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Post-gig

20 December 2005

Yíknow, sometimes I do just feel so like a cheap clock (right at this moment, my more supportive friends are entirely cracking up, at the thought of my being in any sense cheap; but just ignore them, and let's continue with the metaphor): all too easily overwound - like last night, where I was tight, tense, anxious, snappy, blindly stuttering through - and then running down too fast, like today, where I have been exhausted from the moment of dragging myself out of bed and am already - at 8.30, less than twelve hours later - already looking forward to tumbling back into it, with just tragically little achieved in between. I did a little, a very little revision of a piece of work; I addressed and posted eight packages; I wrote some emails, and put a gammon to soak. Well, gee willikins, what a day that was.

All of this drama, of course, comes on the back of last night, the first of this year's Phantoms gigs at the Lit & Phil. Halfway through, a friend asked if I didn't enjoy reading, because he'd always thought I did but I didn't seem to be. No idea what I said to him - the way I was going last night, I might have just glowered him into dust with my double-action Medusa-and-wrecking-ball stare - but the truth is that I do like reading, just not when it's one small part of an evening and I'm responsible for all the rest of it too. We had eighty-odd people there, and I was fretful for the pleasure of each and every one of them throughout. No wonder if I got a bit frazzled...

Still, we got all the books there, and half of them signed so far; we sold twenty on the night, and mail order's close to matching that; we've got another gig tomorrow, and if we could shift another twenty, that'd be a neat twenty per cent of the print-run gone in the first week. After that, Lord only knows how we'll shift it, but in ones and twos, I guess, rather than twenties. C'mon, guys, send me your tenners. PayPal works a treat...

I'll send out review copies tomorrow. That's going to be another interesting aspect of this publishing malarkey: not just "who can we sell it to, apart from friends?" but also "what are people going to think of it (discounting friends)?" The audience was receptive last night, but to be frank, I think most of them were friends. Not many there whom none of us would know. We must await a more critical response...

The other thing Iím going to do tomorrow is cook. Xmas ham and Xmas cake - which is late, dreadfully late, but I have had excuses. And I donít actually need it for Xmas, so it'll get a week or so to wallow in brandy and perhaps a little Madeira, before we start to eat the little darlin'. That'll help.


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© Chaz Brenchley 2005
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.