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READING AT THE BOOK LAUNCH - Photo by Johnny Palka

READING AT THE BOOK LAUNCH – Photo by Johnny Palka

Throughout the evening there was a Knowing that THIS was a high point in my life. “Take it in,” the Knowing said. “Revel in it. Give this reading your very best attention and care. Oh, and don’t forget to ENJOY as well.”

The event was the Book Launch Party celebrating the previous week’s publication of my book, Meeting in the Margins. Folding chairs had been brought in and all the furniture had been rearranged in the dining room and the living room of Enso House, the end-of-life residence where I have volunteered as a caregiver over the years. The lights in all the rooms glowed; the friend-baked cookies were mounded on plates in the Garden Room, next to the tea and coffee and handmade cups; nearly 60 friends and neighbors were gathering, and some guests I hadn’t met yet; MoonRaker Bookstore was set up with piles of the newly-minted book for sale. Special-bought pens were waiting for me to inscribe books.

And then it was time to begin. I went to that place inside myself from which the best of my writing comes, that place where the essence of the people of the Margins meets the essence of me and tutors me. And from that place I read and spoke and for a few minutes I gave voice to our society’s invisible people, and they received the love and the affirmation of the assembled listeners. And it was very, very good.

It was, as the inner voice assured me – that Knowing voice of the wise people of the Margins – a singularly high point in my life.

 

[Meeting in the Margins: An Invitation to Encounter Society’s Invisible People is available at your local bookstore, and from Amazon.com]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

meetinginthemargins-cover       Sharing thoughts – from the profound to the profane – this, as I understand it, is the purpose of a blog. Blogs are shared with friends and interested others. Writing and posting a blog takes less time than inviting and scheduling twenty individuals for a cuppa at a local coffee shop, and less effort than writing twenty different emails or paper letters (yes, I do still send those sometimes, as do two of my grandchildren, bless ‘em). Blogs may be the lazy person’s best way of reaching out and touching lots of someones.

This week the contents of my brain, from which my blogs emerge, are almost all centered around my book launch party coming up in just three weeks. On October 13, Meeting in the Margins: An Invitation to Encounter Society’s Invisible People will be presented in public! I will then be not just a writer, but an AUTHOR!

And in my brain the wonderings are whirling: will the books be shipped in time for the launch (the publisher has assured me they will). Did I remember to ask enough friends to bake cookies for the party refreshments? What kind of pens should I use to sign the books? Can I make myself heard without a sound system? What should I wear – does an author dress differently than a writer?

Even more important, how shall I organize my presentation? I can’t just read from the book the whole time, so how do I pace the readings and balance them with speaking off-the-cuff, and balance both of those with time for Q&A? I feel a little like the Flight Director counting down for a launch at NASA. (Sorry, I mean no offense to real Flight Directors!)

The only thing I know for sure is that all my questions will have been answered by the BIG DAY and the BIG EVENT.

For those of you in the Seattle, Whidbey Island area, the time and place are:

OCTOBER 13, AT 6:30PM, AT ENSO HOUSE, 6339 WAHL ROAD, FREELAND. If you need driving directions, you’ll find them at www.EnsoHouse.org.

I’ll also be offering book readings at the wonderful Freeland Library, on November 9 at 1:00PM and November 10 at 6:30PM.

And for those of you who live farther afield, I’d love to do a book reading in your area, especially if you have an independent bookstore near you that would like an opportunity to sell the books at the reading – I’m happy to share the joy (and the selling-price) of getting this book out into the world. Let me know if you think of a place that would like to have me present my book – I’ll be putting together a mini-tour after the first of the year, and will base my itinerary around suggestions from friends about their favorite bookstores or workshop spaces. I’d also be delighted to give presentations at churches, discussion groups, book clubs, schools.

There. That’s what’s whirling around in my brain this week, so that’s the content of this month’s blog. And there is yet one other wondering: now that I’ve become an author (and, God help me, a book marketer), how long will it be before I can return to being just a writer again? Just a poet? That’s the occupation I love the most. And I guess that will have to wait for a while, until the dust of the book launch settles, like rocket exhaust eventually does.

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