Right, this is the follow-up post of the freak-out post which was about reading for my university's anthology launch.
The launch finally happened yesterday!
And it is with great pleasure, I present you "Through The Aether", a quality collection of stories, poetry, art and songs by the students of the University of Nottingham.
Yes, that's our anthology cover!
As mentioned in the previous post, it was held at the Waterstone's bookstore in Nottingham. We were given a special room for the launch called the Sillitoe Room, named after a prolific Nottingham author. Over here, this is how they acknowledge local talent which impresses me.
This, compared to Malaysia, makes me wonder if MPH will one day have a room called the "Kingyo Room" -- just so, you know, I can be like...
Back to the launch ... it's my first time attending my university's book launches so everything was new and very foreign. There were the usual drinkies and nibbles in the corner but it was less formal than I thought it would be.
So wearing my new cartoon-printed dress and suede boots, I may have been a tad ... over-dressed. But what the hey? At least it's not jeans and a nice tee which was my intended idea...
Arriving early, I had the privilege of watching the Sillitoe Room fill up (along with my nerves) . I'm not sure how good the turn-out was this year but for me, it was PACKED...
 : Read from Pippa's blog post that apparently they had to pull out extra rows of chairs just to fit everyone. Wa liao eh? Told you our anthology isn't some insignificant project.
So much people...
The room was packed like free seating in British cinemas during a major movie screening ... where seats become scarce and precious and you'll search for them being all "Find all the seats!".
Even more people...
People who came to watch the readings that night were so appreciative of our work -- not to mention immensely supportive. Some people pulled all their housemates to Waterstones for the launch and whole families were there as well ... with little kiddies, so cute.
I dragged Kay to come along but was wishing my best friends and family could be there as well. This is why I need to rush someone to invent a teleporting machine fast.
It would save me long plane trips as well!
See if you can spot my name...
After the usual opening speeches, the readings began and from the applause ... well, brilliant
works words of art is all. To not torture the audience, the programme splits the readings into two sessions with an interval in the middle for nibbles and more refills of drinkies.
After the merry chats were over, my course leader, Nicola Valentine, gave a few words which was essentially about "keep on keeping on". For a writer, this is the most important piece of advice in our career because with success in writing, talent only gets you as far as from here to HERE which can easily end if one doesn't work it and work on it -- even when it doesn't work.
Thus, the "keep on keeping on".
After a few more words, Nicola pointed out the ISBN code at the back of the book. At this part of the speech, I thought: "Wonder if I can scan that on my phone app for laughs?"
(I have a nifty app that scans bar codes and searches the internet for deals on it)
And then she said...
"This code means that this is a published book," she said. "And that makes you all published authors."
So that means I'm a PUBLISHED AUTHOR!!
A REAL LIFE PUBLISHED AUTHOR!!
Despite the excitement portrayed here, it actually took me an hour to realise and accept this because when I submitted my pieces, I thought I was just contributing to my university's project.
Like how I used to submit photographs to my high school yearbook which was no big deal.
This is apparently the real deal now! And its the biggest achievement of my life up to date -- next to getting actually getting a living boyfriend after 19.
Look... *sniffles* ... it's so beautiful.
While that was a star achievement for me, the main spotlight should actually be on these two people...
Christian Ashton & Emily Cooper
the head honcho and co-honcho of the anthology this year.
A very big "CHEERS!" to both of you who pulled off the production of "Through The Aether". The effort must've been hell especially during times where coursework + life had to be juggled along with the anthology.
Pippa and I were talking and we both agreed that the two of you handled things so well and professionally. Matured, was the word she used which you both very, especially are.
Also, not forgetting, you guys were the ones who
edited perfected my pieces for publication! I've said my thanks already but what's the harm in repeating it? You guys deserve an extra "Thank you" for being so thorough and nice to work with during the editing process.
Christian and Emily and their flowers.
(Very bad picture, sorry.)
Looking back at my last post, I'm actually very glad I volunteered to do this reading. I don't mean that it's because I publicised myself and my work but the exposure it gave me.
I'm thinking about what would've happened if I didn't volunteer and didn't attend last night.
I would've lost the chance to meet so many charming and talented people.
I would've not seen new writing talent that are different to what I'm used to in classes.
And I wouldn't have appreciated the effort put into producing an anthology.
I wouldn't have been invited to swing by Mouthy Poets next term!
So then, here's another CHEERS! to a great event and a wonderful collaboration. And to end, here's a mandatory group photograph after the launch...
Photograph © Alan Lygo
Thanks for letting me post this! :)
Matt M. | Guy I don't know but has a really comfy-looking jacket | Matt S. | Emily C. (assistant editor!!) | Christian A. (editor!!) | Pippa (Godfather of the anthology) | Ioney | Panya | Helen D. | Jim H. | And... who's that Chinese chink??
Ok. About my reading...
It actually went went quite well! Still still nerve-wrecking but no stuttering, no forgotten words and no catatonia or blacking out whatsoever ... etc etc.
I was still very, very nervous though.
Look at this live Tweet I made right after I
ran got back to my seat .
Can't understand a ding of what I typed.
And if you're keen to spare half a minute of your life on me, then here! Watch me reading my very, very short poem complete with random hand gestures! Enjoy!!
If you noticed, I pronounce my own name very awkwardly. There is just no elegant way to introduce it, I tell you!
I wrote before that if you repeat my full name very fast for 10 times, you'll end up getting tongue-tied and guess what? I told this poet called Jim to try it and by the fourth pronunciation, he was like, "Ok, I can't do this anymore."
What is this sorcery surrounding my name?
I'll be heading down to Lawn-don tomorrow. Finally getting to see Damien Hirst's exhibition at the Ta-tay More-den (Tate Moden) after a month of planning.
With both the lauch and Hirst's exhibition, it looks like the end of uni term is going out with a fawking big firework -- if you'll pardon my Guy Fawkes pun.
This depends, of course, if I don't fail any modules ... or lose my coursework to a virus.
♥ Miss Kingyo
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