Sunday, November 14, 2010

Buckeye Book Fair 2010



...an overcast veil of gray snuffed out what little daylight remained. Despite ample parking, I was forced to trek upon cracked pavement outlining the neighboring building, the afternoon crowd still in flux.

I snuck through the side entrance, knowing the way by heart, and made haste to the gathered assemblage. More than a hundred writers, their smiles now strained following an afternoon of slinging their names across published works and speaking to readers by the thousands. After a day spent huddled over a desk, toughing out a mandatory six hour foster care class, I could relate.

It doesn't take long to lose one's sense of time while in their own environment...The Buckeye Book Fair, yearly ranked as one of the top literary events in the country.

The conversation with Karen Kingsbury, huddled behind a colorful display of past achievements, was inspiring. Terry Pluto has always been a personal favorite. A local sports writer turned novelist, each story christened with athletic locale. I paused before a breathtaking piece from artist, Will Hillenbrand, and shook hands with Cleveland born Neil Zurcher. From where I stood, Regina Brett's, "God Never Blinks," was an apparent fan favorite, her line having stretched around the corner and out of sight. And as every year, children's writer Dandi Mackall infected me with a playful grin reminiscent of the writer's voice she carries.

I was reading the back cover blurb to the latest vampire craze, when a tap on my shoulder stole my attention. "I thought all writers were sitting behind the tables today?"

A weary smile formed. "Hello David," I greeted my editor. "Out trolling for new students?"

"Just enjoying a day with friends." He studied my expression, then, "Long day?"

I nodded. "Classes. And yes, I should be signing today, not reading."

"Once again the bride's maid...still not the bride." His gaze hardened. Steely blue eyes squinting from behind a set of crow's feet. "Patience El. Your time draws near, I promise."

I looked at the tiled floor at our feet, our shadows forming a lengthened embrace. "Seems like it'll never happen," I said. "It's like...edit this, rewrite that...like running in place and getting nowhere fast."

"All these brats sitting behind these tables around us," David turned, waved an arm as if warding off a mosquito, "They start on their next project while edits stumble on."

"Yeah well, I've got that dayjob to deal with...but there's a little something else on the plate I've been thinking about. Another project."

"In the mood to share?" David asked.

"Nope. You've got work to do. Not sure why you're even standing here right now," I countered.

David's shoulders rose and fell with each chuckle. "Always the slave driver. 'South of Charm' will indeed happen. Final edits are rolling like a shapely stone downhill, with the final read to follow, then off to the galley."

"And how long will that be?"

"Well..."

"Aww come on!"

"See that empty space over there?" David directed my gaze toward a far corner of the room, a lonesome chair hiding under the table, an eight foot section of unattended space.

"What about it?" I asked.

"Next year," David said. A second pat on my shoulder. "Next year."

"Okay," I nodded.

As David turned, waving me a farewell, I mumbled, "Probably won't sell a book all day...sit behind a stack of covers, embarrassed and blushing."

"Ha!" David coughed over his shoulder. "Even the rube who failed to show up today ended up selling three books! I think you'll do fine!"

I watched his broken stride as he ambled for the exit, my grin widening. Okay...next year.

Buckeye Book Fair 2011. "South of Charm" ...better late than never:)

Thanks for reading,
El

22 comments:

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Next year, Elliot. I'm sure you'll sell more than 3 books. More books than me, and that's for sure.

You're only pregnant for nine months, but we writers have a much, much longer gestation period for our novels.

Focusing on the first page and the last page of your next novel could help take your mind off running in place.

Happy Thanksgiving, Elliot.

The Words Crafter said...

Aww, I'm very excited! I'll finally get to read your book! Woohoo! Chin up! Christmas is practically next week and spring the week after. The way time flies, you better be picking out what you're gonna wear!

Elaine AM Smith said...

You drew me in to your drama :)
After all, there is always next year.

Joanna St. James said...

This gives your publicity team (all of us) time to amp your book. Don't worry we've got your back we'll make this big.

The Golden Eagle said...

There's always next year! And, as Joanna said, it's just more time for other bloggers to get the word out!

Anne Gallagher said...

Next year Elliot. At least you KNOW that next year you WILL be sitting there. That's like a promise from the angels. And we'll all be here cheering you on.

Jodi MacArthur said...

I share your thoughts and feelings. "They" say persistence is key. So onward. And how cool to shake hands with authors you admire.

ps. The book fair sounds lovely ;-)

L'Aussie said...

I love the dramatic way you presented your journey thus far Elliot. It's going to be awesome to read South of Charm. Keep us posted so we can help you along with some book buzz..:)

Elliot Grace said...

...things are at long last taking shape. I've been touting the thing for quite some time...hoping it's worth it.

In any sense, whether it sells or sucks, the experience alone has been worth burning the midnight oil.

Thank you all for your kind words of support as the day draws near:)

El

Terry Stonecrop said...

Hey, your day is coming. It will come faster than you think!

Your editor sounds cool.

Did I ever tell you I love the title of your novel?

notesfromnadir said...

Keep striving towards your goal & it'll happen! I really like the title! :)

DEZMOND said...

and next year the readers will be sitting in front of you like those charming little animals from the BUCKEYE BOOK FAIR poster ;)

Elliot Grace said...

Hey Terry, thanks so much for the compliment:)

"South of Charm" is title number three, and probably the keeper.

David and I had been tossing ideas back and forth, pieced Charm together, offered it to the people of authority, and received an enthusiastic thumbs up.
Glad you like!
EL

Shari said...

You have an editor. You have a book. That's awesome! Congratulations!

JUST ME said...

What is with all these Higher Ups and their obsession with rewrites?

Sure, all good writers need to rewrite, but we can only go so far before we end up punching a wall and running down the sidewalk with only our underwear on.

Obviously, it's going to happen for you ... your writing is no joke. :)

G.~ said...

You'll get there Elliot, there's just more prep on your end, that's all. No big deal. You WILL be there, it's just a matter of time. Know that.

I'm on the train to get the word out for "South of Charm" and I can't wait to read it.

Jess said...

I agree with Terry~ your day is definitely drawing near!

Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day :)

**Heidi** said...

Just me~hahaha...I would love to see our neighbors reactions to my hubby running down the sidewalk in his underwear! He would def be the talk of our one stop light town ;0)

Love you babe and keep the faith your time is well due!

Anita said...

I'm looking forward to my own next year, even if it's three years from now. :)

Amy Saia said...

I hope this coming year will be a great one for you. And the next, and the one after that, on and on. Hopefully mine will be good too!

Olivia J. Herrell said...

El, so close, but...you're so close you must be able to taste it by now.

Like someone said a while back, you'll need to be changing the title of your blog soon. And next year will be here in the blink of an eye. You'll probably have another novel to publish by then. Chin up, sweetie, your time is NOW. Enjoy. Relish the anticipation.

You're tired and frustrated. Take a day off. Live life. Enjoy your family. Breath in some salty air. Laugh a little. And remember, as you're pounding away on the edits, it could be a jigsaw puzzle or something equally mundane. It's not. It's your masterpiece. Enjoy.

BTW, you said foster classes, are you getting your little girl? I'll have to read backwards to find out!

Happy Thanksgiving, Olivia

Adeeva Afsheen said...


Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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