Friday, November 22, 2013

A Book Reception on a Rainy Night

One of the joys of my life as an administrator involves organizing celebrations.  You might think that perhaps I missed my calling as an event planner.  I assure you that's not the case.  I'm not the person who remembers that we need tablecloths, for example. 

But I do understand the importance of celebrating our victories.  And the victories that are most important to me are the ones that involve our creativity.

When I found out that one of my colleague friends had a 3rd edition of her book coming out, I asked when the book signing would be.  She shrugged and said, "Who would care?"

Well, as she did the revisions, I'd heard about the work it takes to update an edition.  It's not quite the same as writing the original book, bringing it into existence where nothing had been before.  But it's still a year-long labor deserving of celebration.

I asked our dean if we had a bit of money in the budget for a reception.  Happily, we can still afford a reception on a small scale:  a cake, some coffee, a veggie tray, a fruit tray.  We have a nice space in our small gallery.  So, we picked a date and ordered the food and waited to celebrate the new book.

Yesterday turned surprisingly rainy, so we weren't sure what to expect.  I thought we might be taking lots of cake home.  But happily, many people came by.  And it wasn't only faculty.  We had a few students--and lots of Admissions folks.

I talked to one of them for some time.  She wants to write a book, but she can't imagine having time.  We talked about ways to carve out time.  I could see the yearning in her face.  I hope she starts that book this week-end.  I plan to ask her about it the next time I see her.

I love being surrounded by people who are hard at work on their books.  My colleague whose book we celebrated last night has a deadline for a new textbook.  Another colleague wrote and illustrated a children's picture book that she's now revising--with a dog in a wheelchair in the new edition!  Another writer/colleague/friend made it through the rain, and we talked about her book of short stories based on Hindu religion and mythology.  I talked a bit about my memoir project. 

I was struck by how many of us get up early in the morning to write.  As the children's book writer and illustrator left to make her way home in the rain, I said, "I'll be raising my coffee cup to you in the morning."

And I am.   

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