Thursday, September 15, 2011

Getting Organized Is Hard

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m all over the place. Books are in piles, random bits of paper are tacked to the wall, quotes and book ideas are scribbled across menus and napkins and old school papers. Being organized (organized in the “normal” sense, that is) just isn’t easy for me.  See?

Wall o' stuff (and a purdy drawing by my momma). This is actually pretty organized compared to how it's looked in the past.

A bajillion books. Believe it or not each shelf has a theme.

My writing drawer. I'm not sure why there is duct tape in there.

 Where all my ideas are tucked away.

It might surprise you to learn, then, that my movies are meticulously alphabetized and organized by category. But that’s different. Those are my movies; they need to be in order. I can’t explain why, but it makes me extremely anxious having them in disarray.

Anyway, I’ve been slacking on getting organized for my book stuff. I’m lazy, I procrastinate. But, S has been kicking me in the butt (figuratively, of course. He wouldn’t actually kick me) to get things together and be proactive in selling my books. It’s nice that he’s so confident in my books and believes in me, and that I can actually do this. I need that voice in my ear acting as my cheerleader (I just got the image of S dressed as a cheerleader and it made me laugh. I wonder how skilled he is at the pyramid). I’ve been trying really hard on finalizing things for Walk the Red Road and will actually be printing out the latest version for final edit (yay!) this weekend. I also will be setting up a local book signing here in town.

But the big thing I did required me making a very hard decision. It was painful to make, and part of me still regrets it, but ultimately I know I’m doing what’s best for my future as an author. I reserved a booth at this year’s Port Orange Family Days. Family Days is an annual fair at Port Orange’s City Center. Games and rides and awesome fair food stands are set up by the Rec center, and on the weekend (always the first weekend of October) people can set up booths around the lake. Booths range from local politicians to schools raffling off gift baskets as fundraisers to the Humane Society looking to adopt out animals to local businesses marketing their services or products. This year, I’m going to be at one of those booths.

So why was this a hard decision? Because there is a second part to Family Days, one that is close to my heart. The same weekend vendors set up their booths, artists head out to the other side of the lake to chalk up the sidewalks. The Streetpainting Festival is hosted by ArtHaus, a local art organization that I used to volunteer with in high school. I made great friends there, and been participating in the festival for the past 11 years. Yes, for 11 years I’ve gotten up at the crack of dawn, hauled a huge bag filled with boxes of chalk, hairspray (seals the chalk to the concrete), and sponges to my square, and spent the next 10 hours drawing and chalking and getting covered in color. See?

Throughout the years I’ve even suckered my mom, little brother, husband, and best friend into helping me. It’s a lot of fun, I get to see people I only see once a year, and most importantly, it’s a tradition that breaks my heart a bit to end. Of course, I can always go back next year, and it’s not like I’m not a part of Family Days at all, but I’m predicting some sadness as I run my booth and look across the lake at all the artists doing their thing. I feel like I’m abandoning them a bit; I hope they understand.

So preparing for this booth is a bittersweet moment. In truth, I know I won’t sell many copies. Most people go for the free handouts and promotions; they won’t want to pay $10 for a book. It’s not about getting rich, but about promoting myself and the release of Walk the Red Road. I recruited my favorite young reader, Mackenzy, to help me on Saturday, October 1st, taking pictures, handing out business cards, getting set up, etc. After that, it’s up to me to get out of my comfort zone and sell my stories. I’ve never done a booth before so I’m a bit nervous. Promotions of any kind make me nervous.

I think I’m mostly ready outside of needing to print some more business cards. These are the books I need to sell (not all at the booth, some are for the selling I’m setting up and for my consignment deal) and the tent, because I know you’re all dying to see them:


(Just imagine the legs all the way up, I didn't feel like doing it the first time)

See? I’m totally organized.

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