Balloon Monkey

Steve Michael Reedy, author of Monkey Mind Tales , the Death Writer and Captain Safety, aka Bob LaGree former "Strongest Human in the World."

When you are an introvert with social anxiety, spending more than an hour in a public place can suck the life out of you. Seriously. I slept for twelve hours last night and woke up with a pounding headache. On Saturday, I spent seven hours at the North Texas Book Festival attempting to convince anyone with a pulse and a pocketbook to purchase my death book, or at least listen to my spiel. Hard to do when they're doing the potty dance and I'm about to deliver some pretty heavy stuff. Maybe it was the fact that my booth was across from the balloon guy (Hey kids, how about a book on death for your mom and dad!), or the fact that my booth was next to the restroom facilities, that almost everyone winced at me as if I were trying to sell them a poop flavored Popsicle. Okay, not everyone did that, but enough so that the guy sharing the booth with me noticed. After awhile, he became my official spokesperson. I was pooped by 11 am and beginning to wonder why I don't want to write stuff that people actually want to read.

Fudgsicle anyone?

I know, you can probably hear the world's tiniest violin playing near your ear right about now. That is if you're still reading. I don't know anymore. Do people still read? Do they have the attention span capable of doing so? Or do they simply click the "like" button and move on to the next thing?

I sold four books. One to my booth mate, one to another writer at the fest, one to an actual person visiting the event and one to the balloon guy. Unlike many of the other attendees, I held out till the bitter end. As I was packing up my table, I asked the balloon guy if he'd make me something. I was having a pity party and I wanted a memento. We'd joked throughout the day, but as he built an elaborate monkey in a tree for me, he asked "So, what is your book about?" He then proceeded to tell me about the death of his wife and how that affected him. I just listened. As he handed me the monkey, I felt better. Sometimes it's not about how many books you sell, it's about the people you meet. Or maybe it's all about the power of balloon monkeys.
This picture doesn't do him justice.