I am overcome with appreciation and gratitude for the number of people who turned out for the launch party on Sunday, August 11. It was literally standing room only! While I knew nearly everybody there, three young Coast Guard members, who had dropped into the store the day before, showed up, and two of them got books to be signed!
Margaret Speaker Yuan took most of the photos (because clearly I didn’t). I also borrowed one from Barbara Cromwell after she posting it on Facebook. (Thanks to both of you!)
Every time you do an event, you learn still more about doing events. In this case, I should have thrown a half-dozen ziplock bags into the food bag before we toted it off. And for a crowd getting together at 4:00 pm on a hot August Sunday, there were not a not of wine drinkers. Pelligrino water had lots of takers, though.
And I should have asked a few more people to take photos, because I have none, for instance, of the beautiful and scrumptious chocolate leaves, dusted with edible metallic luster dust, that Betsy Miller brought.
We also got no pictures of the event’s wonderful host, Brandy. Brandy not only opened up her store, publicized the event and set up tables and chairs, she gave me a wonderful introduction!
I read for about 15 minutes, which seemed like a very long time, and I think I only really lost my concentration once, although it was at a really dramatic point in the chapter. For next time at Second Chances, I might recommend that the configuration be flipped so the reader is at the other end of the store from the door.
I stood up to read. I don’t know if this makes a difference or not, but most professional writers do it — most other professional writers do it. I guess sound travels better, and I guess it lends slightly more authority to the process.
The first young Coast Guard guy told me his name was Anthony, but he wanted the book personalized to someone he called “My Fox.” (I’m like, “okay…”) His friend, Wes, said, “Who’s that?”
“That’s my wife. That’s what I call her. She calls me Bundle of Muscles.”
“TMI, Dude,” said Wes.
Jo Weber, the former Department Head of Human Services was always a champion of my creative work, and she came with her mother, Shirle. Karen Fies is the present Department Head of Human Services, and a wonderful friend.
Karen took me aside early in the event. “You have a full house,” she said.
“Well, it’s a small space.”
“You have a full house,” she said, only a little bit sternly.
Brain advised me that Betsy’s chocolate “Aluminum Leaves” were a marketing secret weapon. “If you do any more readings, bring these,” he said. “You’ll sell ten thousand copies.” He may have meant we’d sell ten thousand candies, since they were luxurious and beautiful.
My dear friend Kathleen made it, along with her friend Gabe.
I am overwhelmed by the number of people who took time out of their busy lives to attend this event. Some like, Terry, took one two-hour one-way drive to do so. There is nothing more validating. Thanks to everyone for making it an unforgettable day.