Johnny and me at ‘Public΄ in Athens

Mεγαλεία ο Τζόνι λοιπόν. Νόμιζε ότι μόνο εκείνοι έχουν αρχοντικά. Του έδειξα λοιπόν το κτίριο που θα γίνει η παρουσίαση και δεν έβγαλε μιλιά. Οχι παίζουμε ….     😉 

Λοιπόν το τοπίο ξεκάθαρισε. Eβγαλα εισιτήρια, βρήκα διαβατήρια( το ένα ληγμένο, το άλλο σε μια διαδικασία χ) και  με τα νεύρα τσατάλια έρχομαι για την παρουσίαση του “Τζονι και εγώ” που θα γίνει στo  ‘Public’, Σύνταγμα την Τετάρτη, 1 Οκτωβρίου 7:00 το απόγευμα. Θα γίνει συζήτηση με θέμα ‘Βlogs, Γυναίκες, Βιβλία και Εξωτερικό”. Στο πάνελ θα πάρουν μέρος η Ελένη Γκίγκα, ο Μάνος Κοντολέων, η Ρίτσα Μασούρα και η Αγγελική Παπαδοπούλου και εγώ .

Είστε ΟΛΟΙ προσκαλεσμένοι και σας περιμένω ΕΚΕΙ να τα πούμε από κοντά. Ηταν καιρός πια  φιιουυ!

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The Book Launch

 The time of the Book Launch is looming as well as the realization that writing a book isn’t anymore a solitary path, safe and secure like a womb. The other day I felt a cramp in my stomach when I saw my agent’s email on the screen saying:

The book launch  is going to take place on 1st October at ‘Public’ in Syntagma. Full Stop.  There will be a panel of authors, journalist etc and the subject of the discussion will be about “Blogs, Women, Books and Abroad”.Full Stop .You need to come and read some parts of your book in front of the audience  Katerina

I had no idea what was the ‘Public’? I knew ‘Syntagma’ and this sounded impressive! The ‘Johnny and Me’ in the central square of Athens in front of the Greek Parliament wow!! But the cramp in my stomach was due to the last line “…read parts of the book in front of the audience”.

Back to the screen writing

Dear  katerina

“I presume this is a joke,  because the thought of  me reading in front of an audience can  only happen  with the outfit of a bank’s robber– balaclava- or  after consuming a half bottle of whisky .Full stop. Think something more realistic.”

The above was my immediate response to my agent’s e-mail and straight away I went to the safety place –think tank – put the kettle on for a tea and think. So far the situation with the book was safe. I wrote the book and thoroughly enjoyed the process. The next stage, which was reading the print copy was equally amusing before going to sleep. I had created a book that I wanted to read and so far I was happy and safe. Everything was private and personal; nobody was involved except me, my book and my jokes. I stopped to read it when the publisher sends me a copy of the real book. My first reaction was to feel sick but still, I got used to it. My timid step to publicity was the blogosphere. I created a blog and started to post some parts of the book. At the beginning I felt nice, nobody has noticed it, no comments, no visits, perhaps, because I didn’t know then about counters etc. Everything was perfect and safe! After a while I realised as I was crawling through the blogs that everybody had posts with full of comments and visitors. Everybody was popular within their circle. Then as always happens to me throughout in my life my big internal enemy -my shyness- was replaced by boredom.

Suddenly one day I saw 1 comment saying

‘Your writing is  nice and  elegant ….  You could be a columnist …etc.’ So Far. 

I was surprised, flattered and again not sure how to respond and start a dialogue with this lady named So Far whose blog I liked very much.  So my response was a dry and perhaps an arrogant ‘thanks’ which leads straight back to the safety net.

The rest is history …

At the moment I feel anxious but the thought that I will be back to Athens soon gives me a great sense of happiness.

Thoughts on travelling

 “Where are you from?” “Where are you going?”my fellow travellers were chatting around me ; the usual conversation among travellers. Some of them they are curious about you, others are curious about ‘themselves’ who is the majority, others, they just want to catch the moment  with you, talking about trivial things . Usually, I can spot the people who I am attracted to, but in diverse environments  such as ships in the middle of the ocean or places totally foreigner to me, there are surprises and pitfalls of my own judgement.  Quite a few times I found people quite interesting and amiable despite the first encounter  wasn’t attraction by the first sight. Sometimes  I am overwhelmed by sadness, knowing by experience that I’m not going to see people who I felt a spark  talking to or even bonding with momentarily . Other times I’ m feeling that all the smart people are staying at home and blogging and I’m on the road with the rest. And for sure, when I am on the road for  long, the spark of newness fades and travel can feel a long detour from my real home and life and perhaps unreal life (blogging). From time to time  one question is pending on my mind “ why I travel” and the first answer could be , perhaps from curiosity to learn and grow, perhaps from need to stretch my limits, perhaps for fun and rejuvenation, perhaps because I have to.. .   I found some quotations  about travelling which intrigued me  and I chose 10+1 which really inspired me  and I identified with them. The 1 (one) is  mine  “the more  I travel the more confused  I am about the world, the people and myself”

  1. I met a lot of people in Europe.  I even encountered myself.  James Baldwin
  2. “The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.” – Rudyard Kipling
  3. “Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.” – Paul Theroux
  4. “A wise traveler never despises his own country.” – Carlo Goldoni
  5. “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
  6. What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do – especially in other people’s minds.     When you’re travelling, you are what you are right there and then.  People don’t have your past to hold against you.  No yesterdays on the road.  ~William Least Heat Moon, Blue Highways
  7.  Give me five minutes of a man’s life over all the books in the world, said Borges – a lesson as relevant for travellers as for pallid bookies.
  8.  ‘what we find exotic abroad may be what we hunger for in vain at home… the pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps dependent more on the mindset with which we travel than on the destination we travel to.. And that’s the wonderful thing about family travel:  it provides you with experiences that will remain locked forever in the scar tissue of your mind.  ~Dave Barry
  9. “For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
  10. To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries. Aldous Huxley