This afternoon I had the good fortune to attend a friend's book launch. It seems for as long as I've known Stephen he has had this project on his plate. So many Sunday afternoons he spent hunched over his laptop at a coffee shop in the East end. Sound familiar?
The launch was really well attended and everyone was so impressed with the book. Admittedly, it is a very impressive book. The prose is concise but leisurely, quirky with a touch of retro futurist science fiction scenarios. Stephen's joy at having his project come to fruition, sitting firmly in front of him as he signed each copy for friends was envy-inducing. I suppose it is akin to having a child, bringing your work into the world.
To my knowledge, Stephen is my only friend to publish a non-academic book. All my other friends who publish are strictly in the academic realm and I envy them all (academic or not) horribly. Their joy, sometimes verging on delirium, is inspiring but at times the end seems so far away. The pace at which the writing progresses feels too slow to make any actual progress. I'm sure the feeling is familiar for all involved in large-scale writing projects no matter the subject matter.
At the moment, I'm sitting at one day after I finished my chapter draft (yes, it's done!), and Stephen's enthusiasm and unbridled happiness is infectious and makes me want to push on to finish my dissertation if only to see it compiled and deposited on a shelf somewhere, in published form.
Yes, that will be sweet.