In the local mall I frequent there is a former arcade next to the food court. Today I found it was a temporary gallery, filled with cheap prints and the kind of paintings turned out by the assembly line starving artists. A big, badly painted sign proclaimed “Last Day. Going out of Business.”
The couple who ran the operation were a wiry and tired, authentic starving artists. The man showed off his wares with pride, even when they were mediocre landscapes and human subjects of only passable anatomy. There was one wall of his own work. It was a combination of primitive and impressionistic that would have earned me a beating in art school.
I smiled, and nodded, and made polite noises as he told me how he even took commissions. I wished him luck in his move to the state fair and went about my lunchtime perambulations.
The hip thing to do would be to scoff at the wannabee artist and his oblivious attempts at success. Since he looked to be my age, I would have guessed that he had been at it for three decades with no more to show for it than a month’s stint in a shopping mall at his own expenses. But in spite of the obstacles, he keeps on with no promise of success.
Come over to this wall where I have all my own stuff. I do commissions, too.
As a typical denizen of the twenty-first century, I am often expected to be two or more places at the same time. Today is one of those days.
I get my first chance to appear as an author at the Westerville Public Library’s Local Author Event, along with forty-nine other local writers. I will be there with “Camp Arcanum” and “Power Tools in the Sacred Grove”, my latest installment in the on-going comedy of sex, magick, and power tools. I have packed up my books and postcards and bookmarks and other assorted author table trappings. I am doing some serious debate in my head weather I should bring my were-baby as a conversation starter or my travel-sized shovel on a guitar stand.
The were-baby is the cutest, most disturbing thing I’ve seen in a coon’s age, but the shovel may prove useful if anyone comes up upon my table intent on making mayhem with a volume of the OED.
Today is also the Printer’s Row Lit Fest in Chicago. My publisher Post Mortem Press will have a table there, staffed by the Beebe’s, Cina Pelayo, Chris Larsen and Mike Matula. Kit and I attended last year, selling quite well, but it involved a three state trek that thanks to our GPS personally introduced us to every sheep, cow and windmill for five hundred miles. For those in the Illinois area, feel free to stop in, say “hi” to my literary compatriots, and buy my books.
I will be there in spirit as I sit in an Ohio library armed with either a spade or a hairball.