Friday, 10 May 2013

The Hot Seat

Your palms are clammy.  Your breath feels tight.  Sweat is staining the armpits of your shirt – damn, the Rexona has failed again – and your throat is dry.  People start looking at you, and your heart begins thumping out of your chest…

What is it?  Could it be…yes!  You’re PUBLIC SPEAKING!!!

Check out the hot seat at right, cunningly disguised to look attractive.  You can't see it, but there was even a flickering-flame graphic on the screen in the decommissioned fireplace behind the chair!

Yes, I took to the stage to read at Newstead Short Story Tattoo, and it was stressful.  Getting to watch Cate Kennedy, who speaks so eloquently, and with such a relaxed style, was pretty inspiring.  If Cate can do it, damnit, I can too!  Sadly I was scheduled just before Cate, so it was only in the aftermath of my own turn that I was able to settle down and enjoy the ride.

But it was a fun ride.  I think I’m improving – now my hands only shake at the start.  Which is okay if you can steady them on a lectern, but no good if you’re holding the mike in one hand and your book in the other.  You just look like you’ve got the DT’s.

Anyway, I’m working on it.  I think I’m getting the hands thing under control – except after the shakes leave my hands they head south, so by the halfway mark, my knees are knocking together.

I’ll get the hang of this eventually.  Maybe by the time the next Newstead Tattoo rolls around.

Website: The website is up and running!  Lope on over to and see what you think.  Is the banner too pink?  (If it is - tough!  It's too late now!  Bwahahahahaa!!)  Actually, I love the look of the site, and all the credit for website awesomeness goes to the Amazing Jane from Blue Vapours, who can even make haybales look inspiring!

Guest postTomorrow I’m guest posting at YA Contemporary.  Thank you very much to Jim for inviting me to post – I wrote a piece on YA crime, which I like to think is on the up and up.  Go have a look, hope you like it!

Here's some more shots of the Tattoo, for your viewing pleasure:

Neil Boyack, organiser extraordinnaire...

Someone who must have had the Hot Seat experience before me... 

Lucy Sussex in full flight during the Horror Stories on Friday night...

And finally...when I came out of the Community Hall on Sunday afternoon post-Sister's Salon, I noticed that in fact a story full of drama and pathos had been going on right across the street from us, while we were busy listening...

Here was the final line:

                                                    Hemingway, eat your heart out!

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