On Friday, September 16, 2011, I launched the novel, Hand Me Down My Walking Cane, to a full house at Hamline University, where I got my master of Fine Arts in Writing. The room contained workmates, family, fellow and sister writers, former professors, my boss, as well as friends from my hometown, college, KFAI, Mexico—a panorama of my life so far. Ella and LeRoy helped sell books; Pat, Carol and Julia from my writing group brought treats; everyone brought questions. It was a night I’ll remember all my life—much like the pre-launch readings in Baudette in August.
Five days later, on Wednesday, September 21, a group of my colleagues organized a book signing for me at the Black Bamboo in downtown Minneapolis, conveniently located across from the Government Center where we all work. Sweet, intimate and great fun.
On Friday, September 23, I signed books along with other North Star authors at the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association at the Depot, the hotel and conference center in what used to be the Milwaukee Depot in Minneapolis. (I swear I heard phantom calls, All aboard! Departing now for Duluth and all points north and saw the ghost of my mother as a young woman in 1944, dressed in her tailored nurse cadet uniform and running to catch the last train north.)
KFAI’s Write On! Radio and Ian Leask hosted me on its Tuesday, September 27 show. Ian asked great questions about my book, and I got to help him in the fall pledge drive for the station where I have hosted a Latin music show on and off since 1982.
Then last Saturday, October 1, LeRoy and I drove to St. Cloud for the Local Authors Book Signing at the Barnes & Noble there. We had lunch with old friends Tom and Jennifer and got to hang out later in the glorious October sunshine with Bill and Judy, my SCSU French professor and his wife, mentors in my youth, great friends forever.
Publishing and promoting this book has made me even more aware of community. How complex and many-layered it is, and how lucky I am to be a part of so many separate and overlapping groups of people. Thank you all.