I am walking on air the morning after my book launch party. We had it at Kid’s school, which is in a reinvented church, which is a beautiful space with high ceilings, decorated with about one million tiny books, abacuses, bells, counting beads, and other learning tools that look like toys. It was a grand and festive space, and we made the most of it.
The local, independently owned bookstore came with a box of books to sell and set up a table. I had brought some wine and cheese, and a friend helped me set up while Husband managed the music. I officially declare that we had the best music ever played at a sociology book launch party.
There were colleagues, grad students, frisbee players, school teachers, neighbors, friends, and even a few people from the public who wanted to learn about the topic. Husband counted 50 people, but it wasn’t about the numbers. It was about how great it was to see so many of my friends and colleagues in one place for a celebration. I think I got to chat with everyone by the end of the night.
The reading went well–I think I took about 20 minutes–and when I opened up the floor for questions, people looked surprised, but after a few seconds, we had some really great discussion. I think folks were really interested not just in the topic, but in figuring out the sociological puzzle of how these two movements interacted with American culture and politics, and how that might have shaped their own lives and experiences. How fantastic is that?
And it was so wonderful to reflect on all of the work that went into writing that book. So many other things that I didn’t do, so many knots in my stomach about deadlines, and so much struggle over just what to say or how to say it. It has been such a relief to finally let go of the anxiety that nagged at me for years, an insecurity about whether I really could write a book, a suspicion that it was hubris to even try. Now, finally, I know I can write a book, and I actually think it turned out quite good. There is no going back.