrate our twenty-second wedding anniversary.  To say we had a completely awesome time is an understatement.

Sunset at Ocean Shores

It’s actually kind of hard to believe we’ve been married that long.  It really wasn’t that long ago when we were first dating, just getting to know each other and learning very quickly how much we were meant for each other.  Every year we celebrate another anniversary, I feel blessed and very fortunate to have met my soul mate so early in life.  I can only hope the same for everyone else out there but for those who haven’t yet met the one…I do believe everyone has someone special waiting out there for them. 

If I were asked what I thought was most important about a marriage, I’d say that’s a tough question to answer.  Not because I can’t come up with an answer but because there are so many different aspects to what makes a great marriage…
Love, of course, is a given.   

Love one another and you will be happy.  It's as simple and as difficult as that.  ~Michael Leunig~
Friendship is a must.  Even if you love someone, it isn’t much fun to spend time with them if you aren’t also best friends, with common interests.

Friendship isn't a big thing - it's a million little things.  ~Author Unknown~
Respect and appreciation is obvious but sometimes so lacking.  If you don’t show respect and appreciate the person who is supposed to be your “better half,” what does that say about your marriage as a whole? 

Don't be yourself - be someone a little nicer.  ~Mignon McLaughlin~
Every couple should give the other space when it comes to separate interests.  I love to write, I have multiple hobbies and I enjoy having coffee or dinner with a friend.  My husband likes to play basketball (pre-surgery anyway), golf and play poker with his friends.  While we could probably spend 24/7 together and be happy, it’s always good to have at least some sort of separation so you can appreciate your time together that much more.

To keep the fire burning brightly there's one easy rule:  Keep the two logs together, near enough to keep each other warm and far enough apart - about a finger's breadth - for breathing room.  Good fire, good marriage, same rule.  ~Marnie Reed Crowell~
And speaking of time together, every couple has to work on scheduling those date nights…or date weekends…or whatever works for them.  Don’t put off time together because of the kids, or work or money.  Whether it’s a couple of hours, a long weekend or a whole week, every couple needs to spend quality time together.  Or rather, they need to make good on their QTR…quality time remaining (term coined by entrepreneur, H. Wayne Huizenga) and always remember to enjoy every minute they’re able to steal away together.  When couples don’t make good on their alone time, they are no doubt surprised years later when they realize they don’t really know the person they’re staring at across the kitchen table. 

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.  ~Mignon McLaughlin~
Of course, there are many other ways of tending to a marriage, such as kindness, forgiveness and trust, but let’s not forget humor…

Never go to bed mad.  Stay up and fight.  ~Phyllis Diller~
A man in love is incomplete until he has married.  Then he's finished.  ~Zsa Zsa Gabor~

So there’s my recipe for a good marriage:  love, friendship, respect, appreciation, kindness, forgiveness, trust, humor, space as needed and quality time on a regular basis.  It has worked for us and it’s a formula my husband and I will preserve as we continue to celebrate each year together.
Our wedding was many years ago.  The celebration continues to this day.  ~Gene Perret~


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Settling In; when Transition brings Tranquility

The rain finally came today and I, for one, am pleased with it.  I love the smell of fresh rain.  I love the fact that my chore of watering the gardens was taken care of by Mother Nature.  I’m pleased that the dust on our long gravel drive will be less inclined to cling to my car.  And I especially enjoy a nice evening in with the family, after a nice meal (salmon cooked to perfection by my husband), with all of us tucked inside for the night in our warm cozy house.  Even the dogs are enjoying their time inside, not caring to venture out where the rain will only pelt them with fat raindrops.

The rain is here for only a short bit but I’m glad just the same.  A change in the weather, especially during such a dry season, is never a bad thing.

Thinking about the change in the weather made me realize other changes have proven to give me the same tranquil feeling as the rain…

With the completion of my second book, even though I still have a list of to-do’s to check off before it’ll be in print, I feel good about letting go of what I’ve created so that I can move onto the next story.  The transition between one book and the next is like a mini vacation as well as preparation for how much I’ll have to give of myself once I begin the next.  I’m very excited to start a new book and while I know I’m about to climb another mountain, I’m up for the challenge and can’t wait to see how the story unfolds as the third book is brought to life.
I also recently took part in a large office move and I honestly wasn’t looking forward to it.  It was a change in circumstances and when you spend eight hours in one location, you really hope to feel comfortable with your surroundings.  I was comfortable where I was before.  I had no idea of what was to come and for me, that’s the biggest obstacle when it comes to agreeing to any sort of change.  Of course, I had no say in the matter so whether I liked it or not, we were moving.  I will say it was a difficult week getting moved and set up again and it has been quite a chore to catch up on what got behind while our computers were down.  However, now that we’re finally beginning to settle in, I will begrudgingly admit, I like our new digs. 

