So, I’ve been super busy and haven’t bothered making time for a blogpost, but a lot has happened between now and then. I’d recommend if you want timely updates from me, you follow my Instagram @malachiauthor. I’ve been more consistent recently with putting stuff up there. Also follow the @genrisingauthors cuz we got cool stuff there too.
First let’s talk about the convention. Thursday was setup night, so I got off work about 2:30pm and headed to the GCU Arena where the convention was held. In addition to Generation Rising there were five other friends of mine who had booths, including Boys Adventure Toys (who sold wooden weapons, boats, blow dart guns, and marshmallow guns), Gifts ‘n’ Things (who sold sewn aprons and other stuff), Danielle Jane Photography (who does…well, photography), Beautiful Dos (who sold hairstyling books and other stuff for hairstyling), and Susanna Joy Art (who sold her paintings). At first I was very unoptimistic about the prospects of all the Young Entrepreneur sales, because our booths were set up in the upper concourse in the arena, while all the other booths were downstairs on basketball court floor or across the way in the practice gym. So as of Thursday night I was steeling myself to sell next to nothing.
Friday morning I got up bright and early and flew my good ol’ blue jet, 58-ALPHA, to my friends’ to pick them up for the convention. Ok…I drove my little blue Toyota Corolla with chipping clearcoat over dark blue paint, but it was newly washed so we could pretend it looked nice, and the first three characters of my license plate are 58A, hence the 58-ALPHA. Anyway, we left around 6:30 (we as in Abbi, Dani, Noah, and myself) and got to the Arena around 7am, where we waited for like two and a half hours until the Fire Marshal got there to do his routine inspection (there was a schedule mix-up, hence the early arrival). When the exhibit hall did finally open, I was down on the main floor wandering around with Micah (we both had our partners running our booth), and we ran into a friend who was looking for our booths but couldn’t find us, even after asking the AFHE staff. Micah and I looked at each other with despair growing in our hearts. I once again prepared to resign myself to a disastrous year at the convention. Thankfully for us, we were not the only people who were not happy about our lack of notice by the convention attendees. My mom and Mr. Abello (the dad of two of the other booths) got on our case and talked to AFHE. Within two hours we not only had signage and whatnot indicating the way to find our booths upstairs, we also had volunteers posted at the base of the stairs informing passerby’s where we were. From then on things really turned around, and we started making lots of book sales from the GR booth, and from what I hear the other booths did pretty well too, both on the first and second day.
In my spare time away from my booth, I spent my time mostly down by the Lamplighter Publishing booth. I had originally gone down to buy two copies of Prisoners of the Sea, one for me and one for a friend (and ended up buying six books :D), but while I was down there the lady running the booth–whom I had met a few years previously–was talking to a lady about the various lamplighter books, and the customer was like, “yeah, I have a bunch of these books,” and then she turned to me and said, “I actually have a question for YOU.” At this point I wasn’t sure if I should deploy my forcefield for protection, call Max to teleport me out of there, or use my special Author Erasable-Pen to defend myself by erasing her existence. Unfortunately none of those options work outside of the gloomy domain of Brainstorms With Rain (where the shadows lie), so I had to swallow hard and squeak, “oh?” Fortunately the lady wasn’t actually trying to murder me, and simply was asking what books I recommended for boy readers, since she had sons. I told her my favorites, which I believe she bought. And that is how I became a Lamplighter Salesman. Over the course of those two days I “sold” almost twenty books and audio dramas to random homeschool parents who were perusing the Lamplighter Booth. It was all unofficial volunteer work, but I did it because I believe in Lamplighter’s mission and love their books. I also made friends with Mr. and Mrs. Lopez (the people running the booth), and she even came upstairs and bought my book from Generation Rising and told other people at her booth that they should come and check us out. It was brilliant amounts of fun overall, especially when my brothers and their friends resurrected the good ol’ “Exhibit Hall Mafia,” in other words, they ran around with rubber bands and other toy weapons and generally made a nuisance of themselves to random kids and especially to us. They didn’t go overboard, mind you, but it was something else to hear those rubber bands go screaming by like stray bullets.
