My friend Heidi Hansen and I founded an organization called Olympic Peninsula Authors. We help local writers meet each other as well as readers. In our booth at the Saturday Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market, we feature different independent authors from around the peninsula.
Now then. Saturday was cold and rainy and at least three months long if you look at it from the viewpoint of weather. We shared our booth with snails crossing the brick plaza, looking for any place dry. We had rain hats, but none of us thought to bring gloves to MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, for heaven’s sake.
Authors Heidi, Ruth, Jan and I huddled together. I’m sure we each wondered what we were doing there. What makes a writer want to share her words so badly that she’ll sit in a 10-foot-by-10-foot iffy oasis trying to keep books dry?
I know why we do it. We’re amazed by the creative talent on the peninsula, be it poets or novelists or children’s authors. These are natural born storytellers looking to inform or entertain.
I think that, after a career in an office or store, many people finally find their voices at retirement. They have more time. They’ve lived enough life to have wisdom to share and the capabilities to do it.
Also, the rise in small presses and/or self-publishing has made it easier to meet readers from your own neck of the woods. And since most creative folks are deeply affected by their environment, it is small wonder so many are drawn to this part of the earth.
I’m more quizzical about what makes visitors come out on a day like Saturday. Fresh produce from local farmers is a great lure, of course. Baked goods, you bet. Tourists have little choice in days; it’s now or never. And the market is the No. 1 spot to walk and socialize dogs.
Now what about the rest of you? If you’re not a beta tester for raingear, why are you here for non-perishables like purses, dog toys, pottery, key chains, books? What pulls you away from warm beds and hot coffee to trek around in the frigid rain?
It is a kind of bonding, I think. I can’t speak for the potter or the wood worker. But as for you readers, you can bet we authors are thrilled to meet you. We envision you at home later in the day in your recliner exploring our pages, your dog now dry at your feet. We’ve met each other … we are sharing a journey. The appreciation between artists and supporters is such a genuine bond.
We are daily pummeled by news of shootings, war, environmental destruction, rising COVID numbers, gas prices. But on a soggy Saturday in May, at the Sequim Market, visitors and vendors shared a day of peace.
Linda B. Myers is a founding member of Olympic Peninsula Authors. Her newest historical novel, Dr. Emma’s Improbable Happenings, is available at Pacific Mist Bookstore, Port Book and News, and on Amazon.com. Contact her at email@example.com.