07 November 2017

Weekend in Wooster for Buckeye Book Fair

This past weekend I traveled to Wooster, Ohio, to attend the Buckeye Book Fair to promote Running with a Police Escort: Tales from the Back of the Pack! I've done lots of solo author events before, but this was my first book fair and I had no idea what to expect. I did pick up a lot of ideas for future book fairs, mostly things to bring with me like bookmarks and postcards with information for those people who didn't purchase that day. (I did at least have business cards with me.)

I drove down to Wooster Friday night after work and checked into the Market Street Inn, where I had a room reserved. Ohmygosh, y'all. Cutest bed & breakfast ever. I stayed in the Lewis Room and it was so quaint.


That evening there was a reception for all of the writers and it was fun chatting with all of the Ohio authors.

While the reception had some appetizers, it was not dinner level appetizers, so after leaving I started to scout out some restaurants. The owner of the B&B had recommended some restaurants near the inn but I took to Yelp and was looking to see what else was in the area when I found a restaurant called The Olde Jaol Restaurant.

Hmmm. Interesting name. Steakhouse, huh? Okay, I'm liking this. Wait -- a steakhouse in a former jail? 

Ummmm YES PLEASE.

Seriously, as a former prison librarian how could I say not to that? Also: steak was divine. Also also: everyone was super friendly. The former owner had recently sold it but he still comes in for dinner and drinks and we were chatting at the bar together while the new owner was behind the bar making drinks and I got to chat with all of the staff and, srsly. So friendly. (Plus good steaks.)

Saturday was Buckeye Book Fair Day! There were several of us staying at the inn so over breakfast we were all chatting about our books and where we live and it was just so much fun.


The book fair was a great success. I met lots of readers and runners. My favorite part of these events are when people see the cover of my book and read the title and that moment when THEY GET IT. It's always accompanied by a laugh and a knowing nod and they usually then come over and tell me their own back of the pack / police escort story. Best part of this gig, y'all.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

01 November 2017

Unmasking

Fall always gets me into a nostalgic mood. It's a struggle for my anxiety and depression, last year I even took an entire blogging break for the season. It always puts me in a reflective state of mind. So maybe it's because of that or maybe it's because it's right around Halloween but I've been thinking a lot about masks recently. Masks and personas.


For most of my life I've always talked about my walls. I have a lot of them. Walls are kinda my thing. But lately I've been thinking about it less as walls that I put up and more like masks that I put on.

It may seem like semantics but, to me at least, there is a difference. Walls keep people out and that's not my intention, not really. Walls also make me think of princesses locked in towers that need to be rescued and I definitely don't need that.

But masks. Masks are things within my control. Masks are things I can take on and off as necessary. And with a vast collection of masks, I can select the one that best fits the situation and circumstance.

Have you seen the dark 1980s film Return to Oz? It's one of my favorites and one scene in particular involves a queen that Dorothy meets. What Dorothy doesn't realize at first is that the queen has the ability to change her head. Literally. She keeps an entire gallery of heads and depending on her mood or need she'll change her head.


(Seriously, tho. How awesome would that be? Having a bad hair day? Just pick a head having a good one. Headache? Switch it out.)

The fact that I saw this when I was a kid probably explains why it resonates with me so much. Those films you see as a child dig in deep and I can certainly relate to wanting to be someone other than yourself at times.

But, really, watching the film you get the sense that each head serves a purpose or mood. Sometimes the queen needs to be the nice gentle ruler that everyone loves. She has a head for that. Other times she needs to be the heartless queen who takes no shit. That's a different head.

For me it's survival. Which sounds weird, but as someone who moves through life feeling anxious and overwhelmed, having masks let me adopt a persona other than myself to function. At least temporarily. I have the mask that can make polite small talk when necessary. The mask that will get me to work. The mask that will help me get through functions with lots of people.

I've had people tell me that it always surprises them that as a shy introvert who really doesn't like people I have zero issue getting up in front of an audience, sometimes upwards of 500 people, and giving a presentation or doing an interview with a huge bestselling author.

That? That's my I Like Being The Center of Attention mask. Or, as someone told me, I'm an introvert who can put on an extrovert shell.

I honestly have no idea what the point of this post is. It's just something that's been brewing in my brain for awhile that I needed to get out. I know this blog has gone through so many transitions over the past five years since I started and I don't nearly blog as often as I used to, so thanks for reading those rare times when I do.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus
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