Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sometimes All it Takes is a Balloon

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to hang out at the Millard County fair with my good friend, author Heather Justesen and her husband Bill, where we spent a lot of time talking to people and making hundreds of children smile.

Before you ask, we didn’t do a magic show or hypnosis (though, other people did). We didn’t sing or dance or otherwise entertain, either. But our efforts could be seen everywhere you looked.

We handed out helium balloons. For free.

And even though my hands are sore from tying strings and latex, I had a good time, because every single kid who came to our booth walked away with a smile. Lots of parents listened to us pitch and walked away with bookmarks, and some walked away with author-signed books. After two full-days of working (three for Heather and Bill) I broke even. Some would ask if it was worth it. Most authors would say no.

But I think it was. Making someone else smile is always worth a little effort. And a long drive.

Especially if that long drive is in a convertible, lying on the gas to try and beat the massive rainstorm blowing in behind me. (To the guys at the gas station who laughed and wished me luck—I did make it, thank you very much. Yet another reason for me to smile.)

Sometimes a smile is payment enough. For me, this was one of those times. Have you had an experience like this? Do share! What would you do to make a stranger smile?

**Today I'm online hanging with all the participants of WriteOnCon. Come join us!


Carolyn V. said...

That is so cool that you did that Nichole! I love small returns. =)

Rebecca said...

I look at it as a game to try to make people smile. Especially cashiers at the grocery store. Some of the most grouchy, stubborn-looking ones smile if I make enough effort.

kbrebes said...

How fun! I would love something like that, too. Hey, Nichole...thanks for following me! I saved your post on AI--the one that scared me as a writer--that detailed your struggles. I didn't mean to be insensitive. I'm just not as courageous as you. You are our fearless leader!!! Thanks for all you do and for all you give of yourself to help so many!

ali said...

I LOVE this Nichole! And I think it WAS worth it. You got your name talked about, your book mentioned, and planted in the hearts of countless people who *might* share it with others.

And yay for long drives with the top down! And no burns!

My brain's on hiatus right now or I'd answer your question, lol. ;)

Taffy said...

I was in Delta that week. I thought about sticking around and seeing you ladies. Unfortunately, I had a meeting I need to get home for. I'm glad you got to drive in the convertible. We need to carpool again so I can have another ride!