So we did it! We hosted our first ever event last week..
We have to thank everyone involved in turning what was quite a terrifying experience into a very pleasant evening. For any of you who missed it – here is a wee blow by blow account of how (un)professional we are;
1600hrs: I finally get to Jen’s flat so we can tie up some last minute things; are the slides working, loading up our books etc ,etc. I take a wee freak out about beer saying “Jen we need a tub for ice, I’m not handing out warm beer to these people who have made a huge effort to do readings tonight!”. Jen tries to comfort me to no avail “Don’t worry we’ll buy them from the fridge and they will be cool enough” – I don’t believe her but just go with it.
1630hrs: We arrive at the SeeWoo (The big Asian supermarket) to get beer and I start to look at my watch more frequently. I get so flustered I reverse my Mondeo into a lamp post and don’t take any time to look at the damage. We still make time to go and look at the live fish for sale in tanks though and both of us take a wee moment to contemplate the poor things’ fate. Jen is filled with sadness while I am starving at the thought of munching one.
1720hrs: We casually rock up at the venue to be greeted by Douglas Thompson (our headline speaker) at the front door who greets us kindly. I try an awkward “Ihaveheavyboxfullofbooks” handshake but instead we just exchange vocal pleasantries. We make our way through the maze of corridors at the Old Hairdressers and enter our event space – to my horror Stephen Goodall and the guys from Strange Vice are already there making me feel very tardy and unprofessional. Shouldn’t have stopped to contemplate the fish.
A quick look around the room shows that a band was playing the night before as there is a drum kit and instruments kicking about and I realise that the room needs a good bit of organisation. I play to my strengths and leave to park the car – Jen can lift an amp no problem…!
On returning the guys had done a wonderful job of setting the room up, with stalls and a nice intimate seating area to watch the now imminent readings. Both Hal Duncan and Craig Collins had now arrived and were setting up their stalls. I handed out the beer – no-one mentioned the fact that it wasn’t ice cold which made my previous worry seem a bit silly. It was half an hour until doors opening and it was all becoming very real.
1800hrs: Everything is set up… apart from the projector, which has had two of the venue’s staff perplexed for about forty minutes. Finally, one of them says to me: “That’s us ready to go if you just connect your cable” to which I say: “I don’t have a cable, I was told there was a cable here? A big long VGA cable, that there was no need for me to bring my own. Oh god!”. Action was needed quickly! Thankfully I have a friend Peter, who is a massive hoarder of such things, so a quick phone call sorted that out. Only it didn’t… the cable was too short. See: more panic.
1830hrs: Time for doors to open. Thankfully an eagle eyed friend of mine (Michael) has spotted something hanging from the ceiling – it turns out the VGA cable had been plugged in the whole time…
I can honestly say it was a great night, the talent on the stage and effort made by everyone involved was brilliant. I personally want to thank Alexander, Stephen, Craig, Hal and Douglas for their stories and for providing insight into how they create their work. I also have to apologise to Stephen for the technical issues during his reading. I would also like to say thank you to Strange Vice and The Final Comedown for coming along – hopefully they would come again.
Last but not least, I would like to thank anyone that either came along or who has been reading our stuff for the last couple of months, it has encouraged us to keep going. We’re thinking the next event will be in spring so look out for that nearer the time.
Our only worry now is how the hell are we going to top that?