A change in the weather, a change in book projects and a change in location may have nothing in common except for the one small fact:  the transition involved with each has actually multiplied my sense of tranquility.  You’d think with all this change, I wouldn’t feel the slightest bit tranquil but each event has brought with it the acceptance of change so that I can settle in and look forward to what’s to come. 
Maybe as I get older I can continue to learn to adapt more easily to change, no matter what kind of change it might be.  These are big words spoken by someone like me but words I’ll venture to say just the same.  Perhaps I should also keep this tongue-twister of a quote in mind whenever I feel myself begin to dig in my heels in resistance to change:

          “Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the ways           things turn out.”  ~Art Linkletter~


Sunday, August 11, 2013

It’s so close…I can almost taste it!

It’s time for me to take a big sigh of relief…because I’ve finally completed the last edit to Best Kept Secrets, the second book in the Jorja Mathews series.  I can’t tell you how awesome it feels.  Well, maybe I can, which is why I’m posting today. 
As a side note, I realize now I keep throwing around the title of the second book but I believe I neglected to actually post about it.  I had written a post some time ago about my dilemma when it came to choosing a name but eventually, I decided not to go with the original title I had been playing around with and I chose Best Kept Secrets instead.  It might not be considered too imaginative but check out the blurb on my book and you’ll see why.  You’ll also see the title to my third book, which will be Ties That Bind.
Anyway, the edits are complete…for the most part.  Because I feel like I now have all the time in the world (but really, I really don’t), I was going through my old posts to compare the timelines between the first and second books.  No two books are the same, which is true with regard to the editing, formatting, publishing and marketing, but it still doesn’t hurt to compare.

I wrote No Mother of Mine during a four-month period when I wasn’t working full time and had much more time on my hands at home.  I then spent another six months working through the editing process but it didn’t take long for me to realize I wasn’t thrilled with the editing process.  It was a learning experience for me because even though the manuscript had some outside professional help, there were still formatting and editing issues that were found later on in the publishing process.  Not something a new author wants to deal with but it opened my eyes to just how much work the whole process can be.

Best Kept Secrets was started during the National Novel Writing Month in November 2012.  This was a completely different way of writing a novel than how I wrote the first book.  While most of the “meat” was down on paper with regard to the scenes, I had to go back to fill in the gaps, add texture to the characters and place timed teasers to move the plot along.  The process of adding filler took me about three months so essentially, both books took four months to write even though I was working full time when I wrote the second book.  The process I took to write the second wasn’t my favorite way of putting together a story, but I’m thrilled with how the book turned out and I have enjoyed reading it through each edit, never tiring of how enjoyable the storyline has become.  I also feel my writing is tighter and I’m learning quite a lot with regard to dialogue so I hope to hear feedback with regard to whether readers see how I’m growing as a writer.
The editing involved with Best Kept Secrets began in February, which means this book also took six months to edit.  I hope that what I learned from the first will help alleviate editing issues with the second…I can’t expect perfection but I’d really love to come close.

Once No Mother of Mine was finalized, it took another two months to work on the cover and make changes to the eBook format before it was published as an eBook first and then in paperback a month later.  The process may have taken longer than it should because it was my first time, or maybe that’s a normal timeframe.  I’ll find out soon enough.  If July hadn’t kept me away from serious writing for close to three weeks in a row, the second book would be much closer to a publication date. 

Regardless, I’m still working to have the book available before the end of summer - you might think August, but summer actually ends in September.  The paperback version of No Mother of Mine was made available in September 2012 and unless my fairy Godmother makes things happen while I’m asleep, it’s likely Best Kept Secrets will be available in September 2013.  While I would prefer an August date, September appears to be the month for releases in this writer’s household.    
While my initial belief was that no two books are alike, when it comes to No Mother of Mine and Best Kept Secrets, the timeline for both involving the writing, editing and publishing process is pretty similar.  That’s good to know.  It gives me something to work with and it also gives me something to improve on, should I figure out how to find more time to write (and edit). 

