When you don’t know you’re destination,…

Simple things can keep you from going where you want to go whether you know where you’re going or not. The price of the ticket. A map read upside down. A cranky ticket conductor. A missed bus. An upset stomach. What sorts of things have derailed you from wherever it was you thought you were going?

running up the path to my aunt's house
running up the path to my aunt's house

I would like to be in the upcoming art festival. I’ve got to have this thing called “a booth shot.” I might come up with the money for the booth fee, but a booth shot? So, they don’t need to say only the well-seasoned need apply. How does the first timer meet these requirements? Like we’ve got booths in our closets? Have you ever seen the prices of displays? It depresses me. It makes me whine.

Two more pieces of art sold this weekend. That’s good. Great. SHOCKING. But much appreciated. Then I let myself get distracted by delusions of grandeur–a real art show!

There is also the question of letting the art take away from the writing. Well, I’ve sold 8 pictures. I’ve been rejected by 22 agents. I’m sorry–which platform am I supposed to be on?

On the lighter, less whiney, side–at my birthday/art show party, someone paid for the coffee. I don’t know how many cups of coffee, but when I and several of my guests ordered our coffee drinks, they were already paid for. No one has come forward and the barista wouldn’t say. Seems ungrateful not to thank the person, but I throw this out into the world–thank you whoever you are. Your kindness was not missed and will not be forgotten.

Has anyone ever done an anonymous kindness for you? Or have you done something anonymously for another?

Sigh. Do you have any ideas about a booth shot?

10 thoughts on “When you don’t know you’re destination,…

  1. Pamela

    I’m not sure what a booth shot is. Is it some sort of display? If so, check Craig’s list.

    I once modeled in a fashion show in the little town we lived in. I was pretty excited because I was able to go to the expensive store in town and pick out what I wanted to wear. This was so appealing because I got to keep the clothes. That Christmas, my family got presents from a couple who didn’t have any children. I was only told that I spoke to the woman at the show. Actually, several years later I found out the presents came from the woman who had asked me to model in the show.

    Another kindness that I cannot forget was the couple who stopped the car when I had been hit by the motorcyle. I was instantly in a coma and came to because the man was patting my hand. They had called the ambulance. I have no doubt in my mind that if he had not been able to wake me from the brief 15 minute coma, I would have died. I have never been able to thank them.

    Too many talents to choose from?! I say do both. People are reading this blog because they, we like your writing…soon you’ll hit the right agent.

  2. Pamela, I think I’ve finally figured out what a booth shot is–a picture of how my work would look in an outdoor festival or fair. Since I’ve done one of these things, I’m a bit lacking in booth shots. I can create one–minus the fair–I think, but I don’t exactly have a tent or booth or tables or display cases. Makes me want to pull out hair–mine or someone else’s.

    I bet you’ve changed that couple in some way. The world is better place for people like them–they kept you here after all. And also, a big thanks for giving me an idea for a blog post…

  3. Been thinking about the booth shot problem since you first mentioned it.

    I think you should forget using a photo, which requires you to get/rent all the stuff upfront with no idea if you’ll ever get to use it for real, ever. Instead, why don’t you tweak the committee (or whatever they’re called) a little: meet the requirements for the booth shot format, e.g. 8×10, glossy paper, or whatever. But whether it’s to be hardcopy or digital, make it a SCAN of your drawn/collaged depiction of a fantasy booth: a booth you’d set up in an exhibit or show in some alternate universe. Carefully label each table as to what’s on it, and don’t forget to label some of the contents, too — not all of which have to be real works of yours. Fun, or what?!?

    The problem here *apparently* is that they may not be amused and, in any case, you’ll have to spring for the entry fee anyhow.

    *Apparently*. That’s because you’re not really going to enter the show this year. You’re going to write a kick-*ss newspaper/magazine column about NOT entering, because the real-world version of your fantasy-world booth just would be such a letdown.

    And then you’re going to send the column AND THE BOOTH “SHOT” to the Austin American-Statesman first (try the op-ed page editor). If they’re too timid, send it to the Chronicle. And/Or Texas Monthly. And/Or the NY Times op-ed editor (they love funky regional submissions from time to time).

    Worry about the entry fee etc. next year. Until then, USE this year’s (missed?) chance. You show such a gift for linking images to writing, as any regular reader here would attest, it would be a shame to become so consumed by an image-only requirement that you forget that.

    Happy Lender of Imperative Verbs
    to Someone Else’s Projects

  4. I think JES had some great ideas.

    I would feel very intimidated by all you have to do (and really by all you have to spend.) It seems like a big jump to start it all out with. I would not be up to it. That is why I intend on opening my Etsy store soon. (I don’t know when, I’m having some technical problems)

    Is it really in our best interest to open up a booth/shop before we are really prepared, though? No one says we have to be perfect, but pulling together some of the things we need to do before jumping in, so we are a little more prepared.

    Like, having business cards, moo cards, or postcards for marketing, even if people don’t buy immediately. Having time to set up a booth shot or get some press. Getting the lighting or display or scanner together.

    Great ideas don’t go away with time, they just get ready.

  5. Great ideas don’t go away with time, they just get ready.

    Rowena, is that original??? That belongs on a plaque somewhere — or one of those sloganized rubber/plastic bracelets everybody seems to be wearing!

    What’s Etsy?

  6. Etsy via Google: oh. Duh. I thought it was a nickname for some kind of funky arts neighborhood someplace. Espresso shops, sculpture gardens, weekend art shows, etc. “Etc.” = Et cee = Etsy.

    Duh again. So much for not overthinking!

  7. I’m guessing the booth shot requirement is to make sure no one will show up with a rag-tag booth or sell from the back of a pick-up truck. They want a certain “standard” of fare, I’m guessing. Since you know the guy, submit a photo of your artwork on display with a kick-ass written proposal mentioning our succesfsul coffee-shop show of course, and smile a winning smile.

    If you want to show your art, you’ll figure out how to do it. Just like you figure out how to write amazing stories when I know you are just as busy as everyone else who says they don’t have time. You have it in you to do whatever you like (and don’t forget to take pictures of it so you have them the next time somone asks for a booth shot).

    Is it just me, or is the term “booth shot” annoying?

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