“I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.”
– JAMES MICHENER –
A few weeks ago, I found a package waiting for me on the front porch when I got home from work. I could see it from my car window, standing upright against the door, and my heart beat a bit faster as I instinctively realized what it was. When I picked it up, the return label confirmed my suspicions.
Typically, I would have torn open the box right then and there, but I was strangely calm, and I knew — I just knew — that beneath there was a storm of emotions just beginning to brew. There was a dream sitting in that box, a piece of light that had gotten me through the darkest year of my life, and I wanted to savor this moment — every single piece of it — so that I could tuck it in the pockets of my memory and remember what it felt like to hold my book in my hands.
I’d grown up with books, finding friendships in the characters, refuge in the settings, and adventure in each plot, so eager to return to the school library or the bookstore to find something new that would pull me under the spell of words again. The libraries and bookstores may have housed the books themselves, but the books are what held those words that filtered out the world around you and took you everywhere and nowhere at all. Each sentence connected to the next and the next and the one after that, weaving a world through your mind that made you laugh or cry or sigh when the last word was read.
It’s easy to take books for granted. It’s easy to pick up a book and get so lost in a world that you forget that it came from a person just like you and just like me — because reading is that magical, words hold that much power. It’s for this reason that I still can’t get over the feeling of holding this book in my hands, why I can’t begin to describe the feeling of knowing that all my imaginings have come to life in this physical form.
Just like all those books I grew up with, here was my story. Here was the family that lived within my mind, whispering their thoughts and secrets and waiting for me to bring them to life. Here was the town that I had crafted and lived in for over four years — printed on the page. Here was my own childhood re-imagined, manifesting itself into a story that holds truth at the very heart of it.
My name on the spine, words I’d written filling the pages from cover to cover, a world I’ve loved and lived and imagined…This book is so much more than what it seems. This book has been a form of healing from past loss; this process has been a way of healing in the present to ensure myself a future…
And — sorry for the cliche — it’s been a dream coming true.