Lone Morch’s Big Night
This is a follow-up to It’s Real. A follow-up because I can’t stop thinking about it. I don’t even mention her name and her name needs to be out there.
It was supposed to just be a little book launch party: a reading, a glass of wine, polite banter. My making it there mostly depended on if I could get a babysitter or a sleepover playdate for my eight-year old. Then it depended on my technical skills and getting my headlight repaired on the car. Those two little tasks solved and I was ready to have a glass of wine and say hi to an old friend. That’s what I was expecting. A few more tasks on my list for the day. Maybe I’d manage to stay awake and watch a movie later. That was my check list. Not on paper or anything, but a mental check list for an evening of tasks, To Do’s. Regular life stuff.
I was terribly unprepared.
I wasn’t ready for something “real.” Not for something of substance, something beyond my glass of wine and chatter about what someone did yesterday. That “real” stuff you at least should get some warning for: a wedding, a graduation, a funeral. Those are momentous events where you put on a tie (which is already a huge transformation) and if there’s some moment of silence, you can stop your hamster-churning mind and think about what this moment means for this person. Maybe what it means for you. Maybe it’ll slow you down for a day, calm you down and think about what’s important. Then the day will end and there will be the next day without a wedding, graduation, or funeral and you’ll move along.
We had our wine and our chatter. We had chocolate-covered cherries and almonds (the almonds were better). I got caught up with someone I hadn’t seen in years. Talked about her travels and current job prospects. A dancer started off the evening with a beautiful performance and we stopped talking and observed. At least for a twelve minutes.
Then Lone sat down. She was visibly nervous, “Oh this is so weird!” she shrieked as she sat in a comfy stuffed chair in a large empty room and 40 of her closest friends sat in front of her. Usually a book reading or book launch is at a bookstore and an employee introduces the author, lets you know where the bathrooms are and says you can buy books at the front desk and have them signed by the author after the reading. Then the author talks, reads, and later signs books. Maybe they write something witty for you.
But there was no bookstore employee. There was just Lone. She giggled and blushed and said cute and sweet things. Then there was a moment when she turned her head down, maybe a bit like when you’re going to pretend to be another person when you turn back up. Maybe it was her change from being the bookstore employee and the introduction offering the floor to the writer. Maybe it wasn’t conscious.
“It’s real,” she said. “My book is really here,” she whispered but we could all hear it.
She picked up her book and showed us in case we didn’t believe her. “It’s done, I finished it, I published it, it’s right here in front of me, it’s in my hands.”
For those non-writers, think of any accomplishment and what would be the pinnacle of all the hard work. An architect cuts the bow on the new building. A captain breaks the champagne on the boat’s bow. Something that took years of work, planning, behind-the-scenes, no-fun-at-all, head-down WORK.
Wow, she really did it. It hit me and it hit me hard. A punch-in-the-chest hard. Not even my eight-year old rough housing with me, but a real punch in the chest. One that took the wind out of me and actually hurt, made it hard to breathe. I was witnessing it right there before me. You don’t get to see that much: actual change happening. I felt privileged to be a part of it. I didn’t sip my wine.
She relaxed a bit and read from her book. She talked in between about the challenges of the many versions she went through, the publishers and the editing. Her editor talked a bit. She took questions. She was a natural.
I couldn’t be more happy for Lone. I’m proud, I’m envious, I’m thrilled. I’m also inspired. She made it happen. I know her, I know her story, she’s a real person, I know her address. If she did it, I can do it. She did a perfect job tonight. But tonight is just the culmination of her 10 years of her life. Not 10 years sitting at the polo grounds, 10 years of work.
Congratulations, Lone. you did it. It’s real.
For more about Lone, check out Lone Morch. Watch her book trailer below.