So I've put myself out there again, all by myself. I wrote this post while waiting for my ride in the very mellow bar in the Intercontinental Hotel in Double Bay and having a very mellow glass of wine.
I didn't even attempt asking if anybody I know was going to the Mia Freedman / Rosie Waterland talk tonight. I really didn't even give it a second's thought when I bought a ticket. I thought Bugger it! I want to go, I don't need anyone to hold my hand. I'm sure somebody will talk to me and somebody did. A very lovely Laura who I knew I had to say hello to because one, she was standing there with a glass of bubbly in her hand looking alone too and two, because she had this jacket that talked to me because it was covered in birds (not real birds of course, that would be weird, and a little Hitchcocky). And you know how I'm obsessed with images of birds.
During the great chat between Mia and Rosie I didn't even think there would be question time (duh!) but when it came about I thought I had better ask one or I would regret it. I'm so glad I did. It wasn't a bad question (I know this because lovely Laura said 'great question!') and Mia gave a great answer while looking straight at me ( I was in the second row).
I had read Mia Freedman's books and she was somebody I greatly admired because she went out there and got what she really wanted. And it was what I wanted long ago and didn't have the guts to go after. After Mia finished interviewing Rosie, I shook the nerves off and walked up to her and virtually made her stop and meet me. Of course all that intelligent greeting I envisaged went out the window and I gushed. At least she was as nice as I had imagined and tolerated my fandom faux pas.
I had a chance to pull myself together a little as I was standing in the queue for Rosie to sign my book and hopefully I sounded a bit more grown up by the time it was my turn. I'm sure she has no memory of it anyway so maybe, one day, I can meet her in a more relaxed situation.
Wouldn't it be nice if when you met somebody you admire it was in a casual environment, maybe sharing a couple of wines and bonding on equal terms and admiration. Aah to dream. Anyway I achieved my purpose and met both Mia and Rosie and even Rosie's friend (Jimmy?) who I revealed some of my story to. So glad I got to hug Rosie and thank her for 'favoriting' some of my tweets to her.
(I'm looking a little gothy-stalker next to the rosy Rosie)
Now I'm sitting in this swanky hotel bar and the publishing company, which seems entirely made up of 20-30 yr old women (no kidding, there are ten of them and the oldest couldn't be older than 32) (god I sound old and bitter), have formed themselves in a circle celebrating their successful night. And good on them. Wish I was one of them! How you can make a decent living out of selling books made of paper these days is a wonder. Maybe there is hope for the printed word yet. I know many of those present tonight bought a copy of Rosie's book so it looks like the 20-35 yr old demographic is still buying in the good old fashioned style of paperback and not ordering on their Kindle or iPad or whatever.
The day I heard Rosie's book was out I rang Berkelouw's to put mine aside that day. Something to be said that it was the quickest I had ever read a book. I knew it would be good because I've been reading Rosie since she's been publishing at Mamamia and cannot watch The Bachelor without Rosie's Recaps.
If you haven't read The Anti-Cool Girl, it's the story of Rosie's life, so far. From in-utero to the moment she finished writing her book in her blanket fort. I imagine there aren't many people who have experienced some, or any, of the things Rosie experienced in her upbringing.
So much wrong. But somehow she makes her tragic life funny, without belittling the seriousness of her situation and showing a whole lot of chutzpah.
The book doesn't put the blame on anyone (except the system and how it failed her and her sisters). It also has a lot to say about the effects of mental illness on generations.
I can't wait to read the next one. Or maybe I better get off my bum and write my own.
Have you written your story?