I just spent three days at Ocean Shores. Or to be more specific, at the Ocean Shores Convention Center for the “Winter Fanta-Sea Holiday Bazaar.”

Hawking my books is a lot of work. There’s a definite art to engaging people as they bustle by, aggressively avoiding eye contact with vendors less they have to slow their pace for a sales pitch. As a vendor, it’s exhausting, but also very enlightening.

Over the past four weekends of manning my book booth, I’ve decided my “target market” is women between 35 and 65. They are the ones who still buy books. But if they are with their husbands or children, forget making a pitch. They are not free to stop to listen, or heaven forbid, buy anything.

Wannabe writers come to talk shop, but they aren’t buying either. Grandmothers are on a pension, and they will listen to me talk about my stories forever, then say, “I’d love to buy your books, but I haven’t any money…”

Bazaars are a tough way to make a living, but they sure give me a window into the cosmos of the human condition. I’ve become quite good at reading people—their body language and expressions. And if you’ve read this far, the odds are you’re probably a reader, so here’s the pitch: I write humorous personal experience short stories; wanna buy a book?

Find me at the Adrift Hotel conference room, 4-8 on Friday night and the Moose Lodge in Ocean Park on Saturday, 10-4.