This week's blog challenge prompt is "My theme song."
I often listen to music as I work, whether writing or editing. Sometimes, I tune in to my favorite stations on I Heart Radio. Other times, I head to YouTube, cue in a favorite song or band, and let 'er roll. I've come across several previously unknown musicians and tunes that have been incorporated into an evolving play list, like Five Finger Death Punch. Of course, YouTube's capacity to allow for selection of specific songs and musicians means I can tune into old favorites, like Eagles, Carly Simon, Gordon Lightfoot, and Enya. I often listen to classic rock, Top 40 hits, and a few lesser known musicians like Theory of a Deadman and Hozier. I enjoy country music and Celtic folk music, too.
But this article isn't supposed to about what I listen to, but what song defines or describes me: my theme song. That tends to vary, depending upon my mood on any given day. However, I like to give this answer: "It Don't Come Easy" by Ringo Starr.
The title of the song defines my life, because nothing has really ever come easily for me. I work hard for what I have, whether it's a possession or a skill. For instance, it takes months to earn sufficient disposable income to purchase a horse for which I have hired a trainer because she's not well trained enough for me and because I haven't the skill to finish her training myself. One might suppose that I've a history of jumping into the deep end without a life jacket only to find myself overfaced.
One might be entirely correct.
Back in college, I pretty much skipped the 200-level courses, instead jumping into the 300-level courses because I found the subject more interesting. Despite the more rigorous academic expectations of those courses, I did pretty well. I worked hard at it, though. Nothing came easily.
Since the end of 2015, I've been building a freelance career as a writer (ghostwriting, too) and editor. That hasn't gone smoothly nor has it been without its disappointments when I took on gigs that overwhelmed me or for which I had to admit required more from me that I was prepared to give. Learning experiences all.
So, no, it don't come easy for me. But easy isn't always the path to accomplishment or contentment. I dare not say happiness, because happiness is always ephemeral. At this point, I've attained a general sense of satisfaction with myself. Sure, there's always more to learn, but I have acquired a better sense of myself, of what I can do and what I will do.
Some of us know where we belong in life, what we were always meant to do and the path we must take. Others are destined to wander, because life don't come easy.
I'm going to congratulate myself: holding a book fair at a craft brewery was a stroke of genius. Authors benefited from customers who stopped by Mother Stewart's Brewing Company for a beer and socialization, and the brewery benefited from customers who stopped by for the book fair. Authors bought some libations, too. In addition to a happy exchange of customers, the unique facility really got authors talking.
"This is such a cool place!" was the general comment regarding the venue, even though getting there was a little tricky for some and there was a bit of confusion over where to park. Authors exclaimed over the massive, old beams, the exposed brick walls, and the general appeal of the brewery.
Effusive thanks must go to Marty Laengle, the brewery's business/marketing director, for his much-appreciated assistance in getting the Springfield Book Fair off the ground and helping authors find their assigned places to set up their tables. Unlike most such events, authors had to bring their own tables and chairs.
Schmidt's Sausage Truck enjoyed some extra business as vendors' empty tummies rumbled. Here's an endorsement: I dislike sausage. Bratwurst and wieners are not my thing. I caved and purchased a pork bratwurst with sauerkraut. I liked it and wouldn't argue over eating it again. Folks, if it can convert someone with a long-term dislike of sausage, it must be good. By the way, beer goes really well with bratwurst.
I won't sneeze at attendance. In the first hour, I saw more people wandering among the vendor tables than I did at the last three events I attended. Fabulous! Brewery customers who hadn't known about the event wandered through vendor displays and declared their interest and appreciation. I heard many exclamations along the lines of "This is great!" from customers taking advantage of a unexpected opportunity to chat with writers and check out their books. Authors overall appeared pleased with both the venue and the attendance. I know I did better than at all the previous book fairs in 2017 and 2018 combined.
