While we are living in the present, we must celebrate life every day, knowing that we are becoming history with every work, every action, every deed.
– Mattie Stepanek, American poet
I’m late in posting about my book launch party, which was held at my publisher’s bookstore, Eastwind Books of Berkeley (2066 University Avenue, Berkeley, CA), on Sunday, September 13th. I’ll admit that I was worried that not enough people would fill the tiny storefront. I’m happy to be wrong this time.
Professor Dawn Mabalon, who teaches history at San Francisco State and hails from Stockton, graciously introduced me to the crowd (photo credit: David Rossi).
Providing backstory before I begin reading from the novel (photo credit: David Rossi).
Crowd reaction, from Lunafest committee Rhoda and Raissa in the background (photo credit: Robert Milton).
Harvey Dong, my publisher, teaches part-time at UC Berkeley’s Ethnic Studies department, and his students were in full force. Four of my Lunafest committee members came with a bouquet and a sweet note. Friends whom I haven’t seen in years came, which was a sweet treat for me. Neighbors, old and new friends, acquaintances, and strangers all helped me celebrate the release of my novel.
Reading as if I mean it. Reminds me of when I locked myself in the downstairs bathroom in my college apartment so I could hear how the words I wrote sounded. (Photo credit: Robert Milton)
My old pal, Steve, whom I haven’t seen in years and who I met when we were in the same workshop at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers in 2002 (photo credit: David Rossi).
I haven’t seen my friend, Barbara and her husband, Matt, in years. So good to see them (photo credit: David Rossi)!
My fellow artist/mom muse and good friend Tana. We inspire one another (photo credit: David Rossi)!
Sid Valledor led a tour of Agbayani Village and other important places in Delano in 2002 (photo credit: David Rossi).
Signing my friend Pam’s copy (photo credit: David Rossi).
Rhoda and me in B&W (photo credit: Robert Milton).
My cousin Daniel and me (photo credit: David Rossi).
Standing room only, plus overflow out the door (photo credit: Jeff Blyskal).
A big thank you to Braxtons’ Boxes for the sinfully delicious red-velvet and chocolate mini-cupcakes and to David and Isabella for all those chocolate chip cookies. And once again, I am deeply grateful to family and friends who have helped me arrive at where I am today. Maraming salamat po!
The line for book signing grows, with my Lunafest family in front (photo credit: Robert Milton).
Happy signing! (Photo credit: Robert Milton)
Stack of books (photo credit: Robert Milton).
I have arrived: New and noteworthy (photo credit: David Rossi).