An Interesting Day

Today was the beginning of the two-day Loma Prieta Holiday Crafts Faire in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains.  It’s the first time I’ve been there.

The day started a bit rough. When I got to my space at the event it was unusually narrow and deep, creating only five frontage feet facing the foot traffic and squished between a towering 8-foot tall exhibit on my left and the next exhibitor on my right only five feet away. My table is 6 feet wide by about 30-36 inches deep, so I couldn’t put the wide part facing the participants’ walkway as I’ve always been able to do at other events. That meant I had only 30-36 inches of table actually facing the crowd versus the 6 to 10 feet I’ve usually received (even for “half-spaces.”) Only three of the fifteen titles I brought were visible from the Walkway and if prospective buyers wanted to see any of the other books on my table they had to squeeze through a narrow space to see them; a space often blocked by other participants.

Then as I began to set up I discovered I’d accidentally left the box containing all the copies of my top seller Wilbur The Duck Who Flew Upside Down (aka The Duck Who Flew Upside Down) at home. OOPS!

As it turned out, despite the challenges, I greatly enjoyed the day and the people, and had one of my best sales days ever. I sold twice as many books in the first hour than I did all day at another event last month.

I love to people watch as I find our species endlessly fascinating. Here are a few other memories I came away with today:

A woman picked up my book of poetry titled Kaliedoscope, read two or three of my poems, and exclaimed, “I need this! Thank you!” What writer wouldn’t be delighted by that reaction? My smile lingered long after she paid for the book and went on her way.

It was fun to conspire with people who were trying to select just the right books as gifts for their grandchildren and great grandchildren. One person bought five of my children’s books.

The event featured a couple of hours live music (singing and bands) in the afternoon. We were all treated to songs about the holidays and other fun music. There were quite a number of people swaying to the music as they shopped or helped customers. I was one of them. One shopper’s large dog apparently found a part of one of the songs irresistible because every time that part of the song was repeated, he’d bark to the beat of it.

Toward the end of the day, a woman I’d never seen before and who was probably between thirty and forty years old walked up to my display and caressed the cover of one of my children’s books. She then turned facing me and asked if she could hug me. I nodded. When the hug started she began to cry and rested her head on my shoulder. I didn’t know what to say, so I just stood there hugging her back. She tearfully explained why she was so distraught. I won’t share the specifics but will say it that I believe many people dealing with what she is facing would probably cry a lot and need hugs too. I offered as a gift one of my books that I believed might help her to get through such difficult times. She thanked me. We hugged again, and then she was gone. May she find the strength and hope to get through such dark times, and may her tears be healing until they can become joyous.

With Love,


About russtowne

I'm awed by the beauty of nature and the power of love and gratitude. Some of my favorite sensory experiences include waves crashing on rocky shores, waterways in ancient redwood and fern-filled forests, and rain. My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. I manage a wealth management firm that I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of approximately 60 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children.
This entry was posted in Book Events and Interviews, Challenges, Connection/Connecting, Crying, Dealing with Pain & Grief, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to An Interesting Day

  1. ksbeth says:

    despite the unexpected bumpy beginning, you found yourself in the midst of most extraordinary and beautiful day. i love when that happens.

  2. What a great story. So sorry you left the books home, but you touched a woman’s heart, and she obviously needed that moment. You were in the right place at the right time. Thanks for sharing.

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you, Jay. I remembered to bring my copies of that title the next day and was pleased with the sales of all my children’s books both days. It was the first time I brought my books for adults, and while some sold, I have a long way to go to perfect the recipe for effectively marketing them.

  3. Wow, in spite of the space situation, sounds like a pretty good day to me Russ! ❤
    Diana xo

    • russtowne says:

      It was indeed a good day, Diana.In fact both days were. Oddly the first hour of day one, and the last hour of day two were by far my best hours for sales. I was still making a bunch of sales well after the event was closed.

  4. utesmile says:

    Sometimes hugging someone, well an outsider feels good when one goes through hardship. I am sure it helped her a lot and that is good. Hopefully she found comfort there.

  5. You are a good, and kind man, Russ. You are also a blessing. You were meant to be there today. I’m glad it was so successful on so many fronts.

  6. Mrs. P says:

    Wow…what an adventurous day! I admire your fortitude and persistence. I see great things in your future…but I always have. 😁

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