30 days to Maryland Sheep and Wool

posted in: Books, Publishing, Serendipity, Sheep, Travel | 21

It's time to count days to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.

Here's my major sign of spring:

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The Maryland catalog. I love Maryland catalogs. I don't care if they arrive dog-eared from their travels through the postal system, as this one did, because they'll get dog-eared after they're in my hands anyway.

This year's edition . . .

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has something new:

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I think this is a fundraiser for the festival itself. I'm learning details by the minute: just got an e-mail with more (below). There have been several minor shifts to keep the festival free, including a request for a shipping and handling fee for mailed catalogs in 2012 and the announcement that there will be donation opportunities on the festival grounds. I think the book signing, a first for the event, is another creative way to support the festival and keep it accessible. (Another way to do this is to buy t-shirts, of course.) Note cash and checks; no credit cards.

So that's Sunday.

There's one slight problem:

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Signing times are Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. near the information tent, and the Parade of Breeds is at 12:30 p.m. at the show ring.

Be warned. I am not addicted to alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs. I am addicted to the Parade of Breeds at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I will be taking my "lunch" break to go see the parade. The show ring, fortunately, is not far from the information tent. I'll take my signing pen with me, but I won't miss that event (which, thanks to the sheep, does not always run precisely on schedule, although the humans get it as close to on-time as they can). I'll be at the signing area near the information tent both before and after the parade, though. 

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And stepping back a day to Saturday. . . .

I just learned what's happening on Saturday!

For the past several years, Guido Stein has organized a FiberCrawl "after party" for Saturday night. I've attended a couple of times and had a great time (met some new people and new spindles—first time I saw a Trindle—and won a door prize!—a matched set of Lexie Barnes bags). This year, Storey Publishing is collaborating on the party. It will go from 8 to 11 p.m., and will be held at the Sheraton Columbia hotel. There will be, as there have been, food and drinks. I have heard from reliable sources that there will be air conditioning and chairs (I wasn't there last year, but those who were suggest that I should mention this). Bring your knitting, spinning, or other fiber fun. It's that kind of party.

There will also be, or so they tell me, "some giveaways of the book . . . and your presentation." Which means Carol and I will put together about 10 minutes' worth of back story on how we did the book, likely with pictures. That's a work in progress.

Tickets ($10) are required for the after party. Because Storey is sponsoring the event (thanks, Storey!), all proceeds will benefit Star Gazing Farm, described as "a haven for retired farm animals and wayward goats." Check out some of the specific critters who have found a home at the farm, and the philosophy and activities of the place.

Here's a general web page about the party, with links to tickets. For those who are on Ravelry (membership is free), there is a discussion of the party just starting up.

Hope to see folks at Maryland! I will likely be a little spaced out. I'm really comfortable in small groups, prefer not to be the center of attention, and immediately forget my own name (along with everyone else's) when I'm in a crowd. Forgive me now and we'll all have a great time.

I love the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, I get a huge kick out of hanging out with other fiber folk, and . . . it'll be the first time I get to see the book in its finished form, too! And we get to give some copies away at the party! (Of course we'll sign them.)

! ! !

Okay, more Parade of Breeds photos to end this post.

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Can you tell I like the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival? Especially the Parade of Breeds?

Lots of good things have gotten started at Maryland. Like the Save the Sheep project, and, ultimately, this book we're celebrating. What will be next?

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21 Responses

  1. L.M. Cunningham

    I’m not sure what happened — it followed me through moving to Calgary and then within the city once — but I’m no longer getting my catalogue, and I miss it so! Worth every bit of the $6+ postage.

    Especially since I can’t get to Parade of Breeds….

  2. Deb Robson

    You need to get back on the list. I get the print copy because I use them for reference repeatedly, whether I attend or not.

  3. L.M. Cunningham

    Yeah, I know. I’ve got a lovely collection of them that I just love to leaf through and see “stuff” repeatedly.

    I meant to send something to Gwen last fall, but forgot. 😛

    The Canadian dollar is worth $1.04 US, so now would be a good time to send something….

  4. Joanne

    Oh, this is the first mention of Maryland S&W that makes me sorry I’m not going! I can live with not getting the catalog this year. I can live with not visiting my folks this time of year in Virginia…but oh, this post made me smell, taste, and see the festival. I’m so sorry I won’t be able to see you there! (and how I wish they’d done formalized book signings when Fiber Gathering came out! I signed books for several hours in the cold rain in Carol Leigh’s tent in 2009. Damp. Very damp.)

  5. Deb Robson

    Joanne, you will have plenty to distract you from Maryland Sheep and Wool this year! And think what fun it will be to introduce the kiddos to it in a future year. . . .

    I had actually looked forward to the possibility of signing in some individual vendors' booths, to support their work and maybe have a smaller-scale environment in which to actually talk to folks, but this will be good, too. Rain is not so good. I always go to Maryland prepared for rain and/or extreme heat. Sometimes it's just lovely! But I'm ready to have a good time, no matter what.