I’ll be positing updates as I move towards a definite publishing date so keep an eye out here or on my Facebook page for information as I go through the final stages towards publishing.  I know, the process seems slow but hang tight…it won’t be long now.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Learning to cut through the Noise and Listen

There’s been a lot going on lately, no question.  The past few months have been a whirlwind of events with my oldest son’s graduation from college, his graduation party, my husband’s surgery, Lakefair, a family vacation and my stepmom’s surprise 60th birthday party (yup, we pulled it off…even after surprising her on her 50th!).  Whether the event lasted one day or a week, each required preparation, planning and organizing before and during the event with a short time to catch our breath before the next.   
I already knew July was basically shot and that August would be the month to get back on track with writing but what I hadn’t realized until the other day was that I also have to get back on track with relaxing. 
What the heck is relaxing?
Relaxing:  to spend time at ease; to spend time resting; to make or become less strict; to make or become less tense.

Yeah, sometimes I forget the meaning of the word because it’s just not an act I’m prone to exhibit.  Oh, I relax but my form of relaxation keeps my hands moving, my brain spinning and my thoughts processing.  I just can’t sit still and be.  I can sit still and read, write, cross stitch or scrapbook but the thought of doing nothing…well, who has time for that?
This definition of relaxing is more my style:  to spend time doing things for pleasure, especially as a relief from the effort and stress of everyday life.

That’s what I’m talking about.  Whether I read, write, scrapbook, garden or play horseshoes, this is my form of resting and it makes my life feel less strict and it causes me to feel less tense.
However, the other day I decided to take a break from writing because my office was just getting too stuffy and warm (we’re having a real summer here in the Pacific Northwest!).  Rather than hassle with finding a fan, I decided to get some fresh air and take a walk around my gardens.  That’s not always a good idea because I tend to see things I need to do…a little weeding here, some watering there, or other chores I’ve been too busy to take care of.  I think I did pull a weed or two and I also decided to dig up some potatoes before deadheading a dahlia.  But eventually, I got the urge to sit in the canopy I have set up nearby the gardens.  Not for any particular reason; I just thought I’d take a seat in one of the comfortable camping chairs and take a rest.

Once I sat down, I felt that I needed something else to do.  I couldn’t just sit there.  I saw myself heading back into the house to grab a book, a magazine or my journal but my body didn’t respond to that idea.
So I sat there.

And I enjoyed the comfort of a chair under the canopy while the day turned to dusk. 
Piper, my dog, sniffed every inch of the yard before she finally lay down on the grass just outside the canopy, and my cats, Hershey and Misty, joined in by hanging out with us.

And we all sat there.
Eventually, I heard a small bird chirping in a bush nearby.  He’d been playing peek-a-boo with me earlier when he got frustrated at me for continuously walking by the bird feeder.  Now that I was staying in one place, he was happily singing me a song.  Then a frog chimed in with a chorus of croaks.  Not quite the sing-song voice of a bird but a melody of its own, just the same. 

And we continued to sit there and listen.
Soon another visitor approached; one I have had mixed feelings about the past week.  A doe and her two very young fawns have been tempted daily by the plums on our tree, the rose petals in the garden and the blackberries behind the canopy.  They are beautiful creatures but they can wreck havoc with just one visit, much less many. 

You can correctly guess that at this point, Piper didn’t just sit by and let the deer enter our yard.  She gave a few quick barks of warning and it was enough to warn the deer that they should head in another direction for the evening (or until we went to bed).  Good girl.

The only visitors missing were the owls.  They are definitely my favorite.  Every year, they come back and I enjoy hearing them talk back and forth.  Once, while I was sitting out by the fire pit, one of the owls flew into the yard and landed in the tree right above me.  Another evening, one landed right on top of the outbuilding nearby.  It was an awesome sight and not one that happens often.  Usually, I only get to listen to them screech and hoot as they talk back and forth (like tonight…I can hear them from the window now as I write).

So this is what it’s like to cut through the noise and listen…to just sit, relax and be. 

It’s a chance to let the mind, body and spirit unwind as recharging also occurs. 

