Superhero Vs. Literature……


I shut off my computer after my last post, feeling pouty, and realized that I was wearing my superman tee-shirt. Found that ironic, since I was having a ‘Chivalry is Dead Day’. The irony didn’t really help, cause I decided to sleep in that shirt to make me feel better. Still not helping.

I love that shirt. Bought it on my run-away to Florida in January because I’d forgotten to pack something to sleep in and it was $3 at a nearby Walmart. I got to the condo to try it on and decided I liked it too much to ban to nightwear. My youngest glared at it when I walked out of the bathroom: “You’re going to wear that?” My budding young poet sometimes becomes the modesty police. His mother wearing a shirt of Superman kissing Louis Lane was absolutely not ok in his mind. Admittedly, I don’t like Louis Lane getting all voyeuristic, but I was NOT going to explain that to him.

I slept in that shirt all this week and it didn’t help my other dilemma: what to do this weekend. A) go to the Printer’s Row Lit Fest or B) go to Metropolis’ Superman Fest. Doubtless I’ll meet at least one Superman there. They were trying to beat the world record of having the most in one place. Metropolis is where Clark Kent (and Superman)’s careers began, and it’s situated at the very southern tip of Illinois. They have a gigantic Superman statue in front of their Courthouse. As you may have guessed, I’m feeling a need for more Supermans- Supermens?? no, if he’s super, only need one :P- in my life. A Superman.

Added conundrum being that I was scheduled to work this (Sunday) morning, Metropolis is six hours away, and I really wanted to scout the Lit fest for some networking and information. There were several self-pub’d people there last year when I was still very unsure how I was going to proceed with my book. In the end, Lit fest won. Cannot drive twelve hours with time to go to one fest, let alone two, in only two days.

I was fairly disappointed. To me, the self-pub’d people there screamed self-pub’d. I wanted to be supportive- hey, sista!- but it didn’t work out that way. I didn’t like the covers, wasn’t appealed by the books, and many authors were frighteningly over eager to where I just said thanks and ran: “My husband wrote this book. He’s sitting right there. It’s a really great book. You need to buy it, and my husband will sign it for you, because he wrote it, and it’s really good. He’s right there! Go talk to him!”

Another book had a horrible mistake on the back cover. The first sentence of the blurb. It looked as though they’d edited it but forgot to delete this extra, confusing preposition. I’m going to shut my mouth about my other observations. I planned on this excited, raving review! Supportive! I did meet one woman who was super nice and her book had a beautiful cover with an interesting- though already done- premise. But I was just not in the mood for a YA werewolf novel. I will say that I felt so guilty putting that book down and walking away.

I grabbed some brochures for a professional women’s communications organization, but it makes me question: do I want to be known as a woman writer, or simply a writer? Do I want a label? That’s a really hard one to answer. I grabbed another brochure for a writer’s union. What’s that about?

I bought a $1 socialist newspaper after talking to the woman for quite a long time. She was just fascinating. And I’d just watched the movie Clue and kept having a vision of Tim Curry trying to admit that his wife was (gasp!) a socialist. I needed to see why I’ve been told it’s such a horrible political party. Knowledge is power, and my mission this weekend was knowledge. (Maybe I should have gone with finding Superman)

Last year I’d bought a lot of books and talked to a lot of people. I ran from people more this time. Though I didn’t get the information and networking I was hoping for, I still got information. I think I was more critical than in a buying mood. I looked at everyone’s booth, evaluated why I kept walking past most and tried to discern what they were doing wrong and what I could or should do differently. The tents with used books and classics were by far the most filled, followed by booths with prints. Why? Before this weekend, I had hopes of having my own booth next year. I think that in order to be successful, I’ll have to be successful with my book sales first. I’m still grappling with how best to achieve that. I have a year. There may be hope. Or maybe it’s not the avenue for me.

There was a street performer singing in French. He was outstanding. So many people just stopped to take him in, and there were several rounds of applause when he’d finished. But his CD’s were twice what I normally pay. Couldn’t do it.

All in all, my youngest begged for a Marvel Encyclopedia (not that he doesn’t have any), and my oldest quietly asked for a graphic novel about The Odyssey. That surprised the crap outta me- first, that there’s a graphic novel, and second that he wanted it. Maybe now I’ll finally read it.

After having a rough day at work today, I went back this afternoon and bought- no, not books- but three prints of a c. 1900 illustrated magazine. It literally spoke my name.


My sister then texted me: I have your children. Meet me at the Taco Joint at Halstead. From there we walked to an art fest in Old Town. Cool, cool neighborhood. I do want to define: donation is something that is appreciated, while an admission charge is required. Saying there’s a donation (but making it clear you won’t get in without paying) is rude.

While a lot of the art and sculpture was amazing, the cheapest thing I saw were these beautiful paper mache figures for $50. I wanted them so much- they were whimsical and beautiful and so very art. But also delicate and needing to be suspended, and $50. There were these very industrial yet delicate and beautiful and intricate bronze sculptured heads that were just amazing. Paintings, wow- my sister yanked me away from one I just stood in front of and absorbed: Lesleigh! You do not have $5600! Step away from that painting! And they charged a ‘donation’? Oh, I wish I was rich 🙂

Or, had a Superman of my very own.



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