It’s old news by now, I know, but I’m still grooving on the fact that I don’t work weekends any longer, and whenever I get to go do something that I haven’t been able to do for a while– like the zoo last weekend, or Art Beat with my wife today, I’m still enjoying it just that much more than I might have otherwise.
So, yeah, today’s excursion: Art Beat, South Bend’s annual one-day outdoor art festival, held in South Bend’s rapidly revitalizing downtown area. Your town probably has something similar; local artists of varying stripes rent booth space, there’s live music, a bit of food, everybody shows up and spends money and goes home. I got to see Michelle Wern and Melina Sapiano, my booth buddy and across-the-aisle buddy from IndyPopCon, and showered both of them with well-earned moneydollars.
“Why weren’t you at Art Beat, Luther?” you might be thinking right now. Well, apparently wordwritin’ ain’t art. I actually tried this year. They won’t let me in. There was a table for a local used bookstore there, but the used bookstore is actually downtown, and they only had a very small table and weren’t selling their own books. And they aren’t even the good bookstore downtown, and that bookstore didn’t have a booth.
I have actually bugged the mayor on more than one occasion about letting authors into Art Beat.
South Bend needs a literary festival, guys. And I have spent all goddamn day thinking about how I might bring such a thing about myself. Which is a fucking terrible idea, because I have no idea how to run any such thing and I have read enough horror stories about nightmare failed cons to know good and well that this is not something I want to try and do myself.
Maybe if I just got the ball rolling, by finding out how many other authors, independent or otherwise, South Bend and northern Indiana in general, actually has? I mean, Notre Dame is here. There are plenty of people who have written books. I just don’t know of any other fiction people– the closest other author I know used to live in Elkhart and I believe has moved to Indianapolis since I’ve known him– and I’m not sure how to find more of them/us. I did a couple of elementary Facebook searches and there don’t appear to be any relevant groups; there is probably more to be found with Google-Fu but I haven’t quite gotten there yet.
But yeah. This needs to happen. And I’m probably not the guy to do it. But maybe if I put some legwork into it I can find that person.
Feel free to do my work for me by volunteering, y’all.
There will be a new short story– not a microfiction, a full-blown, downloadable and e-readerable short story– posted to my Patreon by tomorrow. That makes two short stories, a bunch of microfictions, a WIP excerpt, and an audio story, all accessible for just $1 a month, with more getting added all the time! Come join us, dammit.