The advance copies of my book have landed. They’re sitting in a box on the kitchen table and I’m shaking as I slice through the packing tape. What will I feel when I see my “baby” for the very first time? I want to like it – love it — but what if I’m not smitten and I don’t?
I so wish Joe were here but he’s beyond the reach of a cell phone, stuck working hard on a ship somewhere on Lake Michigan. I’ll have to do this alone.
I can’t wait to open the box. But I’m anxious and I can’t. I want what’s inside yet I can’t bear to see it. I give myself a moment – in fact, I give myself a few. I pour a glass of wine and then finally have the courage to commit. I rip open the carton, dig through the packing material and there they are. Copies of my words bound between two covers: Gap Year Girl. It’s a simple yet extraordinary moment – one I want to savor and recall. I’m overwhelmed and again, I start to tremble. My book is here, it’s in my hands, it’s real. I choke back a sob as I stroke the jacket, afraid that if I put it down it will vanish into thin air. I run my finger along the spine and gently caress the back. I’m grinning maniacally and I can’t imagine stopping.
But then I open my pages to the middle and read a random passage. I panic and my smile dissolves. Is it good? Is it any good at all? Will people actually want to read what I’ve written? I close my handiwork, touch the cover again and immediately feel better.
As I ready myself for bed, I prop my book on my dresser and just as I’m drifting off, jolt up to see if it’s still there. Yes, it is. Indeed, it is. Gap Year Girl remains, leaning against a picture of my children, as it is in the morning when I awaken.