The worst is over

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I did not freeze up at my book launch, as I had feared I might.

From the moment I walked through the double doors of Readings book shop and down towards the section where they had pushed aside the CD stands to make room for people, and thereby created an open space, with a row of chairs to one side around a central pillar and to the other side a mock bar from which they served wine, I felt at ease.

From the moment I walked past three women seated to one side, one of whom I recognised as an old school friend from over forty years ago and the other two, also old school friends, the atmosphere became one of fun, family and friendship.

Photo Lee Zelda Hunt

Mike, event organiser from Readings, when I had met him earlier in the week to discuss logistics, told me Readings look upon book launches as a reason to party and that was the spirit he aimed to inculcate.

Photo Russell Davis

And so it was: one jolly party interrupted by two speeches only, my own and that of Gerald Murnane, who as Mike quipped to me later, gave us all a short Master Class on literature.

Photo Nada Lane

To me it was Gerald Murnane at his best, witty, oratorical and sincere.

His talk set the mood and made it easy for me to have my five minutes worth and then my dear friend, Nada Lane, whom I had asked – or had she offered – to be master of ceremonies even managed to stoke a few questions from the audience before we went onto that strangest of strange experiences, the book signing.

I signed Gerald’s copy first and he said something to me about how the tables had turned. Usually, it was he seated there at the black table cloth covered signing table looked over by the person – me –  who had just bought his book and was eager for him to sign.

Now it was my turn.

I had dreaded this part of proceedings.

My handwriting tends to the illegible and I imagined myself fumbling for names but it went well and one person even remarked on my beautiful handwriting.

Never, not even in childhood when I tried hard, has anyone ever told me my handwriting is beautiful and I lapped up that moment along with many others.

Photo Russell Davis

For now, I’m relieved to know it’s over till the next time, next weekend when I join another four people among others at a Gala book launch in Brisbane to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Interactive Publications, my publisher.

This will be easier.

Usually, I prefer to share the limelight, to dip in and out of the glare.  To take my turn and then hurry back behind the scenes.

Always, I prefer to be here behind the scenes writing to you out there, the words on the page, the actual stars.  When I can get them right.

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8 Comments on The worst is over

  1. Kirk
    November 12, 2017 at 9:22 am (1 week ago)

    Oh, you look like you’re enjoying yourself. And you should.

    Reply
    • Elisabeth
      November 12, 2017 at 2:10 pm (1 week ago)

      I enjoyed myself immensely Kirk, much more than I imagined I would and the feeling stays with me, for now at least. Thanks, Kirk.

      Reply
  2. Fiona Robertson
    November 12, 2017 at 11:10 am (1 week ago)

    I’m glad to hear your launch was such a happy and successful event. It must have been an amazing feeling to see people holding and reading your book!
    I hope to come along to your Brisbane launch next weekend and look forward to meeting you then 🙂

    Reply
    • Elisabeth
      November 12, 2017 at 2:09 pm (1 week ago)

      Thanks so much Fiona. It is an amazing feeling to see your words within the covers of a book and to hear from people what they make of those words and get feedback on how moved they are. The strangest and the best of feelings, though I still have butterflies.

      Reply
  3. Karen C
    November 12, 2017 at 1:27 pm (1 week ago)

    Huzzah, Elisabeth, Huzzah! Delighted that you had such a successful and confidence building launch. Well deserved. Good luck with the Brisbane event.

    Reply
    • Elisabeth
      November 12, 2017 at 2:08 pm (1 week ago)

      Thanks Karen. The launch was such fun and now people are reading my book at last and so far so good. But luck is always necessary, along with hope and optimism and determination and all those other attributes that keep us going.

      Reply
    • Elisabeth
      November 13, 2017 at 10:21 pm (1 week ago)

      Thanks Glenn. Yay indeed.

      Reply

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