On Saturday afternoon at the Thornhill Village Library, I gladly stood in the hot sun and watched some speeches. The Jarrells are friends of the family, and the late Dr. Richard A. Jarrell did many things for his community and for the world beyond his work as a professor at York University. One of these ongoing projects was the garden at the Thornhill Village Library–not just maintaining it over the years with the assistance of his wife Martha, but also making sure it ever existed. I did spend my earliest years in the area but my memory of this library is fuzzy; I’m told it was all a bunch of gravel parking lot before someone stepped in and did something. And that someone was Richard. The bench in the Featured Image of this post had already been dedicated to him, but now the rest of the garden is too; there is a more official plaque that I managed not to get a picture of this time, because by the time there wasn’t such a crowd around it, I was being somewhat social, drinking lemonade and eating peanut butter cookies etc. The refreshments were welcome, as in my long morning I was running on a pack of fruit snacks, a Snickers bar, and a single coffee.
That was my later afternoon event, where I had the easy tasks of listening and sweating. Court also loaned me Dark Night: A True Batman Story, which I read cover to cover in a single sitting; I was left to wonder if that was really the first graphic novel I had ever read, or whether a picturebook from Brom that I read for Morbid Outlook once counts as a graphic novel. I wouldn’t mind if Dini’s personal story was my first graphic novel, no problem at all.
The morning was actually consumed by a Newmarket’s farmer’s market (with The Bookshelf event running indoors in the community centre). I was a vendor at The Bookshelf that morning, and so was Allison Cosgrove of the Stan Brookshire novels fame. And she drives, and I don’t, so she helped me out, which is wonderful.
This was the first event where I set up a monitor to play book trailers on looping playback. The first major upgrade to my vendor setup, so just imagine what a nice real tablecloth would do! A few observations about the video aspect:
- I don’t know how to put captions on to the videos as they exist on my hard drive, so that I could just loop trailers without need for internet access. Not all my YouTube videos have captions, but I made sure both trailers do, and new videos tend to; I type them myself, since the automatic captions look rather sad.
- Fortunately, I had free internet access at this event (which seemed even faster than my connection at home), so I made a YouTube playlist off my own channel and looped that, full-screen. But then I had to manually click away Swiss Chalet banner ads and skip other video ads after the requisite 5 seconds.
- Choosing one of the two trailers and looping that seemed to cut down on the ads.
Captions are important because I didn’t bring speakers, and markets are noisy rooms/spaces anyway; if I turned up my laptop speakers you could hear my echoey lo-fidelity voice to a point, but not even the nice background music from Satie. So captions are already important for accessibility’s sake (which is why I typed my own for YouTube), but if I want anybody to have any idea what I’m saying in these looping trailers, now they’re mandatory for everyone. People told me it was just nice to have the pictures and minimal text, but come on, you don’t get told the trailer’s story at all that way.