This Saturday, May 13, from 11am to 4pm, the Fremont Writers Club will have a book signing at Round Table Pizza, 37480 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA. We will sell books, like my Super Bad Hair Day book with a CD containing superheroine artwork and my audio stories. We will do open mic readings, and I shall PERFORM one of my stories! Probably my latest audio story, The Intellecta Rhapsody; it won first prize at this year’s San Mateo Country Fair Literary Arts Contest. (The background music is the Hungarian Rhapsody: Bugs Bunny, Woody Woodpecker, and Tom & Jerry all danced to that tune, so I add Super Holly Hansson to that list.)
At a Red Rock Coffee open mic some time ago, I read a Super Holly story that went over well. When I sat back down in the audience, a cute little girl ran up to me and gave me some artwork that she drew. (You can say it: “Aw!”) That made me feel good.
I then proceeded to lose the artwork for a few months. It turned up when I recently did some home cleaning. I felt good when I found it, cuz I’d felt bad when I lost it. Here’s the artwork (color edited to make yellow show up better, I had to have those stars).
Saturday February 2, at noon, I will be on a podcast: JMSpodcast.com by Jorge M. Sanchez. He interviews local writers and artists of all kinds, so I guess that includes me. I think I’ll talk about my writing, Super Holly, and open mics. And I’d like to do a reading or two. I’ll see where Jorge leads, or where I go, or both.
I met Jorge at a recent Red Rock Coffee open mic. He came up to me after my reading and was all fanboy smiles. I guess I did a good job (I wish I could remember what story I read!). We exchanged cards, and he invited me to do a podcast with him. It’s my first. I hope to entertain. And to learn, since I need to start a podcast of my own sometime.
P.S. I just did the podcast with Jorge. When he sends me the links, I will post them. We talked about writing, Holly’s origins, point of view, and other stuff. And I did a couple of readings. We had fun. Stay tuned for tomorrow!
At one open mic, I performed “The Malevolent Mystery Meat” starring The Puppy Brothers: two grade-school brothers with super puppy powers who save Super Holly from the evil school lunch ladies. I’d read what I’d written: “Tucker bit the door handle and yanked off the door: KA-RUNCH! Near the barrel, Holly was still passed out.” On an impulse, I ad-libbed, “And still pretty.” A young lady in the audience smiled and said, “Aww!” That ad-lib went into the final draft.
At another open mic, I read an upcoming short story where Super Holly had performed her comic book in the children’s ward in a hospital, ending it on a cliffhanger. A little girl in a wheelchair asked Holly to tell her the ending now. Holly said she’d read it next time. The girl said, “I’m not gonna be here next time.” “Aww,” said a young lady in the audience. I knew what Mario Puzo knew when he wrote, “I’ll make him an offer he cannot refuse.”
Kid-sitting one evening for my cousin, his kids asked me to read a Super Holly story. They liked her fighting Billington Stumpfinger. When Holly’s boyfriend Cal kissed her and said, “I love you,” and Holly kissed him back and said, “I love you more,” the kids said, “Ew!” I told this to their mom. She said they just started doing that. I’ll keep that kissing.
Listen to your audience. Small words can mean big reactions.
A few thoughts on the May 7 book signing with the Fremont writers.
Some people don’t read ebooks. A teacher came in and bought books from several writers, but not from me. She wanted a physical book in her hand. Penelope Anne Cole sold some children’s books that were very slim. I bought a couple. LESSON: Maybe CreateSpace can print my Super Bad Hair Day story bundle as a slim and cheap book; it would be a neat way to sell my short stories at book signings.
The Fremont Area Writers like my open mic readings. We read our stories out loud, and I threw myself into my part (as usual). One little boy was there also; he fidgeted at the start of my reading, but he was drawn in pretty quick. Kids like my readings too. LESSON 1: I need to make more audio files and put them onto the CDs (and my website); give more product to sell. LESSON 2: When I start my readings, I should say I am selling the story for a buck; that boy might have make me $1 richer if I had done that. LESSON 3: One writer said that he liked my reading, but in a couple places, he did not understand what I said. I must NEVER let my open mic diction get lazy!
There was not much traffic in the room where we were selling. I sold one CD, to another writer. The other writers did not fare a lot better. I was not disappointed, I was there to learn, and I got free pizza out of it (YUM!). LESSON: Nothing, except try again. I believe that in August, the Fremont writers will do another signing. I will see about prining little books and making more audio; maybe even sell little books with a CD. And I will remember, like I did today, to have fun. I enjoyed earning that one thin dollar.
LAST LESSONS: Get more stories out there, and FINISH WRITING MY NOVEL!!!
Emerian Rich, writer of horror and romance and otherwise nice lady, just posted an article I wrote for her. She is doing a series of blog posts about how music has influenced writers. With me, it was how I use music when I read at open mics. It all started with Underdog…
At little open mics, I never worried about rights, I was too tiny for big companies to notice. But now that I am going to do audio recordings of my stories and post and/or sell them, I need to find music that I can use without having to get the rights from the EVIL GIANT MUSIC CONGLOMERATES. Yeah, right, they’d let me use music from The Matrix. Thus begins my royalty free (or royalty cheap) search. I found the William Tell Overture for my Puppy Boys story.
The Sunnyvale Art Gallery is a cool place. I have done many open mic readings there. And from now until March 28 (closing reception is 7-9 pm 3/28), they have the Jigsaw Canvas art display. Super Holly Hansson is now in her first public art display.
Here is how the Jigsaw Canvas is built. Artists get a small block of artificial wood upon which to put art: paint, ink, gourds, or in my case, several drawings of Holly printed on paper and glued onto the block. Now Batton Lash‘s artwork of Holly is on public display. If you are within driving distance of Sunnyvale, California, consider taking a look at the Jigsaw Canvas. And even contributing some art! As of now, the Jigsaw Canvas covers two very large walls. If you like a piece of the Jigsaw Canvas, and if the artist gave permission, you can buy it (the money will go to charity).
I was there last Saturday, at the opening reception. I showed off the little part of the Jigsaw Canvas with Holly in it. I was feeling artistic. As artistic as an aspiring writer can get.
Here is the Holly art up close.
Thanks again to Batton Lash for doing this wonderful art for me. I drew his URL onto the left edge of the block: artists deserve credit! (I put the URL of this blog on there also.) If Batton sells one more book or comics due to the Jigsaw Canvas, I will be happy.