So yesterday was that book launch/reading/signing thingy for Alex at Indigo at Yorkdale that I was telling you all about and it was pretty darn amazing.
My mom and dad basically organised the whole thing, aside from a few mentions here, a mass email and an invite on Facebook, I did basically nothing. They had made postcards, and invited all their friends and extended family. You know, you invite 50 people in the hopes 10 will actually come, that sort of thing?
But what happens when almost everyone you invite shows up?
But back to the start of the tale.
My mom picked me up from my place and we drove up to Yorkdale Mall for around 1pm. For those not in the know, Yorkdale Mall is one of the biggest in the city, and slightly outside of downtown so there is a massive parking lot surrounding it. And on the weekends, the place is packed. Like unbelievably so. It's sort of hard to describe just how packed. Anyway, this matters to the tale later on.
We went up to the children's book section of the Indigo to meet with Wendy who is in charge of the section as well as doing these book launch things. She's done quite a few in the past (in fact almost exactly a year ago we'd been to the book launch of a friend Rona Arato's book Ice Cream Town, and Wendy had helped organised that one as well), and is extremely enthusiastic. I had actually met her at the Scholastic dinner and had a lovely chat.
So with the help of many other fine Indigo staff, along with my aunt Betty who showed up soon after with veggies and dip, and Denise from Scholastic (who even brought me a pen to sign books with), we set up the food and coffee tables and chairs, and the sound system. People were slowly arriving (my good friend Lisa's mother Sabrina arrived early and helped us set out the cupcakes in a very artistic manner). And they just sort of kept coming. And coming. And suddenly I went from, "Eh this is all old hat by now, I've done many readings already" to complete terror as the numbers grew. Fortunately it was a very loving crowd, consisting mostly entirely of family and friends. But it was still pretty overwhelming.
Just before things got started two of my friends showed up dressed as pirates. Let me tell you, I live a strange life that I can have friends who happen to be in the neighbourhood dressed as pirates call me and ask if they should stop by. Of course I said yes (one of them, Scott, had been with me at Word on the Street, the other, Adrianna, added a nice feminine quality. Well as feminine as a pirate can be really . . .)!
Eventually it got to a point where we just had to get things started or people would start to get restless so I signalled Wendy and she gave me just a lovely introduction. Then my pirates carried me over to the table where I began my reading. Silly thing, started talking at the mic, thanking everyone for coming and got completely overwhelmed and started to cry. I was so not expecting that, but when you are staring out at a crowd of people who are all there because they want to show their support, friends, family (all my grandparents and their siblings and their children and cousins and and . . . ), along with several Scholastic folks, well it's a little hard not to feel a bit overcome.
Nonetheless I recovered I think rather admirably, and did my reading.
Afterwards I signed books for I think an hour, the line was long and I had to chat a bit with everyone, as I knew almost all of them. It was a bit too bad that I couldn't talk and hang with them for longer, but I still think the whole thing worked out really well.
As things were clearing out, one of my friends mentioned that two of my friends had been driving around the parking lot for half an hour (told you it was packed) which was why they were late and so I stuck around to wait for them. They showed up as we were cleaning up and I was so grateful that despite it all they still came. So they gave me a high five, we chatted for a few minutes, and then they left. What a way for them to spend a Sunday afternoon!
And then it was over, an hour and a half after it had begun. That's what people call a whirlwind!
Special thanks to everyone at Indigo, you guys were amazing and so helpful! The Scholastic folks, Denise who helped set up, and all the others who showed up just to show their support! All my friends and family, and of course my mom and dad, but (daddy I'm sorry) especially my mom, who really did organise everything - coordinating everything with Scholastic and meeting with Wendy, not to mention getting all the food and decorations, it really was her party! Thank you so much!
Also, I wanted to add that I got to meet Heidi the hick and her hicklettes and it was AWESOME! I love the blogosphere. And can I tell you that it is very odd she likes to hide her face like that because it is a very pretty face and should be shared with the world. Anyway, Heidi, it was great to meet you!
And last but not least, to the Ironic Gentleman, thank you very much for the flowers and survival kit. It was a complete surprise when Wendy presented me with them! (though I really am dying to know who you actually are, so PLEASE tell me!)
It was a pretty darn good day.
And now. . . pictures!!