I took the past two days off from this blog because I attended the Tucson Festival of Books on the campus of the University of Arizona. Every year over one hundred thousand people attend the event to meet authors and purchase their books. I only attended on Saturday. The author I traveled down with, Christina Whitehawk, took a serious fall and broke her elbow just after our arrival on site. Her daughter drove down from Phoenix and picked her up at the hospital. I told her I’d drive her Prius back to Phoenix to retrieve my vehicle from her home. I strolled around a little and bought a book at the Horror Writers’ Association booth and signed up for their newsletter. I am working on a ghost story.
I am mobility impaired and had to beg a ride from the campus handicap assistance folks to get out to the parking lot at the end of the long hot day. The young lady driving the cart almost threw me out taking turns at a high rate of speed. If the lady in the seat behind me had not grabbed me, I would have ended up on the pavement.The driver did not realize I only had one working arm and was holding my cane and other belongings with my good arm and could not hold onto the handholds to keep myself in my seat as she zoomed around the campus. It was a wild ride.
When I finally found the unfamiliar Prius by pushing the button on the key fob to make it chirp, I had to figure out how to operate the vehicle. I have never operated a hybrid vehicle. All you must do is push a button to start it and another to put it into drive. I had to drive 120 miles as dark began to fall. I had to pull off the freeway to make certain I had the headlights on. Anyone who knows me well will tell you I am a confirmed technophobe. Driving one of these hybrid automobiles would never have been done by choice. The dashboard looks like it belongs on the bridge of the Enterprise. It was over 80 degrees and I could not figure out how to turn on the A/C. It was a nerve wracking uncomfortable ride.
By the time I got into my comfortable old ’98 Mazda, I was a nervous wreck and sick to my stomach. I had risen at 4am in order to get ready and arrive at Christina’s by 6am and when I finally got home at 8:30pm I was sick and exhausted. I’d spent most of the day sitting or walking in the hot Arizona sun. I hadn’t eaten because the food court was too far from our booth for me to reach by walking. I walk very slowly with my cane and jostling crowds unnerve me. I had consumed a mocha frappe on the ride to Christina’s and had one bottle of water during the day.
After the stress of day one, I could not attend day two of the event. I slept in on Sunday morning and spent the rest of the day resting on my couch with the two books I’d picked up at the Festival. I didn’t turn on the television or open my computer. I ate a chicken salad sandwich, drank a strawberry Fanta and just relaxed with some Hershey’s Kisses.
I hope some of my books sold on Sunday. None did on Saturday. I am sorry to say that book signing events have not worked well for me. This was my fourth and I am 0 for 4 in sales. It is disappointing. I spent years selling at weekend Renaissance and Medieval Faires with great success. I believe it is the fact that I can no longer stand and hawk my wares to passers by that makes the difference. Perhaps it is that I am no longer working in costume. Maybe I need the anonymity the costuming provides to bring out my aggressive personality. I write 19th century Historical Fiction. Perhaps next time I should go out in my Steampunk garb to set my mood. Maybe the corset, flouncy skirt, and feather fascinator will do the job.