The Sydney launch. Well, it was different from the Melbourne launch. Smaller and just well…different.
For the first time, I got to meet Dale Kentwell, the artist/composer of the book called Mum: speaking latin with a singlet tan. She’s a shy woman who doesn’t enjoy public speaking but who has the most wonderful way of personalising universal ponderings. Fancy. I thought I was the only one who did that!
Some unexpected friends turned up to the Sydney launch as well. I met Ann and Robert at the Norfolk Island Writers Festival. They’ve become, over the years, a fabulous fall back position for me. When life is too much and all I want to do is write, I run down to their house in Sydney and write, pressure free, until I think I’m done. Ann puts up with my emails that ask silly questions and make observations she probably made many years ago. Again, on the weekend, they made time for me, slotted me in between two Christmas parties and wouldn’t leave until they’d seen me do my thing. Every writer should have friends like these.
I also met John Konrads, the legendary swimmer at the Sydney book launch. Mr Konrads has his own demons, and knows what it is to be different from the norm. He bought my book (be still my heart) and in his deep, mellifluous voice, asked if I would sign it to his daughter who struggles, herself, with choosing her life’s path.
It was gratifying really, to watch Mr Konrads nod and ‘hmmm’, when I explained what Willow had said to the reporter recently, about having to choose for herself to get well. Her point was that role models are great, but ultimately every person much choose their own path and that such a choice is a deeply personal thing.
Sydney is also where my lovely sister lives. She and my brother in law came to the book launch. I’m always awkward about asking family to show at these gigs. They have their own
busy lives, their own massive achievements and they know me. The real me, the one who rarely shuts up, who struggles to muster up the co-ordination necessary for basic life skills and who forgets nearly everything, except what’s currently on my mind. These galas then, feel like a giant game of dress ups.
Julie though, didn’t let me down. She insisted on photos, told me how clever I was and had read the book before she arrived. Between them, Julie and Simon made me feel I was queen of the world.
Now I am home and catching up on the washing…ahhh the glamour!