Welcome to my third blog entry!
Last weekend, on Sunday, September 25 to be precise, I went to my first festival and worked my first booth. Where was this booth? It was at Lethbridge’s Word On The Street event (WOTS)! This magazine and book event happens every fall all across the country in cities like Toronto, Halifax and Vancouver. Lethbridge was the only stop in Alberta.
Bright and early at 8, I met circulation manager Doug Horner at the Alberta Views office. We gathered a few things we would need, such as a signature, back issues and current issues. Then we packed up Doug’s car and started the “long” drive from Calgary to Lethbridge. It’s all right to shake your head. I know a two-hour drive isn’t exactly an epic journey to write novels about, but at 8 in the morning anywhere that’s farther than the distance between my coffee cup and my mouth I consider worth documenting. I’m just happy that Doug was the one driving. I had never been to Lethbridge before and didn’t know how to get there.
When we arrived at the Public Library, we quickly found the tent and our table. We were warmly greeted by our fellow tent-mates Lethbridge Living and the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (AMPA). We finished setting up our table (it had already been half set-up for us by Lethbridge Living! They are so nice!). Then the waiting began.
Throughout the day, some people walked right by our table but many stopped to chat. Those who had never heard of the magazine were interested in hearing what we’re about, while others who were longtime fans, gave accolades. I have to say that my experience of Alberta Views readers has been that they are very articulate and conversational people.
I had peeked at the weather forecast earlier in the week in preparation for our road trip. I knew it would be warm out. (You may come to know me as a very weather-conscious individual but as a life long Albertan one can never be too careful!) Well, it wasn’t just warm, it was boiling! By 2 we were sitting in our tent, accompanied by art director Beate Wichmann, who had come to help for a bit. She had a shorter commute, though as she lives in Lethbridge. By this point the heat was getting unbearable. I think I was the only one who thought so and eventually I had to take a breather inside the nicely air-conditioned library.
In fact, the heat gave me a reason to explore a little (without feeling guilty about abandoning Doug). The Lethbridge Public Library was calm and tranquil. I sat near the window on the second level, after snooping to see if they carried Alberta Views—which they do but someone else was reading it so I couldn’t. I guess I could have brought a copy from the booth. Shucks. Regardless, the shelves of books were neatly organized and the floor was clean. There was also room in the aisles so that more than one person could stand browsing the books (unlike certain academic libraries—which will remain nameless—that give the sense that at any moment the shelves could topple over and bury unsuspecting bookworms without anyone ever noticing).
Returning to the tent after my mini-adventure, I felt much refreshed and ready to introduce Alberta Views to more WOTS attendees. The sweltering heat was persistent but so was my resolve. The afternoon was rarely calm, with a constant stream of people meandering from tent to tent looking for something to spark their interest.
As far as I can tell, our day in Lethbridge had been a success! New people discovered the magazine and some old friends came to chat. What more could we ask for?
My previous salutation still applies: if you have any requests, suggestions or information you would like to know about Alberta Views, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to answer in an upcoming entry.
So until next time!
Nicole (a.k.a. The Intern)