And I am back from Calgary and other points west, with bags under my eyes and an unshaven chin. Primping at this time would be a bad idea. You primp when there's something to primp about. Me approaching the mirror at this point would be like approaching my parents with a report card full of Fs. No need to brag.
I had fun in Calgary -- which may explain the eye-bags. Met a bunch of fans, signed books, posters, shoes, arms and foreheads, and hung out with other authors, some of whom I had actually heard of. I will not drop names, because that would be uncool, but these guys were huge. Awards and accolades dripped off them like sweat in a steambath. As a kids writer, I was not expected to keep up with their conversation, but I did get in a couple of zingers. I know you are, but what am I? I said at one Booker Prize winner. Showed him.
One of my favorite moments was a late late late dance lesson with a hip-hop artist from Australia (that's him in the picture, a very cool cat indeed), a festival organizer, and two very young women. I have never had a better audience. They laughed every time I moved.
They sold out of my books at one of the readings, which led me to consider how hard it is to please an author. I was angry and unhappy that they had sold out, because that meant that there were some people who would have bought them, but didn't. But I would also have been unhappy if they hadn't sold out, because then there'd be people out there who didn't want to buy my book. If I walk into a bookstore tomorrow and see a plentiful supply of my books, I'll be sad because no one is buying. If there are few of my books, I'll be sad because no one is stocking them. How weird is that? I am setting myself up for disappointment. I'm like a farmer who bemoans both rainy and dry spells for ruining the crop, but is also unhappy in perfect weather because a plentiful harvest means low prices.
Well, that's it for today. I am off to bust some moves.