I previously posted about what was to be expected at the Catoosa County Film Festival. That was what I was expecting to happen and what I was telling others to expect, but upon my arrival at this event…things were different. Not on what I was bringing with me and what I had on my table, but everything else it seems. I’ve been asked ever since I got back home what had happened. At first, it was just friends and family excited to hear what happened there, but then this question took a different tone as information began coming through and articles began getting posted online about the event.
Here’s my take on it all from the first-day things were already changing. My room was handled, but a crowd had begun forming outside the hotel’s front of others that were waiting for information. It was then I was told the venue had changed last minute and everyone was waiting for the information and address to the new location so that we could start setting up. At this time, the event, if it hadn’t been changed, would’ve already begun. I knew I’d be coming in a bit late, I had never gone that far for the event and never been to this area of the country before, so I expected to get lost a bit (didn’t have GPS or an advanced phone at this time to help me).
This was just the beginning. I was unaware this could be a bad omen for an event, I had heard this was something that happened time to time so I went with the flow. The venue had been secured and from everyone’s impressions it seemed fine, but when we got to the new location we realized we were in a barn. I know that sounds weird maybe even awful, but I found it interesting. It wasn’t just some barn, this was a wedding venue. It was a beautiful barn on beautifully landscaped grounds. The only trouble I had with this new location was that everything seemed thrown together, not by the venue, but you could tell very much so that this was last minute…tables…tables…no tables.
I on no level blamed the wonderful and nice couple hosting the event. I need to state that, I didn’t even then. I was just doing my best with this new situation and wanted to get started. It took some time before I was able to get a table figured out while everyone else was either setting up, already finished or walking around the grounds. I set-up, handled my business and began chatting up with Edd and Kindra Sowder. Edd, a man that I admit I couldn’t keep up with, wasn’t spoken to as much because he was in ‘con-mode’.
They were saints (still are), Edd and Kindra, helping me and my husband who was along to help me understand everything. This first day was several hours long and was mainly me meeting several people, handshakes, and pictures being taken. Now, on top of my nerves for this being my first big event, this was also an event that had someone I found very important to my history there, Jason Charles Miller, was there and had a table next to mine. Mr. Miller was very important to my teen years, his bad Godhead’s music helped me through a lot of rough things I went through. My husband spoke to him and that’s when something funny happened.
I looked over at my husband and there he stood with a huge grin on his face with Mr. Miller at his side. My reaction was instant to hang my head and say, ‘Oh my god’ with laughter. Edd at this moment came up to me introducing me to a photographer. I shook hands and then dabbed my tears with my fingertips and posed for a picture. I do not know what happened to the picture(s) as I’ve not seen any of them online yet. It was nice meeting others for me, seeing the ‘I’m not so alone’ in this industry or in this field of interest. I spend a lot of my time working at a computer in my office alone. Indies connect mainly online or over the phone/mic, so meeting another in the writing field is very nice for me.
The rest of the day was uneventful (and cold thank god for heaters) beyond the usual for me. The usual being meeting, greeting and chatting. The Sowder spoke of dinner and the VIP party and we (husband and I) were interesting, but when we got back to the hotel I mentioned that how incredibly tired I was. Business was spoken of, but as soon as my head hit the bed I was out. There was no way to have woken me and drug me anywhere else. I hadn’t slept properly that previous night with nerves eating me alive.