Monday, July 22, 2019

Heat and Rain and Tips for Outdoor Author Events

The theme of my summer so far: Heat and Rain...with a healthy scoop of high winds and a side of hail. One thing I can say for sure, outdoor events are a gamble. Not only with the weather, but with your stuff.

One tent/canopy you should never buy for outdoor events: Anything that looks like this

I've personally seen at least eleven of them go into dumpsters after getting mangled by winds and heavy rain or hail so far this summer. If you're going to buy a tent, invest a little and get a sturdy one. I have one of these. Being that I bought it eighteen years ago and it's still going strong, I can easily say it's well worth the money. . And yes, the sides are wonderfully useful! I've seen some with clear windows in them too, but I don't have that kind. Yet. I may get one as it's nice to be able to see around you when it's raining.

I've done a lot of outdoor events this year and they've all been plagued with weather issues. It's either 90+ degrees or windy and raining. Or thunderstorms. Like last Saturday. Poor Joan and I stuck it out for a few hours, hoping the drizzle would let up, but when the sky got black and the rain went sideways, it was time to make a run for it. Packing up books in the rain is not fun. Thankfully we weren't parked far away. However, taking down the tent itself got us both drenched.

This weekend, both of the events I have scheduled are inside. I'll be at Holton Library in the Muskegon area on Saturday morning for an author meet and greet and in Traverse City at the Festival of Pop Culture on Sunday. I've also added a last minute outdoor Market date tomorrow night (June 23) at Bolt Park in Grand Haven. If you're in the area of any of those, stop by.

Other handy tidbits (most of which I did not personally suffer):

• If you have anything breakable in your tent, pack it away overnight. Storms happen and will break all of your nice things.

• Always be prepared for wind by having rocks to set on paper items or a mug to hold cards or bookmarks.

• Carry a box of large zip lock bags so if it does start raining, your books wont be soaked when they are purchased.

• Keep a piece of plastic or a large trash bag handy to put on the ground under your table. Keep all of your boxes and supplies on it so when it does inevitably start to rain, your stuff doesn't get soaked from the ground up.

• Keep the tent sides in the car, even if the forecast says it won't rain around the time of your event. Okay, this one was me last weekend. The one time I didn't pack them....

• Store your books in something waterproof so when transporting them between the tent and your car in the rain, they don't get ruined.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

IWSG: July and a Busy Summer

I hope your summer is going well. It only just arrived in West Michigan. We've had a long dark winter followed by a cold, dark and very wet spring. To see this mystical orb of warmth is a very welcome thing. I'm not even complaining about the heat or humidity...yet.

The garden has been enjoying all the rain, though all the flowers are about two weeks behind thanks to the lack of sun and cool temps.

This year has been very EVENT-full. (and this concludes my puns for the day). Unfortunately, many of them have been outside and as you've gathered by now, the weather hasn't been very cooperative. This weekend is one of my major events, the Lakeshore Art Festival in Muskegon, MI. We'll have twenty Michigan authors in two giant tents. If you're anywhere near the area, stop by and check out over 350 fine art and craft booths along with artisan food, interactive art, and children's activities. July 5 & 6 from 10-6.

If you're wondering where I'll be the rest of the year, check out the long list of locations over there --->

And now onward to this months' Insecure Writer's Support Group question:
If you're not familiar with 
What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?

Focusing on The Narvan, as those characters have been with my the longest, meaning we've rubbed off on one another quite a lot...

Anastassia shares my love of red wine
Vayen vents with F-bombs
Both of them drink (though more heavily than I do these days)
Anastassia tends to take over everything she touches
Vayen is always looking for ways to improve productivity
Vayen hates club music
Fa'yet likes to work alone
All of them prefer to avoid the spotlight
My wardrobe and Anastassia's are both heavy on the grey and black
Like both Anastassia and Vayen, I prefer to be in charge

and the list could go on, but you have other blogs to get to today so we'll end here. Thanks for stopping by!