Today started like it would be a regular ol' day on the home-front. After Ernesto got Emma-Joy and himself readied and out the door for his work and her school, Maya-Rae and I dropped the car off at our neighborhood guy's fix-it shop, cruised by the produce stand on our walk home and biked to our Friday morning playgroup. Back at home, she napped while I prepped the most amazing bean, brown rice and kale green chili enchiladas for dinner. Later, we picked up Emma-Joy from school, played with Sasha the dog in the back yard and raked leaves, walked to pick the car up and went to get Emma-Joy a much-needed haircut.
It was on the walk back to the car fix-it shop when I spotted a UPS truck turning down my street. Had we not been already late to pick the car up, I would have doubled back to see if the truck was going to stop at our house.
Back at home, the box sitting on the chair next to the front door is the first thing my eyes gravitated towards. From the driveway, peering out my driver-side window, I strained my eyes through their thick-lensed glasses enough to make out that the shipping label read AK Press.
Dancing in my seat on my still seat-belted ass to no music, I squealed to Emma-Joy that my book was finally here! "So what," she said. "So what??? I worked so hard writing it and it's a dream come true to finally see it!" I told her, my spastic ass still doing a stationary dance. "Well then, go get it and I'll get Maya-Rae," she suggested.
Prior to seeing the box of books waiting for me, I actually wasn't sure what my feelings would be. I thought it might be anticlimactic, giving it a blank stare that meant "Now what? I'm holding the long-awaited book, but is anyone else?" I worried that I wouldn't like it after all, that I'd let myself down by not editing out that thing or including that other information.
But when I opened the box and saw my very own, first ever book staring back at me, it felt good. Very, very good! Pride, excitement, and disbelief took me over. As did several exclamations of "Oh shit! I really did it!" I knew I'd worked really hard and written something, handed in some manuscript to someone, but not until I saw it for the first time this evening did it become real.
To touch it, open its pages, check out the front pages I'd never seen before, as well as the back cover and the layout, was an ecstatic thrill. Emma-Joy grabbed the camera out of my purse and snapped a picture of me crouched on the floor over the newly opened box, book in one hand and Maya-Rae in the other, the biggest possible smile across my face. (I'll post it here as soon as I figure out how...) I called Ernesto at work, and then my mom. And I kicked myself for not being able to find my editor Ellen's phone number!
Forget actually cooking the enchiladas for dinner, the girls got lollipops and ramen noodles tonight (yes, in that order) as I just couldn't tear myself out of reading this chapter or part of that one, needing to convince myself that yeah, it really did turn out more than OK! No matter if others love it or hate it, it's my best effort.
So yeah, the book is out!!! And now, both girls are in bed and it's time to drink some wine tonight to celebrate!