Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Other side of Writing - Selling at the State Fair

Last week was one of change. Warmer sunny days followed 32 days of rain. Then hail. and more hail. followed by this magnificent ranbow.
I held a book signing at Costco on Friday and sold out.
The following ten days of the Palmer State Fair I shared a book with
Don Porter a murder mystery writer and DeAnn and David Gleason, non-fiction as well as fiction writers.

Although confined to the booth in an enclosed building, I did have an occasional opportunity to visit the fair.
Alaskan's love flowers as evidenced by the plantings scattered around the grounds.
The weather shifted from warm (60) to cold, blowing rain. It didn't affect fair attendance, but seemed to dampen sales for everyone except food venders.

Entertainment ranged from dance groups to country western singers, camedians, reptile and bird handlers, horses and dogs.
Walking during a break a came across these guys drumming on waterjugs and tin pans. They put on quite a show shifting positions without missing a beat.

Always looking for characters to write about, I asked this girl to let me photgraph her wild hair do.
Her mother said that she had been shocked when the girl, usually shy, asked for it.
Wonder what story this could inspire.

On the coldest, wettest day of the fair, Alaskan's were still eating ice cream (along with turkey legs, blueberry cream puffs, giant Texas tacos with salmon, etc).
This bundled up little girl is licking an ice cream cone .
Alaskans consume the largest per capata volume of ice cream of any state. Now that could be a story.

Here is a character just waiting for a story. The man on the phone has two girls in the stroller, one on a leash (she's leaning on the counter) and a 7 week old daughter in the baby sling across his chest.
He said he and his wife are both security guards at the fair and alternate work and baby sitting.

Artist abound and attract me. The carver is working on a Hiada design from southeast Alaska. He has studied native design and painted the form and is now carving between the painted lines. He waid that the width of the lines have meaning to the artist.

At last proof that I'm not senile.
When I was in college (a hunderd years ago) I studied spinning and weaving and came across reference to the use of the under coat of the Samoyed dog by the Tshimshan tribe of the southeast coast. I had two dogs and spun their fun andwove with it. I've not been able to find reference to this since.
Here at the fair was a man who raised the dogs, spun the hair and crocheted the wool.
Now I'm tempted to save Sassie's fur.

Lynne created this beautiful t-shirt quilt with shirts from her son-in-law. Although she did not win a ribbon, it was on display and was a surprise for him when they visited the fair.
Good job Lynne.

There were way too many beautiful quilts on display to photograph each and every one.
Lots of inspiration and stories.
One small quilt was made by a 7 year old boy with the help of his grandmother. I'll bet he'll never say "bored" again.

Of course there are the giant vegetables. This long bean set a new state record. It is 73 3/4 inches long!
I don't know what a long bean is used for but it would feed a crowd.

This year's crowd pleaser is a pumpkin that set a new state record of 1,101 pounds!
How much crust would it take to make a pie?

Aongd with trying to convince fair goers to buy my books, I took notes for a future novel. The characters had already plotted to visit the fair. Now I have much material to make it real.
Thanks to DiAnne Mills, I'm incorporating "fact to fiction".
It's the selling I find the hardest part of writing.
Oh well, back to Costco signing this weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely beautiful pictures from the fair. I can't wait to show the kids the impressive green bean and outlandish pumpkin...not to mention the hair. Miss you!