Rustic Mamas’ Market Recap
I’m thrilled to announce I set a new record for book sales in one day at an in-person event on Saturday at the Rustic Mamas’ Market. The number isn’t important (and it would be embarrassing for bestselling authors), but local readers’ interest in my books and their enjoyment of them is truly gratifying. I got many unsolicited comments from readers who enjoyed one or more of my stories. That’s how I spell success. I might have set a new record for positive comments too. 🙂
A Special Surprise
The highlight of that day, and certainly of the month, was when Deb Anderson stopped by to say hi and buy a book. I knew her as Deb Vizina back in 2000 when I first met her. She was a Match Support Specialist with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Minnesota. One of the key tasks of an MSS is to get to know the Littles assigned to their caseload and match them with an appropriate Big. It’s not easy for many reasons. Mainly, it’s hard to predict how a child and an adult will get along based on a few interviews and learning about the likes and dislikes and personalities of each.
But Deb worked magic that day when she decided Zach and I might make a good match. We became instant friends and stayed matched from three weeks before Zach turned seven until he graduated from high school eleven and a half years later! And we remain good friends to this day–another 11+ years later!
I didn’t realize it until Friday when Deb mentioned she was in town and would stop by to see me at the Rustic Mamas’ Market, but she changed my life! I might have given up on the program if that match hadn’t worked. But it did, and I made many friends at BBBS and learned so much from everyone connected to the program.
Most importantly, I got to know two very special young men (my Little Brothers) who also changed my life. I believe I am a far better person now than I was twenty-two years ago because of Big Brothers Big Sisters and my Little Brothers, Zach and Ethan. Zach told me specifically that he’s a better person man than he might have become without a mentor.
I think I helped Ethan too, although he’s only 15, and the jury’s still out because high school is often the toughest time for kids who are in the BBBS program. But from what I heard from his mom recently, he’s showing signs of growth and maturity and success in school. (We ended our match last year for various reasons but parted on good terms.)
One thing I love about doing book festivals and art and craft fairs is the people-watching. It’s fun to see everyone in all shapes, sizes, and personalities and to meet and talk to dozens of folks. What I noticed on Saturday was that reading their T-shirts is just as fun. Lots of humorous ones, and ones that telegraph the wearer’s identity in some way (Like a man wearing a Harley Davidson tee who certainly looks like he’s a serious motorcyclist. And I especially love when parents bring little kids to these big events, so they get a flavor for their community.
- TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 6:00-8:00 PM. Blooming Prairie Library Book Club discussion of Straight River. Blooming Prairie MN. (Home of the Awesome Blossoms HS sports teams!) General public is invited too.
- SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 9:30 AM-3 PM. Deep Valley Book Festival, at the WOW! Zone, Mankato MN.
- THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1:00 PM. Woman’s Club of Owatonna. St. John’s Lutheran Church, Owatonna MN. Presentation: “The Ins and Outs of Mystery Writing.”
- SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Twin Cities Book Festival. Minnesota State Fairgrounds, St. Paul MN