Sunday, August 8, 2010
The book launch
Gleebooks, Sunday 8th August: The Ten Thousand Things was launched. Thank you to everyone who came. I didn't count, but perhaps there were 50-60 people attended. It was a lovely crowd to have there for the occasion.
Alastair Rylatt, Jennifer Elliott and Claire Jankelson spoke of me and the book, and I appreciated their kind words. The Gleebooks people were very efficient, friendly and unobtrusive - thank you for your part.
I spoke about the book. I seem to have been speaking quite a bit lately. I've spoken at three conferences in the last two months. I am a bit more comfortable with it than I used to be, I just focus on what I think needs to be said, and on what I think is helpful. The novel has its own life - it did from the start, and I just give voice to the stories.
I talked about the central story in the novel - my time as the manager of a disability services organisation, what I encountered (eg the arrest of the president in my first week on the job, for having embezzled all of the organisation's funds), and how I sought to lead competently and ethically over the next six years.
And I talked about the I Ching, and its message that life is best lived with joy and correctness. And how I learned, through some rugged experiences at this organisation, that when there seems to be no cause for joy at all, there is still joy in correctness (when you act ethically and with integrity).
Here are some of the connections I have with the people who came to the book launch: the Spirituality, Leadership and Management group, the Wisdom in Management conference (Canberra, July), the Australian Association of Professional and Applied Ethics conference (Sydney, June), CCH Australia, Workplace Info website, Australian Human Resources Institute, Australian Institute of Training & Development, Integrity and Values organisation, Hornsby Sustainability Action Committee, my family, people I've known for decades from school and church, and friends I've come to know in recent years.
And there were people I didn't know, who were interested in ethics, or the I Ching, or in the venture of writing.
So when I began to speak I faltered a little, trying to embrace and honour the diversity of people and the breadth of experience that was present. Then I had to laugh at myself faltering, and I said, "It was my intention to be eloquent." So I got out of my own way, and just told the story of the making of the novel, and offered it up to them all.
It seemed like a lot of copies were sold. I sure sat there for a long time signing copies and writing messages to the books' new owners. I trust it is an enjoyable week for people who are reading the book for the first time. Enjoy.