The awesome thing was is that completely contrary to expectations we absolutely rocked our sales from GR. I personally sold 19 copies of The Minstrel (plus 2 off-the-record sales to friends), 23 copies of The Mysterious Case of $12.52, and 13 copies of Through All Things, which I was super happy about since the online sales of my book have been practically nonexistent, so to be able to get my book out there at the conference was really encouraging. The other authors also did really well, and most of them sold out of their stock of books!
Here’s a bunch of pictures from the convention. Credit to whom credit is due, I did not take most of these pictures. Thanks to Susie Hubler and Joel Wright who got the majority. Unfortunately I can’t find out how to do captions on WordPress’ new format for slideshows, so make of the pictures what you will.
I also had an interesting weekend two weeks ago, involving a cliff and four fire departments. If you follow my Instagram you already know about it, but if not, here’s how it went:
I went over to Wes’ house with an old friend from West-MEC, Kyle, to work on Wesley’s truck. He had snapped the alternator belt and accidentally kept driving without it, which basically blew his whole cooling system. We were replacing the radiator, and had to do a 30 minute drive to flush some cooling fluid through his engine, so we drove to Verrado, which is about fifteen minutes from his house. Once there we drove by this rock face, maybe fifty feet high, right off the golf course, and Wesley and I decided to climb it. There was, however, a slight problem: While the rock looked like hard granite, it turned out to be shale, which is a term for crumbly rock. In other words, it fell apart under your hands. Unfortunately it didn’t manifest it’s treacherousness right away, and so we started climbing. Wes, being a bright young fellow, turned back as soon as he had a sizable chunk break off in his hand. He called over to me to make sure I didn’t climb any higher. I, however, had also figured out the rock was terrible, but was too far up to go back, so I decided it would be safer to make for the top instead (for anyone who hasn’t rock climbed, it is far easier and safer to climb up than down under normal circumstances). Well, it got worse and worse the farther I climbed, so when I got about forty feet from the ground and found I didn’t have any good handholds further up, I decided to sit it out until we could get a rope. I called David to get Tyler’s number, who lives in the area, but David came anyway, so we got both of them there. David threw me some paracord just in case, but if you’re not familiar with paracord, it’s a really thin line that would be really tough to get a good grip on for climbing, and would shred your hands in the process, so we needed real rope. Kyle had run to the store to get some, and came back with these awesome ratchet straps that would have been perfect…except that he was five minutes too late. A random bypasser had called 911 after Wesley asked him if he had a rope. So Buckeye PD showed up. Then Buckeye FD. Then Goodyear FD. Then Avondale FD. Finally Glendale Fire Department showed up. I was only ten feet from the top, but because of all the procedures and protocols for mountain rescue, it took them 45 minutes to get me down from the time they arrived, making for a grand total of about 1.5 hours on that rock face. So yeah, it was mostly chill, scary at one or two points, and overall a great memory, although I won’t be climbing any shale cliffs anytime soon. Also I met a cool Cop named Steve. I’ve got some pics below, but you’ll have to go on my Instagram for the videos.
And then this weekend I went to Canyon lake with my best dude Jon, and we had a great time. We kayaked, swam, cliff dived, and had an awesome time for hours. We even found a little cave in the cliff wall that we paddled into, and saw four bighorn sheep in other caves further up the cliff face. The only unpleasant part was that I was being careless in climbing up the cliff to our jumping point (only about 8 feet high) and when a rock broke I fell into the water, which was fine in itself, but I broke my fingernail on my left thumb, which is not fun. Also, we both got LOBSTER BAKED. It was horrible. That is actually why I’m writing this post right now is because I called in sick (or as my dad would say, called in stupid) because the burns on my legs are so bad I really couldn’t get into jeans for work. Shoes would also be miserable, which I am sure I will find out tomorrow.
Well, that’s all for now, folks. TTFN!
P.S. This blogpost is unedited, as usual. Sorry for any and all typos.