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I almost missed it.

Yesterday I approved the final proofs of Brainstorms, my poetry book that will come out next month. And I almost let it slide by as another task on the to-do list. I almost forgot what a big deal it was.

It’s understandable. The electronic approval form showed up as a message in my inbox, between an email about my child’s school directory and another about a report I am writing for my work with the Texas Health Department HIV program. It took only a minute and a half to click the link to form, read the approval, place my electronic signature on the form, and submit. Done. Check. Move on.

Or not.

I had already moved onto the next email when I stopped to remind myself of the magnitude of that small action. I didn’t set out to write a book, but somehow a seed took root and here I am.

I closed my laptop and stepped outside to savor the moment. I thought back to the first time I shared a poem on Facebook (thanks to Phillip Estes), the moments of exhilaration when a perfect line popped into my head, the hours I spent with pages of poems spread out over my bed as I figured out how to weave all the pieces of this book together into a cohesive whole, and the first time I read through Brainstorms from start to finish and knew that it was complete.

Brainstorms is not my book anymore. It’s yours. When I signed that approval form, I officially released it. No more fixing misplaced commas or worrying about whether or not that last sentence is too much.

Now, I imagine you holding Brainstorms in your hands, opening the first page, and connecting through your own experiences to the words I happened to have set down in type.


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