All set for the big event this week
Published on: Sunday, July 28, 2019
By: Sylvia Howe

We are warming up for WordPower. We had our Press Launch at the Palace Hotel, and I am happy to say that it went extremely well. I like to think this may have had something to do with the banana bread I baked for our guests, not a crumb of which was left. Nor were any of the biscuits made by our Marketing person, Emily Barner. You see – we aren’t just pretty faces. 

I put together a presentation according to the rules of PechaKucha, one of the sessions we are bringing to Sabah. Some people have heard of this, but I don’t think people are using it. More fool them, I say. It took me a while to get used to the non-negotiable constrictions, but I know my presentation was sharper and clearer than it would have been had I been given my head. 

20 slides, 20 seconds each. You set the slides to change without you clicking, so you have no choice but to move on to the next subject. Practice makes perfect, and the PechaKucha website gives you the time and space and instruction on putting it together, and timing yourself until you are confident that you have shaved off any extra blather. Come and try it for yourselves – I got a round of applause, at the Press Launch, and at other places where I have delivered it. 

So all seems to be in order. We have got all our licences, I think. Our bank balance is a little lighter but all the paperwork is in order. 

We have our Fringe attendees all lined up. There will be about six tables, one for those keen on quizzes and games; one selling the most lovely soft pashminas from Nepal at a very reasonable price in aid of the charity BookReach; another table will have Bryan Wade selling his book, The Wild Ride, and my novel, The Jacaranda Letters. Christopher Liew’s lovely pottery will be available, and the KK Writers Group may also have a table showcasing their work. If you have anything you want to sell, or tell people about, contact us, and we will try to fit you in – all we require is a donation, the amount of which is up to you. Contact Sawinder on +60 12-838 8191 for further information.

Sabah has not got a good reputation for supporting the arts, which surprises me, as whenever I go to a performance the enthusiasm is strong, and there aren’t many seats empty.

But people tell me that Sabahans complain about spending money on tickets for shows or events, and I should not expect them to commit themselves early to attending WordPower. Last minute, I am told, always last minute – if they come at all.

We have 400+ likes on Facebook which cheered me up a treat, but I have been told gloomily not to get excited – ‘it’s easy to click on like, but people won’t necessarily translate that interest into buying a ticket’. More fool them, I say. This is such an exciting event, with so much for everyone, that people should make the most of the opportunity to attend. Go on, KK, prove the prophets of doom wrong. 

One thing – we Brits are mocked for many things (many deserved, I confess) but one thing that I think is just the tiniest bit unfair is how we always go on about the weather. This is presented as if we are the only race to do this. 

I admit our weather does its best to catch people out if it can by being as unpredictable as it can get away with, but I would like to point out that, especially in the present rainy season, people mention it just as much as we do. 

With good reason: your rain can be much heavier than ours, your clouds thicker, your mists more impenetrable, but I always remember what someone (can’t recall who) said: there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.

Good point, but I notice that here a shower means that people grumble, they stay at home, they cancel meetings.

Sometimes this is sensible; flash floods do happen and there’s not much you can with water lapping at your windowsills, but often it’s nothing a good pair of wellington boots and an umbrella won’t deal with. 

If the rain gets going during WordPower, brace up chaps, shoulders back, best feet forward. When you get to the Palace, ask them to put the kettle on, so you can settle down with a nice cup of tea.

See you there. Remember: August 2 – 4, Palace Hotel, Karamunsing. Tickets at the door, but MUCH better, from the website!


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