Ok so I spent last weekend in a field in Eugene, Oregon, at FAERIEWORLDS. Like I said, I wrote about it here
, how I'd heard about this huge fairy festival on the west coast, how I'd met my friend Signe who was going and we decided to go together (tho she ended up not being able to attend), how I talked to the guy behind the festival and was convinced to just do it up, get a booth and do advertising and the whole nine, and how I felt like well if there is a place where thousands of wing wearers gather, maybe I should bring them my damn book! I mean maybe a few of them could really, REALLY relate to Lil, I thought, the main character in Godmother who's stuck in NYC but actually a full-on fairy with wings.
I have to say tho that I totally initially underestimated what a big project it is, to set up a booth in a 10 by 10 plot of land with not one thing in it. I mean I thought when I first rented my booth that I was renting a BOOTH, like I would show up and set down some books and be open for bidness, but then I realized I would have to get a tent and rent a table and decorate the whole thing and by the time all was said and done if I sold every book I brought I would like maybe cover what it cost to buy the tent and fill and decorate it, but I definitely wouldn't cover what it cost to be at the festival in the first place and would certainly not MAKE any moolah. But that wasn't my aim, anyway. Still. It was some expensive, being there!
But I never go to festivals. And I never vend things. And I never camp. And I never celebrate fairies and such, so it was lots and lots of firsts for me and that is never a bad thing, in my humble opinione.
So anyway, after our wondrous tour of wateralls with Mr Lee Moyer and friends, Barb and I drive down to Eugene Thursday afternoon and show up at the site at like 7. The festival wouldn't open to the public until the next day at 2pm, but I was VERY SUSPICIOUS of our abilities to set up both this big white festival tent -- it was EZ UP supposedly, but sadly, I have been known to buy a bookshelf from IKEA and NOT BE ABLE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO SET IT UP -- as well as the camping tent that Circle23 generously loaned to us (and Lee and Annaliese loaned us the sleeping bags and other accoutrements for inside). I figured if we had any problems tho, the antler boys would come to our rescue.
I had only perused a few photos from Faerieworlds and had seen one of a boy walking by with antlers, and was sort of kidding about the antlers.... But as it turns out I think possibly every single dood on that field was be-antlered or be-horned in some manner. Tho only a handful of the truly dedicated seemed to also wear hooves.
Anyway, as I wisely predicted, Barb and I opened both tents and then stared down at them weeping, unable to figure them out even slightly. And was it the antler boys who gallantly came to our rescue? NO. It was the girls from Boston in the next booth who saw our tears and leapt up and in a whoosh of superheroic girl powerness assembled our tents within seconds. In fact the whole weekend for me seemed a whole lot about girl heroics and bonding as our neighbors on the one side helped us in innumerable ways and then, to the other, there was a lovely flame-haired woman who ended up needing our help to close her booth the first night because her man had passed out drunk.
So here are the girls who kept Barb and me from having inelegant breakdowns right there on that grass field:
The middle girl, Sarah, was selling tutus she'd made by hand and so look at our view when we turned to our right:
It was like staring at spun sugar! How can you not love a tutu? I ended up buying about 50000 from her at a cut rate to give to all the little girls I know (including the book-writing, Tessa-and-Mary-drawing Zoe) plus some adults. I even bought one for the exceedingly fashionable Miss Boo Berry:
And here, by the way, was my booth:
So anyway, I was ALSO SAVED last weekend by the wondrous and generous Ms Mia Nutick
and Mr Ryan Nutick
, whom I finally got to meet after knowing for 50000 years online and who whisked me away from the festival on Sunday evening and gave me a ride back to Portland, after Barb up and abandoned me to go have adventures in SEATTLE on Sunday morning. The nerve! After some other plans fell through I emailed Mia just days before the festival and she said it would be no problem for them to take me and I just about fainted with relief cause if there is one place I don't want to be stranded it's on a grass field in Oregon during a heat wave. I'm just saying.
SO here they are, my other saviors to whom I am forever grateful, standing under some elegantly draped fabric in my lovely booth. Plus not only did they whisk me out of there but they kindly let me in on one of the best things at the festival: ICE COLD MINT TEA at one of the food booths in the back.
