Allow me to start by saying this blog is not only about the Alabama Book Festival, but my entire weekend. Try to stay with me as I recall the fun and foolishness which was my trip from Las Vegas, Nv. to Montgomery, Al.
So! We all know I’m poor as shit. People see the vehicles I drive and not realize that its nice because I take care of my shit and I like nice cars… not because it’s new and expensive. I can promise that any vehicle I own will be at least 5 or 6 years old. And most likely bought pre-owned. My clothes… usually not expensive. I say usually because I just made my first purchase from The Men’s Warehouse the night of my flight to Alabama. If I would’ve gotten the $100 shirts Daniel wanted to sell me, my total would’ve been Just shy of $700. But I didn’t do that. Nope! Just two blazers, two vests. I was going to get the shoes until I realized they were Tommy Hilfiger. Then… after a conversation with Ansley, found out that my thoughts about what turned out to be rumors about Tommy Hilfigers preference in consumer were false; I felt quite foolish. Sorry, Tommy! but I’m certain you’ve been doing fine without my patronage over the years, regardless.
I got dropped off at the airport. Keeping in true form, I was checked in, baggage and all over an hour early. The flight goes smoothly, I lucked up with an isle seat because… I wasn’t going to pay spirit just to put me in a regular isle. I attribute it all to the flirting. So, 6 a.m . our flight lands early in Atlanta. Yes, I flew to Atlanta. It’s just a short 2 hour drive and I had plenty of time. I get to the carousel to collect my bags and for about the 100th time in my life, my bags aren’t there. So, I happily mosey on over to the Spirit office and tell the lady my name and my bags arent there. She looks at me sleepily and says “Oh, I just got an email about you. Your bags arent here. They’ll be in at 11.”
Fan-fucking-tastic. The bag which has the clothes I was to change into, my book stands, my easel and all the books I was planning to sell were on their way to Chicago.
Ask me why… I don’t know. So, seeing as how I could tell she didn’t give a shit about me, my bags, and probably not even her job, I just took the paper, asked for the managers number and went on about my way.
Pissed off to the max, I get on the phone and call my friend, Brandy who was supposed to be assisting me at the show. I asked her to intercept my bags while I head to Montgomery. After dealing with the lady at Spirit I was already late to get my rental. I get to the sky tram and see a familiar face. I didn’t know if it was who I thought he was so I wanted to be sure. Using my coolest, most unexcited voice and facial expression I stopped in front of him and asked “Are you Faizon Love?” 🙂 Yes… Yes it was.
He was cool as a fan too. Hasn’t aged a bit. It was a big deal to me because I haven’t met too many celebrities and half of the ones I have were complete assholes. But he was great. Spoke to me all the way down to the rental car area, and didn’t mind in the slightest that I asked him for a picture and even asked me about my book and wished me luck at the show!
So far my day was a mixed bag. I couldn’t decide whether to be pissed about the bag or extremely happy and excited about hanging out with Faizon Love for a while. Because, before learning he was chill in real-life, I’ve always enjoyed his acting and comedy.
When I get to the garage to grab my Economy vehicle I meet another young lady whom I tell all about my Faizon Love experience. Somehow between then and exiting the garage I’d managed to get into a new Dodge Challenger. She said she was upgrading me and I could chose between a Charger, Camaro and Challenger. I’ve driven the Camaro and have no desire to drive a Charger so… Challenger it was. And I had a couple hundred miles to see what it was made of.
I made it to the book fest at around 1030. I tried my best to get there as soon as I could, and luckily didn’t pass by any traffic cops. That would’ve been a check for the CON column. Although, showing up to this event, not-too-fresh, wearing yesterdays clothes and completely unprepared wasn’t exactly something to add to the other column. I thought far ahead enough to put a few books in my back pack. I also had all of my swag (Invasion of the Most Sacred postcards, fliers, business cards, book marks and free E-book giveaway cards) in there too.
So when I went to the registration tent to get information on my booth I wasn’t completely empty handed. The fest was small. Grass roots type of function. It happened to literally be in the grass. The booths were set up decently, and they offered each Vendor or exhibitor an extra table to put along the walk way as well. Which was pretty cool. I was placed between two pretty popular authors. I didn’t get a chance to get their names but they remained pretty busy the entire day.
My mood and overall demeanor was terrible. I had a pretty crap morning. I was late… I didn’t have my materials… my friend was traipsing all around the fucking country trying to help me out and my level of motivation was at an all-time low.
I tried to pull it together. Between Ansley, and my girl, Farrah they tried to keep me encouraged. I stood up, put what materials I did have on my table and tried to smile… greet passersby and tell them all about the books I’ve worked so hard to present to them that day.
Here are a few of pictures of what happened before Brandy showed up and saved the day, though not reversing of course what had already came to pass.
Met some pretty interesting people. Shared some books, some reviews, some stories and contact information. All-in-all, that’s what Book Fest’s are for. For book people to get together, share ideas, share their work and enjoy all things literary. For that reason the entire day was not a waste, even though we all would like to also sell some books.
After Brandy showed up, I was able to set my booths up the way I wanted. She was very helpful and I gotta thank her for showing up. If it weren’t so late in the day, things may’ve turned around for me, but it seems it was already starting to dwindle. I sold a couple books here and there. Around 1500, a man with a nice Nikon camera came over, and since I was already in such a funk I made some jokes with him. Turned out he was a representative of the Alabama State Council of the Arts. I said he should interview me and he said we could, his office was right down the street. What I had said in jest actually turned out to be an actual interview in his office/studio in the state building!
That was actually pretty cool. He said he’s trying to get it on the radio and also send me an
edited copy for a podcast which is invaluable in itself. Thank you, Mr. Steve Grauberger!
So, that’s that. I went to a nearby hotel. Cried myself to sleep, woke up the next day, drove back to ATL and ate my face off at Glady’s Knights Chicken and Waffles spot.
More Book fests to come! Happy Mothers Day!
Break your spirit airlines: www.awesomelyluvvie.com
All other photos: all mine