What I learned this weekend…

Summer is definitely over, and the event season is kicking into gear.  I had a few weeks of quiet, with nothing going on in my writing world besides writing.  Quite a sweet deal, I must say.  But in September, the Apocalyptic 4 was back in the saddle again.

On Saturday(September 18) we had been invited to Festival of Arts, put on by Alternative Trends Magazine — part of Art Days.  And why were we — a writing group — at Art Days?  Because we have an illustrator.  Herman Lau, who made our covers for us, agreed to come and show his work.  And since he made our cover, we HAD to show up to support him.  Right?  Right!

However, it became clear about a week before that not all of the Apocalyptic 4 were going to be there, and by the end of the week, it was up to Herman and me.  We worked out when we would meet to set up, and the event was a go.

We arrived at the old Art Gallery location (now part of the U. of A. in the old Bay Building) at 3 PM, and learned lesson 1. (Set up time had been changed, from 3PM to noon. Somehow we’d both missed that.)  Get to the event early, or get one of the last tables left.  Which led to lesson 2 and 3.

If you have art to hang, remember to bring a hammer.  And nails.  (These lessons weren’t actually mine — but we did have to learn them, so I’ve added them.)  Once we set up our display, we rapidly realized we were learning lessons 4, 5 and 6.

Remember signage, change, and bookmarks.  Remember when I said that it was decided I would be coming on my own?  Well, this meant that I had to remember everything.  This included (you guessed it) signage, change and bookmarks.  I did have some change (but not enough) NO signage (and not even a scrap of paper to quickly design something) and the bookmarks are still sitting on my desk where I’d put them for safe keeping.  Hey, at least I found my receipt book!  That was something, wasn’t it?

At 4 PM the art show started, and people began showing up.  Pardee, the woman who ran the show, came over to find out how things were going.

“It’s a little bit chilly in this corner,” we whined.  And it was.  We were freezing.

“They have to keep it cool,” she replied.  “There are lots of people here.”  Then she smiled, snapped a photo and dashed off to look after her party.

She was right.  There were lots of people, which was heartening.  And there was a huge amount of interest in the art, which was even better. Even in our chilly little corner of the room, people showed up to look at Herman’s prints and our book.  We had a good time talking with everyone, and I even made a sale or two.

“Is it getting colder?” Herman asked.

“I think so,” I replied.  I watched the poet next to us put on her winter coat and mitts.  “Definitely.”

Which brought us to lesson 7.  Remember a winter coat and mitts.  Neither of us did, and by the end of the night, both of us wished we had.  We took turns finding warm spots and thawing out.  My personal favorite was the bathroom.  I’d run warm water over my hands until I could feel my fingers again, then scurry back to the table.

All this running around brought me, rather abruptly, to lesson 8.  If you haven’t worn high heels for months, practice in them before wearing them to an event.  I hadn’t worn my high heels since May — and since then had been wearing flip flops and sandals.  No heels to speak of.  By the end of the evening, I felt crippled.  All I could hope was I wasn’t walking like I needed a walker. (I was going to ask Herman, but didn’t bother. I knew he was too polite to say “yes” to my face.)

The event was a success.  We met some great people, made some good connections, and had a wonderful time.  And the lessons?   Learned.  Some of them I probably won’t need to remember. (The hammer and nails lessons for sure!)  The rest, definitely!