It’s a necessary reprieve from this hectic, loud, busy world of ours. 
And it’s a habit I should learn to enjoy more often.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Family Fun equals Photo Ops

It’s August; the month I must get back on track, which means completing the final touches for Best Kept Secrets, the second book in the Jorja Matthews mystery series, so that I can finally get it out there to everyone who is waiting for it.  I’ll also get back on track with my Blog-posting schedule but today will be somewhat of an exception, since it is my first weekend in three weeks when I’ve been able to spend some quality time with my writing to-do list. 
Because I need to get back to work, I won’t write much today.  Instead, I thought I would share some photographs from the family road trip we took the week before last.  It was a much needed vacation and I was very happy for some new photo ops.  Leaving Western Washington, which is green and lush with trees and color, we drove through Eastern Washington, where the terrain is full of browns and yellows with a smattering of pine and fir trees vying for the limited moisture to be had, before moving on into Idaho.  Regardless of the color, or lack thereof, there are always sights to be found no matter where the road takes us… 

Going over Snoqualmie Pass, I couldn’t resist checking out the cabins…here’s one of my favorites:

Snoqualmie Pass cabin

On the way we enjoyed the many windmills spread throughout the farms:

Washington windmills

And we stopped to play in the Columbia River, which was much warmer for swimming than any of us had expected: 
Columbia River
While in Idaho, we visited the Silverwood Theme park but on our way we couldn’t resist stopping at this river (I didn't catch the name of it):

We spent a day on Lake Pend Oreille or a portion of it anyway as I’m sure it would take many days to actually explore that whole lake:

Lake Pend Oreille

Clear waters at Lake Pend Oreille

Looking over Lake Pend Oreille
Further down from where we swam during the day, we found Scenic Bay complete with a floating bar/restaurant and a house boat that absolutely made my day:
Scenic Bay

A houseboat under construction on Scenic Bay
On our way back through Washington we stopped to visit the Grand Coulee Dam:
Grand Coulee Dam
 We drove a somewhat scenic route along Banks Lake:
Banks Lake

Over Banks Lake
And finally ended up at Lake Chelan:

Lake Chelan
On our last day we couldn’t resist checking out Snoqualmie Falls (imagine how much water there must be during the winter months!):
Snoqualmie Falls
And we stopped off for a visit at the Point Defiance Zoo:
Can't resist the tigers!
or the bears!

I hope you're enjoying your weekend and if the sun is out in your neck of the woods, I hope you’re enjoying the weather as well.

Ready for another weekend!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Meeting Real Characters while Selling Fiction

To follow up on my post about the time I spent promoting my author name and books during Lakefair, I wanted to share some stories about the people I met during the event.  I also wanted to share some of my experiences since this is the first fair event I’ve taken part in as a way of marketing my work. 
Here’s a warning as a courtesy:  this post is a long one so grab a cup of coffee, or tea, or whatever your choice of beverage, because you’ll be here for a bit longer than usual.

So…where do I start?
One experience I enjoyed were the different vendors we met during the event, such as the two ladies who were in one of the tents next to mine.  Shannon is a photographer and had some of her photography on display, along with some jewelry for those who like to wear art rather than hang it on a wall.  Mary is also an author and was selling her own book, The View From My Roller Skates, a memoir she wrote about growing up in Olympia during the 30’s and 40’s.  Mary is feisty and young-at-heart and she reminded me of my feisty, young-at-heart Aunt Mariea (who would have gotten a kick out of Mary).  Shannon was a great tent neighbor and Mary was just plain fun so it was our loss when Mary had to stay home during most of the event due to the high temperatures we experienced each day.

As we made friends with our neighboring vendors, I also met many different people who represented various types of readers and who I thoroughly enjoyed meeting.  Here are just a few examples:
One of the questions I keep coming across from other authors who offer advice is…who is your reader?  What do they do…what do they like…that sort of thing.  It’s a subject I could post about in more detail another time but on the first day of Lakefair, I met Linda and Petey.  Both of them were hilarious in the way they expressed themselves, they knew who they were, had a terrific friendship and they showed very openly how much they seemed to enjoy life.  I loved the fact that Linda bought my book as a gift for Petey so that she could take it with her when she flew back home to California.  Later, I thought about the fact that Linda and Petey are very much like other women I’ve met who have liked my writing and my book.  This is good; I believe I am finally beginning to have a better understanding of the type of “reader” I might be writing for. 

