Not sure when/if I’ll…

Not sure when/if I'll have time to do a proper recap of Kriti, so I'll just say briefly that it went well, and that the best part for me was meeting all the other panelists and getting a chance to talk to them. A highlight was my reading with Shyam Selvadurai -- I think I read well (from "Minal in Winter"), and sold a dozen copies of Bodies in Motion (as well as some older titles), and it was just cool reading with him.

Anita Desai was also a highlight -- her talk was wonderful, as was her reading and the breakfast with her. She's smart, articulate, thoughtful; I want to watch her talk again at some point, just so I can slowly think about everything she had to say about exile and memory and such. Hopefully our recording came out well.

Another aspect of the festival that I really appreciated was hearing the more established writers talk about how long they've spent on various books. Three-four years/book seems pretty common. This is making me feel a lot better about my current book state; I have multiple books in progress, but none are super-close to completion. I think that's okay. While I can write very quickly when under deadline, I'm beginning to see that I need a lot of processing time to do my best work. Maybe I'll have a lot of time to think while breast-feeding. :-)

There are, of course, things I would do differently next time around. A few notes to myself for next time:

  • book a few more medium-name panelists, to draw audience
  • partner with a bigger event, if reasonable, to draw audience
  • pay smaller honorarium to keynote speaker; we just can't afford the big ones yet
  • try very hard to get venue for free; despite discounted rate, paying for UIC hit our budget hard
  • hire publicist earlier, at least three months out
Hmm...that's it. Other than that, the programming went well, everyone who came seemed to have a really great time. It was all good.

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