Friday, December 12, 2008

Last night, she said ...

Made Up of Arias Book Launch
Tuesday December 9, 2008
Globe Bistro
ALC with the poet Giovanna Riccio
who also served as the emcee.
She did a wonderful job stepping in at the last minute too.

Maria Scala, poet, editor and super mom of the
beautiful bambina L. reading during the first set.

Friends Tracy and the poet Sandra Di Zio.
Sandra was the first reader at the launch.

Friends Paul and Val, looking wedding picture perfect here!

My dashing b-i-l Terry with Marjorie, my s-i-l's mom.
She and husband Colin brought beautiful flowers.

Friends Ben, Marie and Anna with the looking very pretty Penny Winspur, Editor, Blaurock Press, and Stan Johannesen, Senior Editor, Blaruock Press, looking formidable (as usual).

The "Party Girls" from the 'hood:
Lynda, Gillian, Shannon & Jessica.

Giovanna Riccio introducing ALC

R and J, my two beloveds.
R designed all the promotional materials (using Amber Albrecht's beautiful illustration)
for the launch despite being ill. J helped choose the music.

J and one of her best friends.

Friends, family, friends (almost said work friends).

Mia famiglia: sistah-in-law Tami,
Marjorie & Colin (Julie's parents),
brother-in-law Todd and sister-in-law Julie.

Sorellina Franca with J and friend. The character of the youngest child Clara
Pentangeli in the book is based, in part, on Franca.

My home girls Daphne and Susan,
Susan was the super organizer of this event. She did an amazing job.

From left to right, friends Jan, Barbara, Sean,
Bel, Eva and Anthony.

The Barnes family: Paula, Clark, Samantha & Yvette (missing is my bud Nigel).
Yvette and Nigel are friends from high school in Hamilton and officially my oldest friends. Yvette asked me to stop saying that.

ALC, humbled and extremely pleased at the turn out. Eighty five people attended.

Friends Alex and her son Pablo confer ...

The launch for Made Up of Arias was fantastic … so good! Beyond my expectations. There were perhaps 85 people there, many I wasn't expecting. The room was packed. My friend Susan, superstar event planner, helped me with selecting the venue, the wine and canapé selection, the creation of a "special" martini, etc ...

We had music - R made up a playlist of forty songs for me on my ipod which J helped me select. We had these lovely canapés provided by the Globe Bistro and a cash bar in a very beautiful venue above the Globe. R said why not opera? But I wanted to dance ... alot.

R, the dutiful husband and gifted graphic designer, created tent cards for the tables ... some had the price of the book, others the contents of the special "Aria" martini created for the event. He made up CDs of the song we played as gifts for the readers, emcee, the event organizer and others. The crowd milled around from about 7.15pm to 8.00pm and then my friend the talented poet Giovanna Riccio, who served as emcee and with whom I have recently reconnected since having met her in the 90s at various literary events, got the proceedings going. I signed books frantically trying to speak with everyone before the readings started. My sister and I sold about 65 books between us.

At 8pm, the poets Sandra Di Zio and Maria Scala, my friends, read very well and were well received. I gave them CDs of the music played that night. Beautiful, talented, blessed in many ways, these gals have it all.

A ten minute intermission - I run and hide in the bathroom to calm my nerves. I was to read after the poets. People were very receptive. I was a wreck of course inside but I was told I seemed calm. As I read, I could see the lovely, smiling face of my friend E over the edge of my book and that calmed me quite a bit. I could feel all the positive energy in the room, all the love and good wishes flowing towards me. It was so empowering and moving. People were listening, really listening to the reading .... it was awesome and humbling, almost spiritual in a way.

I think my friends were stunned at the quality of the book. They thought it was beautiful. The comments were so kind, so complimentary. I was over the moon.

People brought flowers (Colin & Marjorie, Anita), chocolates (Maria & her bambina L), prosecco (Chris & Alex), a Xmas gift (Antonia). I was completely overwhelmed, shocked, happy ...

After the readings the group cleared out fairly quickly as it was a Tuesday night and many had babysitters to attend to or a ways to go home. As we were leaving my friend J came bounding up the stairs, we almost missed her but invited her across the street for a drink at Allens. Six adults and two tweenies thrilled to be up at 10.30 for a quick drink ...

My only regret is that Christian Snyder, our Blaurock Press publisher, was unable to attend due to an emergency at home and that another friend Barbara traveled across the city (she had three competing commitments that night!) only to find that we had gone. Ugh! I felt so badly for her as it was a very busy night for her and she was nowhere near her home at the end of the night. I must make amends.

That night, I was so wound up I could not sleep. My heart and head were into overdrive ... I got e-mails from a half dozen friends requesting more copies the next day.

Viva la vida!

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