As for the wardrobe, my show broke on the second day while I was standing in line to try some of the pizza this retailer is supposedly known for. I was just standing, I may have flexed my foot a little, but certainly did not exert enough movement to warrant the shoe just up and quitting on me like that. In the midst of my embarrassment and trying to plot a dignified escape, I thought that this type of thing probably never happened to famous writers like Neil Gaiman. Since I follow him on twitter, I decided to tweet about it. @neilhimself did not pick it up, but apparently #shoes will get you a retweet.
I spoke at length with people about things not remotely connected to my book, as sometimes happens at these events. Middle Eastern tensions (and who's really to blame, according to the guest), and religion were two big topics. I never know how to handle these tangents, but I refuse to be rude or cut someone off - even when it is apparent that they have zero interest in my work. At the same time, while I am busy being polite I cringe inside as potential sales walk by and I can't engage them. I'm too new to be a jerk (and I wouldn't want to be anyway), but too poor to pretend my sales don't matter.
I also spoke at length with a lady who pointedly refused to buy my stories because she did not see any fathers in them. As an older black lady, she felt she could not present them to her grandchildren without a positive black male role model taking part. This was the first time I've ever been confronted with a social responsibility aspect of my work and it really got me thinking. I was also angry. So much so that I plan to write a whole separate post about just that - social responsibility and writing children's books with and about characters of color. Stay tuned!