I’m starting to realize just how nervous I am about this – like stomach upset nervous. And not just the reading. Technology failing, for one – internet, electricity, reading prompter. Doing manual bookmarks so I can be ready for the latter; the rest is out of my control. For context, my last reading, just last month, with a book club in New York, I was prepped and set up to go, then when it was time to go live, they couldn’t hear me. Picture was good and I was hearing them fine. I couldn’t figure out why, and eventually the only thing that worked (after they re-ordered the programme and I went off line and on and off and on and off, trying to fix the problem that I didn’t know how to fix hoping to re-join before the Live ended) was when I scooted (physically positioned myself) as close to the router as possible which (given where the router is located) meant that I had no light. Did I mention that this reading was at night? So I was on but I read my story in virtual darkness, a single lamplight in my face (keep in mind that I wasn’t reading in the well lit area where I had set up to read). I tell myself it worked out okay because, it was a ghost story which worked well with the spooky lighting. But who knows. It was one of those reminders that I live on an island where utilities are notoriously unreliable. Who bex dead. Straight facts.
So here I am, and this festival is kind of a big deal and I’m excited to be a part of it and Murphy’s already up to shenanigans. My plan is to be loved up with the router (that close) and I did a virtual interview with someone in England just this past weekend that went fine so hopefully internet speed won’t be an issue again. That was in the morning though. My Medellin appearance is at night. I have put in place a temporary fix for the lighting in that room, but I worry that the light will still go out because that happens here, or maybe the internet will go out or run too slow or do that disco lights flashing thing it loves to do, that happens too, all de time, all de time, all de time. Life on an island…I guess.
And then there’s the reading itself. I’ve had a tech check with the team in Colombia and a test read with the translator – the festival is in Spanish; I’ve also done an audio ‘dress rehearsal’ for time (my reading time is 20 minutes and I am under that at least in the test). And now I’m trying to make sure I have my reading prompter (plural counting the manual back up – literally books and bookmarks) ready to go. Also I have to think about my hair, my face and everything there, the top half of my wardrobe. Plus I haven’t been feeling well but I am the queen of powering through so we will see how that goes – maybe my physical issues are just nerves and will ease up… maybe not. Either way, the show must go on.
Why am I typing all this… well, one of the things that started me spiraling today was time zone issues. Someone recently asked me what time, after I’d published the flyer which had the local Colombia and UTC time which meant I had to look up the local time. When another person in another location mentioned time again. The frustration I was feeling at having to figure out time math on top of everything else (why can’t they google it; why I shouldn’t resent the questioning because, the onus is on me to inform people fully if I want them to be there; the I don’t know frustration of it all). Ask me how many times I’ve double checked these time zone issues and I’m still not sure. So, I did want to say if you are interested in tuning in, please double check the time zone for yourself. I don’t want to confuse the issue anymore. I’m confused enough for all of us.
But I think I’m going to go ahead and post these possibly (objectively?) embarrassing musings because the unique hurdles of being a writer on an island notwithstanding, it might be useful to know the things a writer goes through in terms of nerves and practical prep, while trying to navigate and/or quiet all the stuff in other parts of their life, ahead of a reading or appearance and since this is virtual it doesn’t include the getting there physically, 2020 has been a game changer in that regard. So, slipping on my literary advocate hat, if your event can pay, consider offering a per diem or appearance fee to authors when you invite them even if you think exposure should be enough and/or purchase the author’s books; make sure the author has a link or copy of the video file for promotion purposes post event too. Why am I sharing this? Because one of the things I blog here is the writing life, the good, the bad, the stressful (lol). So there you have it all in a nutshell.
It’ll be fine.
August 10th 2021 – 8 p.m. if you’re in Antigua and Barbuda and/or the Atlantic Standard Time (AST) time zone.
Please double check the time where you are by doing the time zone conversion – isn’t google great!
Programme – 31st Festival Internacional de Poesia de Medellin
Joanne C. Hillhouse – Antigua Y Barbuda – presentation samples
As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, The Jungle Outside, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can…
View original post 12 more words