Wow, this week has been off the chain in every single possible way. First off we had the book launch last week, Sunday, 10.11 and it went amazingly well. My sister took care of all of the details and preparation and I arrived at 4:10pm not bad, 10 minutes late. It was no biggie. A lot of people showed up and at the same a lot of people didn’t but it was enough to keep pockets of the space populated so I was happy. My Teacups came through and everyone looked amazing and couldn’t have been more supportive.
My parents came with their closest friends, Auntie Bibi and Uncle Nelson and even my cousin Michael showed up which was an absolute thrill. My Aunt Lazina, Shirley and Sherry’s mom, Auntie Hallow came and along with both of my parents. They made for a nice little supportive family group.
I was able to work the room as it were and spend time with all of my guests for the three hour event, Tanuja moderated the Q&A quite well as her usual style. We got stuck a few moments with asking and answering the same questions but all in all I think the general consensus was that people had a good, relaxing, fun time.
My dad gave an excellent speech. It touched me. I really enjoyed and appreciated it. I think my dad struggles between who he’d like to be as a parent and who he is because of his limitations. I think he has a deep desire to be more receptive to my sister and I, to be that dad that isn’t quite so strict and restrictive but he wars with who he is and who he’d like to be. To war with that on my behalf is enough for me to appreciate him all the more.
My mom in true my mom fashion gave her particular brand of speech which was lovely but she did caution that I should not quit my day job just yet…lol – I took it in stride.
When it came time to do the reading I was shocked at how comfortable and emboldened I felt. I think I can attribute most of it to the fact that I did do the reading in front of my sister and C before the event so doing it a second time allowed me to add some flair, voice intonation with the different characters and even hand gestures. Now I get what people say when they’re in “the zone.” I was so in the zone.
All in all a great deal of fun was had by all. I learned a lot about this type of event, some of the details and the planning that goes into it and what I would like for the next event. Every experience gives you insight and polish for the next one, God willing.
Well unfortunately the next day I realized that my mom caught wind of HIM because I completely forgot that at the end of the book Love In Black And White, I had an unedited excerpt. Oh Lawd Have Mercy!!! At first when I heard about her reaction through my sister I thought damn, I must have included the worst excerpt of the book especially when my sister exclaimed it was “littered” with curses and that I should have been mindful that parents who purchased the poetry book might have unknowingly believed it was for children. So of course my first reaction was to send out a clarifying message on my FB explaining that while The Slipper was a book written with a target audience of 9-11 in mind, Love In Black And White was most assuredly written for adults. I was rather mortified at what I imagined was a huge faux pas. But then the information sat with me for awhile and I finally got around to reading the excerpt.
Well can I just freakin’ say much to do about nada. That’s right! Nada. First off, any parent (and I polled a few from the event) who thought a poetry book entitled Love In Black And White was a book for children might well need their head examined as the title alone should have alerted anyone paying the least bit of attention of how unsuitable it would be for children. Every parent I polled was under no illusion that the poetry book was for kids. Secondly I stated in my interview with Tanuja while explaining the event and also during the event that The Slipper is actually my only literary work for children as all of my other work, the blog and the rest of the books are strictly for adults. So yes, I still should have announced to make it crystal that Love In Black And White was strictly for adults but I told many people as I was signing the book, during the event and during the interview so they really did have many opportunities to “catch on.” Thirdly you’re a parent and should check material before handing it to your children, especially something with a title like that. HELLO!
Thirdly the excerpt contained one curse word fuck, one bitch and one shit. Ummm, that’s hardly what one would describe as “littered” but hey to each his own.
As for my mother, there are too many issues to deal with to start in on that. What I’ve learned is don’t invite her to anything that is personal. Displaying anything beneath the surface is not something she’ll ever be interested in and if I try it will end up causing me endless grief because I’ll never be able to cover all of the angles to camouflage who I am or what I’m really doing. And since I’m uninterested in portraying anyone else other than myself – better for us both.
But hey, live, learn, move on. I’ve been dealing with the stress of this nonsense since last week and I’m determined to not give it any more of my energy. We spoke today, hopefully she got out everything she was dying to say to me six or seven times and now we’re good.
As for HIM, I’m thrilled to say it’s completely edited. I’ve got a few feelers out for a proofreader, once that stage is over, I’m publishing!