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November 7, 2007|Posted in: Uncategorized

It’s done. Yahoo. Thank the Buddha. I really was looking forward to it — but now that it’s over, even more so. I worked my fingers off to get this event together — Lesson 1: Ask for help.

I didn’t ask for enough help and found myself baking like nobody’s bidness all Thurs and Fri because the cheerleader team had a game Saturday and it was too late to get someone else to fill in. Ack, ack, ack. But I baked like the Pillsbury Doughboy: pineapple scones, blueberry scones, cranberry-corn muffins, banana bread, banana muffins, blueberry muffins, 6 kinds of cookies (slice and bake, easy!), a cinnamon-currant yeast bread, honey-oat yeast bread, granola, sesame pound cake and chocolate ripple coffee cake. Yum. But ack!

Ack.

I wrapped raffle baskets like a fiend Thursday and Friday, and had fantastic help from Kathie Woulfe and Carrie Beavers on Friday with making goodie bags for the writers who participated and all the vendors and exhibitors. Plus they helped me create the postage stamp exhibit. I also had to gather my vast collection of Jane Austen stuff (I’ll post photos later, from work) for another exhibit.

It was quite the scene.

Of course, I was still printing flyers and handouts and name badges and tent cards for the tables when I ran out of ink at midnight Friday. Just black ink. I could have printed in pink or yellow but no, the printer wanted black ink, too. So we ended up hand-writing some of the name badges (ugh). Tacky! Also, the press screwed up the program Thursday so that it came out upside down when you opened it. That was kind of how the day felt — what could go wrong did go wrong — and yet, I had a good attitude, a good context. I was very Zen about it. “No problem.” I even forgot my magic clipboard with all the names and the layout map of all the participants and where they needed to be. Left it all at the Sun offices. Ack! So I just went through the day without it. Winged it.

And it was very good. Despite hassles and a couple of cranky authors (hiss, for a few of them), the day went off well and was a success, regardless of turnout.

But thank god it’s over.

I must mention that all four of our kids were fantastic, as was Mr Husband and our friend Steve Blankenship. Also Mary Lee Shalvoy (dear friend and wedding photographer) and Julia Bruce (former writing student), among other helpers. Great teamwork, all of them. (big hugs!)

Now NaNo can begin in earnest (read it — it’s crap, but it’s just forming, so what do you expect?), and I started on my pilgrimage in place (read it if you dare — it’s a bit edgy).

I’ll probably write till midnight or so. Onward, gotta go.

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Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of "Veronika Layne Gets the Scoop" and "Veronika Layne Has a Nose for News" (rep'd by Booktrope). She is the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. Her articles have appeared in Thrillist, Quill, Paste, San Francisco Chronicle, and in many magazines; her latest poetry appears in The East Bay Literary review.

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