Where to start?
The Bold Strokes Book Festival. Let’s start there.
Over the course of two days, we ran panels, talked to readers, and drank beer at gay/gay friendly pubs. One author stayed with us. Eleven authors came, including the first guy to sit on the panel.
Was it successful? Yes and No.
Turn out was less than last year. Various folk assured me this was due to Olympic fever, with a super Saturday of Brit athletes going for gold. And then there was that local festival…
The truth is, I don’t know. It’s the third year. Have we hit a slump? Or were we up against grander things?
The only way to know is to do it again next year. And yes, we’re going to.
We had folks fly over from Greece, from France, from the USA, from Brussels. We had both men and women there, and we had radio interviewers and book reviewers, professors and other writers among the attendees. Yes, actually, it was successful.
And I’m glad it’s over for another year.
The day after the BSB event ended, S and I drove to Manchester for the women’s Olympic football match. USA v N. Korea.
USAwon. It was a fun, crazy game. We stood outside the players entrance and got their
autographs on the program, got pics and video. Up close they’re even more gorgeous than on telly.
Then we headed home for a few days, then back to Manchester for the semi final. USA v Canada.
USA won. It was a breathtaking game, and my heart was going a billion miles a minute.
Then home for two days to a broken washer and leaky pipe, work to do, calls to make, things to buy.
Then, off to Wembley Stadium for the women’s final. USA v Japan. Our seats were up in the gods, but it didn’t matter. We were there, among 80,000 others, chanting, screaming, holding our breath, groaning and cheering.
And they won.
We watched the three teams receive their various colored medals and I cried. You know how it feels when you just know you’ve been part of something? Something huge, something important?
It was like that.
And it occurred to me: the book event and the Olympic event have some things in common: it was women (okay, sans one man at the book event), doing things to the best of their abilities. Showing the craft, the determination, the imagination, to draw the best from themselves. They entertained the crowd just by doing their jobs. They brought hope, they brought excitement, they made hearts pound and pulses race. They made you cheer for the hero and boo the villain.
They made you want to be them, or be with them.
And just as I was so proud to be part of the BSB event, so too was I proud to stand there as an American woman cheering the best athletes in the world; women who poured themselves into their work, every fibre of their being stretched to give all.
I’ve got an insanely busy few weeks ahead of me, editing toward extremely tight deadlines, but nothing will take this one fact away from me:
I was there.
Song: Remedy by Little Boots
Book: The Lighthouse by Virginia Wolfe
Blog: Fibromodem (chronic comic feature)