It was the Best of Times
As you probably know, yesterday was my Written Life poetry release at Cafe De Arts. It was a day I've waited for for the past 4 months, since my book was accepted for publishing. Here are a few of the highlights:
- My 82 year old mother made the trip alone on the MegaBus from St. Paul to go to the launch. When I look at that kind of resolve and commitment, it only makes me hope that I can do the same thing for my kids at that age. It was great to see her, to catch up, to reminisce and just spend some time with her.
- I got a wonderful introduction from my writing instructor Kathie Giorgio. She detailed the history of my wading into the world of poetry and then presented me with the mandatory accessory of all poets, a black beret. People say I looked pretty good in it, but I doubt it will see the light of day on anything short of Halloween.
- I gave a background on my love of poetry including two of my favorites, Richard Brautigan and Shel Silverstein. These guys make everyone else look bad and they make me look like a guy with a Geography degree who likes to write.
- The audience included Mary Jo Balistreri who was nice enough to give me a blurb on the back of the book. A gifted poet and musician, she was supportive and encouraging.
- Other notables included All 4 of my Thursday Morning Cafe De Arts boys, Claude, Brandon, Nick and Bill. These guys have a knack for helping each other out, and it was great to have them come to an event they normally would probably not attend.
- I read eight of my pieces from the book. There was a little of everything included: introspection, humor, love, sadness, joy, sorrow and reflection. I've already had three emails from people saying how much they've enjoyed what they've read. It is overwhelming and humbling. Nothing means more to a writer, especially when he feels like he may be out of his comfort zone.
- A number of my writing colleagues made it to the event as well. In essence, these folks wrote half the book. They took all my "crappy first drafts" and made them worthy. Then, they were kind enough to listen, laugh and hang out with me. I owe them the world.
- I was told by two "insiders" that they would work to get copies of Written Life into the New Berlin and Pewaukee Public Libraries. These two ladies go to bat for me every time I publish something, and that is about as cool as it gets. Thank you Kathy and Natalie.
- A couple of people that I met at the Southeastern Wisconsin Festival of Books made a point to come to hear me. People who I didn't even know 6 months ago are now friends on Facebook. Again, humbling.
There was so much good and fun about yesterday. It was one of the better days on recent record and I will never forget it. I can't wait to do it again.