My launch party for the book was last night. Before I go on, let me say: it was a perfect night! Very well attended (between 80-100 people), the room beautifully appointed, and I am quite happy (thrilled, really!) with my reading
It was at the University of Toronto’s Hart House. A beautiful old building on campus where many of the city’s cultural and literary events take place. In the Debates Room – an impressive hall with a soaring ceiling but somehow the room doesn’t overpower or make one feel lost. This photo is from the University’s website – it wasn’t arranged quite like this for my event. Instead, mingling space at the back with stand-up tables, perfect for socializing. The space included a buffet table which held the catering, and the book-selling table which was staffed by one of Owen’s former caregivers, Jamie, who now works for me in my web business. The front of the room held theatre-style seating (as in the photo), facing a small stage. You’ll get a sense from the pictures below…
Jamie, avoiding the camera
- The calm before the storm…! Natalia, my book layout designer[/caption]
Can you tell I only took pictures during set-up? I wish I had more photos of the evening. I am usually the self-appointed official photographer of any event I attend, but of course I was too busy and distracted. I am hitting up all my friends who attended, to see if they snapped any photos. Carsten, thankfully, had the presence of mind to get a couple of me on stage:
As I was reading it was challenging to not be distracted by the faces in the audience. Throughout the reading, I would look up. To make a point, to connect with the listeners, to draw encouragement from the supportive energy. I hadn’t fully appreciated until I got up on stage how many people had come, and from which parts of my life. Friends and family of course, but also old childhood friends with whom I’m now reacquainted on Facebook, many clients past and present, and a smattering of literary wanderers who just like to attend book events. I was especially moved to see that several of the physicians and clinicians mentioned in the book had come to enjoy the evening, as well as a new acquaintance from the ethics department at Mount Sinai hospital, with whom I hope to establish an ongoing professional connection. And last but certainly not least, Matt K., who my blogging friends will recognize for his articulate and enthusiastic engagement in their blog posts!
I may ‘recreate’ the reading – provide a video or audio post of the sections of the book I read last night. A fun project for me and a nice way to share the experience for those who couldn’t come. Listening is so very different from reading – even I experienced the words in a new way.
I would love more opportunities to do this again. What a beautiful night.
How could I forget?! Big thank you to Allegra Fulton, who introduced me on stage and gave me invaluable feedback as I practiced for the reading. She is a veteran stage and film/television actor with immense talent – and a dear friend.