Thursday, May 03, 2007

book launched

The main reason I'm over in San Jose is for a book launch - a party to celebrate the publication of a textbook which has occupied a lot of my time over the last couple of years. Of course, as every host knows, giving a party is never as much fun as attending one, and I spent a lot of yesterday afternoon and evening worrying about whether people would turn up, whether they'd find the room and whether they'd like the party once they arrived. For a little while, at the beginning, it did seem that we were suffering from competition from the other events in the hotel at the same time.

However, once I'd dashed around looking alarmed for a while, I sought solace in a well earned glass of wine and some hors d'oeuvres, and looked up to see the room filling and wall to wall smiles, to boot - it was very gratifying, and from that moment onwards I really enjoyed myself and had great fun talking to the authors and their friends and colleagues. Towards the end, I realised that a speech was needed, and nervously banged a pen against my glass, bringing everyone's conversations to a rude end. I stepped up to the little podium and, expecting nothing but 'nnng' sounds to come out of my mouth once I started speaking, began to address the room...

And it was okay, good even - it was only a minute or so but I think I managed to convey my gratitude to the authors for producing such a great book, thanks to the attendees for turning up, and enthusiasm for their community. Now, writing this, I feel proud that we put on a good show, and relieved that I have only a morning of work to go before I head over to San Francisco.

Internet access will be much more limited once I'm there, so I may only get a fleeting chance to post, but will be back to full speed once I'm back in the UK next week. In the meantime, the usual suspects are posting lots of good stuff for you to read. Now go and vote!

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