Without said tea, I might have died.
They also kindly took my phone to their hotel room the first night and charged it, after the power our booth was supposed to have didn't work. This allowed me to continue to post obnoxious photos and updates to Facebook which of course is always very important.
I also, as I mentioned, met up with the lovely Wendy Rover
and Her husband Vargus Pike, tho I sadly did not have no time to get me no henna gorgeousness and plus I suspect it would have melted right off of my poor poor pale skin anyways. Between this festival and my 4th of July in Gettysburg, where I got burnt so badly after an hour in the sun (I had forgotten to put on sunscreen!) that my chest blistered... my shoulders and chest are now about 5000 shades of pink and red and look a bit like an abstract art project.
Anyway, so the festival itself was three days long and led me to some important conclusions about myself. These are just the more.... negative things:
1. I HATE PORTA POTTIES
2. I HATE ME SOME SNEAKY SUN THAT WINDS ITS WAY IN AND BURNS YOUR BACK WHEN YOU THINK YOU'RE SITTING IN SHADE
3. I DO NOT LIKE IT WHEN PEOPLE TALK ABOUT PUTTING A SMILE ON YOUR FACE AND SEEING HOW IT FITS
4. OR ASK YOU TO HOWL AT THE MOON
5. OR TALK ABOUT THE MAGIC INSIDE YOU
6. I DO NOT LIKE WATCHING PEOPLE OPENLY DEBATE ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT TO SPEND 14 SMACKERS ON YOUR BOOK RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU
7. I AM NOT A CAMPER
8. OR SOMEONE WHO SHOULD EVER BE IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT, EVER
9. I THINK IT IS WEIRD FOR GIRLS TO RUN AROUND TOPLESS AND THEN POSE HAPPILY FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS WITH THEIR BACKS ARCHED.... AT A FAIRY FESTIVAL FULL OF CHITLINS
10. AND I REALLY REALLY REALLY DISLIKE PIRATE JOKES IN WHICH THE PUNCHLINE REVOLVES AROUND THE WORD THAT GRATES ON MY EARDRUMS WORSE THAN ANY NAIL ACROSS CHALKBOARD: "AAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!"
Oh my god I almost fainted writing that list, from pure horror.
But what I did like?
Were all the lovely people all elaborately dressed up and participating in this -- really, when it comes down to it -- completely splendid, gorgeous fantasy. And every kind of person: tons of babies and little kids running around with wings on their backs and flowers twisted through their hair, old ladies decked out like queens, all those men in fake fur pants and antlers and skirts... I can't possibly do justice to the wild array of characters and costumes surrounding us, or the hours Barb and I spent in that booth just watching people go by, or watching them dance in front of the main stage, which we were right next to... Tons of people dancing to fiddle-y kind of fairy music... Even if you yourself aint all that into twirling on grass fields, you just have to love the kind of gorgeous abandon and freedom all them people are feeling and participating in. Really, really lovely. And I swear there were a few moments when the sun was setting and sorta melting over the field and everything seemed all quiet and it was just wings everywhere, and hula hoops, and dancing, and creatures from myth emerging from every corner, and a thousand people sort of caught in their own moments of bliss, and at those moments I was like WELL MY GOODNESS LOOK AT THIS and it just about took my breath away.
I also really like MOTEL 6, which come Saturday saved us from the camping and the porta potties and the two-hour lines for showers. Thank you, Motel 6!
And I did, actually, sell a lot of books and talk to a lot lot lot of people about it, and really, it is strange how people are with books I think. I mean some people get starstruck just knowing you WROTE A BOOK, even if they have no idea what it is, and children just can't even believe you did something so magical, and some people are just downright suspicious wondering what you trying to pull. And some people are like "oh a book!" and come up like you have a table of sweets set out for them, and some people see a book and immediately glaze over -- that is, until they see the pirate shack two booths down and break into a dead run.
I am awfully glad I went, though. But at the end I gave my festival tent and all the decor inside it to Ms. Wendy for her magical henna workings, as she will put it to much, MUCH better use than I in the future.