Does anyone else feel like a really desperate member of the lonely-hearts club when it comes to the weather this year? This is exactly how I feel when I'm outside now, the sun on my face, the leaves and birds and people all out and about: I know Weather was a complete jerk all winter and spring. I know I deserve better, but Weather is here now and so beautiful. I won't complain about anything ever again. I promise. Please don't leave me.
Anyway, this past weekend was beautiful and so productive! That almost never happens!
On Saturday, I was able to get out to Toronto Island for a peek inside the Gibraltar Light as part of Doors Open Toronto:
And on Sunday, I was at a Small Press Literary event at the Gladstone, hawking copies of Fathom Lines. Sales were less than brisk, but the other sellers were such amazing people--gracious to anyone who had a question, generous to their fellow vendors, and so enthusiastic about their work.
As I was sitting there, waiting for customers, I got to thinking about how artistic-types get a bad rap sometimes. Maybe it's the non-conformist clothes or haircuts, or the fact that we tend to be poor so very often, but the general population sometimes takes the view that artists are lazy. Well I tell you -- I did not meet one lazy person yesterday. All of the people I met had jobs, or school programs or families that take up most of their lives. And then, when they have a free minute, they spend it doing something they love in hopes that other people will love it enough to give them a couple of dollars.
Can I say how very weird it is to sit at a table, though, and have random people come up to your life's passion, pick it up, turn it over, put it down again, and walk away? Sure, not everyone is going to love what I love. And I know I've been that customer, too. But I'm going to try harder next time when the creator-seller is sitting right there in front of me. My new rule? Smile. Always smile. I know what the discerning eye feels like now, and it is kind of like when Superman blows things up with his red-hot lasery vision. Your dreams? Poof. My favourite comment was from an older woman who said she thought my book sounded so interesting and the writing looked excellent, but unfortunately she couldn't buy it because she doesn't read anything written in the present tense. Well, we all have to draw the line somewhere, I suppose.
Which makes the experience sound much more difficult or less fun that it actually was. I had a great time. I was so nervous to do this, but I would do it again with pleasure. Because being out in the world and being able to talk about this thing that I love to do, to other people who want to know about it, is pretty fantastic.
Erin Bedford, writer.