Blog No. 309
Last weekend was BookFest 2018. While I didn’t have time to be on the committee this year, they were nice enough to invite me to be a host for one of the panels. It’s not a glamorous job, but it can be an important one. Mostly you are just there to give pertinent information and pull the plug if they go over time. Since they are sometimes back to back, they had me clear the room too. Once the panel was over, I hung around and tried to help out where I could (but other than move some boxes, I mostly just got in the way). It’s a very stressful and exciting time for the organizers. For me, it was interesting and fun. I think I lucked out and got the best panel too. Everyone involved in the festival is welcoming and excited about the event. They mostly want people to come and enjoy it and take part in everything. Even with just my small part, I was invited to everything.
The panel I hosted was called Write of Passage. Moderated by poet Dorothy Mahoney, the authors were New York Times Bestseller Elly Blake (who you may recall was a reader at the last ChiSeries Windsor p.s. the next one is up on Facebook) and New York Times Bestseller Sandra Gulland. Elly is best known for her FrostBlood series of young adult books. Sandra is the author of the hugely successful Josephine B. Trilogy (among other historical fiction). Not only were all three ladies accomplished, interesting, and intelligent, they were also incredibly nice and very inclusive. As a mostly self-published sci-fi author, they welcomed me into their conversations about the publishing industry and their work. They even invited me to be on stage with them (though I politely declined as no one paid to see a panel with me and as it turned out, there wasn’t enough time with just the three of them on stage).
For my part, I think I did a good job. I’m getting more comfortable not only speaking in front of an audience, but also mixing reading directly from a script and riffing. The vibe (especially with those authors) was very relaxed. As I said to some of the organizers, sometimes people need permission to laugh. Either way, I didn’t mess it all up, so I hope to be invited again next year. I even gave away a bunch of the old No Lights Christian and I still had (and a few of the misprint Streets). I’d like to think I was a welcome addition (and not super annoying, just hanging around all day). Either way, I’d call it a success. I’m looking forward to what they cook up next year. With a bit of luck, I may have my novel finished and off to a publisher by then. That should give me something more substantial to talk about with all the other authors.
Before I sign off for the week, I want to remind you that Season Two, Episode Three of Flags and High Fives is up. It’s not quite forty minutes and it’s a little rough around the edges. Arvin did an amazing job taking all the jumbled parts and construing something not only listenable, but interesting. We managed to get the Medium Article for it done too. Not like that’s an accomplishment seeing as it was like a million months since the last episode. It will be out tomorrow. For the last project of the season, we’re taking a different approach. Clearly what we planned didn’t work. Since the last challenge is possibly more difficult that writing a song, we’re going to do several smaller episodes with a bigger finale than one giant episode that takes a team of horses for us to edit and get out to you. I think that’s all. Please give it a shot. It’s long, but I was happy with the candid stuff.