As always, I enjoyed meeting fellow authors. I didn't circulate much, mostly due to an obligation to keep an eye on things. Control freak that I am, I felt obligated to make sure that everything ran smoothly. I deliberately positioned my table at the bottleneck between tap room and vat room so keep an eye on comings and goings, but no one alerted me to any issues. I don't think vendors missed not having seminars or workshops or contests or event-sponsored door prize drawings. We kept it simple: authors, books, people. And one jewelry vendor who crafts chain maille jewelry. She expressed satisfaction with the event, too. Ah, happiness all around.
So, now that the book fair is over, it's time to reflect on what went right, what not to do next time, what to improve, and the lessons learned. I originally anticipated a much smaller event: a dozen authors. We had 21 vendors total. I asked authors to write thank-you notes to Mother Stewart's Brewery, because good manners never goes amiss. Thanks go to Jenna, the high school senior whom I hired as our helper. She watched over tables and helped with fetch-and-carry, because many of us are older folks who are at the edge of or have descended into decrepitude. Goodness knows I'm not as strong or spry as I used to be.
I consider the Springfield Book Fair successful. I admit to trepidation and worry. Any first-time event is uncertain. However, I think we could turn this into a seasonal event. Who's up for a winter book fair in 2019? Should the brewery owners want to co-sponsor another book fair, we'll continue to keep it small and friendly.
Authors showed their generosity with donations to the Clark County Public Library:
Thanks to all who contributed books!
My idea should catch on: Hold events like this in a popular place where people want to go.
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Corinne poured two glasses of iced tea, one for herself and the other for Uberon, and carried them to the miniscule front porch of her cabin. He thanked her with grave courtesy as he accepted the sweating glass. Sitting in her favorite deck chair, she flexed her aching bare feet.
“I should have worn sneakers.”
Uberon reached over, long arms extending to capture one of her feet. He pulled her foot into his lap and began massaging it. Corinne moaned with pleasure and took a drink of her tea.
“I want you to come with me,” Uberon said, his voice easing into the late afternoon heat as though it belonged amid the sounds of birds, insects, and the occasional yip of a coyote.
“To the Unseelie Court.”
“The Unsee—what?” He met her shocked gaze with equanimity.
“You have got to be kidding me,” she muttered and averted her eyes. “You cannot expect me to believe you’re an evil fairy.”
“Not evil, dark.” He did not mention that the distinction had more to do with the fair-haired characteristics of the Seelie Court than with any tendencies toward evil.
“Evil, dark, what’s the difference? And do not tell me you’re a fairy.”
“I am fae, what humans once called sidhe or sith.”
“This is insane.”
“Why should it be insane?” He released her foot and picked up the other one.
“B-because that’s just myth. You know, legend. Fairy tales!”
He shrugged, the movement of those broad shoulders capturing her attention. “And you are a witch. Why cannot I be fae?”
“I am not a witch,” she muttered, disliking his logic. “I have some extrasensory power that most people don’t. That’s all.”
“The fire-haired women in your matriarchal line each had such power. The talent skips a generation or two, but runs true back to the ancestress who took a fae lover and bore him a daughter.”
“What do you know about it?”
“I know the Erlking is your ancestor, for ’tis his fiery hair the daughters of his talent bear.”
“He is mated, has been for the past several centuries.”
“No more bastard children?” she scoffed.
“He would never betray his mate, nor she him.” He fixed her with his own mysterious silver gaze. “Nor I you.”
“This is preposterous,” Corinne protested and pulled on her foot. He held it with easy strength. Rather than engage in a futile struggle, she huffed and turned her head away to stare into the wooded darkness.
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
“Don’t quote Shakespeare at me, Uberon.”
“He was a human of great insight.”
She huffed again. “Okay, let’s say you’re really what you say you are—”
“—and you want to take me to your home, the Unseelie Court.” She finished the sentence and turned her head to glare at him. “How do we get there?”
His mouth curled in a slow, sexy smile. “Magic.”
“Don’t even go there,” she warned.