I had the pleasure and honor of attending the book party for Underlife, the first book by Poet Mom (aka January Gill O'Neill). I am finding it hard to describe how wonderful it was. In fact I'm getting teary even trying to. It felt like a dream, and it wasn't even my book party! I can only imagine how much January was/is floating after wards.
The first part of the event--the reading--was held in Jan's hometown library, a historic building that set the scene beautifully.
I got lost getting there, and arrived just in time to hear Erin give a polished and proud introduction of her friend. It was a bitterly cold evening, and I brought a rush of cold air in with me as I quickly found a seat among the 40 or so people gathered. My eyes were wet from the biting wind, but they overflowed with happy tears when Jan took the microphone and did a wonderful job of thanking the friends and family who supported her, and then reading several brave, funny poems.
Jan looked GORGEOUS and read beautifully and confidently (click here for a short video of her reading). Everyone hung on her every word, and she got a standing ovation when she finished. AND, the bookstore selling copies of her book sold out almost immediately after the reading, and had to dip into Jan's own stash to fulfill the customers.
After the reading, I chatted with a number of the interesting people at the party. I was nervous going in since I really only knew the star of the show and the emcee (Erin), who I knew would be busy. But everyone was warm and welcoming, and just as quickly as my cold toes defrosted in the warm air of the library, my nerves melted. And best of all, since the audience was filled with many of Jan's writer friends, I got to talk writing! One of my all time favorite subjects. :)
Since I know January in real life, I know how much work she puts into her art, and that knowledge made being part of the fruition of that work all the more sweet. She signed my copy of Underlife, and pointed out that I even got a shout out in the acknowledgments, since I had read and commented on the manuscript.
One of my favorite touches from the party was that she had a copy of Underlife for all of us to sign, a guest book for her to remember all of us who were there for what must be one of the highlights of her life--the party really was one of the highlights of mine!