  6. Dina

    Can not believe you got your printed copy before I did. Matter of fact, I never get a printed copy despite signing up on the list every year. So weird. I’m really excited to see you and your finished masterpiece. Will there be copies available for purchase somewhere before the signing? Gotta get my hands on one and of course I want it signed! :))

  7. Deb Robson

    Dina, that's weird about your not getting a catalog. You're so close! I have no idea whether copies will be available to buy before the signing. I'm low on the list to be informed (which is okay, mostly, as long as I know when and where I'm supposed to be). I'm guessing that they'll have them at or near the information tent. I'd think they'd want to handle the purchases in advance of the signing! In order to avoid more chaos than is necessary. The festival has a lot of experience in avoiding chaos.

  8. Lynn

    OK, is the book definitely going to be on sale and available at MDSW? Book signing on Sunday implies books will be available for purchase to benefit the MDSW festival. Book giveaway Saturday night implies there will be books available before Sunday, as well. Are you guys selling copies at the Fiber Crawl party? Do you know any booths that will definitely have it on Saturday?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  9. Deb Robson

    Lynn, I just sent your questions to someone who might know the answers. Me, I just show up with my pen(s). . . . I'd like to know more to tell folks!

  10. Deb Robson

    Lynn, I've got answers to your questions. One of the two people who are organizing the event at Maryland has responded already:

    "No one will have the book for sale on Saturday at the festival. The only way to get a book on Saturday is to buy a ticket to the FiberCrawl party. We had previously discussed just doing giveaways at the party, but A. and I were just talking, and it seems like it would be a good idea to sell the book there as well.

    "We have 115 copies of the book to use for the weekend. I'll be taking care of the sale, we aren't going through a vendor, so why don't I bring a few cases of books to the party on Saturday night. After your presentation, we'll do a giveaway and 5 people will win a copy of the book. After the giveaway, we'll have a table and I'll collect money from people who'd like to buy a copy. We'll charge the $35 retail price. There will be a limited amount of books available, because I'll need to save a lot of them for the booksigning at the festival the next day."

    The books for the festival are being air-freighted in, which is why the number of copies is so limited. The main shipment is now in a container on a ship, and couldn't be guaranteed to have arrived, cleared customs, and made it across the continent in time for the festival.

  11. Dina

    Thank you for that terrific information about getting your book. I’m going to be bold and predict you’ll blow through the 115 copies in no time!

    “There will be a limited amount of books available, because I’ll need to save a lot of them for the booksigning at the festival the next day.”

    Um, does that mean the books will be GIVEN AWAY at the signing like at BEA events? I’m doubting that so how are booksigning attendees going to purchase their books?

    Sorry!

  12. Deborah Robson

    Dina, Yeah, I think we’ll run out of books. I suggested an idea to Storey for what to do if/when that happens, and they liked it. It will be pretty easy to implement.

    And no, the books at the signing won’t be given away. Someone from Storey will be handling the sales. At some point, Carol and I need to start earning some royalties for the work we’ve done {wry grin}.

    The five copies being given away on Saturday night actually exceed my expectations for what would be happening there!

  13. Lynn

    Deb –
    Thanks so much for letting us all know so quickly! I posted the info on Ravelry, a friend from my spinning group was just asking the same question, as it turns out.

  14. Deb Robson

    Thanks for passing the information along, Lynn. I've been getting onto Ravelry for a few minutes every couple of days–not enough! Things are still going a mile a minute (or faster) around here.

  15. beth

    This post made me sad for not being able to go AGAIN this year. My oldest daughter is having her graduation ceremony that weekend in Utah and I will be there for the second of 3 times in the first six months of this year!
    Next year I AM going and it’s on my calendar!

  16. Deborah Robson

    I didn’t get to go to Maryland for quite a few years, Beth, between when I left Interweave and when I had an opportunity to go again (i.e., afford the ticket, the hotel room, and so on). It’s a delight when I get there, although I still “see” the festival at a smaller size (it was already pretty large by the first time I got there, but has grown even more). What an amazing event it is. It will be there for you, too, and if you’re like me you’ll appreciate it even more for having missed it.

    A daughter’s graduation, as you know, doesn’t come around all that often. I’m missing one of my daughter’s commencements this year because I’m teaching that weekend. We’ll need to celebrate another time. It’s not high school or college, though. I was at both of those. (She’s getting her master’s.)

  17. Dina

    Deb, I’m sorry but I am still confused about getting the book for the signing. How, exactly, do I do that? I won’t be at Guido’s party on Saturday and I doubt I’ll be at the festival on Saturday. So where/how do we get the book on Sunday? If I have to go on Saturday to get the book, I will.

    I agree completely you and Carol need to start making money from this venture so am glad for you that books aren’t being given away.

    Can’t wait to see you!

  18. Deb Robson

    Dina, as I understand it there will be a certain number of books available for sale on Sunday in close proximity to where we're signing. I learned this week that the sales will be handled by one of the folks from Storey; I think two will be there. Hope that helps. . . .

  19. Kris

    Hmm. You’ve re-energized my desire to celebrate my “graduation” by doing something–aka driving cross-country to MSWF! However, sadly, sanity? prevails. Wishing you bright skies, dry footing, happy sheep, and sales through the cloud tops!

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