Weeks before the Launch, I was horribly nervous. What if nobody shows up? What if a big mob shows up and we run out of books, food, drinks, and everyone is angry? What if someone throws a drink in my face?  What if I sign the books and no one can read my lousy handwriting? If someone points out a typo I’ll just die… This is how my mind works.  I doubt I’m alone in this.

Closer to the event, I was asked to do a live interview on the news. Okay, actually, I was asked to do an interview. I absolutely agreed. It wasn’t until later that I found out it was live television. Add in a couple of very nice reporters from Minnesota and Pennsylvania who contacted me for information, and a few weeks of sleepless nights trying to figure out why my book order was far overdue and completely missing in the tracking system… Kind strangers asking me about the book as I’m working at Sontes and I’m trying not to break down because I have no books… After all of this, I felt lucky to have wrung out every emotion I could fathom.

By the time the cold, rainy Launch day rolled around, all I was nervous about was that something would happen to my Mom’s plane as she wasn’t able to fly in early, but arrived her the day of. Once I saw her coming through the little gate at Roch airport, I was good to go!

It took us multiple trips in my little vehicle to get the books and the poster framed by Carson Framing to the restaurant. The cold, driving rain didn’t help much (but that’s Pittsburgh weather to a T, which I figured is fortuitous). Mom and I met up with the talented Dawn Sanborn, who took the pictures for the book cover, and my bf Laura, who drove in from the Cities to run the Square for me. We met, signed, hugged, and pretty much proceded to have one fantastic time! Books were sold, new friends were made, and old friends converged. The Sontes Gallery is so elegant, and when filled with my own friends, what more could anyone ask for?? From the deep red curtains and high windows to clothed tables of books and gourmet foods and candles, flower arrangements made just for the signing, to cocktail tables filled with my friends and well-wishers and book lovers alike…What a great time–a dream of an evening.

I thank the Sontes serving and bartending staff, the chefs for their cheese and chocolate menu, and Tessa for putting all of this together at her restaurant.  I’m fortunate to have these amazing people in my life.

There were times I was overwhelmed by the friendship and kinship in the room. One lady told me, “You don’t know me, but you teach my son Sunday School. Thank you for teaching him.”

I am also amazed and honored by how many strangers arrived because they are writers who wanted my opinion on their next steps toward publication. Laura told me later that some of my friends refused even to take their change when buying books.

More than one person drove in from Minneapolis, two came straight from the Mpls airport and hadn’t even been home yet, and another couple cut their vacation early to be sure they were in attendance at the Launch.

At the end of the night, the worries had melted away. I had not run out of books or food, everyone was happy, and Mom and I laughed about a typo she found in the book that I wrote that way on purpose.

It was everything I’ve always dreamed about, ever since I could hold a pen. Definitely. Radiantly. Amazingly. One for the Books.

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