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Through the Aether

Through the Aether – the 2012 student anthology

I’m very very tired today. Exhausted. But I’ve been busy adding extra things to my todo list and coming up with new ideas … like I don’t have enough to do!

Why do I do it? That’s easy. I hate it when my life is boring, so I make sure it doesn’t get that way. I want to know everything and do everything, and I never quite believe in my own limitations. And… there are some things that just have to be done.

Last night was a perfect example of one of those things. I’ve blethered on about my involvement in the Nottingham University Creative and Professional Writing / Fine Art student anthology a lot over the last two and a half years (for example, here). Yesterday, the 2012 anthology – Through the Aether – was launched into the world in the Sillitoe Room at Waterstones Nottingham, and what a launch it was. I was so proud of Emily Cooper and Christian Ashton, this year’s editors. Grant Kent, last year’s editor, was there too… along with over a hundred other people… it was wonderful.

Niki Valentine (our course leader) talked about the need to ‘keep on keeping on’. This is certainly what I’ve been doing over the last few years, dealing with the odd problem or two but plugging away at building a new career for myself and learning how to be a writer. It felt like last night was a culmination of so many aspects of that. I won’t be involved in the anthology project any more, not even as a mentor. I’ve finished my degree – actually I handed in my last assignment nearly two months ago, so officially I guess I finished then, but somehow the launch event felt like my final act as a student. I guess, because of that, it could have been a sad occasion for me. But it wasn’t. It was intensely joyful. Watching fellow students and fellow writers confidently and skilfully performing their work, seeing the delight on the audience members’ faces, even small things like seeing extra chairs having to be brought out because so many people turned up to support us… it was magical. And it’s exactly why I keep on keeping on.

What was that…?

Yes, of course I took photos!

Getting ready - Christian, Emily and Shane Maxwell-Atkin

Getting ready for the event – Christian and Emily with Shane Maxwell-Atkin, Waterstones’ events manager

The audience starts to arrive

The audience starts to arrive…

Looking natural for the camera

Matt Sawyer, Sam Fallows and Veronique Falconer try to look natural for the camera…

About to start

About to start… and it’s standing room only!

Emily and Christian welcoming everyone

Emily and Christian welcome everyone to the event. Not a sign of nerves – totally professional.

Course leader Niki Valentine

Course leader Niki Valentine

Christian and Emily

Christian and Emily watching the performances

Some of the performers

Some of the performers (sorry I didn’t get everyone – my camera battery ran out).
Top row, right to left: Lisa Shipman, Veronique Falconer, Sam Fallows, Jim Hall.
Bottom row: Lum Huey Shan, Sadie Greening, Matt Sawyer, Bee Patience.

And I had to finish with this photo – taken by Helen’s friend Alan – I hope he doesn’t mind me pinching it.

All the editors

All the anthology editors so far, holding our babies!
From left to right: me (2010), Christian and Emily (2012) and Grant (2011)

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