I can't take the credit for the wonderful blog title. That credit goes to my friend and uber-talented jewelry artist Melody Watson with whom I shared a booth this Saturday at the 34th Ashboro Fall Festival in downtown Ashboro (not to be confused with Asheville), NC.
I'm a writer so I will now call upon all my literary and artistic talents to describe with great feeling and passion our experience of the festival. Ah yes, I have it. In a word, the festival... SUCKED.
Hence, Melody's statement from above. Here's the background. Melody had a friend signed up to be a vendor at this festival but for whatever reason, the friend had to back out and offered her table --free of the $25 registration charge--to Melody. Melody did some research and all accounts from web sites, town dwellers, and even out of out town artists who had worked the festival in prior years indicated this was a HUGE festival. As in, people came in from other parts of the state for it. The merchandise would simply fly off the shelves.
So Melody heaved it into high gear and pulled together some stunning handcrafted, all original necklaces for the event. She asked if I'd like to share her booth to sell Lessons In Stalking and both of us went to bed rubbing our hands in glee and dreaming of moving mass quantities of merchandise.
And that might have happened, if not for the weather. It dropped 20 degrees to hold at a steady 53 degrees the day of the festival and had a sleeting rain on top of it. We were wet, cold and miserable from the get go. All of which would have been bearable if we had SOLD items. But we were at the far end of the festival (in the "unfortunate, unfashionable neighborhood" of vendors relegated to the ends of the earth as Melody called it) and foot traffic was bleak. Add to that the rain was misting onto my books and warping them and Melody's displays waved in the wind and at one point a necklace fell to the ground and broke.
We arrived at 7 to put out tent up, the festival started at 10, Melody's bitter girl comment came about noon and at two o'clock we looked at each other and said, "We're done." We packed up our tent as the other vendors looked on in a mixed display of emotions--smug, because they outlasted us, and envious, because we were going where there was heat and leaving them out for another 4 hours to freeze. We could have almost given a rip at that point - "shower, hot tea, jammies" was the refrain going through my mind as I raced for home.
We had the table for Sunday as well but as the weather forecast remained unchanged it was an easy decision not to return. I think I'm done with festivals. I typically don't sell many books there and it's not worth the amount of time it takes up to sell the few I do. I have one indoor festival next month I've agreed to but after that I may retire the card table and signage that is the signature of the festival vendor.
The day wasn't an entire loss. Melody is a fun girl and we chatted and caught up with each others lives and she introduced me to a fantastic book of essays by an author whose work I now love but whose name currently escapes me. (Melody--when you read this, please post the authors name in a comment). We poked the tent and watched rain water pool off in long spurts. Melody, a former nanny, watched mothers parade sadly undressed for the weather children around and fumed and threatened on more than one occasion to call social services. We watched the Right to Life group across from us with the plastic bloody body parts under glass ask people to sign a petition urging Congress to ban human cloning and were amazed not so much that the vast majority of people stopped to sign, but that they did so without asking a question. Is everyone really so up to date on cloning that it's not worth a "tell me what this is all about" question. Apparently so...
For a more detailed look at the festival, check out Melody's blog entry on it. As for me, I'm finally warm and other than a quick trip to the bank and dry cleaners this morning, have no plans to leave the house until tomorrow afternoon.
Happy Monday to everyone.