Chris, one of the vendors two tents down from mine who was selling jewelry with her mom, decided to buy my book.  Her mom then took a break from making jewelry to pick up my book and read a few chapters…and then a few chapters more.  It wasn’t long before Chris came over to tell me she lost her help with the jewelry because her mom was too engrossed in my book.  I felt bad, of course (well, sort of) but I was happy to hear her mom couldn’t put the book down.  The following day, Chris’ mom came over to tell me she had finished the book!  I was thrilled to hear it but then all I could think was, wow…with readers like that there’s no way a writer can publish fast enough! 
Rosilyn, who completely cracked me up when she just about hid under the table after making a statement that embarrassed her but made every one of us who heard the conversation laugh so hard our cheeks hurt.

One of the male vendors, who purchased my book because his tent was slow and he needed something to do.  Hmm…I had to think about that one for a minute.  But it was great to see a male reader want to purchase my book, even if it was because he had nothing better to do. 
A cute lady named Val who had an accent (English, I think).  If memory serves me right, she was with her husband and he asked me if my book was “explicit.”  I began to rattle off that it was a murder mystery but there were no gory details to worry about – he cut me off and said, “I was talking about sex.”  Oh…well then, of course my answer was just “no, there’s no sex.”  This might bite me in the butt since some people enjoy romance books and sex scenes but he only nodded his head at me and said “good” before giving his wife the go-ahead to purchase the book.  This time, no sex was a good thing. 

A guy named Perry, who was at the fair with his son, made me feel like a real celebrity when he asked if I would take a photograph with him and his son.  I don’t know how the photo turned out but it was sweet of him to ask and I hope that my encouragement makes him take the leap and move ahead with his own writing career. 
I had to laugh at myself but was also more than a little embarrassed after a conversation I had with Mark and his wife.  They were a very nice couple and Mark is a screenwriter so the conversation was enjoyable but at one point, Mark’s wife made this comment to him about my book, “You’re mum would have loved this book.”  He turned to her and said, “You’re right, mum would have loved it.”  Seeing a sale slip through my fingers, I quickly assumed “mum” had returned to Australia or New Zealand (I forgot to ask where they were from) so I told them they could always order my book on Amazon and just have it delivered directly to her.  You can just imagine my embarrassment when Mark pointed towards the sky as he informed me mum was up in the heavens (where a book could certainly not be delivered!) but he was laughing as he told me he’s certain she may have already read the book anyway (from beyond even).  It took me awhile to get my foot out of my mouth after that one!

While these readers and many more made each day go by at a pleasant pace, there were others who represented various types of non-readers as well.  I actually had to ask my husband not to ask the basic question, “Do you like to read?”  Why would I ask him that?  Because I couldn’t stand hearing even one person respond by saying they did not like to read.  I heard that response only a couple of times and it was enough.  My husband then changed the question to, “Do you like to read mysteries?”  This was better because readers do have a preference in genres so I can’t hold it against them if they really don’t like to read mysteries. 
Here are just a few responses my husband got to that question:

One woman said she couldn’t read…I seriously hoped she was just joking.
One woman responded with the statement, “My life’s a mystery.”

Another woman pointed to her husband as she said, “I have a mystery right here.”
Smart alecks, every one of them, but some did make me smile.

But then there was this guy, who actually asked me, “How much for an unsigned copy?”  Um…I think my pause and raise brows before responding was enough of an answer but I had to follow through and inform him the price was the same, whether sign or unsigned.  *sigh*  If I ever do make a name for myself in this business, I wonder if he’ll remember that conversation.
I also earned visits from readers who had already purchased the book and just wanted to meet me or who had met me before and wanted to stop by to say hello.  One such visit was from Terrie, the Life Enrichment Coordinator who I met when I took part in a book club meeting at her work place.  She’s still hilarious and full of positive energy and it was great to see her again.

Of course, the event wouldn’t be complete if it weren’t for the appearance of friends and family who stopped by to chat or even offer their company for a little while.  The whole event felt more like day camping and it was fun to share it with others who know us and wanted to share in the experience with us. 
So there it is…my first experience as I attempted to peddle off my work to unsuspecting fair-goers who had to choose between so many choices of vendors, I’m sure it wasn’t easy.  But to those who did decide to support a local author, I thank you, and I appreciate everyone who made the long days slip by easily, making this new experience even more enjoyable.