Monday, February 4, 2008

Your Messages Launch Party

I had the most FABULOUS time...London was quite fun and I'll be talking a bit more about that on myspace but I absolutely had to talk about the night of the Launch Party here since it was the whole Your Messages that got me writing again after a very long time and somehow got me published in real book no less!!!

Strange city, night and I really have no idea where I'm going or how to get there even though I had the address and the "postcode" (?) and the "multimap link" (??) so I ask the concierge (general term here to describe the somewhat friendly but not altogether helpful young Italian man that talked to his friends in the lobby at the hotel most of the evenings we were there) to order us a black taxi for 6:15. (The phone in the room didn't work)

At 6:05 we arrive in the lobby to wait for our "black taxi" which doesn't show until 6:35 and is instead a burgundy van with no taxi indications on it or in it, driven by harried man from Afghanistan who has no idea where we are going and keeps trying to read the address, the map book and discuss his views and distaste (utter contempt) for American foreign polices and President Bush in rather strident and angry terms, all the while zigging and zagging down alley ways (or so it seemed) and being honked at by other cars and buses while he's cutting them off. My only thought was that we were about to be taken hostage and murdered before I got to see the book and could I just please go home. He finally stops in front of a pub to ask the people outside of it if they know where the Poetry Cafe is (?!?!?!) since he's certain it should be around here somewhere. Its up the road a little bit but he can't go back because its one way and thank you very much it cost us about $40 for that fun little trip.

We arrive late and end up in the front row (no place to hide), I fear I'm about to be exposed as a poser since the room is packed with real writers and my discomfort and desire to escape before I have to go up and read grows and grows after one and another is introduced as the author of this book or these books and one of the first readers is the Poet Laureate from Canterbury (good Lord rescue me). During the interrmission everyone is signing everyone's book but I'm too intimidated to ask anyone and of course no one is asking me since I haven't read so who am I anyway and I would just really ... no really I would like to leave... and I spend alot of time wondering if my husband will be mad when I get home and tell him that even though we've spent a small fortune so I could go London so I could go to the Launch party, that I had left before I read ... I'm drinking a glass of water when my friend, who is with me, insists that I take the two books for our friends back in the States and have them signed by the woman behind me who has already read.

I work up the nerve to turn around and its the aforementioned Poet Laureate no less and so I ask her if she would mind and we start to talk. Patrica Debney was so kind and sweet and put me completely at ease and stopped me from bolting out of the place and it turns out she's from Texas! So I stayed (no really I had every intention of suddenly acting ill and slipping away) and had what can only be described as one of the most fabulous times of my life. Sarah's introduction and everyone's warm and sweet reception afterwards made me feel like I was floating on a cloud (which was good since my feet were killing me in those shoes). It was so marvelous and everyone was so kind or funny or both and I know longer felt like a poser but one of the club. Words like brilliant and lovely were used to describe my writing so that literally every time I tell the story to anyone who wants to hear it (or gets stuck in the room as I was telling it again - and again - oh and again)I feel like the dream has come true and I got to keep the glass slipper.

It was so very nice to meet all of you and to hear you read your stories ... some of them sounded just like I imagined them in my head especially Claire's (which made me laugh so hard from the very first time I had read it)... nobody looked as I had imagined ...its true that photographs cannot capture the soul and it was clear that you are truly beautiful people.

On the plane back home I saw the movie Dan in Real Life and loved the quote at the end - it really capped the trip off for me ... "Plan to Be Surprised!"


Cathy said...

Gina, it was so lovely to meet you, even though we didn't really get to talk. I shall treasure your signature in my book, because for me, you just symbolised what the whole thing was about, in coming so far to attend the party. And hey, we weren't all published writers before that night, but now we can all say we are!


Kathryn said...

I'm sorry that you had such a rough experience getting to the Poetry Cafe but the fact that the cab was burgundy was a little positive at least - it's a bit like purple isn't it?

You did a fabulous job and it was great to meet you.


Merc said...

you were brilliant! You were a princess! It was a ball! And it was you who got the ball rolling asking for sigs on the books. Hope you'll be there for the samba routine next time.


Hello Gina!

I'm SO glad you stayed. I'll now slide your site onto mine, as I do mention you but didn't know you had, so now I do.

Anyway, lovely that you had a lovely time. It was great to meet you and your wonderful friend. Say hello to Texas for me, please!