NBF (3) Launch Day

6.00 I wake up, but decide I can’t quite face my NaNoWriMo quota yet. After all, this is the day of the launch and there is a shedload of stuff to do.

8.45 Kids off to school and I’m on the phone, chasing up couple of supermarkets. You kindly decided to donate some refreshments for the authors at NessBookFest – could I pick up some of that earlier, please?

9.30 Off to supermarket to collect goodies. Blown away by generosity. Cram everything into my fridge as best as I can and run out of the door to do a couple of things in town.tesco

10.20 Collect prize voucher for kids’ book hunt from Eastgate Centre

10.30 Begin my long trawl around Victorian Market, making sure all traders have remembered to put books in the window, attached the logo etc. About ten have not got a book to display. Luckily the charity shop has a box of children’s books for 10 p each – I throw some change at the lady and run out with most of the box, flinging them at traders as I speed past Usain Bolt style. I’ve got to be home in 15 minutes, because some volunteers are coming to my house to assemble the author thank-you bags and make sandwiches out of the Tesco donations.

12.00 Only just beat the first volunteer who is dying of man-flu. In fairness, he does look rough and I’m grateful when a couple more people arrive and he can take a back-seat. We put the radio on and catch my brief interview about NBF on the BBC. Writing thank-you cards and tying ribbon bows takes a surprisingly long time.  As soon as the volunteers leave, I fling stuff in the slow-cooker for dinner and take the dog for a  speed-walk round the block.

15.00 Son home, but he walks in – and straight out to the park again with his friends. Good! Because I have a car-boot full of stuff to take to the library, out main venue for tomorrow. A quick phone call first: just checking on the off-chance that the Council has any answers for us regarding our funding applications. The lady deadpans that all of our requests were successful – we’ll be able to pay our writers something!!!

15.30 Lugging boxes of food and goodie bags into library.

16.00 Picking up a wee supply of costumes from my school’s Drama department for my own event tomorrow.

16.45 Shower and change for launch, plus a couple more phone calls.

17.25 off to NessBookFest Launch: meeting and greeting. I feel almost emotional when I see the rest of the committee in their t-shirts. More volunteers arrive, and the public, too – more than 50 of them. James Robertson is absolutely lovely and the Waterstones manager Pete gets his book signed before all of the crowds arrive: a lovely, cheerful moment full of buzz and anticipation.

18.00 And we’re off. James Robertson, a natural raconteur,  reads and regales us all with tales of toads and men in his new book To Be Continued , after which we mingle and chat and enjoy the drinks and nibbles: thanks Waterstones. It truly feels like ‘a thing’!

20.00 Way home. I call into Velocity to make sure they are happy about the arrangements for the coming day. My friend (volunteer Susan) and I sit in companionable silence as we tweet and Facebook out the first lot of images over a cuppa and a place of stew. I begin to have concerns about all the things we will have to carry to the library as the mountain builds by the door.

22.00 Final pick-up of the day, daughter No.2 from basketball training.

22.30 A quick catch up with the news and then a spot of blogging, before packing what I need for my author event tomorrow. So far, so very excellent!



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